Joe Lacob once had a deal to buy and keep the A’s in Oakland

Imagine if Joe Lacob owned the Oakland Athletics. It’s a good bet a ballpark would be built. With considerable attendance. A competitive payroll. Core players sticking around long term. Enthusiasm for the future.

It almost happened, but Lacob was rejected by Major League Baseball. Learning from that, he bought the Golden State Warriors, won four NBA championships in eight years and built the Chase Center.

“I had the A’s done,” Lacob said. “It was just taken away from me. You know what, everyone’s confident in their own abilities, obviously. I think we would have had a stadium a long time ago if I had bought it. That’s just me.”

A’s fans can’t be happy about this perpendicular path.

Instead of a Lacob ownership, the A’s were purchased by John Fisher and Lew Wolff in 2005, and Wolff sold his share to the Fisher family in 2016. Nowadays, the A’s are in the worst state of their 54 years in Oakland, curators of MLB’s worst record and attendance while threatening to move to Las Vegas.

It could have been different had Lacob received approval from MLB and then-Commissioner Bud Selig, who favored Wolff, his fraternity brother at the University of Wisconsin.

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