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Monday, January 14, 2019

Taking Back the Ballparks - Oakland A’s

We started this exercise in the Bay Area, and we’re going to come full circle and end here with the American League’s franchise in Northern California.

If Billy Beane and co. have their way, we’ll be coming up with a name for a new park instead of the coliseum, perhaps the daytime-baseball-only park the club introduced a few weeks back. The A’s have been engaged in this dance for a long time, though this one seems like it might have a bit more chance of becoming reality than previous schemes.

Getting back to the park at hand, the coliseum is the last of the dual-occupancy stadia in the big leagues, earning that non-distinction when the Argonauts fled SkyDome for actual greener pastures. But their A’s won’t have to share for much longer. Their perpetually ungrateful co-tenants will soon pack up their stinky things and hightail it to Vegas, though their presence will remain with the hideous Mount Davis beyond the outfield fences. 

The coliseum is now the fifth-oldest park in the country, directly trailing fellow California entries Chavez Ravine and Autry Field. That’s not an accident. For all of its reputation for profligate government spending, the Golden State and its municipalities have been better at holding the line on corporate giveaways for sports owners than most other places in these here United States.

As with many of these places, I have no idea what a good selection for a new name would be, though you couldn’t go wrong if it served as an ode to near-native son Rickey*, who flew round the paths as the greatest of A’s.
But as this is our last shot, let’s get a good one for the boys in green.

*In an announcement that previously evaded my notice, the club has already named the playing surface Rickey Henderson Field. I presume that covers all but the mound, which surely is named for the Prince of the 209.

Ballpark History

Built: 1966
Capacity: 47,170

Name: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 1968-1998, 2016-present. Also known as Network Associates Coliseum (1998-2004); McAfee Coliseum (2004-2008); Overstock Coliseum (2011), and the dreadful O.co Coliseum (2011-2016).

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: None, though the club previously spent time in Philadelphia and K.C.

Distinctive Features: From a pitcher’s point of view, all that beautiful foul territory; the aforementioned Mount Davis, the view-destroying seats added to lure the Raiders back from Los Angeles; the tarps; any presence of the elephant balancing on a baseball, the sport’s best logo.


Ballpark Highlights:

In 1968, Catfish Hunter, a first-ballot choice in the Nickname Hall of Fame but a questionable selection in the Cooperstown version, threw the American League’s first perfect game in 46 years in a 4-0 win over the Twins. He also went 3-4 with 3 ribbies, including the game-winner, for the recently relocated Athletics.

In 1973, Darold Knowles closed out a 5-2 win over the New York Mets in Game 7 of the World Series, the second of three straight titles for the Charley O A’s. Knowles pitched in all seven games of the Fall Classic, the first step in the slog toward full bullpenathon playoff contests.

In Game 1 of the 1989 World Series, the A’s scored three times in the bottom of the second inning, ending all the on-field drama for the remainder of the thoroughly one-sided Bay Series (the series-halting earthquake provided more than enough intrigue, however).

In 1991, Rickey Henderson stole his 939th career base, officially sanctioning his status as the Greatest of All-Time.

After taking the first two games in New York, the A’s dropped the final three contests of the ALDS, a feat they’d repeat two years later in the damn crapshoot. The 2001 loss was punctuated by the Game 3 setback in the first potential closeout contest when a strangely positioned Derek Jeter managed a backhand flip to nab the non-sliding Jeremy Giambi at the plate in a 1-0 defeat here.

In 2002, pinch-hitter (and newly first-base fluent) Scott Hatteberg hit a pinch-homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the home team an AL-record 20th-straight victory.


Selections to Date

San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

Los Angeles Angels - Autry Field

St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium

Detroit Tigers - Tiger Field

Miami Marlins - Fish Tank

Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field

Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field

New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park

Baltimore Orioles - Camden Yards

Colorado Rockies - Coors Field

Houston Astros -Astrodome 2000

Arizona Diamondbacks - Sonoran Grounds

Minnesota Twins -Great Northern Park

Cincinnati Reds -Riverfront Park

Toronto Blue Jays - SkyDome

Los Angeles Dodgers -Chavez Ravine

Chicago White Sox -Sox Park

Atlanta Braves -Cobb Stadium

Oakland A’s
Oakland Coliseum

 

SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 09:43 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, stadium names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5805230)
Here's our final entry.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5805235)
It's always the Coliseum to me.

Though I'm not sure why they spell it that way. The original one in Rome is Colosseum, which makes sense because of the root word colossal.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5805288)
Catfish Hunter, a first-ballot choice in the Nickname Hall of Fame
Disagree. His nickname was nothing more than a cynical marketing gimmick by Charlie Finley. A good nickname says something pithy about a player and/or has a good back story.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5805294)
has a good back story.


I'd argue its creation is, in fact, a damn good back story.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5805295)
Oak-land-A-la-me-da-Coun-ty-Col-i-se-um to be always said in Howard Cosell voice.
   6. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5805298)
Yep, the Coliseum is fine.
   7. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5805299)
I thought Cobb won?
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5805301)

I thought Cobb won?


It did. I've fixed it.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5805302)
Los Angeles Dodgers -Sox Park

Chicago White Sox -Chavez Ravine
Er...
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5805309)
Los Angeles Dodgers -Sox Park

Chicago White Sox -Chavez Ravine
Er...

I'm honestly surprised that hadn't happened more often.
   11. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5805313)
Los Angeles Dodgers -Sox Park

Chicago White Sox -Chavez Ravine

The vote is the vote, dammit. We're not bound to your, like, geographical standards, man.
   12. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5805315)
There should be at least one good elephant-based choice, I just can't come up with one.
   13. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5805317)
Not being the Giants who have better paid fans how about the 99 percent ballpark? Or because of maybe being the cradle of analytics in pro sports team management the Nerd Center?
   14. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5805326)
Finley Field
East Bay Coliseum
Bash Brothers Ballyard
Moneyball Mallpark
Billy Beane shouldn't have built that Coliseum
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5805329)

There should be at least one good elephant-based choice, I just can't come up with one.


Pachyderm Palace.
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5805333)
Sewage On The Field.
   17. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5805334)
14--That Finley guy sold the A's in 1980 if Wikipedia is correct. Why is he even in the discussion? Legit curious. Because no non baseball fan nerd knows this name
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5805337)
That Finley guy?

   19. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5805340)
Why is he even in the discussion? Legit curious. Because no non baseball fan nerd knows this name

I don't live in CA but I imagine he's still fairly well known in those parts. He did move the team from KC to Oakland, and he's pretty well known as a wacky sports icon of his era. Plus his teams won three championships. But my suggestions were mostly not serious and I agree with others that Coliseum should at least be part of the park's name.
   20. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5805341)
18--I am assuming the proposed name was in reference to this guy Do I have that wrong??
   21. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5805342)
19--Average age out here is like 35. So, no.

update--I am a quant based guy so in almost all cases I think an average is complete ####. But I know that is how age demos get reported so sharing what I think would be accepted by other posters. But with the stipulation that averages suck as that is terrible math practice. //end of rant
   22. villageidiom Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5805343)
Athletic Field.

Highly customized, yet generic. Like the A's.
   23. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5805345)
19--Average age out here is like 35. So, no.

I'm not that much older and never lived out there. Finley is probably one of the five most famous owners of all time ... I'm going to have to disagree with you.
   24. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5805346)
22--that's very good work
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5805347)

18--I am assuming the proposed name was in to this guy Do I have that wrong??
reference


That's the guy. It was just your description of him as "that Finley guy," like he was just some generic owner.

He's Charley O. He's what you get if you combine Veeck's marketing/gimmickry, Steinbrenner's meddling and Loria's cheapness.

   26. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5805352)
23--I wrote non baseball nerds won't know the name. So you, baseball nerd, WILL know the name. And you do.

You really expect a 29 year old living in Clawson to know the name Charlie Finley?? Again, serious question
   27. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 14, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5805360)
Maybe? I don't know. Are they an A's fan? Were their parents baseball fans and did they grow up in the area? Is the name recognition of Charlie Finley among the 18-29 demographic a prerequisite for this?
   28. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5805363)
27--I get that you just tossed out the name so not hard core about this discussion. But the area is dominated by young people who probably don't know that John Fisher owns the A's and certainly have no recognition for a guy who here I guess something of an Ariana Grande sized image. And I thought naming the field was for marketing so why market a name that is going to draw no connection?

But again, not trying to make this a thing.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5805365)
Hell, how many people in the Bay area can name one of the A's players?
   30. Baldrick Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5805367)
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a perfect description of what you're going to get.
   31. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5805372)
29--I bet if you got 20 a's fans together the most popular name is Kyler Murray
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5805377)
He's not gonna be popular for long with this latest stunt.
   33. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5805379)
Horse is trolling us about having to Wikipedia Charley Finley, right?

'Athletic Field' is terrific.

Something honoring Connie Mack might also be appropriate.
   34. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5805380)
Fair enough, Horse. I will retract my suggestion and endorse your nomination of Ariana Granda Park.

But seriously, the Coliseum or some derivation of it.
   35. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5805382)
Or you could go SUPER generic: The Athletic Field at Alameda County Park.

It's like where you play softball on Saturday mornings.
   36. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: January 14, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5805388)
The Coliseum is fine, but if we're gonna vote there should be a Bill King option. Say, the Bill King Coliseum.
   37. Rusty Priske Posted: January 14, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5805399)
Oaktown Field
   38. Tin Angel Posted: January 14, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5805432)
Rickey Henderson Field.
   39. Master of the Horse Posted: January 14, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5805449)
38--The intro mentions that the club named the playing surface Rickey Henderson Field. Or you are aware and that the name should apply to the ballpark? Just clarifying. If everyone else understood apologies for being dumbassery
   40. Tin Angel Posted: January 14, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5805456)
#39, Ah, I didn't read the intro but I remember having heard that before. In that case I will go with Rickey Henderson Coliseum presents Rickey Henderson Field.
   41. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 14, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5805485)
Horse - no, you're right. Fandom-based arguments miss the point; Finley can be both a giant of the sport's history and have zero mainstream name recognition. Both are the case here.

I do appreciate the artistry of [22] but there's only one choice here.

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
   42. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: January 14, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5805486)
Something honoring Connie Mack might also be appropriate.


33--That Mack guy sold the A's in 1954 if Wikipedia is correct. Why is he even in the discussion? Legit curious. Because no non baseball fan nerd knows this name
   43. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: January 14, 2019 at 07:09 PM (#5805489)
It's The Coliseum. If it ain't broke, etc.
   44. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 14, 2019 at 08:38 PM (#5805512)
The County is looking to get out of the stadium business, may have to settle for The Oakland Coliseum.
I have been to a gazillion games there and would go to a gazillion more. I don't need wifi or whatever to watch baseball.
It was a better stadium before Mount Davis, definitely agree.
This year will go down as a sad joke in A's history. Fake stadium promise, fake first round draft pick.
   45. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 14, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5805513)
There is a column at MLB now that predicts which current player will still be with his team in 2025. We all know who is the real answer for the A's. NO ONE.
   46. Tin Angel Posted: January 14, 2019 at 08:53 PM (#5805518)
They are crazy if they don't build around Chapman. Not sure how much of it is hot air but Beane has talked about wanting to change "the culture." Can't think of a better guy to start with.
   47. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 14, 2019 at 11:42 PM (#5805545)
This year will go down as a sad joke in A's history.

This year the A's are going to win the World Series.
(which could still turn out to be a sad joke if, for example, they move to San Jose in 2020)
   48. QLE Posted: January 15, 2019 at 05:05 AM (#5805562)
It depends on which park we are doing this for.

If we assume that the team is going nowhere, the only option is Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

If, however, they move:

RICKEY! (Would a stadium named after him need anything else?)
Charlie O Grounds
Our Stuff Doesn't Work In The Playoffs Field
Shakedown Stadium
Earle and Roy Mack Park
Last Team Standing Stands
McClymonds Memorial
The Vomitorium
   49. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: January 15, 2019 at 06:02 AM (#5805565)
It depends on which park we are doing this for.
The proposed new park won't be open for at least 4 more years. And that's if this proposal doesn't fall through like the last one and the last one and the one before that. So we will be living with this stadium for a while longer at least.

As people here have said, the official name is The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. I have never heard anyone use the full name in casual conversation. It'll pop up in articles and on game broadcasts, but that's about it. I've only ever heard it called The Oakland Coliseum, The Coliseum, or various names mocking the corporate sponsor du jour, like NetAss. I'd prefer if we stayed away from NetAss.
   50. karlmagnus Posted: January 15, 2019 at 09:54 PM (#5805874)
Moneyball Stadium. Or are fans to young to have heard of that, as well.
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 16, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5805915)
Moneyball Stadium. Or are fans to young to have heard of that, as well.

Let's just make it the Alex Ruygrok Athletic Coliseum Featuring Charlie Finley's Upper Deck and Connie Mack's Scorecard. That should make everyone happy.
   52. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 16, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5805970)
Oaktown Field


Oaktown's definitely in the house.
   53. DCA Posted: January 16, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5805987)
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum or Oakland Coliseum (what most people think the actual name is) are the two obvious choices.

Moneyballpark is the only third option that I can think of that could get past the ALDS of the conversation.


   54. Master of the Horse Posted: January 16, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5805990)
Since the Finley thing keeps getting mentioned how about this? What should be the minimum standards to consider naming a sports venue after a person? And by those standards does this guy qualify?

So not assigning in any order or precedence here are some suggestions and how this guy shakes out

--native to city, town, area? No. Born in the south and lived in the midwest
--beloved, admired, respected? No, no, I guess maybe on the last. Read what I could find and the players hated him, his managers hated him, the other owners hated him and the fans hated him so pretty confident on the first two. I will give the last one because sure why not?
--made a longstanding contribution to city, town, area that people still acknowledge in current day? Moved the A's to Oakland. Outside of hardcore fans does anyone in Oakland care since the A's themselves are really not on too many top ten lists for entertainment so how can a guy who helped get the team there get credit for anything? I will gladly hear the case on this one because I lean no obviously but hey, maybe? But outside of moving the team anything else that ties to Oakland? Built a library? Set up a charity? Led a social cause of injustice that helped a group of people? Anything?
--stayed in the area and became a community leader of some kind? No
--After leaving stayed involved in city, town, area in a positive way? No
--Any local movement to recognize him for his contribution to the city, town, area? Didn't find one

If I get the feedback and based on the reading folks here think he should get credit for his marketing of the team and pushing stuff like the DH and ballgirls. Is that accurate?

But just for me the guy reads like a cheap crackpot who had the team through a fluke series of events and dumped it when he couldn't milk it any more. For that he gets a stadium with his name?

   55. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5805993)
If I get the feedback and based on the reading folks here think he should get credit for his marketing of the team and pushing stuff like the DH and ballgirls. Is that accurate?


I don't think any of us really want to see the park named after Finley.

My surprise, and I think others', is with what seemed to be your previous unfamiliarity with Charley O. That's all.
   56. DCA Posted: January 16, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5805998)
Rickey! is both (a) the player most associated with the team and (b) from Oakland (moved there as a kid). There's nobody else in the running (heh) for naming rights.
   57. Master of the Horse Posted: January 16, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5806000)
55--Ok. Not clear on the responses. Like I had insulted the name of Finley or something. Not my intent. Sorry if I went in the wrong direction in the response.
   58. Master of the Horse Posted: January 16, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5806006)
56--by my hastily created poorly constructed standard Henderson totally qualifies. Though I checked and along with Rickey Henderson field there are at least two other locations named in his honor in the Oakland area.
   59. GregD Posted: January 16, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5806102)
Rickey! is both (a) the player most associated with the team and (b) from Oakland (moved there as a kid). There's nobody else in the running (heh) for naming rights.


And also a surprisingly conscientious landlord

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