While many see the Oakland Athletics as a small market team today, they still boast some star players and multiple records that are unlikely to be broken today. Leading off at the #1 spot is Rickey Henderson who’s the most prolific base stealer the sport has ever seen. His record of 1,406 career steals will almost never be broken. Manager Connie Mack’s record of 3,582 managerial wins will also be one that’s likely safe in the record books. For the rest of the A’s, they have a pretty good looking lineup and mixture of power, average, and speed.
1. Rickey Henderson, LF (R)
2. Reggie Jackson, RF (L)
3. Jimmie Foxx, C (R)
4. Mark McGwire, 1B (R)
5. Al Simmons, CF (R)
6. Eric Chavez, DH (L)
7. Sal Bando, 3B (R)
8. Max Bishop, 2B (L)
9. Bert Campaneris, SS (R)
Eddie Plank, P (L)
Manager: Connie Mack
1925-35: 975 Runs, 302 HR, 1,075 RBI, 48 SB, .339 BA/.440 OBP/.640 SLG
While he was a mainstay at first for the Philadelphia A’s, Jimmie Foxx debuted as a catcher and that’s where we’ll need him for this lineup. Foxx won 3 MVPs over his career including back-to-back awards with the Athletics in 1932 and 1933. He was a tremendous hitter who was one of the best power hitters of his generation. Additionally, he was offensively gifted at both scoring and helping his teammates score as well. The Hall of Famer was a team player that could essentially do anything asked of him and will become an immediate leader for this team.
Honorable Mentions: Mickey Cochrane, Terry Steinbach, Gene Tenace
1986-97: 773 Runs, 363 HR, 941 RBI, 8 SB, .260 BA/.380 OBP/.551 SLG
Most known for his home run race with Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire is the ideal for our lineup. He brings a huge power bat and can operate as the team’s main RBI man. While he was fairly inconsistent with the batting average and strike out quite a bit, his walk rate was usually high as opposing pitchers simply feared making a mistake over the plate. Defensively, there’s not much to worry about with McGwire handling first and it’ll be fun seeing him hit in the middle of the lineup once again.
Honorable Mentions: Harry Davis, Jason Giambi, Stuffy McInnis
Second BasemanMax Bishop
1924-33: 882 Runs, 39 HR, 343 RBI, 37 SB, .272 BA/.423 OBP/.370 SLG
The pick at second base likely would’ve been Eddie Collins who had a great career and earned himself Hall of Fame honors. We’ll have to settle for Max Bishop here who was a very solid player for Philadelphia though didn’t stand out much. He put together good seasons every year and gathered over 100 hits per season in four straight years. He was a stable defender as second though his fielding stats don’t jump off the page.
Honorable Mentions: Eddie Collins, Danny Murphy, Mark Ellis
1964-76: 983 Runs, 70 HR, 529 RBI, 157 SB, .262 BA/.314 OBP/.348 SLG
A star for the Athletics during the later part of his tenure, Bert Campaneris slowly developed into a speed machine just a few years before Rickey Henderson broke out with the club. He did have one season of power in 1970 but was otherwise and contact hitting righty who had a lot of speed. He’ll slot into the bottom of the lineup and give the A’s yet another speedster the second time through. Don’t expect a lot much else from Campaneris though he played some pretty good defense at the shortstop position.
Honorable Mentions: Eddie Joost, Jack Berry
1966-76: 982 Runs, 242 HR, 1,039 RBI, 75 SB, .254 BA/.352 OBP/.408 SLG
Playing for the A’s in both Kansas City and Oakland, Sal Bando isn’t a very popular name unless you’re a true fan of the team. His eleven year run with the team was filled with a bunch of ups and downs as he would hit for good power but plummet in the contact category. He always seemed like he was in MVP contention during his prime though never came close enough to win the award. He was a model of consistency for Oakland and never missed a lot of time, if at all, during the regular season. Bando is a solid hitter for the ballclub but in all fairness, won’t be one of the bigger offensive threats on the team.
Honorable Mentions: Home Run Baker, Jimmy Dykes, Carney Lansford
Left FielderRickey Henderson
1979-84, 89-93, 94-95, 98: 1,270 Runs, 167 HR, 648 RBI, 867 SB, .288 BA/.409 OBP/.430 SLG
Starting in left field and at the top of the lineup will be speedster, Rickey Henderson. The Hall of Famer holds the all time steals record at 1,406 and the amount of bases he stole in single seasons is unbelievable. While even the best base stealers in today’s era might get 40 to 50 on a good season, Henderson stole over 100 bags in a single season three different times. While his stolen base steals were amazing, so too were his hitting abilities. He took home 3 Silver Slugger awards and is the all time leader in runs at 2,295.
Honorable Mentions: Bob Johnson, Topsy Hartsel
1924-32, 44: 969 Runs, 209 HR, 1,179 RBI, 65 SB, .356 BA/.398 OBP/.584 SLG
Our second outfielder for the A’s is Al Simmons who was one of the best RBI machines of the 1920s. He was consistently putting up seasons of 100+ RBI and in fact, did it for eleven straight years. While he never received a single MVP award, he did earn Hall of Fame honors after his retirement and simply put, one of the A’s best ever pure hitters. There’s no doubting his importance to the franchise and the legacy he left behind.
Honorable Mentions: Dwayne Murphy
Right FielderReggie Jackson
1967-75, 87: 756 Runs, 269 HR, 776 RBI, 145 SB, .262 BA/.355 OBP/.496 SLG
While also being a star for the Yankees later in his career, Reggie Jackson’s path to stardom started as a young outfielder for the Kansas City Athletics. However, he would truly break out in his second with the A’s when they moved west to Oakland. There, he became one of the best power hitting outfielders in the league. However, he always had a problem with strikeouts and currently holds the all time record with 2,597 punchouts. However, in this era of baseball, there’s a good chance that mark could be surpassed by any other strikeout prone bat. Jackson brings a power bat with some speed to the lineup though he may eventually become somewhat of a liability with his strikeout problems.
Honorable Mentions: Jose Canseco, Elmer Valo
1998-10: 730 Runs, 230 HR, 787 RBI, 47 SB, .267 BA/.343 OBP/.478 SLG
Though he spent much of his career handling the hot corner, Eric Chavez will be the DH and bring his power bat to a much needed lineup. Chavez was a star for the A’s in the early 2000s and consistently hit in the middle of their lineup. He was a good on base getter and had great RBI numbers for numerous seasons. He’s a great lefty to mix into the group of righties in the middle of the lineup and should see some decent chances at collecting some stats.
1901-14: 284-162 Record, 2.39 ERA, 4.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9
At pitcher, there’s two strong candidates in Eddie Plank and Lefty Grove. Plank was an instrumental part of the Philadelphia teams and consistently displayed some of the best ERAs in the league. He was a workhorse for the rotation and great run preventer. Grove was similarly impressive in the next few decades and would lead the league in ERA four years in a row. He consistently won over 20 games per season and took home MVP honors in 1931. It’s a tough call either way but we’ll go with Plank.
Honorable Mentions: Lefty Grove, Eddie Rommel, Rube Waddell
Despite having an overall losing record as manager, Connie Mack is the pick for Athletics’ manager. He coached the club from 1901 to 1950 and collected 3,582 wins, by far the most anyone has ever won. During his time with the team, Mack reached eight World Series and won five rings. He would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937 after an astonishing 50 years at the helm. He’s the longest tenured coach in pro sports history and will likely retain that record for the foreseeable future.
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