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Oakland A’s African-American Heritage Night Progra...

Oakland A’s African-American Heritage Night Program a Grand Slam

From left to right: Oakland Athletics’ alumni Vida Blue, Joe Morgan and Bip Roberts. Photo by Elizabeth Staub, Oakland Athletics.
An overflow, standing-room-only crowd of over 700 fans spilled out of the Eastside Club where former Oakland A’s Vida Blue, Joe Morgan, and Bip Roberts were empaneled to discuss the past, present and future of the team.
The Oakland Athletics African-American Heritage Night Program Mixer and Panel Discussion at the Oakland Coliseum Tuesday night prior to their game with the Los Angeles Dodgers was a “Grand Slam.”
The alumni panel was moderated by Taj Tashombe, Oakland A’s vice president of External Affairs.
Joe Morgan, who was raised in Oakland, said, “I could not compete for a slot on a major league team now if I was a child growing up in Oakland. Teams in the Dominican Republic and Puerto and Japan have baseball academies that give their youth competitive edge.”
Joe Morgan, considered one of the greatest second basemen of all time, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
Vida Blue, winner of both the Cy Young and MVP awards, pitched for the Oakland Athletics from 1969 to 1977. He had a 17-year career.
Dave Kaval, President of the Oakland Athletics, said in response to a question that “we (the team) is ready to build a new stadium in Oakland with private capital.”
 He also endorsed the idea of establishing a baseball academy in Oakland.

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