Can This Man Keep the A’s in Oakland?

New York Times

Dave Kaval, the president of the Oakland Athletics since 2016, at the Coliseum on opening day this year. (Credit: Cayce Clifford for The New York Times)

Dave Kaval, the president of the Oakland Athletics since 2016, at the Coliseum on opening day this year. (Credit: Cayce Clifford for The New York Times)

By Kurt Streeter

May 24, 2019

“Dave! Dave! Dave!” the women shouted, eyes wide with surprise. They were high in the stands at the Coliseum when they came upon Dave Kaval, president of the Oakland Athletics, who was mountaineering up, step by step, from field level to the nosebleeds.

“We’re behind you, Dave, 100 percent!” someone yelled from the seats.

Below, the A’s were battling the Los Angeles Angels, but Kaval was missing most of it. Instead, wearing a gray suit and a green tie, he was greeting fans, one by one, in his tired, dog-eared stadium. He was like a political candidate on a hot streak. Some fans shrieked when they saw him. Others stood, dumbstruck. He gushed over babies, posed for photos and heard stories about the Athletics’ glorious past.

He shared tales of his own, about how he had grown up in Cleveland, a die-hard devotee of the 1980s Browns, and how devastated he felt when the Browns decamped for Baltimore in the ’90s. He wasn’t going to let that happen in Oakland.

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