Thursday, April 25

A’s Will Finally Turn Out the Lights on Pro Sports in Oakland

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Still, the Athletics continued to be competitive, reinventing themselves by shrewdly using data to assess undervalued skills, a process that became known as “Moneyball,” after the best-selling book. The A’s have not reached the World Series since 1990, but they’ve been in the playoffs 11 times since 2000 — more than the Mets and the San Francisco Giants, and just as often as the Boston Red Sox.

Attendance had lingered in the lower third, though drum-pounding fans in right field causing a nightly ruckus added a degree of atmosphere. But when the team began its latest tear down, trading away its best players for prospects rather than paying their accelerating salaries, fans finally had enough of John Fisher, the owner, who before last season had raised ticket prices in what many sensed was a ploy to suppress attendance as a pretext for moving.

The A’s averaged 10,276 fans last season, the fewest in baseball. They finished 50-112, threatening for a while the record for futility set by the expansion Mets in 1962.

Fans who did turn up at the Coliseum often wore T-shirts or carried banners urging Mr. Fisher to sell the team.

Those who miss the Athletics most might be people like Matthias Haas.

He grew up a few miles from the Coliseum, steeped in the city’s rich baseball history that traces from Frank Robinson to Rickey Henderson to Dave Stewart to Jimmy Rollins, all of whom matriculated from Oakland sandlots to stardom in the big leagues. He learned the game’s finer points on the diamonds down the street at 66th and International in leagues that the Athletics helped bankroll. He has an enduring memory of sitting in the stands during the 2012 playoffs when the old mausoleum was rocking.

“There’s a certain pride in being an Oakland Athletics fan,” said Mr. Haas, who played baseball last season at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, plucking the adjectives “gritty” and “tough” to define his tribe. “People from Oakland say that they are from Oakland, not the Bay Area. That’s how it felt to be an A’s fan.”

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