Bower, 20, keeps his fandom under wraps for a few hours each day while he serves as the visiting batboy at A's home games, dressing in the opposition's uniform. This is his fourth season working for the A's and he's responsible for making sure visiting teams have what they need on game day.
"He's known as probably being the best in baseball," said Matt Weiss, the assistant visiting clubhouse manager. "I don't have to worry about much during the game at all. He's right there to do it."
Bower, a graduate of Amador Valley High School, gets to the Oakland Coliseum about four hours before each game and doesn't usually leave until roughly three or four hours after the final pitch.
He balances the demands of work with his studies at San Jose State University, where he's a social science major and planning to get his teaching credential. Bower said he has to find time to do homework whenever he can, often spending nights at the clubhouse while he studies for tests.
He said that working for the A's has actually made him hit the books more seriously. That's because the managers place an emphasis on education over baseball, said Weiss.
"I'm definitely more organized when I have work," said Bower, who wants to become a high school history teacher. "I have to make my schedule now as early as possible. I purposely set up one (class) after another and then go to the library as long as I can and then head to work."
Before the game, he helps put out the pregame spread in the clubhouse and set up equipment for batting practice. If players have any last-minute needs, like a cell phone charger, Bower or one of the other attendants will take care of that. He said he's been on Taco Bell runs for Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and fielded a request by a Red Sox pitcher for a special type of shampoo he forgot at home.
After batting practice, Bower makes sure the visiting players' lockers have their game uniforms washed and ready. Once the game starts, he handles the bats and equipment for opposing players, making sure nothing is left on the ground. When the game is over, Bower cleans out the visiting dugout, making sure players didn't leave sunglasses or gloves behind, sets up dinner and does laundry for the next day.
He said he loves his job because he gets to see a side of the athletes they usually don't show others.
"The level of stress can be very minimal," Bower said. "The coolest part is being able to know the players for who they really are and actually being able to talk to them."
Bower has earned praise from opposing players and coaches for his professionalism and helpfulness. Weiss said that Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, among others, usually tells him that Bower is a great batboy. Bower said that he enjoys when the Twins come to Oakland, because they're pretty friendly.
Minnesota relief pitcher Matt Guerrier bought new shoes for Bower and the other visiting batboys as a token of his appreciation for their work. Bower said the Twins staff also invited him to work as a batboy for a game at the new Target Field in Minneapolis.
"What's cool is I'm not that nervous anymore," he said. "The first year, I wouldn't say much of anything. I was just in awe."
Four years ago, Bower worked in the Kid Fit department of Club Sport in Dublin. He watched the children of Mike Thalblum, the A's visiting clubhouse manager. Thalblum would often talk with Bower about baseball and one day asked if he wanted to work for him.
Bowers did not hesitate. Working for the A's would mean the best seat in the house. It would mean being elbow-to-elbow with the players he's seen on TV and from the bleachers. It would, unfortunately, also mean that he couldn't cheer when an Athletic hit a home run or started a double play.
Though he works for the A's, wearing the opponent's uniform makes him a representative of that team.
Early on, such a task was daunting, and earned him some ribbing from players. Now, he is more focused on doing his job than the score.
"I have to keep my calm and pretend like I don't care," Bower said. "I just have to keep calm every single time. That was hard in the beginning, but now I'm used to it."