On Saturday night, Derek Norris brought the raucous crowd at the O.co Coliseum to its collective feet in the fifth inning when the catcher deposited an offering from Jon Lester into the left field bleachers. The characteristically clutch home run from the light-hitting Norris gave the Oakland Athletics a 1-0 lead over the Boston Red Sox.
The lone run would prove enough for the Athletics, as they shut out the Red Sox — the top team in the AL record-wise — 3-0.
On Josh Reddick jersey giveaway night, 36,067 fans poured into the Coliseum as the club notched its ninth sellout of the season. The team also surged past the one million mark on the season, as 1,012,998 fans have passed through the turnstiles at the Coliseum in 2013.
The Athletics are averaging 23,022 fans a game, a healthy boost up from the 20,728 the team averaged in 2012. It’s also a lot more fans than team owner Lew Wolff ever expected to show up. Way back in 2009, the real estate developer declared to the San Jose Mercury News:
“We have fully exhausted our time and resources over the years with the city of Oakland … We have no interest in covering old ground.”
Perhaps Wolff has exhausted himself, but the city of Oakland hasn’t given up on him. The thing is, since July 1 of last year the team is 112-65 (.633), which works out to the best record in all of MLB. What’s more, the fans have been turning out to watch what is a remarkably talented and exciting team.
With both the Howard Terminal site and the Coliseum City being bandied about, it seems as though Wolff will be covering a lot of “old ground” in the near future.