I was digging around on the internets earlier tonight when I stumbled upon this:
Take a long, hard look at the photo (click to enlarge). Then tell me what you think.
Update 9:50 AM – Okay, ready? The title “Pre Mount Davis Oakland Coliseum” is extremely misleading. There’s no date listed on the picture, but based on other pictures I have seen and archives, the pic goes back to the 1969-71 era. Here’s why.
1. The greater number of aisles on the lower half of the field level. Those were filled in around 1972.
2. The all-green-seats look was the original look to the Coliseum. The orange seats, as we remember them, were phased in over an almost decade-long period in the 80’s as the green seats deteriorated.
3. The exterior “hill” surrounding the Coli has no stairs! None next to the gate tunnels or anywhere else for that matter. There’s only a ramp and “trails” leading down from the plaza concourse, the latter of which may have been tough to negotiate if one were drunk following a game.
4. No DiamondVision!
5. Trees are very young.
6. The outfield fence is pulled in somewhat. The initial dimensions, according to Andrew Clem, were 330-378-410-378-330, not the 330-375-400-375-330 that we all knew so well. The former dimensions lasted only the ’68 season.
7. The few cars in the players’ lot in the upper left hand corner are pretty old.
8. The loge area had not yet been converted to suites.
9. The paths from the on-deck circle to the plate didn’t last long.
10. The dugout roofs are painted green and are otherwise unadorned.
In a few years, the Coliseum will be 50 years old. It’s lived a very full life – several lives, even. This version was the one that lured Charlie Finley, and you can see why he came. It was a pretty good spot back then – fresh, green, almost pastoral. The “Mausoleum” reputation it got wasn’t solely because of the stadium. It was because hardly anyone showed up.
If you want to see good closeup pictures of the Coli in its late 80’s glory, check out this flickr set by Jerry Reuss. That Jerry Reuss? Yes, that Jerry Reuss. Who knew the guy was such a stadium buff?