The possibility of the Oakland Athletics relocating to a new city doesn't sit well with Dennis Eckersley, who said the situation "couldn't get more personal."
"If the A's left, it would be painful," the former Oakland closer told The Athletic's Alex Coffey. "The thought of them leaving, I mean, it's been tossed around, but all of a sudden, (on Tuesday), it seemed very real for a moment. I take great pride in being from the Bay Area. Being from Oakland, I mean, that means the world to me. And that pride wouldn't go away, but it would really hurt. And I mean that."
It was revealed Tuesday that Major League Baseball instructed the Athletics to begin exploring other markets for a possible relocation while they continued to pursue a new ballpark in Oakland. Locations such as Las Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville, Portland, Montreal, and Vancouver were mentioned.
Eckersley's best years came with the A's as their closer from 1987 to 1995. He won a World Series in 1989 and the 1992 American League Cy Young award after saving 51 games.
The California native was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004 as a member of the A's.
"It doesn’t take much for me to tap into this feeling," Eckersley said of his admiration for the franchise. "And that's all I can give you - a sense of my emotion - and it would be painful if they left."