DRAFT BOOK CHAPTER (last updated 2/20/2011) By Thomas Ryan Stone
Athletics All-Time Team
The Philadelphia / Kansas City / Oakland Athletics (A’s) franchise was born in 1901 with the beginning of the American League. They played there for 54 seasons, and with some success: 9 pennants and 5 World Series championships. The majority of that success came in the earliest years, and the team certainly had their poor stretches too, such as a seven-year stretch from 1915-21 when they only finished over .400 once, or the 1934-1946 dry spell when they never finished over .500 and were regularly below .400. With plenty of good and bad, what was amazing was that they had just one manager, Connie Mack for almost all of those years (1901-1950).
The team moved to Kansas City for the 1955 season and stayed there through 1967. That period was a gloomy one for the franchise as they didn't finish with a winning season even once. Things improved when, in 1968, the team moved even further west to Oakland. This began a series of nine consecutive winning seasons that included a mini-dynasty from 1971-1975 when they won the AL West division every year and took the World Series crown from 1972-1974.
The twelve years that followed were fairly unimpressive ones, but then Tony LaRussa took the helm during the 1986 season, and things once again looked up for the A's. During his tenure they made the playoffs four times and won the World Series once (1989). After having losing seasons from 1993-1998 the A's have been winners from 1999- 2005, making the postseason four more times.
As you will see, the All-Time Athletics team is pretty strong overall, with only a couple of positions of relative weakness.
The clear starter here is slugger Jimmie Foxx (1925-35), who played most of his games in Philly at 1B, while putting in some time at both 3B and C. In his first three seasons he didn't play much, but in 1928 he began his dominance of AL hurlers, and from 1929 - 1935 he hit 30+ HR with 100+ RBI. In 1929 he hit .354, then in 1930 he smacked 37 HR