The Oakland Athletics on Tuesday celebrated Native American Heritage Night during its home game against the Milwaukee Brewers, and dozens of Native Americans from West County were there to represent.
“Families travel from all over Northern California Indian Country to attend the Native American Heritage Night,” said Mike Kinney, a Richmond resident, Standard reporter and president of the United Urban Warrior Movement-California Chapter.
The Native American community received a special $30 ticket rate for VIP section seats.
Cherokee Dan Smith from Richmond was particularly excited about the Native American Heritage Night T shirts that are given away each year.
He wasn’t alone — the T shirts were a big draw. The shirts are designed by Jesse Hernandez, of Oakland, who goes by Urban Aztec, and who is known for blending graffiti with the art of Indigenous cultures in his artwork.
“This year’s Native American Heritage Night tee shirts were both outstanding and stunning,” Kinney said.
Paul Freese, a Navajo from Hercules attended wearing his T-shirt he received from last year’s Heritage Night at Oakland Coliseum.
The coliseum was filled with thousands of Natives.
“As I stood in line waiting to pick up our tee shirts, I saw Lakota, Pomo, Miwok, Choctaw, Cherokee and other Native people who I knew, just waiting in line,” Kinney said.
Kinney said the Native American community felt pride to be recognized at the game. And the cherry on the top? The A’s beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2.