The 2020 A’s can beat opponents in several different ways.
Some nights it’s the bats. Others, it’s the pitching. Occasionally, with the gloves.
And quite often this season: the A's win with their jerseys.
The “Kelly Green” alternate jerseys have been worn in 13 of the A’s 26 games this season. They sport a 9-1 record at home, and 1-2 record on the road.
When introduced to commemorate the franchise's 50 years in Oakland, they were only intended for Friday night home games.
But players are choosing to give them a lot more exposure.
Wearing them 50 percent of games this season is a sharp uptick from the 13 times they were worn in 2018 (8-5 record), and the 24 times they were selected by starting pitchers in 2019 (12-12 record), according to SportsLogos.net’s jersey tracker.
Their popularity should come as no surprise to fans, given what players think about them.
Rookie Jesus Luzardo has made three of his four MLB starts in Kelly green. And on Thursday posted a rhetorical poll question on his IG story: “Cleanest jerseys in the game?” For the record, 93 percent of respondents answered “Yes.”
Back in January, shortstop Marcus Semien called the jerseys “awesome.” Sean Manaea dubbed them “the best.” And Matt Olson labeled them “perfect.”
For all practical senses, jersey options should have absolutely nothing to do with how well the A’s perform.
But we know the superstitions of baseball players, and how they are creatures of confidence and habit. If the A’s keep winning games at a similar clip, don’t be surprised if that 50 percent ratio of Kelly green stays intact.