1976 Oakland Athletics season

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1976 Oakland Athletics
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Charles O. Finley
Manager(s) Chuck Tanner
Local television KPIX-TV
Local radio KNBR
(Monte Moore, Bob Waller)
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The 1976 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's finishing second in the American League West with a record of 87 wins and 74 losses, 2½ games behind the Kansas City Royals, meaning that the A's failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1970. This team set and still holds the American League team record for most stolen bases in a season with 341.[1]

The Athletics would not eclipse this season's win total until 1988 (when they won 104). Indeed, nearly all of the team's stars (Sal Bando, Rollie Fingers, Gene Tenace, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Don Baylor, Phil Garner, Billy Williams, Claudell Washington, and an injury-plagued Willie McCovey) would be depart during the 1976-77 offseason. This staggering mass exodus contributed led to a 24-win plunge in 1977.

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

As the 1976 season got underway, the basic rules of player contracts were changing. It was ruled that baseball’s reserve clause only bound players for one season after their contract expired. All players not signed to multi-year contracts would be eligible for free agency at the end of the 1976 season. Finley reacted by trading star players and attempting to sell others. On June 15, 1976, Finley sold left fielder Joe Rudi and relief pitcher Rollie Fingers to Boston for $1 million each, and pitcher Vida Blue [4] to the New York Yankees for $1.5 million. Three days later, Bowie Kuhn voided the transactions in the "best interests of baseball." Amid the turmoil, the A's still finished second in the A.L. West, 2.5 games behind the Royals.

Fire sale[edit]

  • Before the June 15, 1976 trading deadline, Finley contacted the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He had proposed a trade to the Boston Red Sox that would have involved Joe Rudi, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Gene Tenace and Sal Bando for Fred Lynn, Carlton Fisk and prospects.[5] In trade talks with the Yankees, Finley proposed Vida Blue for Thurman Munson along with either Roy White or Elliott Maddox. Finley also offered Joe Rudi for Thurman Munson.[6]
  • On June 14, 1976, Finley was unable to make any trades. He had started contacting other teams about the possibility of selling his player’s contracts. Joe Rudi, Vida Blue, Don Baylor, and Gene Tenace were worth $1 million each, while Sal Bando could be acquired for $500,000. Boston Red Sox General manager Dick O’Connell was in Oakland as the Red Sox would play the Athletics on June 15. Field manager Darrell Johnson had declared that he was interested in Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers. The Red Sox had agreed to purchase both contracts for one million dollars each.

O’Connell had contacted Detroit Tigers General manager Jim Campbell to purchase Vida Blue for one million dollars so that the New York Yankees could not get him.[7] Gabe Paul of the New York Yankees advised that he would pay $1.5 million for the opportunity to acquire Vida Blue. Finley offered Blue a three-year extension worth $485,000 per season to make the sale more attractive to the Yankees.[8] With the extension, the Yankees agreed to purchase Blue.

  • Finley had then proceeded to contact Bill Veeck of the Chicago White Sox about purchasing Sal Bando. He then contacted the Texas Rangers, as they were interested in acquiring Don Baylor for the one million dollar asking price.[9]

Season standings[edit]

AL West W L GB Pct.
Kansas City Royals 90 72 -- .556
Oakland Athletics 87 74 2.5 .540
Minnesota Twins 85 77 5 .525
Texas Rangers 76 86 14 .469
California Angels 76 86 14 .469
Chicago White Sox 64 97 25.5 .398
  • By May 18, 1976, the Athletics were 18-24, and seven and a half games out of first place.[10]

Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1976 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 Haney, LarryLarry Haney 88 177 40 .226 0 10
1B Tenace, GeneGene Tenace 128 417 104 .249 22 66
2B Garner, PhilPhil Garner 159 555 145 .261 8 74
3B Bando, SalSal Bando 158 550 132 .240 27 84
SS Campaneris, BertBert Campaneris 149 536 137 .256 1 52
LF Rudi, JoeJoe Rudi 130 500 135 .270 13 94
CF North, BillyBilly North 154 590 163 .276 2 31
RF Washington, ClaudellClaudell Washington 134 490 126 .257 5 53
DH Williams, BillyBilly Williams 120 351 74 .211 11 41

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
Baylor, DonDon Baylor 157 595 147 .247 15 68
McMullen, KenKen McMullen 98 186 41 .220 5 23
Newman, JeffJeff Newman 43 77 15 .195 0 4
Sandt, TommyTommy Sandt 41 67 14 .209 0 3
Hosley, TimTim Hosley 37 55 9 .164 1 4
Fairly, RonRon Fairly 15 46 11 .239 3 10
Tovar, CésarCésar Tovar 29 45 8 .178 0 4
Alexander, MattMatt Alexander 61 30 1 .033 0 0
McCovey, WillieWillie McCovey 11 24 5 .208 0 0
Gross, WayneWayne Gross 10 18 4 .222 0 1
Mangual, ÁngelÁngel Mangual 8 12 2 .167 0 1
Walling, DennyDenny Walling 3 11 3 .273 0 0
Holt, JimJim Holt 4 7 2 .286 0 2
Woods, GaryGary Woods 6 8 1 .125 0 0
Colbert, NateNate Colbert 2 5 0 .000 0 0
Lintz, LarryLarry Lintz 68 1 0 .000 0 0

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
Blue, VidaVida Blue 37 298.1 18 13 2.35 166
Torrez, MikeMike Torrez 39 266.1 16 12 2.50 115
Mitchell, PaulPaul Mitchell 26 142 9 7 4.25 67
Norris, MikeMike Norris 24 96 4 5 4.78 44

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
Bahnsen, StanStan Bahnsen 35 143 8 7 3.34 82
Bosman, DickDick Bosman 27 112 4 2 4.10 34
Abbott, GlennGlenn Abbott 19 62.1 2 4 5.49 27
Batton, ChrisChris Batton 2 4 0 0 9.00 4

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
Fingers, RollieRollie Fingers 70 13 11 20 2.47 113
Lindblad, PaulPaul Lindblad 65 6 5 5 3.06 37
Todd, JimJim Todd 49 7 8 4 3.81 22
Mitchell, CraigCraig Mitchell 1 0 0 0 2.70 0

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tucson Toros Pacific Coast League Hank Aguirre and Lee Stange
AA Chattanooga Lookouts Southern League Rene Lachemann
A Modesto A's California League George Farson
Short-Season A Boise A's Northwest League Tom Trebelhorn

References[edit]

  1. ^ Team Stolen Base Records & Team Caught Stealing Records
  2. ^ Dal Maxvill page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Ray Fosse page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ SITT - Vida Blue
  5. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.247, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  6. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.247, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  7. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.248, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  8. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.248, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  9. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.249, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  10. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.245, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  11. ^ Reggie Jackson page at Baseball Reference
  12. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.244, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  13. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.245, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  14. ^ Ken McMullen page at Baseball Reference
  15. ^ Tim Hosley page at Baseball Reference
  16. ^ Rickey Henderson page at Baseball Reference
  17. ^ Ernie Camacho page at Baseball Reference
  18. ^ Nate Colbert page at Baseball Reference
  19. ^ Willie McCovey page at Baseball Reference

External links[edit]