A's pitcher Huston Street takes BART to ballpark


A's pitcher Huston Street takes BART to ballpark

He looks like any other guy getting off BART at the Oakland Airport Coliseum station, except that this guy has an NBC11 camera crew in tow -- and a $3 million-a-year arm.

"It just kind of gets me in a rhythm, it gets me in a routine," says Huston Street, pitcher for the Oakland A's and 2005 rookie of the year. "Ballplayers, we all like to have a rhythm. We all like to have a routine."

Few of the fans who stream into the Coliseum realize Street takes BART to the ballpark too.

"My wife and I, we live like 30 miles away," Street says. "We have one car so to commute back and forth, back and forth, would be a lot of time and a lot of gas." Like many BART regulars, Street says taking BART avoids wear and tear on his car -- and his psyche. "It's just so relaxing for me, pregame," he says. "I don't have to fight traffic. I don't have to worry about anything, I have to make one change, which is real easy, the trains are timed. I just get on, hop across, and it drops me off ... a two-minute walk from my locker, so it's perfect."
Street keeps a low profile on BART with eyeglasses, T-shirt and jeans, but not low enough to escape the attention of sports reporters like Laurence Scott of KNTV. "This guy's a star pitcher," Scott says. "He is really one of the better A's players and he's leading by example here. And you won't find a nicer guy in all of baseball." Felipe Escamilla, NBC Sports photojournalist, adds: "I've seen the huge egos. I've talked to the huge egos and he's definately not one of those. He's down to earth."

Street says long before the media ever found out about his commute, he was riding BART because of Joe Kennedy. Kennedy is the late baseball player for the A's who died recently of heart failure, and who also took BART to the ballpark.

And while Street plays baseball for a living, that doesn't mean he ignores the world beyond the diamond. He says one factor in his choice to take BART is that he's concerned about greenhouse gases and the use of fossil fuels. "You know it's irresponsible for us not to consider for future generations because we've always had this luxury, but in the last 50 years we've really taken advantage of it," he says.

For interviews with some of Street's teammates talking about BART, see the NBC11 video here.  

Photo credit: Homepage thumbnail image of Huston Street courtesy of Oakland Athletics.