Andy Dolich

7-30-18 - Andy
At a San Francisco 49ers event in 2010, hosted by California Sports Network Bay Area (CSNBA). Left to right, Ted Griggs, president, CSNBA; San Francisco mayor Will Brown; Andy Dolich; KNBR's radio host, Gary Radnich

Andy Dolich -- 2015
Andy Dolich
In Reflection,
the Oakland A's, 
Part III

By Andy Dolich

Andy Dolich, a consummate and highly regarded Bay Area marketing executive, has served in administrative capacities for the Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, the San Francisco 49ers and other professional organizations. Dolich was the Oakland A's VP of business operations for 14 years and draws upon his personal experience to reflect on the team's history as the Athletics celebrate 50 years in Oakland. Below  is the third of his four part series. (Items
displayed in this article are from Andy's personal collection.)

The Ownership That Never Was
On December 2, 1998 the A's and Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority (OACCA) settled a pending arbitration regarding issues under which the OACCA would have the right to find a buyer to purchase the team from Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann The Boston-based investment banking firm of Game Plan was hired to identify prospective buyers. Game Plan was headed up by Bob Caporale and Randy Vataha and identified two groups.

San Francisco attorney Steven Kay and I put together one group and included the late Bob Piccinini who owned Save Mart Supermarkets, George Zimmer of Men's Wearhouse fame, Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, the Oakland Tribune Corporation, Jerry Fiddler of Wind River Systems, Oakland attorney Guy Saperstein, the Mugar family of Boston and Leo Hindery, a former AT&T and Sonic Communications executive. Our group had other deep pocketed investors ready to join the effort of a fully committed and vetted local group.

The second group was composed of Peninsula attorney Michael Lazarus, former MLB player/executive Bob Watson, former MLB pitcher Steve Stone and Lyle Campbell, an executive of Southwest Bancorp.

Ultimately our group was forwarded by Game Plan to the city who had to make a decision to select us. Jerry Brown was the mayor.

On Friday, September 17, 1999 at an owners meeting in Cooperstown our group was informed that MLB, under the direction of commissioner Bud Selig, had tabled our transaction. At the same time MLB also tabled deals to transfer ownership to new prospective buyers in Montreal and Kansas City.

Bud Selig and his executive council had a plan to contract baseball by eliminating Oakland, Miami, Montreal and Minnesota. Selig didn't like Bob Piccinini and was clearly biased toward his vacation-home neighbor in Arizona, Steve Stone. Ultimately Schott and Hofmann continued ownership until selling the team to John Fisher and Lew Wolff in March of 2005 for $180 million dollars.

According to industry sources, the team is worth one billion dollars today.

7-30-18 - Andy
Keith Richards, Andy Dolich and Mick Jagger

A Half Century Timeline of A's Baseball/Impact Events
1951 -- Connie Mack retires after 50 years as the A's manager.
1955 -- Connie Mack's sons sell the A's to Arnold Johnson for $3 million dollars. Johnson moves the team from Philadelphia to Kansas City.
1960 -- Arnold Johnson dies. The A's are sold to Charles O. Finley for $4 million dollars.
1968 -- Finley moves the A's to Oakland.
1972 -- A's win the first of three consecutive World Series.
1980 -- Walter A. Haas purchases the A's for $12.7 million dollars.
1982 --  Oakland Raiders move to the Los Angeles Coliseum.
1990 -- A's draw a team and then Bay Area baseball record of 2.9 million fans.
1994 -- Walter A. Haas puts the team up for sale on condition that it remains in Oakland.
1995 -- Team is purchased by Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann.
1995 -- Oakland Raiders return to Oakland.
1996 -- Mt. Davis is constructed, negatively effecting A's baseball at the Coliseum.
1999 -- Bob Piccinnini leads a group to purchase the A's from Schott and Hofmann. MLB tables the purchase based on the franchise being contracted.
2005 -- Lew Wolff and John Fisher purchase the team for $180 million.
2006 -- A's tarp the upper deck in center field, covering 20,878 seats.
2015 -- U.S. Supreme Court refuses to take up the San Jose case on the MLB territorial rights battle between the A's and Giants, ending the A's plans to build a ballpark at Diridon Station in San Jose, next to SAP Center.
2016 -- John J. Fisher buys out Lew Wolff and becomes the exclusive owner.
2017 -- Oakland and Alameda County continue conversations regarding the city buying out the county in their ownership of the Coliseum property.
2018 -- A's target Howard Terminal and the Coliseum site as possible new ballpark locations.
2019 -- Golden State Warriors move from Oracle Arena to new their new Chase Center (arena) in San Francisco.
2020 -- Oakland Raiders plan to move to Las Vegas. Stadium still under construction.
2021 -- Major League Baseball revenue sharing program ends.
2023 -- Targeted date for the opening of a new ballpark in Oakland.

7-30-18 - Andy
Andy Dolich and Elvis Presley, The King, has each been honored with a bobble
7-30-18 - Andy
Andy Dolich was awarded a golden bobble in 1986

The Good, Bad and Ugly
*  Team equipment manager Steve Vucinich being employed with the franchise every step of way. That's over 18,250 days, give or take, in his 50 years with the team.
* Steve Boros in a suit? He managed the A's in 1983 and 84. He was a leader in using analytics and metrics in baseball. He was a tough, yet mild-mannered pro. I wanted him to break tradition and wear a suit during games, similar to what Connie Mack had done. He politely refused.
* Jay Howell was an A's All-Star in the game played in Oakland on July 14,1987. I asked him to ditch the white shoes and wear black cleats for the game. He checked with some other A's and the answer was a solid no.
* The Jeff Newman Yarmulke -- I asked the former A's catcher and short term manager hired on July 28, 1986 to wear a skullcap under his baseball cap. First and last time in major league baseball history that a Jewish manager wore a yarmulke during a game.
* The Tarp in center field -- enough said.
* John Fisher has never granted a public interview during his 13-year ownership of the A's.
* An Earthquake World Series occurred at 5:04 p.m. on October 17, 1989 before the start of game three at Candlestick Park. It was the first natural disaster broadcast live on national TV. The Loma Prieta quake registered 6.9 on the Richter scale.
* The infield at the proposed Howard Terminal site is currently positioned where Schnitzer Steel recyclers have been crushing and recycling all sorts of metallic junk since 1965. The area where a shortstop might be stopping a hot shot caught fire on June 2. If you want to talk toxic remediation, this is the place to go.
* Three World Series victories in a row has only been done three times in the modern era. Twice by the Yankees in 1936-39 and 1998-2000 and the A's in 1972-74.

7-30-18 - Andy
Lego man from Kid's Korner at the Coliseum
7-30-18 - Andy
Snow globe

Movies and TV Specials on the Oakland A's
Moneyball (2011)
Forgotten Dynasty: 1972-74 Athletics, Comcast TV special (2012)
The Day The Series Stopped -- ESPN Films: 30 for 30 (2014)
Out: The Glenn Burke Story (2015)
The Swingin A's (Charlie Finley's team), (2017)

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Bay Area author Michael Lewis' bestseller, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, was released in 2003. It was a riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Oakland's general manager Billy Beane assembled the roster for the A's surprising run in the 2002 season.

Columbia Pictures bought the rights to Lewis's book in 2004. After a few false starts in bringing the story to the screen, the movie debuted in 2011. The film did well with Brad Pitt starring as Billy Beane. Based on the success of the book and the movie, Beane become a sought-after speaker at corporate functions. His insight into sabermetrics, analytics and metrics crossed over from baseball to business. In reality, many organizations in sports were using this strategy years before the book.

7-30-18 - Andy
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis, was published in 2003 about the Oakland A's and its general manager, Billy Beane. It focused on the team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite a revenue disadvantage
7-30-18 - Andy
Moneyball, released in 2011, was a box office success and received critical acclaim. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Brad Pitt and Best Supporting Actor for Jonah Hill


Andy's four part series concludes next issue.

Andy Dolich has over five decades of leadership in the sports industry, including executive positions in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, pro soccer and lacrosse. Dolich teaches sports business at Stanford's School of Continuing Studies and is co-author of the new book:

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit https://www.bzecheers.com/rumpopo

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label