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HIGHLIGHT
Peter Carry
April 29, 1968
Opening Day couldn't have been more auspicious; second and succeeding days couldn't have been more suspicious. Wednesday at the new Oakland Coliseum, 50,164 spectators were present to greet the new team in town, the Athletics. But the following night only 5,304 came out; and Friday was hardly better—6,251. The crowd grew to 16,000 on Saturday, but even this mild improvement required special doing—free caps for the kids. That gold Owner Charlie Finley thought he saw in the West might yet turn out to be as illusory as it was in Kansas City. After their first four games in both towns, 1967 and 1968 the A's attendance was showing disturbing signs of running neck and neck. Undoubtedly the Athletics surfer under the same burden that has all but buried other Oakland franchises when competing with San Francisco teams (SI, April 1), but they have other problems too. There are few recognizable names on the club aside from Coach Joe DiMaggio's, base-stealing champ Campy Campaneris' and those of the two young pitchers, Catfish Hunter and Blue Moon Odom, whose names attract more attention than their pitching. What the A's do have is a long list of good young players, chief of whom may be Reggie Jackson (right), presently among the league's best hitters with a .351 average. Jackson, lefthanded and an outfielder, has power too. He slugged 17 homers for Birmingham last year and already leads the A's with three in their first nine games this season. Jackson or another young hopeful, perhaps Outfielder Rick Monday or Third Baseman Sal Bando, must develop into the new hero the A's need, or Oakland beware. Finley has this mule, see, and he is a ridin' man.
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April 29, 1968

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Opening Day couldn't have been more auspicious; second and succeeding days couldn't have been more suspicious. Wednesday at the new Oakland Coliseum, 50,164 spectators were present to greet the new team in town, the Athletics. But the following night only 5,304 came out; and Friday was hardly better—6,251. The crowd grew to 16,000 on Saturday, but even this mild improvement required special doing—free caps for the kids. That gold Owner Charlie Finley thought he saw in the West might yet turn out to be as illusory as it was in Kansas City. After their first four games in both towns, 1967 and 1968 the A's attendance was showing disturbing signs of running neck and neck. Undoubtedly the Athletics surfer under the same burden that has all but buried other Oakland franchises when competing with San Francisco teams (SI, April 1), but they have other problems too. There are few recognizable names on the club aside from Coach Joe DiMaggio's, base-stealing champ Campy Campaneris' and those of the two young pitchers, Catfish Hunter and Blue Moon Odom, whose names attract more attention than their pitching. What the A's do have is a long list of good young players, chief of whom may be Reggie Jackson (right), presently among the league's best hitters with a .351 average. Jackson, lefthanded and an outfielder, has power too. He slugged 17 homers for Birmingham last year and already leads the A's with three in their first nine games this season. Jackson or another young hopeful, perhaps Outfielder Rick Monday or Third Baseman Sal Bando, must develop into the new hero the A's need, or Oakland beware. Finley has this mule, see, and he is a ridin' man.

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