Major League Baseball Park #6 out of 39
Friday, August 27, 1993
Detroit Tigers 13, Oakland 4
W– Tom Bolton
L – Todd Van Poppel
Attendance – 21,320
dollars to build the Coliseum -- and two other arenas (1966) -- and 200 million
dollars to ruin it (1996).
Before Oakland sold its sports stadium soul to Raiders' owner Al Davis, Oakland-Alameda Coliseum was a beautifully symmetrical, natural-grass, multi-purpose park and it was the last stop on my first road trip.
By the time we arrived in late August of 1993, the Athletics were only three seasons removed from their last World Series appearance, but the only thing larger than all of that foul-ball territory was the area covered by all those empty seats. Oakland won championships in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1989, but anyone who has followed this franchise for any length of time would get the impression that the only way to fill that place for a baseball game would be something like free beer night. The A's didn't reach 1 million in attendance (an average of just over 12,300 a game) until 1973 and they didn't get there again until 1981.
So there we were on a Friday night in Oakland watching the Tigers pummel the home team and having another go-round with a cool gadget from the Interactive Network. I mentioned this black, lap-sized, wireless machine on my Candlestick page and I was hoping the company would be able to expand this service beyond the Bay Area and Chicago, but it was not to be. Brian won a fanny pack and my batteries died during the 7th inning. I was way ahead of him by then, too.
We also had a lot of fun scoreboard-watching. In all of these "visiting" parks, I like to follow the home team and every park has their own way of showing the scores of the other games. In Oakland, the out-of-town scoreboard is manually operated and the Mariners' game that night (as I recall, anyway) started out bad (something like they were down 6-0 early), but while the game in front of us was getting duller by the minute, the Mariners staged a furious rally and pulled the game 8-7 (or something like that). Another highlight for this evening as we dreaded returning to the Kingdome for the rest of the 1993 season.
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