Some Major League Baseball team owners can probably expect to receive curated “Stay in Oakland” boxes in the mail from Oakland Athletics fans.
The gift boxes include an A’s hat, a baseball card featuring the recipient’s likeness and a note explaining why the owner should vote against the team’s planned relocation to Las Vegas.
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry are among several owners identified as those who might be swayed into voting against the A’s move to Vegas.
It is believed a total of 15 of the personalized boxes were sent to various owners. The move appears to be a last-ditch effort by fans to convince those with voting power to keep the team in the city that’s been its home for decades.
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This last-ditch effort includes a big assist by clothing company Last Dive Bar, a loyal A’s supporter. It made the boxes and a snazzy, colorful “Keep the Athletics in … OAKLAND” postcard.
“This project has been a culmination of our collective works, and we hope it shows the owners what we all know to be true,” Paul Bailey, one of the three owners of Last Dive Bar, said in a message to The Associated Press. “The fans are not the problem.”
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Oakland clothing company Oaklandish provided the hats, and the box features a DVD created by “The Summer of Sell” group, a USB flash drive and a personal letter from Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao along with a photo of her in an A’s jersey. The boxes will arrive from her office address.
“The box is everything that’s been done before in Oakland and why they should vote no,” explained lifelong A’s fan Stephen Lucero, an artist and firefighter in nearby Alameda who made the custom cards for each owner.
Around 200 people crammed the Oakland City Council chambers for a standing room-only meeting Tuesday and chanted “Stay in Oakland!” in yet another unified effort to keep the team from moving.
In August, the franchise formally submitted an application for relocation to Las Vegas. The A’s need three-fourths of team owners to vote in favor of the move for the relocation from California to become official. The vote on the proposed relocation is expected to take place next week during the annual owners meetings in Arlington, Texas.
On Thursday, MLB’s general manager meetings in Arizona were cut short due to a possible virus outbreak. Eight league officials fell ill, and “nearly every team” has someone with symptoms, according to reports.
A’s owner John Fisher previously suggested the City of Oakland failed to deliver on its promise to allocate public funds for the offsite infrastructure at Howard Terminal. The development was a planned multibillion-dollar project on an expansive waterfront property that would have included a new ballpark for the A’s.
On June 13, furious fans showed up at the Coliseum and implored Fisher to sell the team with what they called a reverse boycott. Thousands wore green “SELL” T-shirts and chanted “Sell the team!” during a game against Tampa Bay.
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After the season, A’s pitcher Trevor May ripped Fisher during a video message announcing his retirement. May implored Fisher to “Sell the team, dude. … Sell it, man.
“Let someone who actually, like, takes pride in the things they own own something.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.