Keep A’s in Oakland, Boxer urges Bud Selig

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., today sent the following letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig:

March 31, 2009

Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Major League Baseball
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167

Dear Commissioner Selig:

I appreciate the announcement you made yesterday that you are forming a committee to review the various proposals regarding the future of the Oakland Athletics. As your committee does its work, I urge you to do everything possible to keep the team in Oakland.

As you may know, Oakland has recently gone through some difficult times and families there deserve some good news. As someone who splits her time between Washington, DC, southern California and Oakland’s Jack London Square neighborhood, I have seen first hand that Oakland is teeming with new young families and major developments that present endless possibilities. My children learned to love baseball through the Oakland A’s and our family was so fortunate to develop that common bond. We must give a new generation of families that same chance.

Oakland is witnessing a downtown renaissance, with new residences, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues opening weekly. Two new office towers are in development and the Port of Oakland recently announced a private investment of close to $1 billion. Major League Baseball can play a key role in continuing this momentum by working to keep the A’s in Oakland.

Through their rich history and shared experiences, the identities of the City of Oakland and the Athletics are forever linked. For more than 40 years, the people of Oakland have backed the Athletics during good times and bad. In the 1970s, Oakland celebrated the Athletics’ glorious run of three consecutive World Series victories. And, together, the city of Oakland and the Athletics mourned the devastation caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake that took place during the team’s 1989 championship run.

Now that the team has ended its consideration of Fremont as a possible home, the time is right to renew the focus on keeping the Athletics in Oakland.

It is critical that Major League Baseball and the A’s ownership do everything possible to keep the A’s in Oakland and I stand ready to help in any way possible, including attending and setting up meetings for you and the Committee. Please do not hesitate to call me at 202-XXX-XXXX to discuss this issue.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Sam

    Madam Senator, aren’t there more urging matters that requires your attention? Like the economy and all the jobs going overseas? It seems that you took time also to suggest that the Niners should stay in San Francisco…. isn’t San Jose part of California which you also supposed to represent equally?

  • Jay

    Sam…get a life.

  • Steve

    Apparently Sen. Boxer feels this matter is just as important as the economy and that Oakland would be the better for it. Nothing wrong with that.

  • RR

    Ridiculous! Nobody remembers that the A’s moved to Oakland in the mistaken belief that the Bay Area could support 2 teams a la metro Los Angeles. Bottom line: unless both teams are pennant contenders, one team suffers, generally the A’s. The Coliseum is a lousy place to watch baseball. The Giants are a lousy team in a great park. The Giants are still likely to outdraw the A’s most of the season.

  • pete

    Hint; economics, construction, planning et al; are realted to the economy. Now, funding it is A Totally different argument!!

    But, on it’s own, the “economy,” and the construction, and long-term lease of a proposed stadium – most Certainly is an economic issue..Come on…

  • J

    Just because Barbara Boxer is answering Oakland’s request for assistance with this modest gesture of support (it’s just a letter, for heaven’s sake, and Bud’s not likely to ask her for scheduling help) toward the effort to keep the A’s in Oakland does not mean that she is not devoting much more time and energy to the “more urging matters” that Sam refers to.

    Ms. Boxer is not expected to spend every second of every day solely addressing the economy and jobs going over seas, and neglecting all else in her life. She has long expressed that she and her family have enjoyed Oakland A’s baseball on some of her days off. If Abraham Lincoln could take breaks from his attention to the Civil War to go out to play baseball, then I think that Ms. Boxer can spare some of her own time to express support for baseball in a city that she actually has a home in.

    I also don’t see anywhere in the posted letter that she won’t support a San Jose home for the A’s if the review of the situation determines that a workable solution can’t be found in Oakland. I don’t think that San Jose has asked her for any help. Seeing as the A’s have no formal negotiations going on with any city right now, it is appropriate for her to put in some words of consideration for Oakland. I see no evidence that she is turning her back on any other city, or ignoring her other concerns.

  • Alvin

    She’s just doing her job to voice support for Oakland.

    She makes some interesting points about a “downtown oakland rejuvenation” but if she’s refering to the area around broadway she must be kidding. Just because a few wine bars are open doesn’t mean its an area realistically supporting of a new ballpark there.

    More importantly the east bay has few corporate sponsors that can support some of the major funding like marketing, and naming rights in oakland.

    You think Cisco wants to name a field that they can’t even visit short of an hour drive north?

  • Elwood

    We can thank the illustrious Jerry Brown, once and God Help Us, perhaps future governor of CA that there is not a downtown ballpark in Oaktown.

    His Goofiness wanted the site for housing for the poor. Typical Moonbeam logic. There are lots of places the housing for the poor could go, but not many good downtown ballpark sites.

    Remember: If it’s Brown, flush it!

  • RR

    Those “xxxx-xxxx”s at the close of the letter–is the senator blowing kisses?

  • J

    RR, the X’s are the redacted last 7 digits of a phone number (202 is DC).