The Oakland Athletics of the early 1970’s were one of baseball’s best teams in its long history.
They were flamboyant both on and off the field and won 3 straight World Series crowns from (1972-1974).
Oakland won 5 straight division crowns, legitimate one quarter titles from (1971-1975) before free agency decimated this great team.
Such greats as yes their owner Charlie Finley, Reggie Jackson and Fury “Gene” Tenace all contributed mightily to a great run by the A’s,
The great run would have lasted longer had not the fact balance in sports mattered less, causing greats to be lost to the A’s team, with not even remotely fair player compensation.
Click below to listen to the great A’s broadcaster Monte Moore play by play account of the end of game 5 of the 1972 ALCS between the A’s and Detroit Tigers.
In a previous post regarding teams that won as many as three consecutive pennants, I cited the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals denied a great Philadelphia Athletics’ team a third straight title by beating them in the 1931 World Series.
Today a look at both a Cardinals and Athletics’ teams that won 3 straight pennants and enjoyed considerable World Series success thirty years apart.
The Cardinals won the National League Pennant in 3 straight seasons from (1942-1944). The Athletics then and now playing in Oakland, California after moving from both Philadelphia and Kansas City, duplicated the feat, thirty years later from (1972-1974).
Once I asked the great New York Yankees’ player and broadcaster, Phil Rizzuto about the World Series contested between the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals in 1942 and 1943.
Mr. Rizzuto talked of how Yankees’ manager Joe McCarthy said the Cards’ outfielders, especially Terry Moore in center field (John Fogerty’s great album and song is “Centerfield” one word), covered the ground, as though “they were on motorcycles.”
St. Louis won 3 straight pennants from (1942-1944) and after splitting World Series vs the Yankees in 1942 and 1943, defeated their city rivals, the St. Louis Browns, in the 1944 World Series.
It was the only time the St. Louis Browns, who moved to Baltimore and became known as the Orioles a decade later, were ever in World Series play.
There will be talk of the Orioles as three time Pennant winners in a future post, the next one will be about those A’s of the 1970’s.
I will do the latest phenom, Gary Sanchez a favor and point out that many before him had these type streaks in the early going of their major league careers.
So many of them never had much of a career, some at best achieved mediocrity as a major league player.
This player, Sanchez, may not be Kevin Maas or Frank Tepedino. (So many others sorry to Kevin and Frank but alas you guys played in the big leagues!) Those two played and deserve credit but surely fell short of their expected glory.
It is the “Mikes” such as Lupica, Kay, Francesa and others who have mikes/forums and always seem to jump the gun that are to blame. That they are so often wrong and never held accountable and that is what bothers me, not Gary Sanchez.
The WNBA swung back into action after the Olympic break with five games last night.
There were two big upsets as the teams with the two best records each lost.
First the three and a half to one underdog, Connecticut Sun won at home vs the defending champion, Minnesota Lynx.
Later last night the four to one underdog, Seattle Storm with Sue Bird leading the way, upset the top ranked Los Angeles Sparks.
Why not vs these teams as this was the first game after the Olympic break making the games all the more unpredictable. A parlay on the two underdogs would have paid roughly 21 to 1.
The late college football expert and my friend, Beano Cook is looking down on me both figuratively and literally (he did always say I was a great guy) and asking why didn’t you do it?!!
This is a rare weekend in New York sports as all four local baseball and football teams are playing games in their home venues.
As cited in a previous post, the football Jets and Giants are clashing this weekend (Again Vivid Cabaret, located at 61 West 37th Street, is a great place to watch that game) at the home the two teams share, Met Life Stadium.
Additionally, both the baseball Mets and Yankees are home for weekend series vs the 1983 World Series opponents, the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles respectively.
Wonder if this schedule configuration has ever happened before?
It is down to four and a half games, the Cleveland Indians’ lead in the A.L. Central that is.
Additionally while the second place Detroit Tigers are hosting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, (why do I fear that the over rated but still good Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia, especially with a change of scenery, could end up in New York next season?!), the Indians are in the midst of a four game series at Texas vs the current A.L. top seed Rangers.
Cleveland is favored to win tonight with the great (I am being sarcastic) Kluber pitching. The Indians can begin to panic if Kluber lets them down again tonight.
I still believe in the “wood,” great managers and chickens usually do, thus I still say Cleveland in the A.L. Central. Then we eat the cuisine, but at times choke on it!
While the vaunted New York Yankees of the Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig era, had a far longer run of greatness, thus for history sake are rightfully considered better, few teams including those Yankees could match the (1929-1931) Philadelphia Athletics’ teams.
The greatest testament to their greatness is that for those 3 consecutive seasons, they denied the great Yankees the American League Pennant.
The Athletics won it all in both 1929 and 1930 before being denied by Pepper Martin and the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven game series in 1931.
While the (1921-1924) Giants were managed by an all-time great manager, John McGraw, the same can be said about the (1929-1931) Philadelphia Athletics managed by Connie Mack.
Great and near great players adorned the A’s roster including Lefty Grove, who won 31 games and lost but 4 in 1931.
Another of the many great A’s players was Jimmie Foxx, pictured above. For so long, including years when I was young and was absorbed by the home run totals in “Player’s Targets” in Street and Smith’s Baseball Magazine, the 534 home runs by Mr. Foxx had him trailing only Babe Ruth in that department.