Dual purpose

The infamous Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum will be especially infamous on Thursday night.

And we’re not referring to the festooned fans.

We’re talking about baseball.

Since Major League Baseball’s Athletics share the facility and baseball season still in play, the dirt infield will be exposed during Thursday’s Seahawks-Raiders game. And the equipment staff is adjusting accordingly, as they change out cleats from 5/8-inch studs to 1/2-inch studs to accommodate the change to a firm dirt surface.

“It’s only 1/8 inch, but it makes a big difference,” head equipment manager Erik Kennedy said.

Playing partly on a baseball diamond will be an unwelcome adjustment for the players. While many haven’t played on a multipurpose football/baseball field since Pop Warner days—if ever—they’re preparing for the change in surface that’ll make footing more precarious and increase the pain factor on tackles on the dirt.

“It really hurts to get tackled on the infield,” running back Quinton Ganther said. “The ground is so hard.”


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