The former Western League team the Philadelphia Athletics relocated from Philly to Kansas City and remained in KC for 12 seasons before majority owner Charles Finley moved the team to Oakland after 13 seasons. The Athletics then moved to Oakland, California where they would remain until today.
The 1968 Oakland A’s were managed by Bob Kennedy and finished their first season in Oakland with an 82-80 record which was their first winning season in 16 seasons. The following season, MLB expanded to 12 teams and the Athletics were moved to the AL West. Right Fielder Reggie Jackson totaled 47 home runs that season. Jackson would remain with the Athletics for eight seasons. By 1970, the team had progressed enough for 2nd place in the AL West and the following season captured their first A.L. West title and faced the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. They beat the Tigers in 5-games to face the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 World Series. For Cincinnati, it was their2nd World Series in three years. With Reggie Jackson on the shelf due to injury, it was Gene Tenace who was the star of the series, hitting four home runs, two of which were his first two at-bats. Tenace would win the World Series MVP Award as the A’s won their first World Series title since 1930.
The A’s would repeat the following season and met the New York Mets in the 1973 World Series. This series would be marred by the actions of the A’s owner Finley who benched fan favorite Mike Andrews. MLB Commissioner Billy Kuhn came to the defense of Andrews and forced Finley to at least consider playing Andrews. Andrews would come in during Game 4 but grounded out. This would be the last time that Andrews would play in a major league game as Finley benched the former starter for the rest of the season. Williams would resign after the season in disgust. Team Manager Dick Williams resigned and the franchise hired Alvin Dark, who managed the club back in Kansas City in 1965.
After a tumultuous year in which Reggie Jackson smashed 105 runs, Catfish Hunter won 25 games and Billy North stole 54 bases, the A’s finished with 90-72 record in 1974; the A’s again found them in the Fall Classic after going through the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. The would face the Los Angeles Dodgers which featured future Hall of Famer Steve Garvey, Jimmy Wynn, Bill Buckner, Andy Messersmith, Don Sutton and Davey Lopes. The series would go five games with the A’s winning their 3rd consecutive World Series Title. They would win their 5th consecutive AL West title in 1975 but fell to the Boston Red Sox in a sweep of the ALCS. It would not be until 1981 that the team would again win a division title.
In 1980, team owner Charles Finley faced a divorce and was forced to sell the A’s to Levi Strauss owner Walter Haas Jr. The Haas family would own the team for the next 15 years. The A’s would again become the Athletics and the White Elephant was restored as the mascot for the team. In 1981, the Players Strike shaved 50 days off the MLB schedule and the Athletics (led by Manager Billy Martin) finished with a 64-45 record, good for first place in the AL West. In the ALDS, the Athletics face the Kansas City Royals and swept them in three games. They then faced the New York Yankees who in turned swept the Athletics from the playoffs. Billy Martin would end up winning the AP AL Manger of the Year. The following season, the only bright spot was the hitting of Ricky Henderson, who broke the record for most stolen bases in a season at 130.
The 1988 season would be the next time the Athletics would win the AL West. They finished the season with a 104-58 record and met the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS and swept them in four games. They then met the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. The Dodgers, led by Jose Canseco and Oral Hershiser, would beat the Athletics in five games to win their sixth World Series Championship. The Athletics would repeat as AL West Champions for two more years while taking the AL Pennant in ’88. ’89 and 1990. In 1995, team owner Walter Haas died and the team was sold to Steve Schott, David Etheridge and Ken Hofmann.
The Athletics would continue to win their division taking home AL West titles in 1990, ’92, 2000, ’02, ’03, and 2006 but could not get past the ALCS. The franchise was again sold in 2005 to a group led by Lewis Wolff and the team did not respond well as they began the season with a 19-32 record. They would end the season with an 88-74 record and Huston Street was voted in as the A.L. Rookie of the Year. They would again find the post-season in 2006 after posting an impressive 93-69 record. They would sweep the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS but were taken out by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.
The 2007 season saw a demise of the team as they would finish with a dismal 76-86 record and a full 18 games behind. The trend would continue as the team failed to improve. In 2008 they posted a 75-86 record followed by a 75-87 record in 2009. The made some improvement in 2010 finishing with an 81-81 record.
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