Happy birthday to a huge A's fan! They've been his jam for as long as I've known him. He's always willing to represent even though they haven't won a World Series in a while... which made me wonder exactly how long had it been, and how many had they won in total?
The Oakland Athletics, also called Oakland A’s, are currently based in Oakland,California, and plays in the American League (AL). The Athletics, often simply referred to as the “A’s”, were founded in 1901 and were based in Philadelphia. The A’s were one of the original eight members of the American League. The first half century of the franchise’s existence was dominated by the iconic Connie Mack, who managed the A’s from the team’s inaugural year to 1950. The A’s posted winning records in their first seven seasons, including AL pennants in 1902 and 1905, the latter of which earned the team its first World Series berth, in which the A’s came up on the short end of a five-game series with the New York Giants. The A’s returned to the World Series in 1910 and 1911, winning on each occasion.
This core group advanced to two more World Series in 1913 and 1914 (a win over the New York Giants and a loss to the Boston Braves, respectively) before competition from the newly formed Federal League forced Mack to sell off his star players to other teams in order to keep the franchise solvent. As a result, the A’s first period of dominance was immediately followed by a stretch of seven consecutive last-place finishes from 1915 to 1921 (including a 117-loss season in 1916). They came back and won both the AL pennant and the World Series title in 1929 and 1930. They again saw a slump, which lead to the sale of the team to an out-of-town businessman in 1954, who in turn moved the A’s to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1955.
The A’s did not post a single winning season in their 13 years in Kansas City, and their time in the city was most notable for businessman Charlie Finley’s purchase of the team in 1960. Finley introduced a number of innovations to the team and its ballpark in an attempt to stimulate attendance, but these failed to have much of an impact, and the resulting loss of income, combined with his clashes with local civic leaders, led Finley to move the team to Oakland in 1968. Propelled by such young greats as outfielder Reggie Jackson and pitchers Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue, and Rollie Fingers, the A’s quickly turned the franchise’s fortunes around in their new home, winning three consecutive World Series titles from 1972 to 1974.
The A’s of the 1980s and early 1990s showcased slugger Mark McGwire, closer Dennis Eckersley, and stolen-base king Rickey Henderson, and they advanced to three consecutive World Series (1988–90), winning a Bay Area showdown in 1989 over the now San Francisco Giants.