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.

Born in Slovakia, Elmer Valo immigrated to the United States as a child and would live the American Dream to become a Major League Baseball Player.  Valo would debut with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1940, and as history would tell us was one of the most intense players to don the uniform of the Athletics.
Bobby Shantz was overlooked by a lot of scouts as they considered him too small (5’ 6”) but the Philadelphia Athletics would sign him in 1948, and after a couple of mediocre years, he would have a two-year run as one of the best starting pitchers in the game.
In 1946, most of the majors had given up on Eddie Joost, who had issues with Braves Management and was assigned to AAA when he joined the St. Louis Cardinals organization.  Joost was 31, and it could easily be believed that his best seasons were behind him.  As it would turn out, that was not the case at all.
John Phalen “Stuffy” McInnis was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics before the 1909 season, and he would play off the bench, usually at Shortstop for his first two seasons.  McInnis would take over at First Base in 1911, and became the youngest member of Connie Mack’s “$100,000 Infield”. 
The first 11 seasons of Terry Steinbach’s career was with the Oakland A’s and the converted Catcher (he played Third initially in the Minors) would do well in the Majors in his new role.
It took a long time for George Earnshaw to the make the Majors, but once the 6’ 4” did, he wasted little time proving that he belonged.
Gene Tenace was the Catcher during Oakland’s mini-dynasty in the early 70s, and a lot of his value did not show up on a traditional stat sheet. A Second Round Pick in 1965, Tenace would debut for the Athletics in 1969 and performed in a backup role until 1972.  He earned more playing time in the 1972 Playoffs and would bat .348 in the World Series with 4 Home Runs and 9 RBIs.  He was named the World Series MVP in the Athletics' first World Series win on the West Coast.  
An old rookie at 26 with the Washington Senators, Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics would trade for him, and from 1922 to 1925, he had three .300 seasons, and in the one year he didn't hit that mark, he batted .299.  He was deemed expendable and was dealt with the St. Louis Browns in 1926, but was back in 1928.
Mark Ellis is not the first name you come up with on a “best of” list, but the fact remains that he accumulated over 1,000 Hits with the team, which is an impressive feat for any franchise.
Miguel Tejada signed with Oakland as an Amateur Free Agent from the Dominican Republic in 1993, and he would crack the main roster in 1997.  Tejada would be the starting Shortstop in 1999, where he would establish himself as one of the best power hitting infielders in the game.  From 2000 to 2002, he would have 30 Home Runs, and from 2000 to 2003, he was able to secure at least 100 RBIs.  Tejada was an All-Star in 2002, the year he had 24 Home Runs, 131 RBIs and a .308 Batting Average.  For his efforts, he would win the…
Mark Mulder was the second overall Draft Pick in 1998, and he would crack the Oakland roster a year later.  As a rookie, he was an unimpressive 9-10 with a 5.44 ERA, but he was just getting his feet wet.
Jack Barry was signed by Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics before the 1908 season, and he would become a member of Mack’s famed $100,000 infield.  Barry was not an elite hitter, but he was excellent at getting baserunners to advance, and sacrificing his own offense for the greater good of the team.