A's outfielder Khris Davis (2) rounds second base after hitting a home run off the Angels' Ricky Nolasco in the sixth inning on Opening Night, 2017, at the Oakland Coliseum. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

A's outfielder Khris Davis (2) rounds second base after hitting a home run off the Angels' Ricky Nolasco in the sixth inning on Opening Night, 2017, at the Oakland Coliseum. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

Khris Davis powers A’s past Angels on Opening Night

OAKLAND — Some 15 minutes after Rickey Henderson’s opening night press conference was slated to begin, the greatest player in club history sauntered through the doorway, where a standing-room only audience was anticipating his arrival.

“You waiting for me?” Henderson joked as he took his seat on the dais alongside Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval — never bothering to remove his sunglasses.

Some 15 minutes before Kendall Graveman threw the first pitch of 2017 — in the team’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night — Henderson, smiling ear-to-ear, strolled through an opening in the center field wall, walked up and over the mound and joined A’s radio voice Ken Korach at the podium on the infield grass.

“My heart and soul is forever Oakland,” Henderson proclaimed to the crowd.

The dedication of Rickey Henderson Field, which had been preceded by a tribute for longtime broadcaster and Ford C. Frick Award inductee Bill King, concluded with the all-time stolen bases leader popping both of his collars — individually — and triumphantly raising both arms as the crowd roared and fireworks went off in center field.

Khris Davis provided the fireworks once the main event arrived, connecting on two solo home runs in the sixth and eighth innings.

“I threw [batting practice] to him almost everyday and I don’t know if he hit a ball out in BP this year in spring training  — let alone the game,” manager Bob Melvin said. “And he hits two balls on a cold night that were no doubters.”

The only blemish on Graveman’s ledger came in the third, when the Angels’ Mike Trout sent a 113-mph laser over the 367-foot sign in left.

“The one pitch Trout hit was a cutter that kind of stayed in the middle,” Melvin said after Graveman struck out seven in six innings. “But when he’s on, he’s throwing sinkers, getting ground balls. That’s what he did.”

Kendall GravemanLos Angeles AngelsMike TroutMLBOakland AthleticsRickey HendersonStephen Vogt

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Affordable housing has become the chief expense for most California students, such as those attending community college in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
California commits $500 million more to student housing

Called ‘a drop in the bucket,’ though $2 billion could be made available in future years

Most Read