First Indian Baseball Player

            Sayed Khan born in 1991 from Oakland California was the first Indian Muslim born baseball who played for the Oakland Athletics in Major League Baseball (MLB) playing 15 seasons at 2nd base. He was known in Oakland as the Home Town Hero because of how much passion he had playing the game and playing for his city. In college he played 3 seasons with the University of California Berkeley then transferred to top ranked San Jose State University to play his senior year. He left UC Berkeley because he was struggling in his classes and decided to go to SJSU for better academic success. In his senior year with SJSU he was named to the 1st team all Mountain West and led the team to the school’s first ever College World Series Championship. During the season he was drafted 1st overall to the Oakland Athletics and when he graduated he headed straight to the minor leagues. He only spent 3 years in the Minors until he got called up at the beginning of the 2012 season at the age of 21. In his first game versus the New York Yankees on opening day, he hit a home run on his first career at bat and later hit the game winning single in the bottom of the 9th to win the game. In his rookie year he put up record breaking numbers like the franchise home run record (59), broke the records for most R.B.I in a season (205), and highest batting average in a single season (.685). He won multiple awards in his rookie season like the Rookie of the Year award, Most Valuable Player award, the Triple Crown award, and Silver Slugger award for 2nd base. He was the key player for the championship run the Oakland Athletics had in 2012 help, leading the team with a .600 batting, average, hitting 5 home runs, and 22 in the entire postseason. When the A’s won the World Series he was named World Series M.V.P with a .500 batting average, hitting 2 home runs, and 7 in the series. He also hit the game winning home run in game 7 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

            In his second season it was pretty much the same story as the first but he didn’t break any of the records he set the season before. He still won the same rewards from last year, but in 2013 the Oakland A’s reached all the way to the ALCS and lost in 6 games to the Cleveland Indians, who later lost in the world series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the season he got married to his wife Zareen Anwar. Also during the offseason he signed an extension for 4 years $65 million which was a discount at this time because of how good he was, but he signed it because he said “I love my team and my city and I wanted to stay in Oakland no matter how much the team paid me”. During the middle of the 2014 season he had a son during the All-Star break and even though he was named to the All-Start game for the 3rd straight year he skipped it to witness the birth of his son Salim. Everything Sayed wanted was coming to him, he was winning all types of awards and in the 2014 season he won every position award that was available including his first golden glove award.

            In August of 2015 tragedy struck his family, during a game against the Chicago White Sox, manager Bob Melvin pulled him from the game and told him to go to the hospital his wife was injured. He rushed to Kaiser Hospital in Oakland to find out that his wife and son were in a car accident and in surgery. Three hours later and all of Sayed family and friends by his side his wife and one-year old son were pronounced dead. This made Sayed go into depression for several months and even tried to commit suicide but it didn’t work. The gun he had, he only had one bullet in it and when he cocked the gun the bullet flew out. In January of 2016 he moved to London England to be with his family and to get away from all the things that were making him depressed. He lived in London for four year and while there he joined the infamous Green Street Elite hooligan firm (GSE) of West Ham United, (portrayed in the 2005 movie Green Street Hooligans). According to Syed he saw a man being jumped by three guys and helped the man out, the man later bought him to a bar that his friends were at and they could take care of him instead of the hospital. His friends were so grateful for Sayed help they invited him to the West Ham match vs. Chelsea the next day. When the next day came he went back to the bar not knowing that these guys were hooligans and hung around the guy he helped out. He was learning the songs of the team and then they headed out, for Sayed he thought there going to the game but instead they went to a secluded area. When they reached that secluded area he saw another group of guys on another side and that when it hits him, he about to be in a hooligan brawl against Chelsea hooligan firm the Headhunters. They had the brawl and Sayed fought well and when the police showed up everyone scattered away and ended up at the game right before kickoff. The GSE leader was impressed with the way Sayed fought he asked him to join the firm.

            Sayed used his time fighting with the GSE to help his depression of losing his son and wife. Living four years in London and travelling with the GSE to different cities to fight other firms helped him clear his head. According to Sayed he came back to the states to play again because one the leader of the firm, who knew about his situation after Sayed told him about it, told Sayed to go back home because he seemed like his wounds were healed of his tragedy. He was smiling and looked like his depression was gone. Another reason why he came back was that he was watching an A’s game with his grandfather and his grandfather told him that he missed watching him play and that hit his heart. In 2021 he returned to Oakland and signed a minor league contract with the A’s. Sayed played 12 more season in the MLB and he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2025 as the A’s were in a rebuilding mode and the Cubs were looking to make the playoffs. He led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908 breaking the Curse of the Billy Goat. He ended his career with 4 World Series Titles (1 with the A’s and 3 with the Cubs), 9 All-Star selections, 6 M.V.P awards, 4 Triple Crown awards, and 2 World Series M.V.P awards. He also ended his career stats of a .480 batting average, 456 home runs, and 1,875, and he is a projected 1st ballot hall of famer in the 2046 hall of fame voting. He has also remarried and has 3 kids, 2 boys (20, 15) and a girl (13) and he still has the pictures of his first wife and son with him too. He will forever be known as the Home Town Hero because no matter where he played, he always represented Oakland and made sure everyone knew about where he was from, and he will also be the first Indian Muslim player to make the Hall of Fame.

Shamid Rathod