So, the Oakland A’s are moving. Not official yet, but it’ pretty much a done deal. I’m going to focus more on my emotional feelings and add a bit of historical context so it hopefully makes sense to you.
Arriving in Oakland
I start here because I believe it is an important aspect and the basis for my thoughts. Even though I latched onto the A’s from my first game in the Coliseum in 1972, the intellectual part of my brain says they never should have moved to Oakland to begin with. Charlie Finley, the owner at the time, investigated several potential cities, i.e Dallas/Ft Worth, Seattle, Atlanta (prior to Braves move, Louisville, and several others. The problem with Oakland was the Giants were right across the bay, and they were very successful. Back in 1968 the American League (AL) and National League (NL) were still two separate and distinct leagues and legal entities. Only the AL got to vote on the move. The NL and the Giants had no opportunity to rally against it.
Dallas/Ft Worth would have been the best long-term bet, but Oakland had a major league level stadium ready to go, so Oakland it was.
I went to uncounted games from 1972 to 2005 when I moved half way across the country. I’ve been to many A’s games in other stadiums since, and I wear the gear and all that stuff. I follow the players, I have my favorites, all that stuff. I am emotionally invested in the team and players. I figuratively lived and died with their ups and down.
My thoughts on the move
– I’ve said for many years it needs to happen. The A’s have always been the red-headed step-child in northern California, and even though for the first forty years they had much more success on the field, better players, a better stadium, and had a better community outreach program (after Finley sold the team), the area still blindly supported the Giants. Don’t get me wrong, I love the OAKLAND A’s, but lack of respect and the first item noted above, I have long felt they would be better off if they moved. If they established their own fan base, not a shared area.
– That being said, I am NOT enamored with Las Vegas being the new city. The local population is not a wealthy population. A lot of people move there to work in the casinos when young, then move on. They will have to depend on tourists going to random games. They don’t have the time or the money or the inclination to build a devotion to a tea. TV will show crowds with overwhelming visitor gear, especially when the Yankees and Red Sox visit. That’s not a way to establish a solid fan base.
Ideally, I would prefer they move to Nashville, or even Charlotte, but Nashville has a group pushing for an expansion team, and apparently they have pull, so that’s not happening. Personally, I believe the MLB should tell them to go pound sand. The MLB should be protecting and building they’re existing teams before thinking about expansion.
My bottom line thoughts…
- They can move and I will remain an A’s fan as my team of choice.
- They can change the colors, if they want. I’d be annoyed, but whatever.
- That being said, if they change the name, the team is dead to me. Period. There’s way too much proud history to be thrown away on a whim.
Las Vegas A’s, or somebody else. Maybe Royals, or Twins, or Tigers. I like all three of those teams, just not as much as the A’s. Even if I go elsewhere it won’t be the same. There won’t be that personal history or memories going back to when I was 8 years old.
This is a difficult issue for me. I’m torn between emotionalism and reality. I’m striving for reality while at least keeping my memories.
Go A’s! Maybe.