Flashback Friday: The O's played the first game at the Oakland Coliseum
The Orioles head to Oakland this weekend to begin a series with the A's at Overstock.com Coliseum, which was once known as McAfee Coliseum, which was previously known as Network Associates Coliseum, which was originally known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. But friends just call it The Oakland Coliseum or The Coliseum.
If there's one thing we can be grateful to Peter Angelos for it's not selling the naming rights to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Regardless of what you call the stadium, the A's first game there after moving from Kansas City was on April 17, 1968, and it was against our beloved Baltimore Orioles. Spoiler alert: The Orioles won 4-1.
The debate afterward was not what to call the facility, which the papers referred to as "the new Oakland Coliseum," but rather whether it was a hitter's park or a pitcher's park. The Orioles made it seem like both.
Boog Powell called it a hitter's park. "The ball seems to carry well here," he told reporters after the first game. "I'd like to play here all the time."
Powell hit a 390-foot home run to right field in three at-bats on the day. Mark Belanger and Brooks Robinson also homered for the Orioles. Powell finished his career with six home runs in 42 games at the Coliseum.
Orioles starter Dave McNally called it a pitcher's park. "I don't think there'll be any cheap home runs here," McNally said. "You still have to hit the ball to get it out."
McNally tossed a complete-game two hitter in the A's home opener, allowing one earned run with six strikeouts and one walk. A's centerfielder Rick Monday - he of "save the flag" fame - homered for the team's only run.
It was one of two A's hits, the other being a pinch-hit single by current Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa in the ninth inning. McNally went 5-4 at the Coliseum during his career with a 2.38 ERA and 0.978 WHIP. He allowed six home runs in 10 games.
A's starter Lew Krausse was removed from the game in the sixth inning after allowing Robinson's home run, striking out Frank Robinson, and walking Powell. He was replaced by Diego Segui, father of former Oriole David Segui. The elder Segui pitched two-thirds of an inning, struck out one and allowed no hits. He was the starting pitcher in the Seattle Mariners' inaugural game at the Kingdome on April 6, 1977.
The Orioles' were the A's first opponent at home as well as one the road after the team moved to Oakland. One week prior to the game at the Coliseum the A's lost 3-1 to the Orioles at Memorial Stadium.