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Stadium 28: Our Visit to the Oakland Coliseum

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The Oakland Athletics have been in the news a lot this year because of the proposed move of the team to Las Vegas. There was certainly plenty of evidence of – and opinions about – that at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. We could understand why the owners might want to move the team. The Oakland Coliseum was largely empty. Half an hour before the first pitch, there were areas of the stadium that were completely empty. I would imagine that it’s hard to make a profit with turnout that low. Of course, local protests and boycotts contributed to the poor attendance.

We chatted with a few people about the proposed move. Many people were wearing green t-shirts that said “Sell,” while others simply expressed frustration about the situation. According to one staff member, the owners are just waiting for the sign-off of the 29 other MLB franchise owners before the move is official. When we drove through Las Vegas on the way to southern California, we saw the location of the proposed new stadium.

Our Impressions of Oakland Coliseum

While the stadium was very empty, and many of the concessionaires were closed, we did enjoy our visit. There is ample parking, and the staff was friendly.

In addition, we were a surprise feature on the stadium’s big screen! A few innings into the game, a man with a television camera squatted down beside us to ask about our trip. We told him about what we were doing, and about Home Runs for Housing. He asked if he could feature us on the big screen. We said yes, of course! He started with our backs to him so everyone could see our “Stadiums – 2023: 30” on the back. Then, he asked us to turn around and wave, and we did! Our new friends, the Bollmans, were at the game and were quick enough to snap photos for us!

I introduced the Bollmans in my post about our visit to Wrigley Field. They are from Santa Barbara, and were travelling with their four children to visit all 30 stadiums plus many of the national parks over the course of the summer. It was great to meet someone else on a similar trip. (Their was about 100 days, which was far more reasonable than our 50 day dash!!) We connected with them for several games, and look forward to staying in touch in the future.

We ran into the Bollmans at the pitching booth. (They have players in their family, too!) Ryan topped his Colorado score by 1 MPH, hitting 82 several times. Apparently, they aren’t used to seeing that sort of speed from a high school student. All three staff at the booth did a double take and congratulated him on his performance!

Our Seats: One advantage of poor attendance is the availability of good seats! We were in Section 116, Row 14, Seats 3 through 6. We sat right behind home plate, close enough to see where one of the players ripped his pants on a slide.

The Food: The options were limited. Emma and I had Impossible Burgers, while the guys enjoyed chicken nuggets and fries. We had our traditional ice cream in the fifth. This time, Ryan, Emma, and I had Dippin’ Dots, while Brad had vanilla soft serve.

Non-Alcoholic Beer Review: Oakland Coliseum is a Bud Zero stadium.

The Game Recap: 3 Home Runs for Housing!

After a quick and run-free first inning, the Blue Jays made it onto the scoreboard with a single in the top of the second. The Athletics brought in two on a home run by Carlos Perez in the bottom of the 4th, pushing them into the lead.

This home run happened when there were two balls, two strikes, and 2 outs for the Athletics. We call that “deuces” and there’s a long-time baseball superstition that goes along with it. Fans (and players) hold out their hat in the right hand and shake it back and forth. It’s meant to bring good luck. In our experience, it also brings out other coaches and players! That’s how we met a group of coaches and former pro players in Miami. In this case, it just brought good luck to the Athletics. That’s right. We’re taking credit.

The Athletics remained in the lead for the rest of the game. After a no run 5th inning, the Athletics Kevin Smith hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 6th to expand the game. At this point, they led 5 to 1 over the Jays.

In the top of the 8th, Blue Jays Davis Schneider hit a home run to left field, adding a single run to the scoreboard. They lost to the home team 2 to 5. However, Wellspring Family Services was the real winner with three Home Runs for Housing!

A Down Day

We had a full day in between the Athletics game on the 6th and the night game with the Giants on Friday. Since Emma was with us, we gave her the choice of our down-day activity. No one who knows Emma will be surprised to hear that she wanted to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

The next day, before heading to Oracle Park, we visited Alcatraz Island. Now a national park, Alcatraz served as a fortress, a prison, and the scene of a protest by Native Americans over the seizure of their land and erasure of their culture. The view of San Francisco is beautiful, but the island itself is cold. Even on a warm day, the steady wind made a jacket necessary. The drab, cement buildings were home to many bird species, but would hardly have been pleasant for human inhabitants.

Up Next:

After our visit to Alcatraz, we were off to the 29th baseball park in our Baseball Fan Grand Slam: Oracle Park. Read about this special visit in my next post!

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