This is a thing that happened.
Let's break this down from the top.
First there is an organization -- nay, a consortium -- that oversees emojis. Where do emojis come from? I assume they are mined from the ground in some way? No, let's stay focused here.
There is a consortium, and they are undertaking a fundraiser in which folks can sponsor an emoji. Actually, the term is "adopt." I guess emojis are alive, then, so are they farmed like livestock? Stop it Alex, stay on point.
OK, you can adopt an emoji, for prices ranging from $100 to $5,000. The A's have chosen to take in not one but three of the adorable little critters. They even sprung for the highest level of sponsorship on each one, the Gold level, and that brings with it one key benefit.
Whereas multiple parties can sponsor any given emoji, only one can do so at the Gold level, and the sponsorship is permanent. So, because the A’s jumped on this one first, they, and not any of the other 29 MLB teams, are now the leading sponsor of the baseball emoji for all of eternity. (They also beat all those pesky zoos to the elephant symbol, and, I dunno, Tony Orlando to the oak tree one?) This is like the 21st-century version of paying to name a star after yourself.
In all seriousness, this is actually a donation that supports what appears to be a pretty cool cause (world languages). Read more about it here. And try not to think about the fact that the president of the consortium is named Mark Davis. It’s a different Mark Davis, honest.
Now, after that kind of cash layout, let’s just hope one of these emoji can play CF. (Note: I checked, and there is not a trout emoji for sale.)