A's honor fallen Oakland officers

April 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Oakland A's remembered the four police officers killed by one man last month.

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The Oakland A's are stepping up to the plate by putting up a special tribute for the fallen Oakland officers.

"We're going to have police officers dressed in uniform on the field and 4 officers representing each of the fallen officers families go out to the mound and place a ball and cap on the mound in respect for those officers," said Oakland Police Spokesman Sgt. Jeffrey Thomason.

The police chief also made a presentation to the A's to thank them for their support -- support that includes players wearing patches on their uniforms.

"It'll be on our white jerseys for the whole year. I know we are going to wear some hats today, and I tried to wear the hats throughout the game and that didn't work. So we are going to wear the patches throughout the year," said A's player Eric Chavez.

The A's are paying tribute to Sgts. Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans, Daniel Sakai, and Officer John Hege who were gunned down in the line of duty in the course of a single afternoon last month.

The outpouring of grief, support and praise at their memorial in the Oracle Arena drew tens of thousands of mourners. Friday night, the officers' families were in the stands, watching the tribute and feeling the community embrace them.

"The police officers especially I understand that some of them had worked here," said A's fan Toni Rigoni.

"Mark Dunakin was here all of the time. He handled the escorts for our players," said VP of Stadium Operations David Rinetti. "Actually all four of them worked here at the stadium, whether it was baseball, football, basketball or outside events. But two of them worked very often here."

Dozens of uniformed officers lined the stadium collecting money for the fallen officers.

The A's pledged to match Friday's donations, which will go to trust funds for the officers' families.

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