Joel Dorcas | May 3rd, 2020
The Oakland Athletics have been an active franchise in Major League Baseball since 1901. They were first located in Philadelphia then moved briefly to Kansas City before settling to where they are now in 1968. The Athletics play their home games at extremely spacious Oakland Coliseum. Although not as impactful and historic as the Boston’s and New York’s of the world, this franchise has had some great and charismatic players dawn the green and gold. Let’s open up the history books and reveal the Oakland Athletics Mount Rushmore.
Be sure to check out all of our Mount Rushmore articles here.
Jim “Catfish” Hunter (1965-1974)
Starting pitcher Jim Catfish Hunter, along with Rollie Fingers and Reggie Jackson won three consecutive World Series Championships for the Athletics between 1972 and 1974. Hunter enjoyed 10 productive seasons with the franchise from 1965 until 1974. He was a workhorse for the organization, winning 20-plus games four times, as well as winning a career-high 25 games during his Cy Young award season of 1974. He started a career-high 41 games that season.
A top-four finish in Cy Young voting would occur in four consecutive seasons between 1972 and 1975. All told, Catfish Hunter was an all-star in six out of 10 seasons as a member of the Athletic franchise, He also holds the distinction of, at the time, throwing only the ninth-ever perfect game. He finished his career with a perfect 4-0 record in World Series play.
Dennis Eckersley (1987-1995)
Dennis “Eck” Eckersley will go down as one of baseball’s best-ever relief pitchers with 320 career saves, a number that would be much greater if Eckersley didn’t spend 12 seasons as a starting pitcher. Of his nine years with Oakland, he was an all-star four times. His greatest season was 1992, he saved 51 games earning him an A.L. Cy Young and a Most Valuable Player Award.
On top of winning the World Series in 1989, Eck also enjoyed a lot of success over his career in Championship Series play, In 14 ALCS games, he has an ERA of 1.50 with 10 saves and a WHIP of 0.944. He would be named MVP of the 1988 A.L. Championship Series, He goes down in history as being the only player ever to record 100 career saves and 100 complete games.
Reggie Jackson (1967-1975)
A lot of Jackson’s fame is linked to his time with the New York Yankees but the bulk of long-running success occurred with the Athletics franchise. Jackson was a focal point of the team capturing three World Series titles in the early ’70s. He took home World Series MVP honors in 1973 as he slashed .310/.355/.586 in seven games. He was given the nickname “Mr. October” for his inspiring heroic performances in the Fall Classic. In five World Series’, Jackson has 10 career home runs.
On top of all his postseason success, Jackson was a premier performer during his full tenure as an Athletic during regular season play as well. He was an all-star six times, won the MVP in 1973, and led the league in OPS in 1969 at 1.018(he also scored 123 runs and hit 47 hrs). Jackson was first in the league in home runs in both 1973 and 1975.
Rickey Henderson (1979-1984, 1989-1993, 1994-1995, 1998)
Everyone remembers this Rickey quote; “…I am the greatest of all time”. Well, in terms of base stealing prowess, yes Rickey you are. 1,406 bases stolen cement him as the current all-time leader. Henderson also resides in first all-time in runs scored with 2,295 and is second all-time in bases on balls with 2,190.
As a member of the Athletics, Henderson led the league 11 times in stolen bases. He eclipsed 100 steals three times and 60 steals six times. He also scored 100 runs 11 times, leading the league five times. In 1982 he stole a mind-boggling 130 bases, the single-season record.
Rickey Henderson is a 10-time all-star, the 1989 ALCS MVP, the 1990 AL MVP, and a World Series Champion(1989). He is fourth all-time in career games played with 3,081. He is widely regarded as the greatest leadoff hitter in the history of baseball.
Check out our Oakland Athletics 2020 Season Preview for the 2020 season while we wait for baseball to get back on the field.
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