A's To Honor Slain Officers In Home Opener Tonight

The shocking, awful news that Angels' rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed just hours after pitching against the A's Wednesday night should not conceal or minimize another memorial -- the Athletics' enormous efforts to pay tribute to the four Oakland police officers killed in the line of duty on March 21. Tonight's A's Home Opener at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland will involve pregame ceremony and tribute at 6:30 p.m. to honor those four fallen officers.

While last night's A's game in Anaheim was postponed, tonight's Home Opener against the Seattle Mariners is still being played as scheduled. If you attend only one Major League Baseball Home Opener this season, please do make it this one. The Oakland Police Department could really use as much support as possible.

The memorial ceremony begins 35 minutes before tonight's 7:05 p.m. game. The ceremony will include 50 police officers, a color guard, and a flyover with two Navy jets from Naval Air Station Lemoore. A's players will also make a presentation to Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

Officers will be stationed about the Coliseum to take donations for the surviving families, and a silent auction will be held behind Secion 120.

 A's owner Lew Wolff -- who I will admit to writing some mean jokes about lately -- is generously going way out of his way on this memorial effort. He's pledged to match every single fan's donation, dollar for dollar.  That's right, he's matching every single dollar donated, no matter how high a tab donors run up on him.

And all season long, the A's will honor the officers with an "OPD" patch on the sleeve of their home white uniforms.

Donations to the officers' survivng families can also be made online at the Oakland Police Officer's Association Web site. 

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who will lay off razzing Lew Wolff for at least one day.

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