Rudi batted a career-high .309 in 1970 and had a career-best 181 hits in 1972. That year, he helped the Athletics win the World Series and made a great game-saving catch in Game 2 that would be the highlight reel for many Major League Baseball films. With Tony Pérez on first and Oakland leading 2-0 in the ninth inning, Rudi raced to the left-field fence and made a leaping, backhanded catch of Denis Menke's smash to save a run. Earlier in the game, Rudi had a solo home run.
In 1974 he had a career best 22 home runs and 99 runs batted in and hit a home run in Game 5 of the 1974 World Series off Mike Marshall that would turn out to be the game winner and Series clincher. Rudi's Athletics became the first team since the 1949–1953 New York Yankees to win 3 straight World Championships.
In a 16-year career, Rudi was a .264 hitter with 179 home runs and 810 RBI in 1547 games. He won American League Gold Gloves in 1974, 1975 and 1976, and played in the MLB All-Star Game in 1972, 1974 and 1975. In 1975, he was elected by the fans as a starter in the All-Star Game as an outfielder, where he joined 4 other Oakland A's in the American League starting lineup. He also played some first base for the A's that year. Toward the end of his tenure with Oakland, owner Charlie Finley attempted to sell his contract (along with that of Rollie Fingers) to the Boston Red Sox. He went to Boston and was issued a uniform, but never was permitted to play, as Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the transaction as not being in the best interests of baseball. (Rudi later played for Boston, in 1981.)