The A's First Game in Oakland
The A’s had been in Oakland for a week before they played their first home game at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. In front of an anxious crowd of 50,164, the A’s hosted the Baltimore Orioles on April 16, 1968 in the evening.
In the first inning, A’s pitcher Lew Krausse retired in succession Curt Blefary, Paul Blair and Brooks Robinson. Orioles pitcher Dave McNally answered that by retiring Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson and Sal Bando. Thus ended the A's first inning in Oakland.
Baltimore’s Boog Powell, batting second behind Frank Robinson, hit a home run into deep right field to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead. Krausse quickly retired the next two batters. The A’s batters couldn’t answer Powell’s home run and ended the second inning without reaching home.
Oriole’s Mark Belanger led off with a line drive to left field, another home run to put the A’s in a 2-0 deficit. All was quiet until the bottom of the fourth inning when Baltimore’s Davey Johnson hit a single to right field. Brooks Robinson ran from third base to give Baltimore a 3-0 lead to end the top of the fourth inning.
The fourth ended with a whimper and the fifth was much of the same. The sixth inning began with a Brooks Robinson home run to deep left field, giving the Orioles a commanding 4-0 lead. The pressure was on the A’s to get on the score board.
Rick Monday answered the pressure with a home run to start the bottom of the sixth, closing the gap to 4-1. Oakland couldn’t capitalize on the momentum and ended the inning with hardly a sound.
Oakland brought in reliever Paul Linbalb to replace a tiring Krause in the seventh inning. The final three innings were a pitcher’s duel between Linbalb and McNally who finished a complete game victory 4-1.
The A’s would collect their first home win in Oakland the next night in front of a crowd of just 5,304. They defeated the Orioles 4-3 in extra innings and from then on, the city of Oakland adopted the A’s as their own.