[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Every fan thinks that there is something special about his favorite sports team, but in the case of the Oakland Athletics, since the early 1970s I’ve assumed that it was the flashy green and gold uniforms, the quaint nineteenth-century-vintage nickname, the long list of big personalities who have played for or managed the team, and so on. Only when I saw the video that started circulating Tuesday of the fan who ran out onto the field in Oakland, circled the bases and returned to the stands without anyone stopping him did I realize: the Oakland A’s are America. No, not America’s team. They’re not even Oakland’s team. I mean that the Athletics are a kind of parable of America over the last half-century. And that’s not a good sign.
This Oakland A’s fan ran out onto the field before the game in Oakland, went all the way around the bases, and NOBODY cared 🤣
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) May 31, 2023
You can even go back to 1968, the A’s first year in Oakland. Like the United States in comparison to the ancient nations of Europe and Asia, the A’s arrived relatively late on the scene, but they were a team that was going places. In the early Seventies, they won three straight world championships and became baseball’s dominant team, despite the pretensions of their chief rival, a team known as the Reds (whom they beat for their first title in 1972). The 1972 World Series, in fact, although it was presented as a hippies vs. squares culture war series at the time, was actually the perfect Cold War analogy: the mustachioed, vibrant, flamboyant, fighting, undisciplined team (Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers) somehow prevailed against the staid, colorless, workmanlike Reds (Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench) who were widely assumed to be the superior assemblage.
But soon afterward, the A’s hit a wall, as the abolition of the reserve clause and the advent of free agency led to the untimely demise of the championship team. Yeah, think Vietnam. But that wasn’t the end for the Oakland Athletics. They rebounded to get to the World Series three years in a row again, although they only won it in the second of those three years, 1989. Just weeks before the Berlin Wall came down, they became world champions again, but since then, the A’s have had some fine teams but haven’t really done anything.
The U.S. hasn’t done much of anything since 1989, either. Yes, you can bring all your charts and graphs and talk to me about semiconductors and whatnot, but none of that changes the fact that what we have since 1989 are a couple of lengthy and failed military excursions into Iraq and Afghanistan, and above all, the steady advance of Marxism and statism after we all had thought that Communism had been defeated. To carry my sad little analogy out even farther, the A’s were a terrible team and had record-low attendance in the late 1970s, but the 1990 AL championship team drew nearly three million fans, and the Coliseum was an extremely pleasant place to spend a sunny afternoon. The team’s future looked bright. Then, however, decades of mismanagement and questionable dealing brought it to the sad point of Saturday, with the fan running out onto the field amid near-total indifference from the bored and put-upon remaining staff.
The comparisons are all too easy to make. After decades of mismanagement, the nation’s doors are open to virtually anyone who wants to stroll onto the field and take a spin around the bases. No one, or hardly anyone, cares. And the problem that plagued us in the past, the specter of Communism, is back with a vengeance. Only this time, it’s coming from within, not from an external power, just as the A’s are in the tank largely because of the decisions of the owner of the team, John Fisher, who is a billionaire but clearly does not want to spend the money that it would take to field a decent team and preserve his fan base.
There is even censorship in this story, just as there is in America today. The Biden regime conspired with the social media giants to silence and deplatform dissidents, and in late April, Major League Baseball actually censored signs that the few remaining fans in Oakland had brought to the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever they’re calling it these days) protesting against Fisher and his Machiavellian minion, team President Dave Kaval.
The Oakland Athletics will likely be no more in a year or two. We can only hope that the analogy between the once-fearsome equipage and our once-great nation will break down at that point.