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Riding along with Doolittle and Griffin during the A’s Holiday Caravan

Dec 6, 2013, 3:59 PM PST

Oakland Athletics pitchers A.J. Griffin and Sean Doolittle helped spread holiday cheer to humans and animals alike on Thursday.

During the A’s annual holiday caravan, the two big league pitchers spent their day giving back to the community in Oakland. The day started at the Oakland Zoo, where they spent two hours signing autographs, taking pictures, and eating pizza with the students of Howard Elementary school.

The next stop was the giraffe exhibit. After leaving a room full of smiling faces and full bellies, Griffin and Doolittle hand fed sliced bananas to the large animals. One of the zookeepers explained that giraffes can behead a lion with a single kick. Fortunately, their long dark tongues aren’t nearly as dangerous as they are creepy.

After leaving the zoo, the caravan arrived at the George Mark Children’s House, which is a facility that┬áserves families with children that have a serious medical illness. Griffin and Doolittle shared stories, signed autographs and even taught pitching techniques while meeting several kids and their families. The visit clearly made an impact, as the kids were laughing and smiling the entire time. It also made a huge impression on the ballplayers, who took it upon themselves to arrange future interactions before leaving.

The A’s recently donated $5,000 to the George Mark Children’s home, but they need all the help they can get. You can learn more and help out by clicking the below link.

[DONATE: Help George Mark Children’s Home┬áserve kids with special health needs]

The final stop of the day was at the Oakland Coliseum to meet with A’s staff members. After a busy and rewarding day, Griffin and Doolittle hopped on a plane in Oakland and flew back home. The whole thing took just a few hours, but it left lasting impressions on the two A’s players and provided life-long memories for the kids and families involved.


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