The Oakland Athletics were founded in the city of Philadelphia in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. During their stay in Phili, the team won three World Series from 1910 to 1913 and later won back-to-back championships in 1929 and 1930. Later the team moved to Kansas City and would be there until 1968 when they moved to Oakland.
Once they moved to Oakland the team continued their winning ways and won four more titles in the years 1972, 1973, 1974, and finally in 1989. Their last major championship was the Western Division title in 2013. The A’s uniform has been worn by some MLB greats like Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Ricky Henderson, and the famous “Bash Brothers” Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.
Like many of the teams that we have featured in our series, the city in which they play is especially important to a team’s identity. Oakland has become their permanent home and it’s the city’s murals where we got our inspiration for the away jersey and the home kit is an homage to the team’s long-time nickname "the Elephants". When you win 9 championships, 15 American League pennants, and 16 division titles you are the Elephant in the room!
Oakland Athletics the Elephants Home Jersey
The Oakland A’s nickname goes way back to 1902 when then New York Giants manager John McGraw used the term “The White Elephants” with anger because the team manager Connie Mack was spending money to improve the team without supervision according to McGraw. Well, Mack liked the term, and to defy McGraw incorporated the Elephant as the team insignia. That addition has stayed as the club’s secondary logo until this day.
The elephant on the front of the jersey is facing forward charging at the opposition, as a way of intimidating the opponent. If you go to the Oakland Coliseum you will find Stomper, the team mascot, who is a white elephant and has been around the club since 1997. So, Stomper provides entertainment for the fans while the elephant on the jersey provides all the intimidation.
The classic A’s cap logo is what we have used as the team's crest, the logo has been around since 1968 and added the “‘s” in 1970. While the logo has changed color patterns over the years, it has been a mainstay of the club and gives the jersey that classic A’s look.
On the numbers, the alternative logo of the club is present holding two bats in an intimidating manner. If you watch various soccer leagues around the world at the bottom of the numbers you will find the league's logo or sponsors, in this case we went with this classic A’s logo.
Oakland Athletics away jersey homage to the city‘s murals
The city of Oakland has more than 1,000 murals, making the city itself a street art museum. Various street artists from all over the world come to the city to leave their mark around the streets of Oakland. Some of the best murals can be found in Alice street, Chinatown, and the Jack London district. It is here where our very urban style away jersey takes its inspiration and gives the A’s a totally different look.
As can be observed on the jersey there are various street art, urban design patterns across the chest of the jersey. The green A’s cap logo is used so that the crest can stand out and mesh with the background. Oakland as a city has many groups dedicated to street art such as the Graffiti Camp for Girls. The mission of the group is to develop artists' talents and create opportunities for girls to create street art.
On the back, the phrase “Love Life” is written across the neck, “Love Life” is the city’s motto. The motto was implemented after the fatal shooting of 16-year-old LoEshe Lacy, whose name means “Love Life” in the Nigerian language Ibo. It stands as a declaration against violence in that native language.
For over 17 years LoEshe’s father petitioned the city to adopt “love life” as the official motto as a way to denounce violence in the city. The City Council approved the motto and in 2017 new welcome signs were installed with the motto painted at the bottom.