OAKLAND -- It started with his financial involvement in the construction of a new baseball field at Oakland Technical High School over the winter. Now A's radio play-by-play man Ken Korach is expanding the scope of his altruism to include the baseball program at every Oakland Athletic League school, and he's hoping the public follows his lead.
Korach, in his 13th year in the booth for Oakland, has established the Winning for the Community Foundation. He's donating $100 for every A's victory this season, with all of the money going to help the six OAL baseball programs, and the A's Community Fund is matching Korach.
"I know it sounds corny, but you reach a point in life where, if you're in a position to do something, you want to start helping out," Korach said Friday at McAfee Coliseum. "Being part of the thing at Oakland Tech, it was really gratifying. And it became real apparent that all of these baseball programs could use some assistance. I wanted to do something for the kids, so I approached the A's about it, and they were great.
"This community has been awfully good to me over the years, and I guess I just wanted to do something in return. And if we can get some other people involved, that'd be terrific."
The money generated will go toward new equipment, uniforms, and maintenance of the baseball fields, and Korach already is getting outside assistance. He's even gotten a die-hard Giants fan -- Craig Burger, his roommate at San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara -- to pitch in.
"Me being with the A's and him being a Giants fan, we kind of go back and forth at each other," Korach said. "So he didn't want any part of being involved with any A's victories, but he's giving $25 dollars for every game the Giants win."
Donations don't have to come in the form of per-win pledges, though.
"We'll take anything," Korach said.
He said his efforts also were inspired by Oakland's Interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds last season.
"It got me thinking about the great tradition of baseball in Oakland," he said. "Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, Vada Pinson, Curt Flood, Dave Stewart, Rickey Henderson ... all of those guys are from Oakland. Hopefully, in some small way, this will spark some kind of resurgence."
For information on Winning for the Community, call 510-638-4900, extension 2241, or e-mail email@example.com.
Mychael Urban is a
national writer for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.