Team Profile – Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics (also known as the A’s) are a baseball team that play in the American League Western Division. The team has won 9 world championships, which is the third most in history. They are considered to be one of the original teams in the American League. Here’s more information about the history and accomplishments of this team:

Philadelphia Athletics

The Philadelphia A’s were one of the original members of the American League, which was founded in 1901. In contrast with their long-standing reputation for frugality, the early A’s were free spenders, signing many stars from the rival National League to exorbitant contracts. New York Giants manager John McGraw called them a “white elephant,” which means something valuable but unaffordable. The nickname stuck and even today the team incorporates an elephant into its logo.

During its first 3 decades, the A’s were one of the best teams in baseball. They won 9 pennants and 5 World Series. During his 50 years managing (and owning) the A’s, Connie Mack won 3,731 games, which is a record that is unlikely to ever be broken. Though failing health and dwindling attendance caused Mack to sell the team to Arnold Johnson in 1954, and the team moved to Kansas City.

Kansas City Athletics

While playing in Kansas City, the A’s were known as being an unofficial farm team of the New York Yankees. A controversial relationship between Johnson and the Yankees’ owners led to a slew of dubious trades in which the A’s traded young stars such as Roger Maris for discarded veterans such as Billy Martin. Unsurprisingly, the team did poorly on the field and had trouble drawing fans.

In 1960, Charles O. Finley bought the team and made considerable changes, including changing the team’s colors to the green and gold that they still use today. But the team still did poorly on the field and at the gate, and after 1967 season Finley moved the team to Oakland.

Oakland Athletics

Armed with one of the best farm systems in the history of baseball, the A’s dominated baseball in the early 1970s. They won 5 straight division titles and 3 straight World Series. But with the onset of free agency in the middle of the decade, Finley — unwilling to pay his players market value — traded most of his stars while getting little in return. Quickly, the A’s became one of the worst teams in baseball.

In the succeeding decades, the A’s experienced brief renaissances. In the early 1980s, manager Billy Martin practically willed them to the playoffs, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they played in 3 straight World Series, winning one.

In 1997, Billy Beane became general manager of the team and they began to use statistical analysis to select players. This was the subject of a bestselling book called “Moneyball” and a movie starring Brad Pitt. Despite notoriously frugal owners, the team has made 9 playoff appearances in this era.

The Oakland Athletics have been a part of Major League Baseball since 1901 and are still going strong. They have won a total of nine world series championships during their history and have had plenty of other appearances in the playoffs.

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