Oakland A's - Baseball Hall of Fame

Eddie Plank (1946)

Eddie Plank started his major league baseball career with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901, pitching in 33 games that season with a 17-13 record, 90 strikeouts to 68 walks, and a 3.31 ERA. He pitched for the Athletics through the 1914 season.

In 1915, Plank left the Athletics to join the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League. The team and league folded after the season and Plank played his last two seasons with the St. Louis Browns (modern day Baltimore Orioles). In his last season in the major leagues (1917), Plank had a 5-6 record with 26 strikeouts to 38 walks and a 1.79 ERA in 20 games. He retired after the 1917 season. During his career in the major leagues, Plank led the American League in shutouts twice.

Statistics for Plank in 17 seasons (1901-1917) in the major leagues include:

  • 8 seasons with 20 or more wins, with a high of 26 in 1904 and 1912
  • 5 seasons with over 150 strikeouts, with a high of 210 in 1905
  • 15 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.76 in 1909

Career statistics for Plank include:

  • 623 games played
  • 4,495.2 innings pitched
  • 326-194 win-loss record
  • 2,246 strikeouts to 1,072 walks
  • 2.35 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Eddie Plank
ESPN Sports - Eddie Plank


Rube Waddell (1946)

Rube Waddell started his major league baseball career with the Louisville Colonels of the National League. However, he pitched in just two games with them in 1897, then went to the minor leagues in 1898, and returned to the Colonels in 1899 for just 10 games. In 1900, the team folded and Waddell was transferred to the Pittsburgh Pirates. That season, he pitched in 29 games with an 8-13 record, 130 strikeouts to 55 walks, and a 2.37 ERA in 29 games. Waddell led the National League in ERA in 1900.

Waddell had behavioral issues that led to the Pirates selling his contract to the Chicago Orphans/Cubs in 1901 after pitching in just two games with Pittsburgh. Waddell then pitched 29 games with the Cubs.

In 1902, Waddell joined the Philadelphia Athletics and he played in 33 games with the team. He had a stellar season, winning 24 games and losing just 7, striking out 210 batters and walking 64, and ending with a 2.05 ERA.

Waddell continued pitching for the Athletics through the 1907 season. During his time with them, he led the American League in ERA and wins in 1905, in strikeouts from 1902 through 1907, and in complete games in 1903. He also led all major league baseball pitchers in strikeouts from 1903 through 1907. In 1905, Waddell won the American League Triple Crown for pitchers with a 1.48 ERA, 27 wins, and 287 strikeouts.

The Athletics sold Waddell's contract to the St. Louis Browns (modern day Baltimore Orioles) after the 1907 season. He stayed with the Browns until they released him after the 1910 season. He then continued to pitch for three years in the minor leagues. His health declined after 1912 and Waddell died in 1914 at the age of 37.

Waddell played in over 25 games in each of 10 seasons (1900-1910). His statistics during that time include:

  • 4 seasons with over 20 wins, with a high of 27 in 1905
  • 6 seasons with over 200 strikeouts, with a high of 349 in 1904
  • 9 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.48 in 1905

Career statistics for Waddell include:

  • 407 games played
  • 2,961.1 innings pitched
  • 193-143 win-loss record
  • 2,316 strikeouts to 803 walks
  • 2.16 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Rube Waddell
ESPN Sports - Rube Waddell


Chief Bender (1953)

Chief Bender played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1903 through 1914. He pitched a no-hitter on May 12, 1910 against the Cleveland Indians. Known as a very good fielding pitcher, Bender's career fielding statistics include 459 games played with 55 errors, 808 assists, 173 putouts, and a .947 fielding percentage.

Bender was released by the Athletics after the 1914 season and he signed with the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal League. After the league and the team folded in 1915, Bender signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for the 1916 season. He played for two seasons with the Phillies before retiring as a major league pitcher. In 1925, while coaching with the Chicago White Sox, Bender made one more appearance as a major league pitcher in one game.

After retiring in 1917, Bender became a coach for the Chicago White Sox. From 1926 through 1950, he was a scout and coach for the Athletics, as well as managing teams in their minor league system.

Career statistics for Bender include:

  • 459 games played
  • 3,017.0 innings pitched
  • 212-127 win-loss record
  • 1,711 strikeouts to 712 walks
  • 2.46 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Chief Bender
ESPN Sports - Chief Bender


Al Simmons (1953)

Al Simmons started his professional baseball career in the minor leagues in 1922. Two years later, he was in the starting lineup for the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1924, his first season in the major leagues, Simmons batted .308 with 183 hits, 31 doubles, and 102 RBIs in 152 games. The next year, he led the American League in hits with his career high of 253 hits. In 1927, Simmons had a career high batting average of .392.

Simmons led the American League in RBIs in 1929 with 157. The next year, he had his best season, winning the American League Batting title with a .381 batting average. That season he had 211 hits and 41 doubles and career highs in home runs with 36 and in RBIs with 165. A year later, in 1931, Simmons won his second American League Batting title, this time with a batting average of .390.

Simmons had a strong 1932 season, leading the American League in hits with 216. However, after the season ended, he left the Athletics to play for three years with the Chicago White Sox. In 1935, his last season with the White Sox, Simmons batted just .267 with 140 hits in 128 games.

In 1936, Simmons played with the Detroit Tigers. That season he batted .327 with 186 hits, 38 doubles, and 112 RBIs in 143 games. For the following two seasons, Simmons played with the Washington Senators. Although he played well for the Senators, batting .302 in 1938, he left them after the 1938 season to join the Boston Braves. He didn't stay long with Boston, however, playing in 93 games with them in 1939 and then going to the Cincinnati Reds for nine games. Simmons moved back to the Athletics in 1940 for two years.

Simmons didn't play in 1942 and he played in just 40 games with the Boston Red Sox in 1943. He ended his major league playing career in 1944 with the Athletics, playing in just four games that final season.

Simmons played most of his career defensively in left field (1,373 games) and center field (775 games). His career fielding statistics as an outfielder include:

  • 2,142 games played
  • 94 errors
  • 169 assists
  • 4,988 putouts
  • .982 fielding percentage

After retiring from major league baseball as a player, Simmons became a coach, first for the Athletics (1945-1949) and then for the Cleveland Indians (1950). He died in 1956, at the age of 54, from a heart attack.

Simmons played in over 100 games in each of 16 seasons (1924-1939). His statistics during that time include:

  • 12 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 253 in 1925
  • 10 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 53 in 1926
  • 7 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 16 in 1930
  • 6 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 36 in 1930
  • 12 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 165 in 1930
  • 13 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .392 in 1927

Career statistics for Simmons include:

  • 2,215 games played
  • 2,927 hits
  • 539 doubles
  • 149 triples
  • 307 home runs
  • 1,827 RBIs

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Al Simmons
ESPN Sports - Al Simmons
Baseball Reference.com - Al Simmons


Frank Baker (1955)

Frank Baker, nicknamed Home Run Baker, started his major league baseball career in 1908 with the Philadelphia Athletics, playing in nine games with them that season. The following year, his first full season in the major leagues, Baker batted .305 with 165 hits, 27 doubles, 19 triples, 85 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases in 148 games.

From 1911 through 1914, Baker led the American League in home runs. He also led the league in RBIs in 1912 and 1913. His best season was probably 1912 when he batted .347 with 200 hits, 40 doubles, 21 triples, 10 home runs, 130 RBIs, and 40 stolen bases in 149 games.

Baker didn't play in the major leagues in 1915 due to a contract dispute with Connie Mack of the Athletics. Instead, he spent the season playing semi-pro baseball. In 1916, Mack sold Baker's contract to the New York Yankees. Baker played with the Yankees through the 1919 season before deciding to retire. However, his retirement only lasted one season and he returned to the Yankees in 1921 to play for two more seasons in the major leagues.

After his second and final retirement as a player in 1922, Baker managed in the minor leagues for two seasons (1924-1925).

Baker played in over 100 games in each of 10 seasons (1909-1914, 1916-1919). His statistics during that time include:

  • 9 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 200 in 1912
  • 3 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 42 in 1911
  • 5 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 21 in 1912
  • 3 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 130 in 1912
  • 5 seasons with 20 or more stolen bases, with a high of 40 in 1912
  • 6 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .347 in 1912

Career statistics for Baker include:

  • 1,575 games played
  • 1,838 hits
  • 315 doubles
  • 103 triples
  • 987 RBIs
  • 235 stolen bases
  • .307 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Frank Baker
ESPN Sports - Frank Baker


Catfish Hunter (1987)

Catfish Hunter pitched for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics from 1965 through 1974. In his first season with the Athletics, Hunter pitched in 32 games with an 8-8 record, 82 strikeouts to 46 walks, and a 4.26 ERA. Three seasons later, on May 8, 1968, Hunter pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins.

In his last season with the Athletics, Hunter won the American League Cy Young award. He also led the league in wins and ERA that season, pitching in 41 games with a 25-12 record, 143 strikeouts to 46 walks, and an ERA of 2.49.

Hunter signed with the New York Yankees in 1975 after having a contract dispute with the owner of the Athletics, Charles Finley. At the time, the Yankees paid him the highest salary for any pitcher in the major leagues. In his first season with the Yankees, Hunter led the American League in wins.

Hunter retired as a major league pitcher after the 1979 season. Twenty years later, he died from ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) at the age of 53.

Statistics for Hunter in 15 seasons (1965-1979) in the major leagues include:

  • 5 seasons with over 20 wins, with a high of 25 in 1974
  • 8 seasons with 150 or more strikeouts, with a high of 196 in 1967
  • 5 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 2.04 in 1972

Career statistics for Hunter include:

  • 500 games played
  • 3,449.1 innings pitched
  • 224-166 win-loss record
  • 2,012 strikeouts to 954 walks
  • 3.26 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Catfish Hunter
ESPN Sports - Catfish Hunter


Rollie Fingers (1992)

Rollie Fingers signed with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics in December, 1964. He played in the minor leagues as a starting pitcher for four seasons before joining the Athletics for one game in 1968. The following season, Fingers pitched as both a starter and a relief pitcher, playing in 60 games, with a 6-7 record, 12 saves, 61 strikeouts to 41 walks, and a 3.71 ERA.

In May, 1971, Fingers became a full-time relief pitcher for the Athletics. Later on, he became their permanent closer. During his time with the Athletics (1968-1976), Fingers won the World Series MVP award (1974).

Fingers left the Athletics and the American League in 1977 and he joined the San Diego Padres of the National League. He pitched for the Padres through the 1980 season, leading the National League in saves twice (1977 with 35 saves and 1978 with 37 saves).

In 1981, Fingers returned to the American League, this time with the Milwaukee Brewers. In his first season with the Brewers, Fingers won the American League Cy Young award and the MVP award. That season he led the American League in saves. He played in 47 games with the Brewers and had a 6-3 record, 28 saves, 61 strikeouts to 13 walks, and an ERA of 1.04. Fingers retired after the 1985 season.

Statistics for Fingers in 16 seasons (1969-1985) in the major leagues include:

  • 10 seasons with over 20 saves, with a high of 37 in 1978
  • 12 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.04 in 1982

Career statistics for Fingers include:

  • 944 games played
  • 1,701.1 innings pitched
  • 341 saves
  • 1,299 strikeouts to 492 walks
  • 2.90 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Rollie Fingers
ESPN Sports - Rollie Fingers


Dennis Eckersley (2004)

Dennis Eckersley was drafted in 1972 by the Cleveland Indians. In 1975, his first season in the major leagues, Eckersley won the American League Rookie of the Year award. That season he pitched in 34 games and had a 13-7 record with 152 strikeouts to 90 walks and a 2.60 ERA. Two seasons later, he pitched a no hitter on May 30, 1977.

Less than a year after pitching a no hitter, Eckersley was traded by the Indians to the Boston Red Sox. He pitched for the Red Sox for over six seasons until they traded him in May, 1984 to the Chicago Cubs.

Eckersley struggled with alcoholism and pitching in 1986 with the Cubs, playing in 33 games and having a 6-11 record with 137 strikeouts to 43 walks and an ERA of 4.57. A year later, the Cubs traded Eckersley to the Oakland Athletics.

Eckersley became the closer relief pitcher when he moved to the Athletics in 1987 and he stayed in that position and with the team through 1996. During his time with the Athletics, Eckersley led the American League in saves twice (1988 and 1992). In 1988, he won the American League Championship Series MVP award. Four years later, he had his best season, winning the American League MVP and Cy Young awards in 1992. That season he played in 69 games and had a 7-1 record with 51 saves, 93 strikeouts to 11 walks, and an ERA of 1.91.

In 1996, Eckersley moved with manager Tony LaRussa to the St. Louis Cardinals. After the 1997 season, he signed again with the Boston Red Sox and finished his major league career after one final season (1998) in Boston. After retiring as a major league pitcher, Eckersley worked as an analyst for the Boston Red Sox and NESN and for post-season play on TBS.

Statistics for Eckersley as a relief pitcher in 12 seasons (1987-1998) in the major leagues include:

  • 9 seasons with over 20 saves, with a high of 51 in 1992
  • 5 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 0.61 in 1990

Career statistics for Eckersley include:

  • 1,071 games played
  • 3,285.2 innings pitched
  • 197-171 win-loss record
  • 390 saves
  • 2,401 strikeouts to 738 walks
  • 3.50 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Dennis Eckersley
ESPN Sports - Dennis Eckersley


Rickey Henderson (2009)

Rickey Henderson was an excellent athlete in high school, playing baseball, basketball, and football. He was drafted in 1976 by the Oakland Athletics and spent 1977 to 1979 in the minor leagues. In 1979, he played in 89 games with the Athletics. The next season, his first full one in the major leagues, Henderson batted .303 with 179 hits, 22 doubles, and 100 stolen bases in 158 games. Two years later, he set a major league baseball record by stealing 130 bases, the most any player had stolen in one season.

In 1981, Henderson won his first Silver Slugger award and his only Gold Glove. He played very well for the Oakland Athletics but they traded him in December, 1984 to the New York Yankees. In 1989, the Yankees traded him back to the Athletics and he stayed in Oakland until July, 1993, when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. From 1993 until the end of his career in 2003, Henderson played for eight teams:

  • Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
  • Oakland Athletics, 1994-1995, 1998
  • San Diego Padres, 1996-1997, 2001
  • Los Angeles Angels, 1997
  • New York Mets, 1999-2000
  • Seattle Mariners, 2000
  • Boston Red Sox, 2002
  • Los Angeles Dodgers, 2003

During his twenty-five year major league career, Henderson won three Silver Slugger awards (1981, 1985, 1990), a Gold Glove in 1981, the American League Championship Series MVP award in 1989, the American League MVP award in 1990, and the National League Comeback Player of the Year award in 1999. He led the American League in stolen bases twelve times (1980-1986, 1988-1991, 1998) and he led major league baseball in stolen bases in six of those years (1980, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1998). Henderson holds the major league baseball record for most career stolen bases.

After retiring as a major league player, Henderson worked as an instructor and coach for the Mets in 2006 and 2007. He has also been a special instructor in Spring training with the Oakland Athletics.

Statistics for Henderson in 25 seasons (1979-2003) in the major leagues include:

  • 6 seasons with 150 or more hits, with a high of 179 in 1980
  • 5 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 33 in 1990
  • 4 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 28 in 1986 and 1990
  • 14 seasons with over 50 stolen bases, with a high of 130 in 1982
  • 7 seasons with a batting average of .300 or better, with a high of .325 in 1990

Career statistics for Henderson include:

  • 3,081 games played
  • 3,055 hits
  • 510 doubles
  • 297 home runs
  • 1,406 stolen bases
  • .279 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Rickey Henderson
ESPN Sports - Rickey Henderson