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A's turn back the clock, honor Zito, Hernandez

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Decked out in their black and green alternate jerseys from yesteryear, the A's turned back the clock to the early 2000s for Saturday's contest against the Braves. On a day where 2002 American League Cy Young winner Barry Zito shared a bobblehead with 2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada, Zito and former A's catcher Ramon Hernandez came back to the Coliseum to enjoy the festivities.

Zito said it was special to see some familiar faces of longtime season-ticket holders as he made the walk from the clubhouse to the field before Saturday's contest.

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OAKLAND -- Decked out in their black and green alternate jerseys from yesteryear, the A's turned back the clock to the early 2000s for Saturday's contest against the Braves. On a day where 2002 American League Cy Young winner Barry Zito shared a bobblehead with 2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada, Zito and former A's catcher Ramon Hernandez came back to the Coliseum to enjoy the festivities.

Zito said it was special to see some familiar faces of longtime season-ticket holders as he made the walk from the clubhouse to the field before Saturday's contest.

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"It's always been the same people here," said Zito, who pitched in Oakland from 2000-06 and briefly in 2015. "In fact, one of the women gave me a picture from my first start ever in July of 2000. I just saw this picture, like, 'Crazy that was the first start.' She gave it to me, so I'll probably take that home and maybe frame it."

Not to mention he liked donning the old alternate A's jersey again.

"That's the coolest uniform in baseball right there," Zito said.

Tweet from @Athletics: Barry Zito ������ Ramon Hernandez ceremonial first pitch. #TBTC pic.twitter.com/tqa25IErcI

Hernandez was also excited to be back in Oakland and to reconnect with Zito for the first time since their playing days. Hernandez spent the 1999-03 seasons with the A's, and said he has a desire to become a Major League coach after serving as a bench coach for Tiburones de La Guaira in the Venezuelan winter leagues.

"We had all great memories in this ballpark," Hernandez said. "It was the team I signed with, the team I came up to the big leagues with, and the team that I loved to watch when I was a little kid. Coming back here and walking on the field, it's an amazing feeling … I played for a few teams, but they were my favorite team."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Oakland Athletics