Tout-Oakland turned out at the Paramount Theater last night for the premiere of Moneyball. Or at least à demi Oakland. I was there too and pegged the audience as part local, part Hollywood.
Donations from Listeners Like You did not pay for my ticket; I scored a seat from one of the film's producers, the sister of a childhood friend. Others I talked to enjoyed similar degrees-of-separation status: "I'm here because my daughter and Michael Lewis' daughter go to school together," one guy told me, citing the author of the movie's source material.
Some hard-cores did, however, represent. "I'm an A's season-ticket holder and have been since 1988 and couldn't miss the chance to see the world premiere of a movie about Oakland in Oakland," Cathy Connelly of Alameda shouted into my mic, in order to be heard amid an absolute crush of premiere-goers. How much were the tickets? "$100 dollars." Did you read the book? "Yes I did, my whole family did." Are you a big Billy Beane fan? "I am a big Billy Beane fan." "How about Brad Pitt? "Not as much Brad Pitt."
"I read the book when it came out," said one free-cocktail-sipper, a twenty-something female. "And that's what made me fall in love with the team. Hatteberg, Bradford, all those big names, all those great human-interest stories, it had me sucked in."
"I'd like to comment on John Fisher," interrupted a guy with something very much on his mind. "He should be ashamed of himself." Fisher is the A's co-owner, and the team wants to move to San Jose. "Keep the A's in Oakland," was my interviewee's message. "If any city in America could use a baseball team, it's Oakland. Get over your ego. This is not about money." (Dude it is, I thought. It's even the name of the movie.)