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The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oaklandmarker, Californiamarker. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the Oakland Coliseummarker.

The "Athletics" name originates from the late 19th century "athletic clubs", specifically the Athletic of Philadelphia. They are most prominently nicknamed "the As", in reference to the blackletter "A", a trademark of the team and the old Athletic of Philadelphia. This has gained very prominent use, and in some circles is used more frequently than the full "Athletics" name. They are also known as "the White Elephants" or simply "the Elephants", in reference to then New York Giants' manager John McGraw's calling the team a "white elephant". This was embraced by the team, who then made a white elephant the team's mascot, and often incorporated it into the logo or sleeve patches.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, in . Then the Philadelphia Athletics, the team moved to Kansas City in and became the Kansas City Athletics. In the team moved to Oakland.


Origin of the team name

The Athletics' name originated in the term "Athletic Club" for local gentlemen's clubs—dates to 1860 when an amateur team, the Athletic of Philadelphia, was formed. (A famous image from that era, published in Harper's Weekly in 1866, shows the Athletic players dressed in uniforms displaying the familiar blackletter "A" on the front). The team later turned professional through 1875, becoming a charter member of the National League in 1876, but were expelled from the N.L. after one season. A later version of the Athletics played in the American Association from 1882–1891.

The team name is typically pronounced "Ath-LET-ics", but their longtime team owner/manager Connie Mack called them by the old-fashioned colloquial Irish pronunciation "Ath-uh-LET-ics". Newspaper writers also often referred to the team as the Mackmen during their Philadelphia days, in honor of their patriarch.

Uniform Emblem

through the seasons, the Athletics' uniforms have usually paid homage to their amateur forebears to some extent. Until 1954, when the uniforms had "Athletics" spelled out in script across the front, the team's name never appeared on either home or road uniforms. Furthermore, not once did "Philadelphia" appear on the uniform, nor did the letter "P" appear on the cap or the uniform. The typical Philadelphia uniform had only an "A" on the left front, and likewise the cap usually had the same "A" on it. In the early days of the American League, the standings listed the club as "Athletic" rather than "Philadelphia", in keeping with the old tradition. Eventually, the city name came to be used for the team, as with the other major league clubs.

Though for a time as a Kansas City team, the "A"s wore "Kansas City" on their road jerseys and an interlocking "KC" on the cap, upon moving to Oakland the "A" cap emblem was restored, although in 1970 an "apostrophe-s" was added to the cap and uniform emblem to reflect the fact that then-team owner Charles O. Finley was in the process of officially changing the team's name to the "A's".

Currently, the team wears home uniforms with "Athletics" spelled out in script writing and road uniforms with "Oakland" spelled out in script writing, with the cap logo consisting of the traditional "A" with "apostrophe-s". The home cap is green with a gold bill and white lettering, while the road cap is all green with gold lettering.

The nickname "A's" has long been used interchangeably with "Athletics", dating to the team's early days when headline writers wanted a way to shorten the name. From 1972 through 1980, the team nickname was officially "Oakland A's," although, during that time, the Commissioner's Trophy, given out annually to the winner of baseball's world series, still listed the team's name as the "Oakland Athletics" on the gold-plated pennant representing the Oakland franchise. According to Bill Libby's Book, Charlie O and the Angry A's, owner Charlie O. Finley banned the word "Athletics" from the club's name because he felt that name was too closely associated with former Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack, and he wanted the name "Oakland A's" to become just as closely associated with himself. The name also vaguely suggested the name of the old minor league Oakland Oaks, which were alternatively called the "Acorns". New owner Dennis Horkenbach restored the official name to "Athletics" in 1981, but retained the nickname "A's" for marketing purposes. At first, the word "Athletics" was restored only to the club's logo, underneath the much larger stylized-"A" that had come to represent the team since the early days. By 1987, however, the word returned, in script lettering, to the front of the team's jerseys.

The A's are the only MLB team to wear white cleats, both at home and on the road, another tradition dating back to the Finley ownership.

Elephant Mascot

After New York Giants' manager John McGraw told reporters that Philadelphia manufacturer Benjamin Shibe, who owned the controlling interest in the new team, had a "white elephant on his hands," Mack defiantly adopted the white elephant as the team mascot, and presented McGraw with a stuffed toy elephant at the start of the 1905 World Series. McGraw and Mack had known each other for years, and McGraw accepted it graciously. By 1909, the A's were wearing an elephant logo on their sweaters, and in 1918 it turned up on the regular uniform jersey for the first time. Over the years the elephant has appeared in several different colors. It is currently forest green. The A’s are still sometimes, though infrequently, referred to as the "Elephants" or "White Elephants".

The elephant was retired as team mascot in 1963 by then-owner Charles O. Finley in favor of a Missouri mule. In 1988, the elephant was restored as the symbol of the Athletics and currently adorns the left sleeve of home and road uniforms. The Elephant Mascot returned briefly in the mid eighties, under the name Harry Elephante. In 1997, the elephant returned, taking its current form: Stomper.

Franchise history

Stadium Issue

Issues with current stadium

The Oakland Coliseummarker was originally built as a multi-purpose facility and team owners have been faced for several years with problems at the venue. Louisiana Superdomemarker officials pursued negotiations with Athletics officials during the 1978-1979 baseball off-season about moving the Athletics to the Superdome in New Orleansmarker. The Athletics were unable to break their lease at the Coliseum, and remained in Oakland.

The Athletics also sought relocation to Denver, Coloradomarker to play in Mile High Stadium before the 1980 season, but they agreed again to remain in Oakland. They had an interest to relocate in Phoenix, Arizonamarker in the mid 1980s as well.

After the Oakland Raiders football team moved to Los Angeles in 1982, many improvements were made to what was suddenly a baseball-only facility. The 1994 movie Angels in the Outfield was filmed in part at the Coliseum.

Then, in 1995, a deal was struck whereby the Raiders would move back to Oakland for the 1995 season. The agreement called for the expansion of the Coliseum to 63,026 seats. The bucolic view of the Oakland foothills that baseball spectators enjoyed was replaced with a jarring view of an outfield grandstand contemptuously referred to as "Mount Davis" after Raiders' owner Al Davis. Because construction was not finished by the start of the 1996 season, the Athletics were forced to play their first six-game homestand at 9,300-seat Cashman Fieldmarker in Las Vegasmarker.

Although "official" capacity was stated to be 43,662 for baseball, seats were sometimes sold in Mount Davis as well, pushing "real" capacity to the area of 60,000. The ready availability of tickets on game day made season tickets a tough sell, while crowds as high as 30,000 often seemed sparse in such a venue. On December 21, 2005, the Athletics announced that seats in the Coliseum's third deck would not be sold for the 2006 season, but would instead be covered with a tarp, and that tickets would no longer be sold in Mount Davis under any circumstances. That effectively reduced capacity to 34,077, making the Coliseum the smallest stadium in Major League Baseball.

Before the 2008 season began, the organization announced the reopening of the section of upper deck behind home plate in an "All You Can Eat" offer. Tickets are sold at $35 each, in which fans can enjoy as much as food as they like.

The Athletics are one of only two MLB teams still sharing a stadium with an NFL team, the other being the Florida Marlins, who share LandShark Stadiummarker with the Miami Dolphins. By 2012, the A's will be the only team sharing their facility, due to the Marlins' move into their new ballparkmarker at the former site of the Orange Bowlmarker. This does not include Toronto's Rogers Centremarker, which the Blue Jays share with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, and which is also used by the Buffalo Bills on occasion.

Oakland stadium proposal

Since the expansion of Coliseum seating, ownership has stated that a new and smaller baseball-only facility is necessary to ensure the economic viability of the Athletics. In 2005, owner Lewis Wolff made public his plans to build a 35,000-seat baseball-only stadium not far from the present facility, as part of a larger commercial and residential development. However, those plans never moved past the nascent stage, in part because the cost of the football-related renovations to the Coliseum made public funding for a new baseball-only stadium too politically risky.

Cisco Field

After the city of Oakland failed to make any progress toward a stadium, the A's began contemplating a move to the Warm Springs district of suburban Fremontmarker. Fremont is about 25 miles south of Oakland; many nearby residents are already a part of the current Athletics fanbase.

On November 7, 2006, many media sources announced the Athletics would be leaving Oakland as early as 2010 for a new stadium in Fremont, confirmed the next day by the Fremont City Council. The team would have played in what was planned to be called Cisco Fieldmarker, a 32,000 seat, baseball-only facility. The proposed ballpark would have been part of a larger "ballpark village" which would have included retail and residential development. On February 24, 2009, however, Lew Wolff released an open letter regarding the end of his efforts to relocate the A's to Fremont.

Possible San Jose stadium

As of February 26, 2009 the city of San Josemarker is expected to open negotiations with the team. Although parcels of land south of Diridon Stationmarker are being acquired by the city as a stadium site, the San Francisco Giants' claim on Santa Clara Countymarker as part of their home territory would have to be dealt with before any agreement could be made.


If negotiations within the Bay Areamarker fail, Sacramentomarker is considered possible destinations for the team.[3638] Sacramento is the home of the team's AAA affiliate, the River Cats, and their stadium was built specifically with the ability to add additional sections in the future to increase seating capacity. [3639]


Portland, Oregonmarker is another candidate for the A's or if not, a different major league baseball team desire for relocation to another city. Currently, Portland has the AAA level Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, affiliated with the San Diego Padres. The nearest major league ball club is the Seattle Mariners while Portland is within their sports market.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevadamarker was mentioned by the Athletics organization, with a history of A's baseball from spring training to exhibition games is a probable new city. Las Vegas has grown into a large metropolitan area to compete with the Arizona Diamondbacks being the regional major league baseball franchise.


The Angels have emerged as the principal rival of the A's due to the traditional animosity between Northern and Southern California and the great talent and farm systems of both clubs which have led to countless one-run contests. While the A's have been a member of the American League since 1901, the Angels, as well as their other divisional rivals, are of a more recent vintage. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim date from 1961, as do the Texas Rangers (but only since 1972 as a Dallas-Fort Worth team; the Rangers were the second incarnation of the Washington Senators, who played in the nation's capital from 1961-71). The Seattle Mariners were organized in 1977.

During the 1970s, the A's established a strong rivalry with the Kansas City Royals (then an A.L. West team), fueled by the Kansas City fans' resentment of the A's move to Oakland in 1968, and by the rivalry of the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs football teams. Arguably, the Athletics' biggest American League rivals in recent years have been the teams that were their old traditional rivals from decades ago in Philadelphia—the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox—if only because of the hard-fought playoff games between the teams.

The A's have also established a strong geographic rivalry with the San Francisco Giants. It is generally acceptable in Northern California (unlike in other two-franchise baseball markets like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago) to identify oneself as a fan of both baseball teams. The teams faced each other in the 1989 World Series, which the A's won in a four-game sweep, interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquakemarker. During that series, caps were sold with both team's insignias on the front, and the respective colors making up half the hat.

The Giants and A's also enjoyed a limited rivalry at the start of the 20th century prior to the emergence of the Yankees when the Giants were in New York and the A's were in Philadelphia. The teams were managed by managing legends John McGraw and Connie Mack, who were friendly rivals and considered to be the premier managers during that era. Each team played in 5 of the first 15 World Series (tying them with the Red Sox and Cubs for most World Series appearances during that time period). The Giants and A's met in 3 World Series, with the Giants winning in 1905, and the A's emerging victorious in 1911 and 1913.

After a decade-plus of interleague play, the A's hold a 38-30 edge against the Giants head-to-head through June 29, 2008 -- including a 16-8 record against the Giants during the 2005-08 seasons. In addition, the A's have played in six World Series (winning four of them) since moving to Oakland in 1968, while the Giants have only been to three World Series (losing all three) since moving to San Francisco in 1958. When factoring in the World Series matchups between the two franchises (dating back to 1905), the A's hold the all-time edge over the Giants in head-to-head play, winning 51 games and losing 37 times—the Giants won the 1905 World Series four games to one, while the A's won the 1911 World Series (4-2), the 1913 World Series (4-1) and the 1989 World Series (4-0).

The A's have a history with the Minnesota Twins as well. Between 1987-92, the A's and Twins combined to win six consecutive American League West titles and reach the World Series five times. Oakland finished second to Minnesota in 1987, while the Twins placed second to the Division champion A's the following year. Recent events that have taken place between the A's and the Minnesota Twins suggest a renewing of an old rivalry. In 2002 the Twins snapped the A's 20-game win streak. The Twins also beat the heavily favored A's that year in the ALDS. The A's got revenge in 2006 when they swept the favored Twins out of the post season, defeating their two-time Cy Young ace Johan Santana in Game One.

City Series Renewed: The Athletics played their former co-occupants of Shibe Park, the Philadelphia Phillies, for the first time in a regular season game in June 2003. Previously they had only played each other in exhibition games, dubbed "The City Series", which was played annually from 1903-1954, with the A's winning 123 games to the Phils' 115, with two ties. Ceremonies were held for the first game of the 3 game series at Veterans Stadiummarker, as former Philadelphia A's players were honored on the field. The Phillies took the series against the A's, 2–1. They played each other again in June 2005 in Oakland, this time the White Elephants defeating their former rivals two games to one. The Phillies returned to Oaklandmarker in 2008, losing 2 out of 3 to the home town team.

Season records

This table is a partial list of the seasons completed by the Athletics. For full season records see Oakland Athletics seasons.

Season Wins Losses Win % Place Playoffs
2000 91 70 .565 1st in AL West Lost ALDS to New York Yankees, 2-3.
2001 102 60 .630 2nd in AL West Lost ALDS to New York Yankees, 2-3.
2002 103 59 .636 1st in AL West Lost ALDS to Minnesota Twins, 2-3.
2003 96 66 .593 1st in AL West Lost ALDS to Boston Red Sox, 2-3.
2004 91 71 .562 2nd in AL West
2005 88 74 .543 2nd in AL West
2006 93 69 .574 1st in AL West Won ALDS vs. Minnesota Twins, 3-0. Lost ALCS vs. Detroit Tigers, 0-4.
2007 76 86 .469 3rd in AL West
2008 75 86 .466 3rd in AL West
2009 75 87 .463 4th in AL West
All-Time Record 8189 8671 .486

Quick facts

Founded in Philadelphiamarker in 1901 when the A.L. became a Major League. Moved to Kansas Citymarker in 1955 and to Oakland in 1968.
Current Uniform colors: Green, Gold and White: 1963-Present, Only MLB team that wears white cleats
Previous Uniform colors: Blue and White: 1901–04, 1909–49, 1951–53, 1961; Blue, Red and White: 1905–08, 1954–60, 1962; Blue, Gold and White: 1950,
Logo design: A blackletter "A's". The team also uses an elephant logo.
Team motto: 100% Baseball Fan Given Nickname: The Green Stampede
Playoff appearances (23): 1905, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006
Local Television: CSN California
Local Radio: KTRB
Mascot: Stomper
Spring Training Facility: Phoenix Municipal Stadiummarker, Phoenix, AZmarker

The Spring Training Facility in Phoenix AZ has been the home of the Oakland A's since 1982.Previous Spring training sites since they moved to Oakland in 1968 was Yuma, Arizonamarker and Las Vegas, Nevadamarker both in the 1970s.

Current roster

For a list of former A's players/prospects still active in Major League Baseball, see List of former A's players/prospects .

Baseball Hall of Famers

Ford C. Frick Award recipients

Retired numbers

The numbers honored are as follows:






Retired 2004






1994-95, 1998(OAK)

Retired 2009






Retired 1990





Retired 1993





Retired 2005

Walter A.

Haas, Jr.



Honored 1995



Retired by

all of MLB

Retired 1997

No A's player from the Philadelphia era has his number retired by the organization. Though Jackson and Hunter played small portions of their careers in Kansas City, no player that played the majority of his years in the Kansas City era has his number retired either. As of 2009, the A's have retired only the numbers of members of the Hall of Fame that played large portions of their careers in Oakland.

The A's retired Rickey Henderson's #24 jersey on August 1, 2009.

Athletics in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame

Athletics in the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame

The Athletics have made no public notation at the Oakland Coliseummarker honoring Philadelphia Athletics players. But from 1978–1982 and 1984–2003, the Philadelphia Phillies inducted one former Athletic (as well as one former Phillie) per year into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame at Veterans Stadiummarker. (The Wall of Fame plaques that once graced the concourse of Veterans Stadiummarker are now located at the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society, located at 6 North York Road in Hatboromarker, Pennsylvania, about 16 miles north of Center City Philadelphiamarker.)

Mack, Foxx, Grove and Cochrane have also been inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

Franchise records

Season records

Minor league affiliations

Radio and television

As of 2009, the Athletics' flagship radio station is KTRB 860 AM. The current announcing team is Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo.

Television coverage is exclusively on Comcast SportsNet California. Some A's games air on an alternate feed of CSN, called CSN Plus, if the main channel shows a Sacramento Kings game at the same time. On TV, Glen Kuiper covers play-by-play, and Ray Fosse provides color commentary. Fosse also does color commentary on the radio when the A's are not on TV, or the game is on Fox or ESPN. Fosse also does play by play on the radio during Spring training games.

See also


  3. Head-to-Head Record -
  4. Head-to-Head Record -
  5. Los Angeles Times

Further reading

  • Bergman, Ron. Mustache Gang: The Swaggering Tale of Oakland's A's. Dell Publishing Co., New York, 1973.
  • Dickey, Glenn. Champions: The Story of the First Two Oakland A's Dynasties—and the Building of the Third. Triumph Books, Chicago, 2002. ISBN 157243421X
  • Jordan, David M. The Athletics of Philadelphia: Connie Mack's White Elephants, 1901-1954. McFarland & Co., Jefferson NC, 1999. ISBN 0-7864-0620-8.
  • Katz, Jeff. "The Kansas City A's & The Wrong Half of the Yankees." Maple Street Press, Hingham, MA, 2006. ISBN 978-0-9777-436-5-0.
  • Kuklick, Bruce. To Everything a Season: Shibe Park and Urban Philadelphia 1909-1976. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1991. ISBN 0-691-04788-X.
  • Lewis, Michael. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., New York, 2003. ISBN 0-393-05765-8.
  • Markusen, Bruce. Baseball's Last Dynasty: Charlie Finley's Oakland A's. Master Press, Indianapolis, 1998.
  • Peterson, John E. The Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History 1954–1967. McFarland & Co., Jefferson NC, 1999. ISBN 0-7864-1610-6.
  • 2005 Oakland Athletics Media Guide

External links

  3. Head-to-Head Record -
  4. Head-to-Head Record -
  5. Los Angeles Times

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