Updated: Aug 27, 2018
The annual “Battle of the Bay” between the beloved small-ball #OaklandA’s and their cross-bay rivals #SanFranciscoGiants took place the week before and after the Major League All-Star Break. Strangely, this meant that both teams would literally play their last three games before the break, and first three games after the break, against one another.
Unlike previous years when it was highly unlikely either team had anything to play for besides “team pride,” the 2018 season was different.
Before the break, the Oakland A’s had somehow found themselves in the middle of a possible playoff apperance after winning numerous series before the break. And the San Francisco Giants also found themselves in the middle of a possible pennant race. Simply stated, both teams had a reason to play to win this year.
Adding to the playoff fervor this year was the relentless marketing blitz by Oakland A’s management mocking and trolling the San Francisco Giants. Including flying multiple pro- A’s advertisement banners over the home of the San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park) the afternoon of the first game. Followed by the Oakland A’s dedicating its three-game homestead against the Giants to the 1989 Oakland A’s team-the team that defeated the San Francisco Giants for the World Series crown. And there was also a rousing Friday night fireworks show. And, to sweeten the pot, the Oakland A’s removed the tarps and opened “Mount Davis” for the July 21 game, the first time in 13 years “Mount Davis” had been used for a baseball game.
This gamble worked with the game selling out and the Oakland A’s setting a new baseball attendance record for the team.
However, almost all of the above was overshadowed by the Saturday night July 21 game in Oakland. Before a record setting crowd, fans would see the San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner walk in two Oakland batters (Bumgarner had only walked 4 batters the entire season up to this point). This would be followed by a wild 9th Inning that would see Oakland lose the lead after its all-star closer threw a passed ball on a called 3rd strike (and potential game ending out) that would allow the Giants to tie the game with the next batter.
Capping the wild game, the Oakland A’s would win with a walk-off single in the 11th inning scoring the winning run for Oakland.
Although the majority of fans were cordial (but vocal) to one another, a few Giants fans got into a fistfight amongst themselves near the end of the game.
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Credit: Oakland Photo Vault 2018