A’s don Warriors gear for solidarity before Game 7
As is standard, the Oakland Athletics welcomed their Sunday youth public address announcer to run through the team’s lineup card during its batting practice.
When the youngster got to No. 3 hitter Stephen Vogt, he pronounced the catcher’s name as “Steff-en” — as in Stephen Curry — not “Steve-en,” as Vogt or another famous Warrior, Steve Kerr — pronounce their full first names.
The “Bay Area Unite” movement extended onto the field as well, with a vast majority of the A’s players and coaches choosing to wear Golden State Warriors’ “Strength In Numbers” T-Shirts during their on-field exercises.
Manager Bob Melvin said that choice was made as a show of solidarity:
“We’re trying to be as supportive as we can. We’re neighbors here. We all support the Warriors, and we’ll be pulling hard for them.”
“I’ve been a fan my entire life. I went to the ’75 games. My godfather was a trainer for the Warriors for many years. I’ve been a Warrior fan my whole life, so this is an exciting day. Hopefully we can prelude that with a nice win here, and set the tone for them, and make it a real nice day overall for the East Bay.”
Some A’s players had plans beyond their warm-up attire.
Designated hitter Billy Butler, who has tickets to attend the game, seemed intent on convincing teammates to make an appearance at the game, asking every fellow gold-clad colleague what their post-game plans were, and if they were interested.
“I’m not (going), I’m going to be watching at home. I didn’t even ask, I knew that would be a tough ticket today.”
The neighborly love has been reciprocated in the past. All-Star guard and brother of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce, Klay Thompson is a regular attendee in the Coliseum. Forward Harrison Barnes, who has attended several games in his own right, keeps an A’s hag hung on display in his Oracle Arena locker. Center Festus Ezeli threw out the ceremonial first pitch at last year’s July 5 game.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 5, 2015
It is a partnership that Melvin is proud of, and he has no problem showing his fandom:
“(For) everybody in the entire Bay Area, this is an exciting day. To have a Game 7 here at home — there hasn’t been a chance to get one here at home in a while — (last year’s) championship the Warriors won was on the road. It will be great if, and when, that happens. And I certainly expect it to be.”