A's history defines bi-partisanship

October 22, 2012, 10:35 pm
Share This Post

On November 6th, voters will select the 45th President of the United States or send the 44th ahead to his second term. Democratic and Republican pundits admit the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will go down to the wire. Anyone who loves baseball was energized by the Oakland As late run to the American League West Championship. On June 30th, the As were five games under .500 and 13 games behind the Texas Rangers (formerly owned by President Bush 43.) On Sept. 24, with only nine games left in the season, the As were still five games behind the Rangers. An 8-1 tear to finish the schedule including a three-game sweep of the Rangers and a MLB leading 15 walk-off victories energized baseball with the Cinderella baseball story of the year.So what does an underfunded baseball team in a gritty city with a unique East Bay vibe have to do with the political future of the United States?
Well, Its all about a donkey and an elephant with the ability to define bi-partisanship. A historical tandem of logos that wins on the baseball field and should be translatable to the dysfunctional halls of Congress.The democratic donkey was first associated with Andrew Jacksons 1828 presidential campaign. His political opponents took to calling him a jackass. Jackson decided to use the image of the stubborn animal on his campaign posters. Thomas Nast, the famous political cartoonist, used the democratic donkey in his newspaper cartoons and the four legged logo was adopted on a national basis to represent the Democratic Party. Ironically, Nast also created the Republican elephant in a cartoon that appeared in Harpers Weekly. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lions pelt frightening all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled The Republican Vote. Thats all it took for the Pachyderm to become associated with the Republican party.Charlie-O the Mule was the mascot of the Kansas City Athletics and Oakland As from 1963 to 1976. The donkey was named after equally cantankerous team owner Charles O. Finley.Finley moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City in 1963. He changed the long standing As elephant in favor of a Missouri mule (it was also rumored to have been done by Finley in order to attract fans from the heavily Democratic state). Finley embraced the concept of the mule and changed the A's colors from red, white and blue to green, gold, and white. The first of many kaleidoscopic uniform color changes from Finley.When the Athletics left Kansas City after the 1967 season, there was debate about whether Charlie-O, the mule, not the owner, should stay; but stubborn-as-a-mule Finley loaded him up for the trip to Oakland in 1968. After New York Giants manager John McGraw told reporters that Philadelphia Athletics owner Benjamin Shibe had a "white elephant on his hands," Legendary As manager Connie Mack adopted the white elephant as the team mascot, and presented McGraw with a stuffed toy elephant at the start of the 1905 World Series.
By 1909, the A's were wearing an elephant logo on their sweaters, and in 1918 it turned up on the regular As uniform jersey for the first time. In 1988, the elephant was restored as the symbol of the Athletics and currently adorns the left sleeve of home and road uniforms. The As appeared in three straight World Series after the change and swept the San Francisco Giants in 1989. Over the years the elephant has appeared in several different colors. It is currently forest green. The color of money which helps drive the game.Democrats believe the Donkey is smart and brave, while the G.O.Ps Elephant stands for strength and dignity. We shall see whos ruling the zoo on Tuesday Nov. 6th. The As shocked the baseball pundits by winning the American League West and they did it by channeling all the best qualities of the mule and elephant.
We have seen and heard the deep-seated differences between the political parties and their Presidential Candidates. The As have a platform that cuts across the toxicity of the current political morass.Economic Policy- Do more with less. Winning with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

Defense- Pies to the face after walk-off wins. Much less expensive than drones.
Foreign Policy-Cuban immigrants make great five tool players. Yoenis Cespedes.
Cultural- Forget dancing Korean Gangnam style; doing The Bernie guarantees come from behind victories.Looking for a write-in candidate? Try the Oakland As!

More Team Talk