with 156 RBI. In 1932 he took his first AL MVP award hitting .364, 58 HR, and 169 RBI, missing the Triple Crown by just three BA points. But that was rectified in 1933 when he captured that rare honor by leading the AL with a .356 average, 48 HR, and 163 RBI. And the seasons I'm not mentioning were almost as monstrous, so you can see why he gets the nod as the starter here.
After a brief stint with the A's in 1986, Mark McGwire (1986- 97) burst onto the scene with a .289 BA, 49 HR (led the AL) and 118 RBI to take the 1987 Rookie of the Year award. His average plummeted for several of his next seasons (bottoming out at .201 in 1991), but his power remained strong as he hit 30+ HR seven more times for the A's. In 1996 he hit .312 with 52 HR (again led the AL) and 113 RBI, and was doing much the same in 1997 when he was traded to St. Louis in late July. Yes, his best and record-setting numbers came for the Cardinals, not the A's. And he did strikeout a lot, and didn't walk nearly as much early in his career as he did later. And if you think the steroid issue that is a part of McGwire's legacy starting during his time in Oakland, then I can understand keeping him off this all-time roster. However, I'm giving him this backup spot on the basis of his nine all-star appearances and the overall impression I have of his Oakland resume.
Old-timer Harry Davis (1901-11, 13-17) had an interesting career for the A's. Fifth all-time for the franchise in at-bats, and first in games played at 1B, he was with them at the beginning, and played as the regular 1B for most seasons through 1911. In 1912 he played a little for the Cleveland Naps (as they were called that year), and then returned to the Athletics as a player-coach from 1913-1917, but was mostly a coach as he played in a total of 19 games with 28 at-bats during those years. He was a great sign-stealer and was considered the backup manager for Connie Mach during that period. A first glance at his numbers make one think he was more speed than power, but this conclusion drops the context of the dead-ball era. He did steal 20 or more bases in 8 of 10 seasons. But his career high of 36 was only good for fifth in the league and he never again was in the top 10. Meanwhile, he is one of only a few players in history to lead the league in HR in four consecutive seasons. He did so from 1904- 1907, with Herculean totals of 10, 8, 12, and 8, respectively. He also led the league in doubles three times, and RBI twice. This early slugger deserves a spot on this all-time roster, but with only two 1B slots it is a tough call.
Jason Giambi (1995-01, 09) also got a good look. While he only played for the A's for seven seasons, several of them were quite impressive. In 1999 he hit .315 with 33 HR and 123 RBI, took AL MVP honors the next year with a .333 average, 43 HR and 137 RBI, and then