Oakland A's Apr 15, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the scoreboard at RingCentral Coliseum before a game between the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics on Jackie Robinson Day. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s have been through some tough times recently both off and on the field. The team sits in the AL West 32.5 games out of first place, but more importantly, there is the specter of the franchise relocating to Las Vegas. It would be the second franchise to move to Las Vegas from Oakland this decade following the Raiders’ move in 2020.

With a possible move on the horizon, there has been a flood of support from the fans for owner John Fisher to sell the team and keep the A’s in Oakland. There has also been reminiscing about the glory days of the Oakland A’s and what they have meant to Major League Baseball since 1968.

While that history includes such superstars as Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley, and Mark McGwire as well as four World Series wins in Oakland, ask any modern fan what’s most synonymous with the Oakland A’s and they will tell you one word – Moneyball.

As a reporter and host for the Oakland A’s, our very own Jessica Kleinschmidt shared with Brandon Contes on this week’s Awful Announcing podcast how the movie still resonates with fans and those within the A’s organization. Brandon and Jessica both write for Awful Announcing in addition to hosting podcasts on the Comeback Media network in the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point.

“Overall fans do like the movie because it was such a magical time, that was actually the year I fell in love with the A’s. Every single front office adopts something from the analytics department from that movie and I think that’s important as well because it made me think more,” Kleinschmidt shared.

People from the Moneyball era are still connected with the A’s franchise and while there is a lot of appreciation for how the film told the story of the plucky underdog, there are a few examples of historical inaccuracies as there are with any sports story told on the silver screen.

“Scott Hatteberg, who works for the A’s still, beautiful human being, I had him on one of my podcasts and I said ‘what are some of the inacccuracies?’ The main one is Art Howe was not a butthead, he was a precious baby angel, he was wonderful. We didn’t sell sodas or anything like that, that wasn’t a thing. And Hatteberg himself said, ‘I didn’t really struggle at first as much as we made it out to be.'”

The amazing thing about the Moneyball A’s is that the impact of the film and the franchise has gone well beyond anything accomplished during that era. The philosophies established and the way the A’s were able to compete even though they were so far behind their competitors financially led every team in Major League Baseball and fans to embrace analytics and advanced statistics to try to stay ahead. It’s also made the game accessible to a wide variety of individuals.

“I have to depend on those numbers because we need something to talk about because I didn’t play up to a certain level so I’m very thankful for that. I think, overall, not just A’s fans but baseball fans really embrace that movie.”

Here’s hoping fans in Oakland have more great baseball memories to embrace in the years to come.

Listen to the Awful Announcing Podcast with Brandon Contes. Subscribe to the Awful Announcing Podcast and to Awful Announcing’s YouTube channel for the latest clips and highlights.

You can also listen to Short and to the Point hosted by Jessica Kleinschmidt wherever you get your podcasts.