Oakland Athletics

How Philly-New York trash talk led to the Oakland Athletics elephant mascot

How Philly-New York trash talk led to the Oakland Athletics elephant mascot

The Oakland Athletics were slated to visit Philadelphia in mid-June in 2020 which, for the A's, would have been a return to the franchise's original home.

But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has Major League Baseball adjusting its 2020 schedule on the fly, so let's take some time to exploring a particularly quirky connection between Philadelphia and the Athletics' whimsical elephant mascot, Stomper.

You know, this guy:

Stomper dates all the way back to 1902, when professional baseball was still finding its footing, according to a neat little video on a slice of baseball from NBC Sports Bay Area.

It was a different time: Philadelphia had a team called the Athletics, and a man named John McGraw was managing the New York Giants. (Yes, the baseball Giants.)

McGraw, during a press conference, said he didn't think the Athletics' decision to buy up expensive star players' contracts was going to pay off, and said they would be left with "a big white elephant on their hands".

Famed Athletics owner and general manager Connie Mack laughed at McGraw's characterization, and decided to make a white elephant the Athletics' unofficial mascot. Eventually it became official, and before the Athletics and Giants faced off in the 1905 World Series, Mack presented McGraw with a white elephant statuette.

What an unreal Philly zinger.

You can watch the video from NBC Sports Bay Area below:

When the Athletics moved to Kansas City, the elephant disappeared (politics) but after the Athletics moved to Oakland, the team made the decision in the late 1980s to have the elephant make a triumphant - tri-unk-phant? - return.

I'm glad it came back, because now we have a reason to remember a sick 115-year-old burn. Connie Mack forever.

Check out what Phillies will wear vs. Athletics for retro series

Check out what Phillies will wear vs. Athletics for retro series

The Phillies welcome the Oakland A’s to town the weekend of June 12-14 and when they do, it's going to look more like 1920 than 2020. To honor the Athletics’ history in Philadelphia, the teams will wear retro uniforms.

The A’s, of course, were the Philadelphia Athletics from their 1901 inception through 1954 when they moved to Kansas City. Oakland has been their home since 1968.

Here is a look at the hats the Phils will wear in that series.



The Phillies have played only six series ever against the Oakland A’s, three in Philadelphia. The teams last met here in September 2017.

Oakland is projected to be very good again in 2020 after winning 97 games two years in a row. Despite the success, the A’s still have trouble selling tickets in their outdated home park. They averaged 20,521 tickets sold per home game last season, seventh-lowest in the majors and over 13,000 less per game than the Phillies.

Citizens Bank Park should be decently filled for that weekend series in June because the weather will be warm, shore season won’t yet be in full effect, and it should pit two competitive teams against each other.

Could you imagine if Philly was still a two-team baseball town?

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West Chester's Joey Wendle enjoys 'pretty surreal' grand slam against Phillies

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West Chester's Joey Wendle enjoys 'pretty surreal' grand slam against Phillies

The ball jumped off the bat and the small section of friends and family jumped from their seats and began to roar. Joey Wendle not only had just hit his first career grand slam Sunday, it came against the team he rooted for while starring at Avon Grove High School and leading West Chester University to a national championship. 

The Oakland second baseman had to be reveling in the moment as he circled the bases at Citizens Bank Park, right? 

“Did I run around the bases? I don’t even remember that,” Wendle said. “Yeah, it was pretty surreal.”

Wendle’s second career home run came one year to the day after he went deep against Yu Darvish in Texas and in just his fifth game since being recalled from Triple A Nashville. It was the go-ahead homer in the Athletics’ 6-3 victory (see story)

“Definitely a special memory,” the 27-year-old said. “Definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

The Phillies led 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning when Henderson Alvarez was lifted after walking Matt Joyce and allowing a single to Chad Pinder. Left-hander Hoby Milner came in and struck out Matt Olson for the first out, and then manager Pete Mackanin brought in Edubray Ramos. 

The righty struck out Matt Chapman but then walked Mark Canha to load the bases. 

Up came the lefty-hitting Wendle. And he wasted no time by pouncing on a first-pitch slider and drilling it to right field. 

“That guy has more than a strikeout per inning and I was looking for something up in the zone because I knew what he could do if I got buried in the count,” Wendle said. “Just got a slider, kind of backed up a little bit and I was able to drive it out.”

Wendle finished 1 for 4 and is 3 for 9 since his call-up. He hit .285 with eight homers and 54 RBIs in 118 games at Triple A. 

Wendle faces obstacles to stick with Oakland. Veteran Jed Lowrie is ahead of him at second base and Franklin Barreto is a 21-year-old prospect the A’s value. But manager Bob Melvin said he’s been happy with what he’s seen from Wendle, who’s the first alum of Division II West Chester to play in the big leagues since John Mabry retired in 2007. 

“It’s one thing to hit a grand slam to put your team ahead. It’s another when you do it at home,” Melvin said. “And this is a close-knit group of guys, especially the younger guys that we brought up and Joey’s been with them, so they were really happy for him.”