Oakland Athletics Information
The roots of the modern day Oakland Athletics can be traced back to 1901 in Philadelphia, when former catcher Connie Mack organized the team. Immediately, the A's established themselves as a dominant team. From the time of the team's inception to 1914, the team had won six American League pennants and three World Series titles. The A's cooled off until the team recaptured the World Series crown in both 1929 and 1930.
The next twenty years proved to be difficult and unsuccessful ones, as the team's record slipped significantly and revenues dropped. In 1954, the owners of the A's approved the sale of the team to a Chicago businessman, who moved the team to Kansas City. After Charles Finley purchased a controlling interest in the team in 1960, he was persistent in his efforts to move the team out of Kansas City.
In 1967, the American League owners agreed to allow Finley to move the team to Oakland. The team was just beginning to gel as it moved to Oakland. This resulted in three consecutive World Series titles from 1972-1974. Stars like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers played crucial roles in the team's utter domination during these years. After the 1976 season, most of the A's veteran players became eligible for free agency, and almost all left. The A's once again won the World Series in 1989, beating cross-bay rival San Francisco Giants.
Lately the A's have been trying to hold a winning record after coming up short for the past three seasons. In 2008, they finished with a 75-86 record, finishing in third place in the AL West. In the process of rebuilding, they traded away Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin, and Joe Blanton to the Chicago Cubs. In return they picked up Sean Gallagher, Josh Donaldson, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, and three minor-league prospects. They concluded the 2009 season with the same number of victories to fill the fourth spot in the division.
Before the start of their 2010 campaign, the A's front office took action and traded Brett Wallace to the Toronto Blue Jays for OF Michael Taylor. They also signed starting pitcher Ben Sheets to a one-year deal. In May of 2010, Dallas Braden became the 19th player in MLB history to throw a perfect game in a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. They finished the season with an 81-81 record, good enough for second in the division.
In 2011, Oakland suffered a setback and came in third in the division at 74-88. During the off-season, they traded away many pitchers, including Andrew Bailey to the Red Sox, Craig Breslow and Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks, and Gio Gonzales to the Nationals. In return, they received a number of prospects who they are hoping will help them in the future. The 2012 season will see them trying to compete with the AL Champion Rangers and much-improved Angels.