Let's be real. When you hear Jewish Heritage Night is coming up, your first question is, "Is the giveaway any good this year?" (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Let's be real. When you hear Jewish Heritage Night is coming up, your first question is, "Is the giveaway any good this year?" (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

A’s schmear Yankees on a bagel-filled Jewish Heritage Night at the Coliseum

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Jewish baseball fans from across the Bay Area who attended the A’s Jewish Heritage Night at the Oakland Coliseum Tuesday were treated to a rare win against the Yankees — plus free bagels and eye-catching baseball caps.

Fans who purchased the special tickets, many attending with family or synagogue groups, were treated to a pre-game party with live klezmer music, a bagel spread from Boichik Bagels and hats that featured a dancing pattern of green alephs mimicking the A’s logo in Hebrew on the underside of the brim.

Emily Winston, owner of Boichik Bagels, a prominently featured sponsor of A's Jewish Heritage Night, amid the chaos of bagels for hundreds of Jewish baseball fans. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Emily Winston, owner of Boichik Bagels, a featured sponsor of A’s Jewish Heritage Night, amid the chaos of bagels for hundreds of Jewish baseball fans. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

The new hat is one in a long line of Jewish Heritage Night giveaways going back to 2011 — including a faded, vintage edition worn by Avraham Burrell. The bearded Berkeley resident, just after picking up his new hat, fondly remembered the good old days: “I was at the World Series in 1973.”

Those were markedly different days for the Oakland Athletics. With the A’s franchise now on the verge of relocating to Las Vegas, this could be the last Jewish Heritage Night for the Oakland club.

Avraham Burrell in his vintage A's Jewish Heritage Night hat (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Avraham Burrell in his vintage A’s Jewish Heritage Night hat (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

Yankees fans could be overheard at the game discussing the plight of the home team and its fans — some mockingly, some with pity. More than a few at the Jewish Heritage Night event proudly sported Yankees gear, including Cantor Linda Semi, cantor emerita at Am Tikvah in San Francisco, who wore a blue hat with “Yankees” in Hebrew and a T-shirt with the team logo and “New York” in Hebrew.

“We’re lifelong Yankees fans,” Semi said, referring to her friend Tina Eisenman, who also wore a Yankees hat. “We come to see them anytime they play the A’s.”

Cantor Linda Semi (left) and Tina Eisenman in their Yankees gear at A's Jewish Heritage Night (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Cantor Linda Semi (left) and Tina Eisenman in their Yankees gear at A’s Jewish Heritage Night (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

But in the end, the not inconsiderable contingent of Yankees fans in the stands went home disappointed. The A’s, with the worst record in Major League Baseball, won 2-1.

The A’s partnerships unit — which J. worked with as the event’s media sponsor — worked some fun details into the evening. For the seventh-inning stretch, an instrumental klezmer version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was performed live while Stomper, the team’s elephant mascot, stomped around. On scoreboards throughout the ballpark, the yellow and green “A’s” logo was replaced with “א’ס,” roughly rendering the logo into Hebrew as on the giveaway hats. And, of course, shots of fans in their Jewish Heritage Night hats appeared on the ballpark’s main screen throughout the night.

Scoreboards throughout the stadium were adorned with Hebrew A's logo for Jewish Heritage Night (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Scoreboards throughout the stadium were adorned with Hebrew A’s logo for Jewish Heritage Night (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

Perhaps the greatest drama of the evening took place not on the field but in the stands, as a distraught child dropped his bagel amid the cheering, as immortalized and lyrically slowed down in this clip from NBC Sports:

And by the way: Mark your calendars for Aug. 15 — Jewish Heritage Night with the San Francisco Giants!

David A.M. Wilensky
(Photo/Aaron Levy-Wolins)
J. The Jewish News of Northern California Staff Headshots.
David A.M. Wilensky

David A.M. Wilensky is director of news product at J. He previously served as assistant editor and digital editor. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @davidamwilensky