PART 2: A’S PROSPECTS TALK HOLIDAY GIFTS (originally posted 1/13/15 on


Kimberly Contreras
Arizona Correspondent
A's Prospects Talk Holiday Gifts

The holiday season has come and gone. What were the best gifts Oakland A’s prospects gave and received this off-season? Kimberly Contreras checks in with part two of her series on the doings of A’s prospects this off-season.

In part one of our series on the off-seasons of Oakland A’s prospects, we focused on how they spent their past few months. Click here to read it.

Part two of the series is all about the holidays. What did they do? What did they give and receive as gifts?

One poor guy had his wisdom teeth pulled at Christmas; one has a very large family – his mom is one of 9 children; and one is a BIG “Seinfeld” fan.

Go ahead. See who’s who:


Drew Granier: “Spent the holidays at home with the family and my girlfriend, who lives in Monroe. On Christmas Eve my immediate family went to my uncle’s house. We exchanged gifts and had fried fresh shrimp & white beans with a little of everything else to go with it. On Christmas Day, we went to my aunt’s house, where we usually gather to eat and share stories all day. Nothing too crazy but always a good time.”

Jon Massad: “I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house in Massachusetts. We have the whole family over to celebrate every year.

I celebrated New Years Eve and New Years Day in Washington D.C. We went to the NHL Winter Classic, which was a great time!”

Boog Powell: “No special traditions really for the holidays, just spending time with both my mom’s and dad’s sides of the family.”

Joey Bennie: “I spent Christmas with my fiancé, Laura and her family in West Virginia, then we drove to Virginia to meet up with my family. We then went on a 7-day cruise to the Bahamas where we celebrated the New Year! Definitely the most fun I have had so far this offseason. The only tradition I can think about with my family is decorating the Christmas tree together while we bake brownies. But it’s been hard over the last couple of years to get everyone to come together. “

A.J. Burke: “This year for the holidays. I went to Denver because that is where my soon to be wife’s family lives. It was my first time away from home so I actually broke my normal tradition. It was great to spend my daughter’s first Christmas with her and to have my first Christmas with my new family.”

Heath Fillmyer: “Spent the holidays with family. We always have a Jumbo dinner (cooked by my mother, who is a great cook!) Always a great time!”

Chad Pinder: “For the holidays, we did Christmas in Virginia, and spent New Years as a family in Charleston, SC.”

Rob Huber: “I have an incredibly large family (mom is one of nine) that mostly live around Dallas. We all get together for the holidays, which is the best part of the year.”

Derek Beasley: “This year my family started a tradition of a Tacky Christmas sweater party. We all go to my Aunt’s house and have a competition on whose outfit wins the tacky competition.”

Daniel Robertson: “For Christmas, our family came over to our house. Then we all spent New Years’ in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! It was a great way to spend the holiday, except for the fact that I lost my phone and have been without, due to its replacement being on backorder.”

J.P. Sportman: “I spent the holidays with my family. No special traditions besides going to church on Christmas Eve, and family dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”

Cody Stull: “I spent the holidays with my mother (Tina Stull). We kind of keep it low key and spend breakfast with our neighbors; this is something we have done for over ten years. My mother and I will also normally go catch a new movie or two.“

Max Kuhn: “I was able to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is always great to spend time with the family: Mom, Dad, my brother Troy, and our 3 dogs. We don’t have any traditions but with all of us just being together it’s very special to me.”

John Nogowski: “We celebrate Festivus… Sorry big Seinfeld fan. We didn’t really do too much over the holidays. During Thanksgiving and Christmas the hunting gets really good down here so I had to make sure I was in the woods!”

Seth Frankoff: “For Thanksgiving, I was in the Dominican Republic with the other Americans who were on my team or “gringos” as they call us. For Christmas and New Years I was in Venezuela. It was interesting to see how different cultures and countries celebrate the holidays! (Although Dominicans do not celebrate Thanksgiving, obviously)”

Ryan Dull: “I was at the beach for Thanksgiving and at home for Christmas. Every Thanksgiving for the last few years we have spent at the beach and go out with the crazy people for Black Friday shopping. It’s fun people-watching time as well. For Christmas, my parents let my brother and me open 1 gift on Christmas Eve and the rest in the morning. After that we head up to my Uncle’s for breakfast and spend the rest of the day with family.”

Daniel Gossett: “We have a very small family so it was nice to get back home and spend time with them for the holidays!”

Bobby Wahl: “Spent them around the house, I had my wisdom teeth removed a few days before Christmas so I was pretty lazy during that time.”

Tyler Painton: “I spent the holidays with my family in California. It was a nice change since I have missed out on so many holidays being away at school. I forgot how much my family travels for holidays though. Between my mom’s side of the family up in the Bay Area and then traveling down to Orange County for my dad’s side of the family.”

Josh Miller: “For the holidays my brother rented a cabin in Tennessee for all off our family to join. Got to see my grandmother and uncle whom I haven’t seen in quite a while.”

Dillon Overton: “My wife and I spent our holidays going back and forth between our families who are in Oklahoma and Texas. Also, while we were in Oklahoma, my wife and I went duck hunting and deer hunting together. Which in turn, got us two beautiful ducks, that we brought back to Texas to be mounted and hang on our wall.”

Dom Vattuone: “As for the holidays, in our family, we split who hosts which big day. For example: we usually have Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house and Christmas at ours. We usually just eat and play games while the little ones run around and play with the dog.”

Chris Lamb: “My extended family gets together for Christmas dinner every year and we have a white elephant gift exchange. Many of the gifts are trash that people are trying to get rid of but there are always one or two treasures that are hotly contested.”

Ryan Mathews: “I went home to Orlando where we celebrated both Christmas and New Years on December 31st. My older brother works for Billabong and was in Hawaii for work during Christmas so we just celebrated it a week later.”

Nick Rickles: “Spending the holidays with my family always requires a bit of travel for me. My dad lives in South Carolina, while my mom and brother live in Florida. I was able to spend Christmas with my dad, then fly to Florida to spend New Years with my mom and brother.”


Jon Massad: “I got some really nice clothes for Christmas so I guess those would be my favorite.”

Boog Powell: “Best gifts I got this Christmas were the iPhone 6, and two 10-inch subs with a box that will fit in my truck.”

Joey Bennie: “The best gift I gave this Christmas was to my Goddaughter, Sophia. I got her a huge Minnie Mouse doll (she loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse) and she went insane! Made me so happy to see her smile and laugh, especially since I don’t get to see her a lot. The best gift I received was the cruise to the Bahamas by my parents. I have never been out of the country before and have never been on a cruise, so it was an experience of a lifetime. A close second though was the Odell Beckham Jr. jersey my sister Stephanie bought me. I am a huge Giants fan so I was extremely pumped to get Beckham’s jersey.”

A.J. Burke: “The best gift I was given was from my parents. They must have gotten sick of listening to me talk about wanting to go to Montana to deer hunt next year, so they wrote me a blank check that read “Big hunting trip to shoot Bambie.”

So, needless to say, I will be headed to Montana to shoot a deer next year.”Heath Fillmyer: “Best gift given to me (even though everything I received was special to me) would have to be the Christmas Card my father wrote me! Said some really special things that meant a lot to me. I’d have to say that was the best gift I received!

Best gift I gave: Would have to be to my mother! She has always wanted a Pandora bracelet, so I went out and tried my best to get her a bracelet with a bunch of charms that reminded her of my sister and me! My mother lit up! “

Chad Pinder: “I got all the women in my family manicures and pedicures. They seemed to be happy about it! And the best gift I received was wireless Beats (headphones) from my parents. They hooked it up!”

Rob Huber: “The best gift I received was a Garmin Vivosmart fitness band. I have always wanted one. It came in super handy when walking around San Francisco with the step counter!”

Derek Beasley: “I really needed new baseballs for my pitching lessons, so my mom came through and got me the ones I needed.”

Daniel Robertson: “The best gifts: I gave my brothers some Lululemon sweats, and I received Bose mini speaker that’s easy to travel with.”

J.P. Sportman: “Best gift given was for sure one of my bats signed by Rickey Henderson that I gave to my Dad. He was pretty surprised by that one! And best gift received probably a pair of headphones and speakers I got because I love my music. Other than that I was just happy to be around my family for the holidays.”

Cody Stull: “Nothing too wild just stocking up on supplies for the upcoming season.”

Max Kuhn: “I received a few gifts including a Cuisinart travel blender and a Carhartt jacket to keep me warm during these cold winter months. I got a few gifts for the family as well. I got my UK jersey framed for my parents; and I gave my girlfriend an Oakland A’s jacket, as she is now an Oakland fan.”

John Nogowski: “My girlfriend got me a brand new compound hunting bow for Christmas. Without a doubt my #1 favorite.”

Seth Frankoff: “The best gift given was a dog that my wife and I gave to a family member in honor and remembrance of a recently lost loved one.

The best gift I received was a YETI cooler from my wife, perfect for hunting and fishing!”Ryan Dull: “The best gift for me is the time I’ve been able to spend with my family.”

Daniel Gossett: “I gave my girlfriend a Dyson vacuum cleaner and she cried in excitement so I guess that was the best gift this year.”

Bobby Wahl: “Difficult to tell really, I got a ton of stuff that I love and hope the gifts I gave were good, too!”

Tyler Painton: “The best gift was becoming an Uncle over the holidays. A new member to our family was born the day after Thanksgiving and he truly is a beautiful baby boy. You can definitely say he did not get the looks from me.”

Josh Miller: “I’m at that point in my life where gifts aren’t really our thing. But just being able to spend time with the family and see my niece was awesome.”

Dillon Overton: “I didn’t really have a favorite gift given or received this year. I really just enjoyed spending all this time with my wife and my whole family before this next season starts. You have to be thankful for the smaller things in life rather than actual gifts. Memories and family last longer than gifts do, in my opinion.”

Dom Vattuone: “Best gift given would probably be all of them really. Everyone who got a gift from me was more than happy with it and it was what he or she wanted. As for received, probably would have to go with a wallet from my girlfriend.”

Chris Lamb: “The best gift given this year was a La-Z-Boy recliner that we got for my mom.”

Ryan Mathews: “The best gift I gave was probably the fitness tracker I got my mom for Christmas. She’s used it a lot and has enjoyed it so far.

The best gift I received has to be the shake weight my mom got me for Christmas. Yes you read that correctly, my mom got me a shake weight for Christmas and it wasn’t a joke — [awkward]. She really does mean well though!”

Nick Rickles: “The best gift I received was the gift of being with my family. Yeah, there are tangible things I received, but nothing beats the gift of family, love and being able to spend time with them!”


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