2013 Oakland Athletics Preview
Check back in the Spring for the Athletics 2013 Season Preview.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS (A's) INFORMATION:
Founded: 1901 (in Oakland since 1968)
Location: Oakland, California
Stadium: O.co Coliseum
Conference: American League
Division: West Division
Rivals: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants
Notable Players: Dennis Eckersley, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Jim "Catfish" Hunter
Oakland Athletics World Series Title: 9 - Last World Series appearance, 1989
Oakland Athletics NL Championships: 15 - Last Championship appearance, 1990
The Oakland A's (Athletics) are one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball and can trace their history back to 1901 when they began play as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team was hugely successful in its early years, winning five World Series championships in eight tries. However, with the rise of the crosstown Phillies in the early '50s, the team needed a new market and moved to Kansas City in 1955. The Kansas City years weren't exactly good for the squad, but by the end of their tenure, the team had acquired future Hall of Famer pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter, as well as outfielder Reggie Jackson. With dwindling attendance numbers in Kansas City, the team packed up again and moved to the Bay Area to become the Oakland Athletics.
The A's greatest run of success came shortly after the team moved to Oakland in 1968. With a series of wise personnel decisions, the A's quickly built the most fearsome lineup and pitching staff in the Majors. The A's would go on one of the greatest runs in professional baseball history from 1972-74 when they won three straight World Series titles. With the steady pitching of Catfish Hunter and surprise performances by players like Gene Tenace, Dick Green and Rollie Fingers, the A's fielded one of the most enthralling rosters ever put on a Major League field.
The late '70s and early '80s were mostly rebuilding years for the A's, but fans were treated to the star power of future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. In 1982, Henderson set the single-season stolen bases record of 130, which stands as one of the most enduring records in professional sports. Henderson would come up huge in the 1989 World Series, which pitted the A's against their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants. While the event was marred by the 1989 earthquake, the power hitting of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, the clutch base-running of Henderson and the lights-out closing ability of Dennis Eckersley helped the A's win their fourth World Series title in Oakland.
With a new stadium on the way, a contending roster and a winning foundation, A's fans have plenty to look forward to in the future. Its young and competitive roster is sure to make some noise in the AL pennant race for years to come.
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