In another time and another place, Lew Wolff might have romped around sweltering Oakland Coliseum on Saturday in a St. Louis Cardinals cap.
Those days are distant memories for the owner of the A's and the Earthquakes. The Missouri man has switched allegiances since his childhood.
He's also embraced less traditional sports. How else to explain a Saturday outing that included sold-out games at the A's and the Earthquakes in a doubleheader that could test the most ardent Bay Area fan?
Wolff, 77, was determined to survey his teams that are heading in opposite directions. The A's are as hot as the weekend thermostat. The Quakes own one of the worst records in Major League Soccer less than a year after winning the Supporters' Shield.
His take-away after a long day as a spectator: Both franchises are in good shape, despite the ebbs and flows of any given season.
Sitting five rows behind home plate, Wolff confided, "If we don't win this game, I hope the Cardinals do."
He was joking. The Cardinals were not with a 7-1 victory to end the A's winning streak at three games.
But "Small Ball" reigns again in the East Bay. The A's (47-35) opened the second half of the season in front of 36,067 fans after enjoying their best first-half record in 21 years.
Wolff was in no mood to discuss the one festering issue that has taken the joy out of the team's resurgence: ownership's desire to move the club to downtown San Jose. The change of residence has been stalled by Major League Baseball's lack of action on a dispute over territorial rights with the Giants.
When talking about how co-owner John Fisher and his family helped keep the Giants in San Francisco years back, Wolff quipped, "No good deed goes unpunished."
He also went out of his way to praise MLB commissioner Bud Selig, a fraternity brother from the University of Wisconsin. He described Selig as the best commissioner in baseball history, despite their differences over the move to San Jose.
After the tough day at the ballpark, Wolff looked refreshed at Stanford Stadium, where the Earthquakes faced the rival Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 50,028 fans.
The temperatures weren't the only cooling trend on the other side of the bay for the nighttime event. While Wolff's overachieving A's are rolling toward the All-Star break, his Earthquakes have been wanting. The soccer team already lost longtime coach Frank Yallop, who left three weeks ago.
Wolff, however, threw his support behind president Dave Kaval and general manager John Doyle, saying he believes in their efforts to build a successful soccer team in the South Bay.
Twenty minutes before the game, Wolff, wearing a Quakes cap and jersey, sat alone near the field. None of the fans seemed to notice the team owner among them. After all, he looked and acted like one of them from Oakland to Stanford.
"I'm a fan," he said. "I want to think like a fan."
Wolff predicted a 2-0 Quakes victory before the game. When the Galaxy scored in the 20th minute, he acknowledged his miscalculation: "There goes that," he said, surrounded by his daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons who live in Los Gatos.
Although he has lived in Westwood for four decades, Wolff tilts toward the Bay Area. He built the Fairmont Hotel Annex, as well as other development deals in the area.
When the former Earthquakes moved the team to Houston, Wolff accepted a chance to create an expansion team in San Jose. After five years, the ownership group is building a privately funded, 18,000-seat stadium across from Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Wolff credits Fisher -- heir to the Gap retail fortune -- with making the stadium a reality. It is scheduled to open next year.
The opening might have received a boost Saturday night with the Quakes' stunning 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.