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Oakland Athletics center fielder Rajai Davis, right, celebrates with second baseman Mark Ellis after their 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Angels during a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
They're called the Oakland Athletics but the team won't be stopping there during their annual Bay Area holiday cheer tour.
The team is taking their Holiday Caravan to five Bay Area cities at public and private events this year for three days starting Dec. 3, to places like malls, parades and hospitals. But none of those public stops is in Oakland.
Players will be signing autographs and schmoozing it up with fans in Walnut Creek, San Ramon and all day on their final stop in San Jose on Dec. 6, where they'll also be featured in the city's parade, but their schedule doesn't include Oakland. The closest they'll get to Oakland is Emeryville.
While there are no public events on the calendar, team spokesman Bob Rose told NBC Bay Area that players Rajai Davis and Brad Ziegler will be taking 10 at-risk children from an Oakland transitional center on a shopping trip with a $250 in gift cards for each.
So, why does the team seem to have a low-key public presence in their home city this holiday? Rose says it's simply a matter of focus. They decided to spend time and efforts on at-risk and hospitalized kids. "Nothing more than that," he says.
The A's have done their part this year in reaching out to the community, Rose says, raising money, collecting food and volunteering at outreach events.
And while it may seem like a snub to the city of Oakland, the concept of a caravan is to spread the team spirit to outskirts of their cities, Rose points out.