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Ballpark Rally on March 12

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On March 12, 2002, Oakland A's fans staged a rally in front of city hall to show support for a new ballpark and later followed en masse into city council members to watch the official presentation of the ballpark site study presented by HOK Sports.

Overall, the rally and meeting went well. The Oakland Tribune reported that there were hundreds of A's fans at the rally; one figure reported was 400. The fans were fired up, chanting "Let's Go Oakland" before the rally even started. All of the speakers were great...big kudos to Chris Dobbins, Jeff Berchenko, Councilmember Dick Spees and Larry Jackson for taking their turn at the mic.

Two big surprises that showed up to speak unannounced were: Mother Wright, a longtime Oakland social advocate. She was awesome. She is in her 80s and was very frail and quiet when she spoke one on one, but once she got in front of the microphone, she rallied the fans as well as anyone with a church-style delivery. She fired up everyone. The second surprise was a commercial actor named Richard Lieberman. He plays "Big Vinny" in those pizza commercials. He also spoke very well in support of Oakland, the A's and a new ballpark.

At the city council meeting, things ran pretty smoothly. HOK made their presentation, Rick Horrow from Horrow Sports made his presentation. Around 30 public speakers took their turn to address the council. Around 95 percent were pro-ballpark. Councilmember Jane Brunner praised the public speakers for their "intelligent dialogue", implying that it's rare when the public speaks to them that way. It was a nice compliment to A's fans. And though councilmembers like Danny Wan and Nancy Nadel were skeptical of financing details, it's important to note that ALL of the councilmembers seemed at least very open -- and for several, very excited -- to the ballpark project.

All in all, A's fans in attendance are to be commended for "representing." This rally was a great start, but it is not time to let up as fans must be vigilent as the ballpark process unfolds.

Oakland A's fans are awesome.


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