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Elephant Rumblings: Governor Gavin Newsom expects A’s fans will be able to attend Opening Day at Coliseum

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US-HEALTH-VIRUS-VACCINE Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s already began selling vouchers for 2021 regular season tickets, but there was still the question of when fans might be allowed to begin attending games in the state of California again amid the coronavirus pandemic. The answer might end up being Opening Day.

California Governor Gavin Newsom indicated belief that A’s fans will be able to enter the Coliseum by the team’s April 1 opener, reports Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News. Newson said Wednesday that there have been “advanced discussions” with Major League Baseball on the topic and that they’re “working on the final details,” adds Rubin. Click the link for more info.

Some other states have already begun allowing fans at pro sports, including Arizona, where the A’s are currently playing spring training. Capacity is limited to 20% for the club’s Cactus League exhibition games at Hohokam Stadium, and the Coliseum could begin around that percentage range as well.

Last week the A’s announced a new FlexTix program, in which fans can buy packs of vouchers for 2021 tickets and then choose the exact dates later. Normal single-game ticket sales will begin later in March.

Lou Gehrig Day

Henceforth in MLB, June 2 will be known as Lou Gehrig Day. Per a press release sent by the A’s on Thursday:

The dedicated date will forever commemorate the legacy of the Hall of Famer who has inspired the ongoing movement to end Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The focus of Lou Gehrig Day will be on three pillars: remembering the legacy of Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name; raising awareness and funds for research of ALS; and celebrating the groups and individuals who have led the pursuit for cures.

The date June 2 is significant for two reasons, notes MLB’s Anthony Castrovince. It was the day Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp as the Yankees starting first baseman in 1925 (second day of his famous Iron Horse streak, after pinch-hitting in the previous game), and it was the day he passed away in 1941.

The topic of ALS is particularly close for the A’s, after outfielder Stephen Piscotty lost his mother to the disease in 2018.

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