Amidst all the talk of ballpark elections and territorial rights last week, one important milestone got overlooked.
Let's Go Oakland went over the 40,000 mark. In just a matter of months, Let's Go Oakland has gathered 40,000 Facebook fans who fervently support the group's efforts to keep the A's in Oakland. Led by Oakland Planning Commissioner Doug Boxer, Let's Go Oakland and Oakland city officials identified two new waterfront ballpark sites near Jack London Square.
40,000 fans in less than a year. It’s an impressive figure that shows the vast majority of A's fans really want the A's to stay in Oakland, their home of 43 seasons (counting this year). After all, Oakland is the place where the franchise has won the most championships, pennants and division titles in all of MLB, except for the Yankees. And Oakland often out-performed San Francisco at the box office during that time. With a new Oakland waterfront ballpark, the A's again would out-perform its crossbay rivals. The vast majority of A's fans want the team to stay in Oakland, Let’s Go Oakland has proved that. Only a tiny majority of A's fans are willing to do what Al Davis did in 1982 with the Raiders: that is, risk the team's mystique and winning tradition by making a short-sighted move south that’s fraught with far more risk than benefits. Say, how did that move work out for Davis and the Raiders? Terribly, you might remember, and the Raiders franchise has never quite recovered.
Strangely, A's co-owner Lew Wolff keeps telling the media that he's not aware of any new ballpark sites in Oakland. It’s just one of Wolff's many false statements. Well, Lew, Oakland publicly announced these new sites nearly eight months ago, and you have yet to comment on those sites, or to show any basic interest in them.
Wolff always complains about being "held hostage" by the territorial rights issue. As usual, Wolff has it backwards. For 15 years, Oakland A's fans are the ones who’ve been held hostage — first by Steve Schott when he bought the team in 1995 and then by Wolff and his anti-Oakland co-owners such as John Fisher and Guy Saperstein, who have done little but run the A's into the ground since taking over in 2005.
In spite of all of this, Oakland baseball fans remain passionate and loyal, giving Wolff and Fisher a fan loyalty that they frankly have not earned. Want proof? It’s all in the numbers at Let's Go Oakland: despite Wolff's constant whining and inaccurate statements, more than 40,000 Oakland baseball fans are sticking with the team and are praying MLB directs Wolff to finally come to the table with the team's home city.
Amazingly, that list of 40,000 fans at Let's Go Oakland keeps growing, showing that Oakland A's fans are as passionate and knowledgeable as any city's fan base in the country.
In other words ... Let's Go, Oakland!