1968 Oakland Athletics season

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1968 Oakland Athletics
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record 82–80 (.506)
Other information
Owner(s) Charles O. Finley
Manager(s) Bob Kennedy
Local television KBHK
Local radio KNBR
(Monte Moore, Al Helfer)
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The 1968 Oakland Athletics season was the franchise's 68th season and its first in Oakland, California. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses, placing them 21 games behind the eventual World Series champion Detroit Tigers. The Athletics' paid attendance for the season was 837,466.

The 1968 season represented a tremendous breakthrough for the Athletics organization. The campaign resulted in their first winning record since 1952, when they were still located in Philadelphia. Moreover, the Athletics' 82 wins marked a 20-win increase over the prior year's 62-99 mark. The team's young core of Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Gene Tenace, and Rick Monday began to gel; all of these young players (with the exception of Monday, who would be traded in 1971 for pitcher Ken Holtzman) would power the Athletics' forthcoming 1970's dynasty.

Offseason[edit]

Relocation to Oakland[edit]

  • On October 18, 1967, American League owners at last gave Finley permission to move the Athletics to Oakland for the 1968 season. According to some reports, AL President Joe Cronin promised Finley that he could move the team after the 1967 season as an incentive to sign the new lease with Municipal Stadium. The move came in spite of approval by voters in Jackson County, Missouri of a bond issue for a brand new baseball stadium (the eventual Kauffman Stadium) to be completed in 1973. During their 13-year stay in Kansas City, the Athletics were arguably one of the worst teams in baseball history, finishing last or next-to-last place in 10 of those years. Their overall record was 829–1,224, for a winning percentage of .404.
  • October 22, 1967: Charlie Finley arrived at the Oakland Airport and was greeted by 400 fans. [1] Finley had signed a 20-year lease ($125,000 per year or 5% of gate revenues if attendance passed 1.45 million a season) to bring the A’s to Oakland. [2]

Front office[edit]

Finley had persuaded Joe DiMaggio to take a position as Executive Vice President and consultant. DiMaggio needed two more years of baseball service to qualify for the league’s maximum pension allowance. [3] In addition, Finley signed Phil Seghi to run the A’s farm system (of note, Seghi signed Pete Rose to his first major league contract). [4]

Notable transactions[edit]

Round 1: George Hendrick
Round 2: Reggie Sanders
Secondary Phase:[7]
Round 2: Ray Peters (did not sign)

Regular season[edit]

OaklandRetired27.PNG
Catfish Hunter's number 27 was retired by the Oakland Athletics in 1991 [8].

On May 8 against the Minnesota Twins, Jim "Catfish" Hunter pitched the first regular season perfect game in the American League since 1922,[9] but the paid attendance in Oakland was only 6,298 on a Wednesday night. [10] The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Hunter squeezed the first run in. In the eighth, he drove in two more with a bases-loaded single, and ended with three hits and three RBI.[11] Hunter was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 and was the first to have his number retired by the franchise, in 1991.[8][12]

Season standings[edit]

American League W L Pct. GB
Detroit Tigers 103 59 .636
Baltimore Orioles 91 71 .562 12
Cleveland Indians 86 75 .534 16½
Boston Red Sox 86 76 .531 17
New York Yankees 83 79 .512 20
Oakland Athletics 82 80 .506 21
Minnesota Twins 79 83 .488 24
California Angels 67 95 .414 36
Chicago White Sox 67 95 .414 36
Washington Senators 65 96 .404 37½

Notable transactions[edit]

Round 1: Pete Broberg (did not sign)
Round 6: Rich Troedson (did not sign).[14]
Round 26: John Strohmayer

Roster[edit]

1968 Oakland Athletics
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Duncan, DaveDave Duncan 82 246 47 .191 7 28
2B Donaldson, JohnJohn Donaldson 127 363 80 .220 2 27

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Webster, RayRay Webster 66 196 42 .214 3 23

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Hunter, CatfishCatfish Hunter 36 234 13 13 3.35 173
Dobson, ChuckChuck Dobson 35 225.1 12 14 3.00 168
Krausse, LewLew Krausse 36 185 10 11 3.11 105

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Aker, JackJack Aker 54 4 4 11 4.10 44
Seguí, DiegoDiego Seguí 52 6 5 6 2.39 72
Sprague, EdEd Sprague 47 3 4 4 3.28 34
Bogle, WarrenWarren Bogle 16 0 0 0 4.30 26

Farm system[edit]

  • Life Magazine had declared the A's to have the best minor league system in professional baseball.[15] Finley had spent $2.5 million on bonus contracts as a way of getting prospects to sign with his club.
Level Team League Manager
AAA Vancouver Mounties Pacific Coast League Mickey Vernon
AA Birmingham A's Southern League Gus Niarhos
A Peninsula Grays Carolina League Jimmy Williams
A Leesburg Athletics Florida State League Al Ronning
A Burlington Bees Midwest League Jim Hughes
Rookie GCL A's Gulf Coast League Billy Herman

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: GCL A's

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.118, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  2. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.120, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  3. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.119, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  4. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.121, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  5. ^ Andy Kosco page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ 1968 Oakland Athletics Picks in the MLB January Amateur Draft
  7. ^ 1968 Oakland Athletics Picks in the MLB January Amateur Draft - Secondary Phase
  8. ^ a b "'Catfish' has number retired by Oakland". Union Democrat (Sonora, CA). Associated Press. June 10, 1991. p. 2B. 
  9. ^ Catfish Hunter perfect game box score by Baseball Almanac
  10. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.126, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  11. ^ "'Catfish' spins first perfect regular AL game in 46 years". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. May 9, 1968. p. 1D. 
  12. ^ "Catfish's number retired". Gadsden Times. Associated Press photo. June 10, 1991. p. B3. 
  13. ^ 1968 Oakland Athletics Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft
  14. ^ Rich Troedson page at Baseball Reference
  15. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.85, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0

External links[edit]