#16 | Oakland A’s

The Oakland A’s had two periods of sustained success which put them at the forefront of America’s baseball consciousness. The first period was the “Swingin’ A’s” teams of the early ’70s, featured larger-than-life personalities like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Rollie Fingers. Those teams won three-straight World Series titles and were the envy of baseball fans across the country. More than a decade later, the A’s would rise again, this time behind massive human beings like Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, along with the incomparable Rickey Henderson and the game-changing Dennis Eckersley. Those teams won three-straight AL Pennants and won the World Series in 1989.

The most recent sustained success for the franchise came with quite a bit less starpower, but with a philosophy that changes the way teams were built forever. The “Moneyball” A’s of the early and mid-2000s were built on tight budgets, but GM Billy Beane was amazing at finding untapped talents and players who’s value was not recognized by other teams. Those teams won six AL West division titles, but because of the lack of star power as compared to the previous eras, only Mark Ellis makes it on the all-time legendary card lineup.

If you want to purchase any of these cards, you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace: Catfish Hunter, Terry Steinbach, Mark McGwire, Mark Ellis, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris, Rickey Henderson, Dwayne Murphy, Reggie Jackson, Jose Canseco, and Dennis Eckersley.