Top 50 Oakland Athletics

The history of the Oakland Athletics began in Philadelphia in 1901, where they were a charter member of the American League.  Under the tutelage of the legendary Connie Mack, the Athletics has two runs of glory.  The first in the second decade of the 1900s where they won the 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Series Titles. 

After years of futility, they reemerged in the late 1920s as an American League power.  They would win the 1929 and 1930 World Series, but that would be the end of their run as a power in the American League.  At least in Philadelphia anyway.

The A’s were bought and relocated to Kansas City in 1955, but they would be sold to Charlie Finlay in 1960.  After little success in KC, Finlay moved the team to California, and the Oakland Athletics were born.

Oakland would become one of the most intriguing teams in baseball both on the field and off of it, and they built a team that would win three straight World Series Titles (1972-74).  Free Agency rendered them a small market team, but they would eventually rebuild and won the World Series again in 1989.  They would follow the road of sabermetrics, and while that has not generated a title, it revolutionized the game.

This list is up to the end of the 2019 season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

Mickey Cochrane was sought after by Connie Mack, who pried him from Portland of the Pacific Coast League after the 1924 season.  Mack wasted no time inserting Cochrane as a starter for the Athletics, and he was quickly entrenched as one of the best hitting Catchers of the game.
It can be argued that this may seem like a very high rank for Jason Giambi, as a lot of his career has been viewed as a disappointment.  It shouldn’t be, as when Jason Giambi played for Oakland, he was one of the best batters in the game.
There were a lot of great players that the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1900s and early 1910s, and this is likely why Danny Murphy has not received some of the due that he should have.
Tim Hudson was with the Oakland A's for the first six seasons of his MLB career.  Hudson was one of the highest regarded pitchers in his time in Oakland, and his 92-39 record there was one of the highest winning percentages in baseball.
Barry Zito was with the Oakland A's for the first seven seasons of his career, and for a time, he was one of the elite hurlers of the American League.  Zito debuted in 2000 and was a 17-game winner in 2001.  The curveball specialist's best year came right after when he had a league leading 23 Wins (against only five losses) had 182 Strikeouts with a 2.75 Earned Run Average.  He would win the Cy Young Award that year.
Max Bishop was one of the better defensive players of his day and had there been a Gold Glove award in his day, and there is a good chance that he would have nabbed a few.
When the Chicago Cubs traded Dennis Eckersley in 1987 to the Oakland A’s, this was considered a demotion, or even a last chance of sorts.  “Eck” had been a starter in the Majors since 1975, and he had made two All-Star Games, but his alcoholism was threatening to take him out.  Oakland’s Manager, Tony LaRussa, envisioned him as a set-up man, which Is the role he took until Jay Howell, their existing closer got hurt.  Eckersley took on that new position, and it would eventually put him into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Eric Chavez may not have been chosen for an All-Star team over his long career, but in his prime, he was one of the better all-around Third Basemen in the American League.  That prime was with the Oakland A’s.
Rube Walberg holds the dubious distinction of serving up the most home runs to Babe Ruth with 17.  That might seem like a strange way to open, but remember the Athletics thought enough of him to keep putting him on the mound.
Most fans in Oakland likely didn't notice when they signed Dave Stewart in May of 1986, as he was castoff from Philadelphia, who had released him earlier.  It didn't take them long to notice him after.  Adding a forkball to his repertoire, Stewart finished the season 9-5, and he would then embark on a four-year run where he was the workhorse of the American League.
When you think of home run champions, Ralph Orlando “Socks” Seybold doesn’t come to mind, but there are a lot of anomalies in this man’s career.
An Oakland Athletic for the first 10 of his 12 seasons in the Majors, Dwayne Murphy was known for his defensive ability and home run capability.
After a breakout season with the Chicago Orphans in 1901 where he batted .335 with 187 Hits, Tully “Topsy” Hartsel, bolted from the National League to the American League and Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics.
An honored member of the three straight World Series Championships in the first half of the 1970s, Joe Rudi, was not just there, as the prime of his career occurred during this Oakland dynasty.
For the first four seasons of his Major League career, Jack Coombs was an average Pitcher at best and did not have any remarkable moments.  He was 35-35, and in 1910, his season started so poorly that he was demoted to the bullpen.  The legend has it that he rediscovered his overhand curve, and he went on a tear that had no equal in Athletics history.
Ferris Fain was plucked in the Rule 5 Draft after the 1946 Season, and he was inserted as the starting First Baseman the year after.  Fain immediately showed extraordinary plate discipline as he had a ,414 OBP as a rookie.  Fain played his first six seasons in the Majors with the Philadelphia Athletics, and he never had an OBP less than .412, and he was always in the top seven in that category.  Fain would be named an All-Star in 1950, and would be again in 1951 and 1952, with the latter year seeing him win the OBP Title with…

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Carney Lansford joined Oakland in 1983 two years removed after winning the Batting Title with the Boston Red Sox. Lansford would not win a Batting Title as an Athletic, but he batted .300 in his first two years in Oakland and would do so again in 1989.  Lansford played good defense at Third Base, and he had a beautiful blend of power and speed, showcasing five seasons of at least 10 Home Runs, peaking at 19 in both 1986 and 1987.  He would also have five straight 16 or more Stolen Base seasons (1986-90) with Oakland, which was surprising considering…
While the role of the relief pitcher was nothing new by the late 60s, but when Rollie Fingers emerged as Oakland’s closer, he was one of the first of his kind to be considered a superstar.  Fingers was a starter through most of his minor league career, and when he debuted with Oakland in 1968, he was moved mostly to the bullpen.  By 1971, this was his official role, and it was one that he was born to play. 
Arriving in the Philadelphia Athletics organization via the Rule 5 Draft for the 1918 season, Jimmy Dykes was an excellent fielder, who was believed to have limited hitting ability.  That was the case in his first two seasons, where he batted below .200 but this would change as he matured into the role of an everyday starter in Major League Baseball.