One of the great anomalies in baseball, the Oakland Athletics are one of the few small-market MLB teams that routinely finds success. While they haven’t won a World Series title since 1989, they still compete each and every season and often find themselves in the postseason. Because of this wonderful story, the team was the centerpiece for the 2011 film Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill! But long before any of that Hollywood drama, the Athletics were a club that began in Philadelphia in 1901.
The Philadelphia Athletics were a powerful team that won 3 World Series in the early 1910’s with stars like Eddie Plank and Stuffy McInnis. While there were several more titles there over the years, the Athletics eventually moved to Kansas City, where they toiled in disappointment before moving to Oakland in 1968, keeping the Athletics name all along the way!
In Oakland things began to turn around. After several promising seasons with second place finishes in their division, the Athletics got really good in the 1970’s. Key players were Vida Blue, Reggie Jackson, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, and Sal Bando. The players would falter in their first trip to the postseason in 1971, but would win the next 3 World Series championships, between 1972 and 1974!
But unfortunately, the power of free agency soon entered the league, and many of the Athletics’ top players left the team and headed off to big-spending clubs. As what happens with every dynasty in professional sports, eventually the party must come to a close, which is exactly what happened to the “Swingin’ A’s.”
The team experienced several lean years through the mid 80’s, but would eventually begin to assemble a good squad once again. The newest crop of Athletics stars would consist of youngsters like Mark McGwire, Walt Weiss, and Jose Canseco. Led by the brilliant managerial prowess of Tony La Russa, Oakland became competitive in the late 80’s.
The club would win the AL Pennant each year between 1988 and 1990, and was able to claim the 1989 World Series, collecting yet another title for this historically proud team! Their victory was especially significant as it was won over the nearby rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Series was also known widely for the frightening earthquake that occurred just as Game 3 was set to begin!
But the team couldn’t carry their success much further and fell into decline in the early 90’s. Around this time, the team began to adopt their smart “Moneyball” principles, which focused on key stats like a player’s ability to get on base. Billy Beane was the wise general manager of the time and recruited stars like Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Jason Giambi, Tim Hudson, and Miguel Tejada. While the ultimate success of a World Series remained out of reach, the team did manage to reach the postseason each year between 2000 and 2003, winning 3 AL West division titles in that span. Most impressive for a small-market club competing with the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers!
Recently, the A’s have found fortune again, reaching the playoffs in 2012 and 2013 behind players like Josh Donaldson, Bartolo Colon, Josh Reddick, and Yoenis Cespedes! Does the future beckon another title for this well-managed team? I sure think so!
AAA Sports Memorabilia has a great selection of Oakland Athletics autographed memorabilia both online and offline. Collectors go to great lengths to find and acquire collectibles that have significance to them. Autograph collectors are always looking for that unique autograph, a game-used item, or an autographed collectible that depicts a great moment in sports history. Since 2006, AAA Sports Memorabilia has been helping sports collectors in finding these great collectibles. All of our autographed sports memorabilia, including our autographed Oakland Athletics collectibles, are guaranteed for life to be authentic or your money back. Our autographed memorabilia is obtained during private sessions with the athletes and a representative is there to watch each signature being applied to the collectible.
Visiting our Oakland Athletics autographed sports memorabilia section often is best if you are looking for that next valuable Oakland Athletics collectible to add to your collection. We have even more autographed Oakland Athletics memorabilia in stock then what is on our website, so if you can’t find that collectible that you really want on our site, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we have it in stock.