Oakland Must Turn Its “Baseball Cathedral” Into a “Cathedral of Learning”

by Bobby Reyes

Entrance to Oakland Stadium | Photo by Quintin Soloviev via Wikimedia Commons

Part XXXVI of the “Back-to-Basics Governance” Series

Last Monday, May 15, 2023, the City of Oakland, California, was jilted again by a professional sports team. The Oakland Athletics, a major league baseball team, announced that it would not renew its lease of the Oakland Coliseum. They would move to Las Vegas (Nevada) after the 2024 baseball season.

The Oakland Raiders is a professional American football team that played in Oakland from its founding in 1960 to 1981. Then it moved to Los Angeles. Then returned to Oakland in 1995 and played its home games until 2019 before relocating to Las Vegas.

The National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors left Oakland also for San Francisco in 2018.

We, baseball fans, often call a baseball stadium a “Cathedral” and “A Cathedral of Learning.” This columnist wrote about both “cathedrals” in an article about how the Pueblo Filipino project in Mexico can resurrect Filipino baseball at this link.

By the way, and casting modesty aside, this columnist was the prime mover of the first-and-second Filipino-American Community Nights at the Dodgers Stadium in 2006 and 2007 — the first such events in the history of major league baseball. How he did both events — from an idea that he first floated in 1977 in New York City — is also mentioned in the said article about “Filipino baseball’s resurrection.” And discussed in it also why this journalist visited Pittsburgh in 1997 and viewed its “Cathedral of Learning,” which coincidentally is located in the Oakland neighborhood of the city. The writer also toured the Pittsburgh Pirates’ “Baseball Cathedral” during the same visit.

The oldest campus in the Golden State is San José State University, which was founded in 1857 and became the first public higher education institution in California.

Thus the City of Oakland suffered two losses last Monday. It lost a tenant for its “Baseball Cathedral” and a Catholic university with its 155-year-old history and many “chapels of learning.”

On the other hand, Holy Names University (HNU) is a private Roman Catholic learning institution in Oakland, California. It was founded in 1868 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, with which the university remained affiliated. The first nuns came from Canada. It was supposed to close its doors permanently last Monday, May 15, 2023.

Thus the City of Oakland suffered two losses last Monday. It lost a tenant for its “Baseball Cathedral” and a Catholic university with its 155-year-old history and many “chapels of learning.”

There are seven ranked colleges within the Oakland city limits and 49 colleges within a 50-mile radius. Area colleges collectively enroll a total of 376,437 students. Almost all of them suffered financially from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still hanging around. Some are from forest fires caused by climate change (Global Warming).

Last Friday, this columnist, his wife, son, and a grandson visited HNU to attend a graduation mass at its church. And then returned the following day to the campus for the 143rd Annual Commencement of the Class of 2023. Our primary purpose in making a trip to the City of Oakland was to attend the graduation of our son’s daughter, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.

The other purpose of the trip was to talk privately with some of the university officials and discuss the preliminaries of this columnist’s idea on how to do an academic version of the S.O.S. for the HNU. At the same time, suggest another S.O.S. for the “Baseball Cathedral” of the City of Oakland and Alameda County.

This columnist will discuss in this Sunday’s Part 37 more details of a back-to-basics way of turning the “S.O.S.” into “Society’s Oases for Sciences,” which will help in saving mankind from epidemics, pandemics, and other medical emergencies and social cancers. And help the City of Oakland improve its position as the 13th “Happiest City of America.” Yes, and became the “Happiest City of America” in less than a decade.

To paraphrase President Biden’s term of a “Cancer Moonshot,” this column will discuss in this series the socioeconomic version of a “Medical-and-Educational Moonshot” for the city, county, and all their schools, colleges, and universities. But all of them must work together. And possibly merit not dole out but investments from state-and-federal agencies.

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