Bobby Crosby

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Posted by r2d2 04/06/2009 @ 05:07

Tags : bobby crosby, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Hannahan, Crosby struggling at third - San Francisco Chronicle
Not that backup Bobby Crosby was hitting much better: .204. "They're both struggling offensively," manager Bob Geren said. "Jack's playing great defense. I think he's one of the best defensive third basemen in the league." Defense has given Hannahan...
White Sox - USA Today
Substitution: Bobby Crosby remains in the game playing first base. Out: Paul Konerko flied out to center. None on with one out and AJ Pierzynski due up. Walk: AJ Pierzynski walked. Runner on first with one out and Wilson Betemit due up....
Crosby optimistic despite setbacks - MLB.com
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com OAKLAND -- Faced with a similar set of circumstances, other people might call what Bobby Crosby of the A's has been through in the past seven months a nightmare. Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- that relates to the 2004...
Crosby has become the A's handyman - San Francisco Chronicle
Bobby Crosby wasn't in the Game 1 lineup Friday. But an hour and a half before the first pitch, manager Bob Geren told him he'd eventually be playing first base. So Crosby reached into catcher Landon Powell's bag, pulled out a first baseman's mitt...
Cooke hopes Pens can mirror Spitfires' success - National Post
I know (Spitfires coach) Bobby (Boughner) and (Spitfires assistant coach) DJ (Smith), when I played there, he was our captain. I'm just so excited for them and happy that they could pull it out." As happy as he'd be if the Pens could pull off a similar...
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Adam Kennedy struck out looking. None on with one out and Bobby Crosby due up. Home-run: Bobby Crosby one-out, solo Home Run (1) to left. Ryan Sweeney due up. Out: Ryan Sweeney lined out to third. None on with two outs and Rajai Davis due up....
Crosby out with stomach problem, A's infield all E's - San Francisco Chronicle
The A's say that Bobby Crosby came out of tonight's game with an "upset stomach." Maybe he was sickened by all the errors the team has been making: They have a grand slam around the infield, with errors by Crosby at third, Orlando Cabrera at short,...
Injury Roundup: Votto placed on DL - SportingNews.com
Bobby Crosby will likely pick up Cust's at-bats. ... Kaz Matsui was placed on the 15-day DL due to a strained right hamstring. Matsui hadn't played since May 25, so he'll be eligible to return June 10. Edwin Maysonet, who went 4-for-4 with aa homer and...
Play by play - USA Today
Substitution: NOTE: Bobby Crosby started the game playing first base, batting 8th. Out: Bobby Crosby grounded out third to first. None on with two outs and Gregorio Petit due up. Out: Gregorio Petit struck out looking to end the inning....
How long will Holliday remain with A's? - San Francisco Chronicle
The more immediate question, however, might be whether the A's will deal Bobby Crosby. There are several teams in need of middle infielders, notably Tampa Bay, Kansas City and the Mets, and Crosby, the 2004 AL Rookie of the Year, is now in a backup...

Bobby Crosby

This article is for the baseball player. For the comic strip character, see Superosity.

Robert Edward Crosby (born January 12, 1980 in Lakewood, California) is a shortstop in Major League Baseball who has played for the Oakland Athletics since 2003. The son of former major league infielder Ed Crosby, he bats and throws right-handed. He was Rookie of the Year in 2004.

Crosby attended La Quinta High School in Westminster, California alongside Texas Rangers catcher Gerald Laird and California State University, Long Beach with Seattle Mariners outfielder Jeremy Reed.

In 2004, his first full season, he took over the Athletics' shortstop duties from 2002 American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Tejada, who signed with the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent. That year, Crosby hit .239 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI. He also led American League rookies in hits (130), doubles (34) and walks (58), and was third among AL players with 4.17 pitches per plate appearance. These numbers earned Crosby Rookie of the Year honors, the sixth Athletics player to do so after Harry Byrd (1952), José Canseco (1986), Mark McGwire (1987), Walt Weiss (1988), and Ben Grieve (1998).

In addition to becoming the sixth Athletics player to be named Rookie of the Year, he was the second shortstop in a row to win the award (after Angel Berroa of the Los Angeles Dodgers). He was also the eighth shortstop in 22 seasons to earn top rookie honors, the others being Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982), Ozzie Guillén (1985), Walt Weiss (1988), Pat Listach (1992), Derek Jeter (1996), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), and Berroa (2003).

Crosby was just a vote shy of being a unanimous pick, despite his batting average being the lowest ever for a Rookie of the Year. He also struck out 141 times, fourth-most in the AL, and the team's most since Canseco had 152 in 1991.

In 2005, Crosby was followed as Rookie of the Year by Athletics closer Huston Street. Mark McGwire has served as his hitting coach since the 2009 offseason.

His younger brother, Blake Crosby, played college baseball at Brigham Young University and currently plays college baseball at Sacramento State. His older brother, Brian Crosby, is an artist for Walt Disney Imagineering.

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Oakland Athletics

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The Oakland Athletics are a professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From 1968 to the present, the Athletics have played in the Oakland Coliseum.

The "Athletics" name originates from the late 19th century "athletic clubs", specifically the Athletic of Philadelphia. They are most prominently nicknamed "the A's", in reference to the blackletter "A", a trademark of the team and the old Athletic of Philadelphia. This has gained very prominent use, and in some circles is used more frequently than the full "Athletics" name. They are also known as "the White Elephants" or simply "the Elephants", in reference to then New York Giants' manager John McGraw's calling the team a "white elephant". This was embraced by the team, who then made a white elephant the team's mascot, and often incorporated it into the logo or sleeve patches.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1901. Then the Philadelphia Athletics, the team moved to Kansas City in 1955 and became the Kansas City Athletics. It was not until 1968 that the team moved to Oakland.

The Athletics' name originated in the term "Athletic Club" for local gentlemen's clubs—dates to 1860 when an amateur team, the Athletic (Club) of Philadelphia, was formed. (A famous image from that era, published in Harper's Weekly in 1866, shows the Athletic players dressed in uniforms displaying the familiar blackletter "A" on the front). The team later turned professional through 1875, becoming a charter member of the National League in 1876, but were expelled from the N.L. after one season. A later version of the Athletics played in the American Association from 1882–1891.

The team name is typically pronounced "Ath-LET-ics", but their longtime team owner/manager Connie Mack called them by the old-fashioned colloquial Irish pronunciation "Ath-uh-LET-ics". Newspaper writers also often referred to the team as the Mackmen during their Philadelphia days, in honor of their patriarch.

Over the seasons, the Athletics' uniforms have usually paid homage to their amateur forebears to some extent. Until 1954, when the uniforms had "Athletics" spelled out in script across the front, the team's name never appeared on either home or road uniforms. Furthermore, not once did "Philadelphia" appear on the uniform, nor did the letter "P" appear on the cap or the uniform. The typical Philadelphia uniform had only an "A" on the left front, and likewise the cap usually had the same "A" on it. In the early days of the American League, the standings listed the club as "Athletic" rather than "Philadelphia", in keeping with the old tradition. Eventually, the city name came to be used for the team, as with the other major league clubs.

Though for a time as a Kansas City team, the "A"s wore "Kansas City" on their road jerseys and an interlocking "KC" on the cap, upon moving to Oakland the "A" cap emblem was restored, although in 1970 an "apostrophe-s" was added to the cap and uniform emblem to reflect the fact that then-team owner Charles O. Finley was in the process of officially changing the team's name to the "A's".

Currently, the team wears home uniforms with "Athletics" spelled out in script writing and road uniforms with "Oakland" spelled out in script writing, with the cap logo consisting of the traditional "A" with "apostrophe-s". The home cap is green with a gold bill and white lettering, while the road cap is all green with gold lettering.

The nickname "A's" has long been used interchangeably with "Athletics", dating to the team's early days when headline writers wanted a way to shorten the name. From 1972 through 1980, the team nickname was officially "Oakland A's," although, during that time, the Commissioner's Trophy, given out annually to the winner of baseball's world series, still listed the team's name as the "Oakland Athletics" on the gold-plated pennant representing the Oakland franchise. According to Bill Libby's Book, Charlie O and the Angry A's, owner Charlie O. Finley banned the word "Athletics" from the club's name because he felt that name was too closely associated with former Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack, and he wanted the name "Oakland A's" to become just as closely associated with himself. The name also vaguely suggested the name of the old minor league Oakland Oaks, which were alternatively called the "Acorns". New owner Walter Haas restored the official name to "Athletics" in 1981, but retained the nickname "A's" for marketing purposes. At first, the word "Athletics" was restored only to the club's logo, underneath the much larger stylized-"A" that had come to represent the team since the early days. By 1987, however, the word returned, in script lettering, to the front of the team's jerseys.

The A's are the only MLB team to wear white cleats, both at home and on the road, another tradition dating back to the Finley ownership. They are also the only team to wear yellow socks.

After New York Giants' manager John McGraw told reporters that Philadelphia manufacturer Benjamin Shibe, who owned the controlling interest in the new team, had a "white elephant on his hands," Mack defiantly adopted the white elephant as the team mascot, and presented McGraw with a stuffed toy elephant at the start of the 1905 World Series. McGraw and Mack had known each other for years, and McGraw accepted it graciously. By 1909, the A's were wearing an elephant logo on their sweaters, and in 1918 it turned up on the regular uniform jersey for the first time. Over the years the elephant has appeared in several different colors. It is currently forest green. The A’s are still sometimes, though infrequently, referred to as the "Elephants" or "White Elephants".

The elephant was retired as team mascot in 1963 by then-owner Charles O. Finley in favor of a Missouri mule. In 1988, the elephant was restored as the symbol of the Athletics and currently adorns the left sleeve of home and road uniforms. The Elephant Mascot returned briefly in the mid eighties, under the name Harry Elephante. In 1997, the elephant returned, taking its current form: Stomper.

The franchise that would become the modern Athletics originated in 1901 as a new franchise in the American League. The Western League had been renamed the American League in 1900 by league president Bancroft (Ban) Johnson, and declared itself the second major league in 1901.

In 1901, Johnson created new franchises in the east and eliminated some franchises in the West. (Seeks to snare Duffy of Boston, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 29, 1901, pg. 9.) Philadelphia seems to have been a new franchise created to compete with the National League’s Philadelphia Phillies. Former catcher Connie Mack was recruited to manage the club. Mack in turn persuaded Phillies minority owner Ben Shibe as well as others to invest in the team, which would be called the Philadelphia Athletics. He himself bought a 25 percent interest. The other 1901 American League teams included the newly-created Baltimore Orioles (now the New York Yankees) and Boston Americans (now Red Sox), as well as a Kansas City franchise relocated to Washington as the Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) and previous members the Chicago White Stockings (now White Sox), Cleveland Blues (now Indians), Detroit Tigers, and Milwaukee Brewers (later the St. Louis Browns and now the Baltimore Orioles).

The new league recruited many of its players from the existing National League, persuading them to “jump” to the A.L. in defiance of their N.L. contracts. One of them was second baseman Nap Lajoie, formerly of the crosstown Phllies. He won the A.L.'s first batting title with a .426 batting average, still an A.L. record. The Athletics as well as the 7 other A.L. teams received a jolt when, on April 21, 1902, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated Lajoie's contract with the Athletics, and ordered him back to the Phillies. This order, though, was only enforceable in the state of Pennsylvania. Lajoie was sold to Cleveland, but was kept out of road games in Philadelphia until the National Agreement was signed between the two leagues in 1903.

In the early years, the A’s quickly established themselves as one of the dominant teams in the new league, winning the A.L. pennant six times (1902, 1905, 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914), winning the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913. They won over 100 games in 1911 and 1912, and 99 games in 1914. The team was known for its "$100,000 Infield", consisting of John "Stuffy" McInnis (first base), Eddie Collins (second base), Jack Barry (shortstop), and Frank "Home Run" Baker (third base) and as well as pitchers Eddie Plank and Charles "Chief" Bender. Rube Waddell was also a major pitching star for the A's in the early 1900s before flaming out. According to Lamont Buchanan in The World Series and Highlights of Baseball, the A's fans were fond of chanting, "If Eddie Plank doesn't make you lose / We have Waddell and Bender all ready to use!" Plank holds the club record for career victories, with 284.

In 1909, the A's moved into the majors' first concrete-and-steel ballpark, Shibe Park. This remains the last time in franchise history where a new ballpark was built specifically for the A's. Later in the decade, Mack bought another 25 percent of the team's stock to become a full partner with Shibe. Shibe ceded Mack full control over the baseball side while retaining control over the business side.

Business took a downturn in 1914. The heavily favored Athletics lost the 1914 World Series to the "Miracle" Boston Braves in a four-game sweep. Miracles often have two sides, and for a few years this "miracle" wrought disaster on the A's. Mack traded, sold or released most of the team's star players soon after, and the team fell into a lengthy slump. In his book To Every Thing a Season, Bruce Kuklick points out that there were suspicions that the A's had thrown the Series, or at least "laid down", perhaps in protest of Mack's frugal ways. Mack himself alluded to that rumor years later, but also debunked it, asserting that factions within the team along with the allure of a third major league, the Federal League had distracted the team. The facts at least in part support Mack's statement.

The Federal League had been formed to begin play in 1914. As the A.L. had done 13 years before, the new league raided existing A.L. and N.L. teams for players. Several of his best players, including Bender, had already decided to jump before the World Series. Mack refused to match the offers of the F.L. teams, preferring to let the "prima donnas" go and rebuild with younger (and less expensive) players. The result was a swift and near-total collapse, a "first-to-worst" situation. The Athletics went from a 99–53 (.651) record and a pennant in 1914 to a record of 43–109 (.283) and 8th (last) place in 1915, and then to 36–117 (.235, still a modern major-league low) in 1916. The team would finish in last place every year after that until 1922 and would not contend again until 1925. Shibe died in 1922, and his sons took over the business side, leaving the baseball side to Mack. By this time Mack had cemented his famous image of the tall, gaunt and well-dressed man (he never wore a uniform during his managerial career, preferring a business suit, tie and fedora; a not-uncommon practice for managers in his day) waving his players into position with a scorecard (since no one is allowed on the baseball field, during a game, without a proper uniform).

After that, Mack began to build another winner. In 1927 and 1928, the Athletics finished second to the New York Yankees, then won pennants in 1929, 1930 and 1931, winning the World Series in 1929 and 1930. In each of the three years, the A's won over 100 games.

As it turned out, this would be the Athletics' last hurrah in Philadelphia. Mack again sold or traded his best players in order to reduce expenses. The Great Depression was well under way, and declining attendance had drastically reduced the team’s revenues. The construction of a spite fence at Shibe Park, blocking the view from nearby buildings, only served to irritate potential paying fans. However, the consequences did not become apparent for a few more years, as the team finished second in 1932 and third in 1933.

The Athletics finished fifth in 1934, then last in 1935. Mack was already 68 years old when the A’s last won the pennant in 1931, and many felt the game was passing him by. Although he had every intention of building another winner, he did not have the extra money to get big stars. Unlike most other owners, Mack had no other source of income aside from his baseball team, so the dwindling attendance figures of the early 1930s hit him especially hard. He was also unwilling (or unable) to invest in a farm system.

As a result, the A's went into a funk that lasted for over 30 years, through three cities. Save for a fifth-place finish in 1944, they finished in last or next-to-last place every year from 1935 to 1946. In 1936, Shibe's last son died, and Mack became the Athletics' sole owner. Even as bad as the club got during this time (some believe that many of his teams were major-league in name only), he had no intention of firing himself. Long after most other teams had hired a general manager, he remained essentially a one-man band, making all baseball decisions as well as leading the team on the field. To the surprise of most people in baseball, Mack managed not only to get out of the cellar in 1947, but actually finished with a winning record for the first time in 14 years. They contended for much of 1948 and 1949, only to collapse back to last place again in 1950.

In the late 1940s, Mack split day-to-day control over the team between Roy, Earle and his son from his second marriage, Connie Mack, Jr. After pushing their father out as manager, Roy and Earle assumed control of the team though their father remained nominal owner and team president. In order to do this, the Mack brothers mortgaged the team to Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (now part of CIGNA). However, the team continued to slide (the A's finished with a winning record only once from 1951 to 1954), attendance plummeted, and revenues continued to dwindle. It soon became obvious that the team's cash flow was insufficient to service the new debt, and Roy and Earle Mack began feuding with each other. Meanwhile, the Phillies, who had played second-fiddle to the A's for most of the last half-century (in fact, they had been the A's tenants in Shibe Park since 1938), made it to the World Series in 1950 and quickly passed the A's as Philadelphia's number-one team.

In spite of the turmoil, some Athletics players shone on the field. In 1951, Gus Zernial led the American League with 33 home runs, 129 R, 68 extra-base hits, and 17 outfield assists; in 1952 he swatted 29 homers and bagged 100 RBI, and hit 42 homers and drove in 108 runs in 1953. Also, in 1952, left-handed pitcher Bobby Shantz won 24 games and was named the league's Most Valuable Player, and Ferris Fain won AL batting championships in 1951 (with a .344 average) and 1952 (with a .320 average). His 1952 batting crown remains the last time an Athletic has led the league in hitting.

Though last-minute offers were put on the table to buy the Athletics to keep them in Philadelphia, including one made by a group led by Chicago insurance tycoon Charles O. Finley, the American League owners were determined to "solve the Philadelphia problem" by moving the team elsewhere. On October 12, 1954, the owners approved the sale of the Athletics to another Chicago businessman, Arnold Johnson, who moved the team to Kansas City for the 1955 season.

Rumors abounded that Johnson's real motive was to operate the Athletics in Kansas City for a few years, then move the team to Los Angeles. Whatever Johnson's motives were, the issue soon became moot. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, thereby precluding any move there by the Athletics (although the Los Angeles Angels would begin play in the AL in 1961). Moreover, on March 10, 1960, Arnold Johnson died at the age of 53.

Whatever the concern about the move to Kansas City, fans turned out in record numbers for the era. In 1955, the new Kansas City Athletics drew 1,393,054 to Municipal Stadium, a club record easily surpassing the previous record of 945,076 in 1948 (To put this figure in perspective, in 1955 only the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Braves had higher home attendance than did the A's). What no one realized at the time was that number would never be approached again while the team was in Kansas City, and would remain the club record for attendance until 1982—the Athletics’ 15th season in Oakland.

During the Johnson ownership, general manager Parke Carroll invariably traded any good young Athletics players to the Yankees for aging veterans and cash. The cash was used to pay the bills, with the veterans perhaps having star appeal that could improve attendance.

Though Johnson promised the fans that the trades would soon bring a world championship to Kansas City, it did not work that way. The A's won 63 games in 1955, only the fifth time in the last 20 years they managed to win more than 60 games. However, they never contended past June in the six years of Johnson's ownership, and finished either last or next-to-last each season. Attendance declined, with fans and even other clubs charging that the A’s were little more than a Yankee farm team at the major league level, citing Johnson's pre-existing cozy relationship with Topping and Webb. This obvious conflict of interest was merely winked at by the rulers of the game at that time. It is perhaps not a coincidence that the Yankees went into decline as soon as the A's stopped sending them talent. Johnson once gushed to The Sporting News, "I'd pay a million dollars for Mickey Mantle!" Assuming he had a million to give, that was a safe offer, as there was no chance the Yanks were going to trade their superstar to Kansas City.

The trade no one ever forgot was the one made after the 1959 season, when the A’s sent young right fielder Roger Maris to New York for his aging counterpart, Hank Bauer, in a seven-player deal. However, there were others. The Yankees brought up a promising young pitcher, Ralph Terry, in 1956, but were reluctant to use him in critical situations. So, in June 1957, they traded him to the A's in an eight-player deal. After getting nearly two years of experience facing A.L. batters, Terry apparently was ready to return. In May 1959, the Yankees sent Jerry Lumpe and two washed-up pitchers to the Athletics for Terry. Once "home," Terry became a 20-game winner for New York.

A detailed account of this period is The Kansas City A's and The Wrong Half of the Yankees, by Jeff Katz, published by Maple Street Press.

On December 19, 1960, Charles "Charlie O." Finley purchased a controlling interest in the team from Johnson's estate after losing out to Johnson six years earlier in Philadelphia. He bought out the minority owners a year later. Finley promised the fans a new day. In a highly publicized move, he purchased a bus, pointed it in the direction of New York, and burned it to symbolize the end of the “special relationship” with the Yankees. He called another press conference to burn the existing lease at Municipal Stadium which included the despised "escape clause." He spent over $400,000 of his own money in stadium improvements (though in 1962 the city reimbursed $300,000 of this). He introduced new uniforms which had "Kansas City" on the road uniforms for the first time ever and an interlocking "KC" on the cap. He announced, "My intentions are to keep the A's permanently in Kansas City and build a winning ball club. I have no intention of ever moving the franchise." The fans, in turn, regarded Finley as the savior of Major League Baseball in Kansas City.

Finley immediately hired Frank Lane, a veteran baseball man with a reputation as a prolific trader, as general manager. Lane began engineering trades with several other teams, including the Yankees, the bus-burning stunt notwithstanding. Lane lasted less than one year, being fired during the 1961 season. He was temporarily replaced by Pat Friday, whose sole qualification for the job was that he managed one of Finley's insurance offices. On paper, Friday remained general manager until Carl A. Finley Jr. took over as general manager in 1963, when he was replaced by Hank Peters. After only a year, Peters was fired, and the team had no formal general manager until 1981. In fact, Friday and Peters were mere figureheads. With the firing of Lane in 1961, Finley effectively became a one-man band as owner, president and de facto general manager, and would remain so for the duration of his ownership.

Finley made further changes to the team’s uniforms. The Philadelphia Athletics wore blue and white or black and gray outfits through most of their history;; in the last years in Philadelphia and the first in Kansas City, the team used a red, white and navy blue scheme. In 1963, Finley changed the team’s colors to “Kelly Green, Fort Knox Gold and Wedding Gown White” (which, although the kelly green was replaced by a darker, forest green shade in 1981, essentially remain the team colors today) and replaced Mack's elephant with a Missouri mule—not just a cartoon logo, but a real mule, which he named after himself: “Charlie O, the Mule.” He also began phasing out the team name "Athletics" in favor of simply, "A's." Some of his other changes—for instance, his repeated attempts to mimic Yankee Stadium's famous right-field "home run porch"—were less successful. AL President Joe Cronin ordered Finley to remove the fence which duplicated the 296-foot right-field foul line in Yankee Stadium. Smarting from this draconian ukase, Finley had his announcer comment "That would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium" whenever a fly ball passed the limit in Municipal Stadium's outfield.

While the A's were still dreadful in the first eight years of Finley's ownership, he began to lay the groundwork for a future contender. Finley poured resources into the minor league system for the first time in the history of the franchise. Mack never spent money on developing a farm system, which was a major reason his teams fell from contenders to cellar-dwellers so quickly. When Johnson bought the team in 1955, the A's had only three full-time scouts. While Johnson tried to make improvements, he wasn't willing to pay the bonuses necessary to get top talent. However, Finley steadily built up the team's farm system until by 1966, it was one of the best in the majors. He was assisted by the creation of the baseball draft in 1965, which forced young prospects to sign with the team that drafted them—at the price offered by the team—if they wanted to play professional baseball. Thus, Finley was spared from having to compete with wealthier teams for top talent. The Athletics, owners of the worst record in the American League in 1964, had the first pick in the first draft, selecting Rick Monday on June 8, 1965.

Almost from the minute the ink dried on his purchase of the Athletics, Finley began shopping the Athletics to other cities despite his promises that the A’s would remain in Kansas City. Soon after the lease-burning stunt, it was discovered that what actually burned was a blank boilerplate commercial lease available at any stationery store. The actual lease was still in force—including the escape clause. Finley later admitted he had no intention of rewriting the lease, that the whole thing was a publicity stunt.

On September 18, 1962, after less than two full years of ownership, Finley asked the A.L. owners for permission to move the Athletics to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His request was denied by a 9–1 vote. In January 1964, he signed an agreement to move the A’s to Louisville, promising to change the team's name to the "Kentucky Athletics". (Other names suggested for the team were the "Louisville Sluggers" and "Kentucky Colonels," which would've allowed the team to keep the letters "KC" on their uniforms.) By another 9–1 vote his request was denied. Six weeks later, by the same 9–1 margin, the A.L. owners denied Finley's request to move the team to Oakland.

These requests came as no surprise, as impending moves to these cities, as well as to Atlanta, Milwaukee, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle— all of which Finley had considered as new homes for the Athletics — had long been afloat. He also threatened to move the A's to a "cow pasture" in Peculiar, Missouri, complete with temporary grandstands. Not surprisingly, attendance tailed off. Finally, American League President Joe Cronin persuaded Finley to sign a four-year lease with Municipal Stadium.

Then on October 18, 1967, A.L. owners at last gave Finley permission to move the Athletics to Oakland for the 1968 season. According to some reports, 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. Then-U.S. Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri blasted Finley on the floor of the Senate, calling him "one of the most disreputable characters ever to enter the American sports scene,” and said Oakland was “the luckiest city since Hiroshima.” When Symington threatened to have baseball's antitrust exemption revoked, the owners responded with a hasty round of expansion. Kansas City was awarded an American League expansion team, the Royals. They were initially slated to begin play in 1971. However, Symington was not willing to have Kansas City wait three years for another team, and renewed his threat to have baseball's antitrust exemption revoked unless the teams began play in 1969. The owners complied.

During the Johnson years, the Athletics' home attendance averaged just under one million per season, respectable numbers for the era, especially in light of the team's dreadful on-field performance. In contrast, during the years of Finley's ownership, the team averaged under 680,000 per year in Kansas City. According to baseball writer Rob Neyer (a native of the Kansas City area), this was largely because Finley tried to sell baseball tickets like he sold insurance. Just before the 1960 season, he mailed brochures to 600,000 people in the area, and only made $20,000 in ticket sales. During their 13-year stay in Kansas City, their overall record was 829–1,224, for a winning percentage of .404.

The Athletics arrived in Oakland just as the team was beginning to gel. They moved into the one-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. On May 8, 1968 in a game against the Minnesota Twins, Jim "Catfish" Hunter pitched the first perfect game in the American League since 1922, while burgeoning superstar Reggie Jackson clubbed 29 home runs. Managed by Bob Kennedy, the A's finished the 1968 season with an 82–80 record – their first winning season since 1952 - their second-to-last season in Philadelphia. With expansion to 12 teams in 1969, the American League was divided into two 6-team divisions. During that year, the Athletics finished second in the A.L. West Division behind the Twins, the first time they had finished in the first division since 1952 - during their tenure in Philadelphia. Finley officially changed the team name from the Athletics to the "A's" in 1970, the first year that an "apostrophe-s" appeared after the traditional "A" logo.

Everything finally came together for the A's as the 1970s dawned. After another second-place finish in 1970, the A’s won the A.L. West title in 1971 for their first postseason appearance of any kind since 1931. However, they lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series. In 1972, the A's won their first league pennant since 1931 and faced the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series.

That year, the A's began wearing solid green or solid gold jerseys, with contrasting white pants, at a time when most other teams wore all-white uniforms at home and all-grey ones on the road. Similar to more colorful amateur softball uniforms, they were considered a radical departure for their time. Furthermore, in conjunction with a Moustache Day promotion, Finley offered $500 to any player who grew a moustache by Father's Day, at a time when every other team forbade facial hair. When Father's Day arrived, every member of the team collected a bonus. The 1972 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds was termed “The Hairs vs. the Big Squares,” as the Reds wore more traditional uniforms and required their players to be clean-shaven and short-haired. A contemporaneous book about the team was called Moustache Gang. The A's seven-game victory over the heavily favored Reds gave the team its first World Series Championship since 1930.

They defended their title in 1973 and 1974. Unlike Mack's champions, who thoroughly dominated their opposition, the A’s teams of the 1970s played well enough to win their division (which was usually known as the "American League Least" during this time). They then defeated teams that had won more games during the regular season with good pitching, good defense, and clutch hitting. Finley called this team the “Swingin’ A’s.” Players such as Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, and Vida Blue formed the nucleus of these teams.

The players often said in later years that they played so well as a team because almost to a man, they hated Finley with a passion. For instance, Finley threatened to pack Jackson off to the minors in 1969 after Jackson hit 47 homers; Commissioner Bowie Kuhn had to intervene in their contract dispute. Kuhn intervened again after Blue won the A.L. Cy Young Award in 1971 and Finley threatened to send him to the minors. Finley's tendency for micromanaging his team actually dated to the team's stay in Kansas City. Among the more notable incidents during this time was a near-mutiny in 1967; Finley responded by releasing the A's best hitter, Ken Harrelson, who promptly signed with the Red Sox and helped lead them to the pennant.

The Athletics' victory over the New York Mets in the 1973 Series was marred by Finley's antics. Finley forced Mike Andrews to sign a false affidavit saying he was injured after the reserve second baseman committed two consecutive errors in the 12th inning of the A's Game Two loss to the Mets. When other team members, manager Dick Williams, and virtually the entire viewing public rallied to Andrews' defense, Kuhn forced Finley to back down. However, there was nothing that said the A's had to play Andrews. Andrews entered Game 4 in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter to a standing ovation from sympathetic Mets fans. He promptly grounded out, and Finley ordered him benched for the remainder of the Series. Andrews never played another major league game. As it was, the incident allowed the Mets, a team that went but 82–79 during the regular season, to go seven games before losing to a superior team. Williams was so disgusted by the affair that he resigned after the Series. Finley retaliated by vetoing Williams' attempt to become manager of the Yankees. Finley claimed that since Williams still owed Oakland the last year of his contract, he could not manage anywhere else. Finley relented later in 1974 and allowed Williams to take over as manager of the California Angels.

After the Athletics' victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1974 Series (under Alvin Dark), pitcher Catfish Hunter filed a grievance, claiming that the team had violated its contract with Hunter by failing to make timely payment on an insurance policy during the 1974 season as called for. On December 13, 1974, arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled in Hunter’s favor. As a result, Hunter became a free agent, and signed a contract with the Yankees for the 1975 season. Despite the loss of Hunter, the A’s repeated as A.L. West champions in 1975, but lost the ALCS to Boston in a 3-game sweep.

In 1975, fed up with poor attendance in Oakland during the team's championship years, Finley thought of moving yet again. When Seattle filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball over the move of the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee, Finley and others came up with an elaborate shuffle which would move the ailing Chicago White Sox to Seattle. Finley then would move the A's to Chicago, closer to his home in LaPorte, Indiana; and take the White Sox' place at Comiskey Park. The scheme fell through when Arthur Allyn sold the White Sox to another colorful owner, Bill Veeck, who was not interested in leaving Chicago.

As the 1976 season got underway, the basic rules of player contracts were changing. Seitz had ruled that baseball’s reserve clause only bound players for one season after their contract expired. Thus, all players not signed to multi-year contracts would be eligible for free agency at the end of the 1976 season. The balance of power had shifted from the owners to the players for the first time since the days of the Federal League. Like Mack had done twice before, Finley reacted by trading star players and attempting to sell others. On June 15, 1976, Finley sold left fielder Rudi and relief pitcher Fingers to Boston for $1 million each, and pitcher Blue to the New York Yankees for $1.5 million. Three days later, 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.

After the 1976 season, most of the Athletics’ veteran players did become eligible for free agency, and predictably almost all left. Three thousand miles and several decades later, one of baseball’s most storied franchises suffered yet another dismemberment of a dynasty team. As happened with the end of the A's first dynasty in the early 1900s, the collapse was swift and total. The next three years were as bad as the worst days in Philadelphia or Kansas City, with the A's finishing last twice and next-to-last once. In 1977, for instance—only three years after winning the World Series—the A's finished with the worst record in the American League West, behind even the expansion Seattle Mariners (though by only 1/2 game, as one game with the Minnesota Twins was canceled by weather and never made up).

At the end of the 1977 season, Finley attempted to trade Blue to the Reds for a player of lesser stature and cash, but Kuhn vetoed the deal, claiming that it was tantamount to a fire sale of the star pitcher similar to the sales he voided during 1976. He also claimed that adding Blue to the Reds' already formidable pitching staff would make a mockery of the National League West race. Later, the Commissioner approved a trade of relief pitcher Doug Bair to the Reds in a deal that resembled a true trade. At the same time, Blue was traded across the bay to the San Francisco Giants in a multi-player trade that likewise received the Commissioner's blessing.

Finley nearly sold the team to buyers who would have moved them to Denver for the 1978 season and New Orleans for 1979. Though the American League owners appeared to favor the Denver deal, it fell through when the city of Oakland refused to release the A's from their lease. The city was in the midst of its battle with the Oakland Raiders over their move to Los Angeles and didn't want to lose both teams. Not surprisingly, only 306,763 paying customers showed up to watch the A's in 1979, the team's worst attendance since leaving Philadelphia.

After three dismal seasons on the field and at the gate, the team started to gel again. In a masterstroke, Finley hired Billy Martin to manage the young team, led by new young stars Rickey Henderson, Mike Norris, Tony Armas, and Dwayne Murphy. Martin made believers of his young charges, “Billyball” was used to market the team, and the Athletics finished second in 1980.

However, during that same season Finley's wife sought a divorce and would not accept part of a baseball team in a property settlement. With most of his money tied up in the A's or his insurance empire, Finley had to sell the team. He agreed in principle to sell to businessman Marvin Davis, who would have moved the Athletics to Denver. However, just before Finley and Davis were due to sign a definitive agreement,the Raiders announced their move to Los Angeles. Oakland and Alameda County officials, not wanting to be held responsible for losing Oakland's status as a big-league city in its own right, refused to let Finley out of his lease with the Coliseum. Finley then looked to local buyers, selling the A's to San Francisco clothing manufacturer Walter A. Haas, Jr., president of Levi Strauss & Co. prior to the 1981 season. It would not be the last time that the Raiders directly affected the A's future.

Despite winning three World Series and two other A.L. West Division titles, the A's on-field success did not translate into success at the box office during the Finley Era in Oakland. Average home attendance from 1968–1980 was 777,000 per season, with 1,075,518 in 1975 being the highest attendance for a Finley-owned team. In marked contrast, during the first year of Haas' ownership, the Athletics drew 1,304,052—in a season shortened by a player strike. Were it not for the strike, the A's were on a pace to draw over 2.2 million in 1981. The A's lost in the American League Championship Series after winning the "first half" AL West Division title of the strike-interrupted 1981 season. They finished with the second-best overall record in baseball, and the best record in the American League.

During the 15 years of Haas' ownership, the Athletics became one of baseball’s most successful teams at the gate, drawing 2,900,217 in 1990, still the club record for single season attendance, as well as on the field. Average annual home attendance during those years (excluding the strike years of 1981 and 1994) was over 1.9 million.

Haas set about changing the team's image. He ditched Charlie O. as the team mascot, and pictures of Connie Mack and other greats from the Philadelphia days appeared in the team office. The traditional team name "Athletics" was restored immediately, with the new ownership group formally known as "The Oakland Athletics Baseball Company." While the team colors remained green, gold, and white, the garish Kelly green was replaced with a more subdued forest green. After a 23-year hiatus, the elephant was restored as the club mascot in 1988. The script "Athletics," which had adorned home and road jerseys from 1954-1960, was returned to home jerseys in 1987.

Under the Haas ownership, the minor league system was rebuilt, which bore fruition later that decade as José Canseco (1986), Mark McGwire (1987), and Walt Weiss (1988) were chosen as A.L. Rookies of the Year. During the 1986 season, Tony La Russa was hired as the Athletics’ manager, a post he held until the end of 1995. In 1987, La Russa’s first full year as manager, the team finished at 81–81, its best record in 7 seasons. Beginning in 1988, the Athletics won the A.L. pennant three years in a row. Reminiscent of their Philadelphia predecessors, this A’s team finished with the best record of any team in the major leagues during all 3 years, winning 104 (1988), 99 (1989), and 103 (1990) games, featuring such stars as McGwire, Canseco, Weiss, Rickey Henderson, Carney Lansford, Dave Stewart, and Dennis Eckersley.

During this time, Rickey Henderson shattered Lou Brock's modern major league record by stealing 130 bases in a single season (1982), a total which has not been approached since. On May 1, 1991, Henderson broke one of baseball's most famous records when he stole the 939th base of his career, one more than Lou Brock.

Regular season dominance led to some success in the post-season. Their lone World Series championship of the era was a four-game sweep of the cross-bay rival San Francisco Giants in the 1989 World Series. Unfortunately for the A's, their sweep of the Giants was overshadowed by the Loma Prieta earthquake that occurred at the start of Game 3 before a national television audience. This forced the remaining games to be delayed for several days. When play resumed, the atmosphere was dominated more by a sense of relief than celebration by baseball fans. Heavily favored Athletics teams lost the World Series in both 1988, to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in 1990, to the Cincinnati Reds. The latter was a shocking four-game sweep reminiscent of the A’s loss to the Boston Braves 76 years earlier. The team began declining, winning the A.L. West championship in 1992 (but losing to Toronto in the ALCS), then finishing last in 1993.

Walter Haas died in 1995, and the team was sold to San Francisco Bay Area real estate developers Steve Schott (third cousin to one-time Cincinnati Reds’ owner Marge Schott),silent partner David Etheridge and Ken Hofmann, prior to the 1996 season. Once again, the Athletics’ star players were traded or sold, as the new owners’ goal was to cut payroll drastically. Many landed with the St. Louis Cardinals, including McGwire, Eckersley, and manager La Russa. In a turn of events eerily reminiscent of the A’s Roger Maris trade 38 years before, Mark McGwire celebrated his first full season with the Cardinals by setting a new major league home run record. In fact, McGwire came close to the record in 1997, when he split 58 homers between the A's and the Cards.

The Schott-Hofmann ownership allocated resources to building and maintaining a strong minor league system while almost always refusing to pay the going rate to keep star players on the team once they become free agents. Perhaps as a result, the A’s at the turn of the 21st century were a team that usually finished at or near the top of the A.L. West Division, but could not advance beyond the first round of playoffs. The Athletics made the post season playoffs for four straight years, 2000–2003, but lost their first round (best 3-out-of-5) series in each case, 3 games to 2. In two of those years (2001 against New York and 2003 against Boston), the Athletics won the first two games of the series, only to lose the next three straight and hence the playoffs. In 2001, Oakland became the first team to lose a best-of-five series after winning both of the first two games on the road. In 2004, the A's missed the playoffs altogether, losing the final series of the season—and the divisional title to the Anaheim Angels.

Also of note was an Unassisted Triple Play: On May 29, 2000, Randy Velarde achieved an unassisted triple play against the Yankees. In the sixth, second baseman Velarde caught Shane Spencer's line drive, tagged Jorge Posada running from first to second, and stepped on second before Tino Martinez could return. (Velarde had also pulled off an unassisted triple play during a spring training game that year.) This was only the 11th unassisted triple play in the history of major league baseball.

One of the most exciting periods in Oakland history can be characterized simply as “The Big Three.” Consisting of young talented pitchers Tim Hudson(R), Mark Mulder(L), and Barry Zito(L). Between the years of 1999 and 2006, these young cannon arms helped the Athletics to emerge into a perennial powerhouse in the American League West. They gave the Athletics a 1-2-3 punch to add to a potent lineup and instill fear into the hearts of opposing batters and managers.

The Big three combined to have a collective record of 261 – 131 with the Athletics. However, with such promising young talent comes a hefty price tag, and as a small market organization, the Athletics could not afford to keep this trio. General Manager Billy Beane would use the three as trade bait and rebuilding blocks for the future of the franchise, just one in a series of rebuilding efforts. The young Athletics also featured talented infielders, Eric Chavez, Jason Giambi, and Miguel Tejada. After becoming free agents, Giambi left for the New York Yankees after the 2001 season, while Tejada departed for the Baltimore Orioles after the 2003 season.

The general manager of the Athletics, Billy Beane, has become notable in recent years for Michael Lewis's publicization of Beane's novel approach to business decisions and scouting referred to as Moneyball, both the title of the book, and hence the school of thought to management. The Athletics organization began redefining the way that major league baseball teams evaluate player talent. They began filling their system with players who did not possess traditionally valued baseball "tools" of throwing, fielding, hitting, hitting for power and running. Instead, they drafted for unconventional statistical prowess: on-base percentage for hitters (rather than batting average) and strikeout/walk ratios for pitchers (rather than velocity). These undervalued stats came cheaply. With the sixth-lowest payroll in baseball in 2002, the Oakland Athletics won an American League best 103 games. They spent $41M that season, while the Yankees, who also won 103 games, spent $126M. The Athletics have continually succeeded at winning, and defying market economics, keeping their payroll near the bottom of the league. For example, after the 2004 season, in which the A's placed second in their division, Beane shocked many by breaking up the Big Three, trading Tim Hudson to the Atlanta Braves and Mark Mulder to the St. Louis Cardinals. To many, the trades appeared bizarre, in that the two pitchers were seen to be at or near the top of their game; however, the decision was perfectly in line with Beane's business model as outlined in Moneyball. The Mulder trade, to many experts' surprise, turned into a steal for the Athletics, as little-known starter Dan Haren ended up pitching far better for Oakland than Mulder has in St. Louis.

Also during this time, the Oakland Athletics won an American League record 20 games in a row, from August 13 to September 4, 2002. The last three games were won in dramatic fashion, each victory coming in the bottom of the ninth inning. Win number 20 was notable because the A's, with Tim Hudson pitching, jumped to an 11–0 lead against the AL-cellar dwelling Kansas City Royals, only to slowly give up eleven unanswered runs to lose the lead. Then, Scott Hatteberg, enduring criticism as Jason Giambi's replacement, hit a pinch-hit home run off Royals closer Jason Grimsley in the bottom of the 9th inning to win 12–11. The streak was snapped two nights later in Minneapolis, the A's losing 6–0 to the Minnesota Twins. The Major League record for consecutive games without a loss is 26, set by the NL's New York Giants in 1916. There was a tie game embedded in that streak (ties were not uncommon in the days before stadium lights) and the record for consecutive wins with no ties is 21, held by the Chicago Cubs on their way to the NL pennant in 1935.

In 2005, many pundits picked the Athletics to finish last as a result of Beane's dismantling of the Big Three. At first, the experts appeared vindicated, as the A's were mired in last place on May 31 with a 19–32 (.373) won-loss record. After that the team began to gel, playing at a .622 clip for the remainder of the season, eventually finishing 88–74 (.543), seven games behind the newly-renamed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and for many weeks seriously contending for the AL West crown.

Pitcher Huston Street was voted the A.L. Rookie of the Year in 2005, the second year in a row an Athletic won that award, shortstop Bobby Crosby having won in 2004. For the fifth straight season, third baseman Eric Chavez won the A.L. Gold Glove Award at that position.

The 2006 season brought the A's back to the postseason after a two year absence. After finishing the season at 93-69, four games ahead of the Angels, the A's were considered the underdog against the highly favored Minnesota Twins. The A's swept the series 3-0 however, despite having to start on the road and losing second baseman Mark Ellis, who sustained a broken finger after getting hit by a pitch in the second game. Their victory was short-lived though, as the A's were swept 4-0 by the Detroit Tigers. Manager Ken Macha was fired by Billy Beane on October 16th, four days after their loss in the 2006 American League Championship Series. Beane cited a disconnect between him and his players as well as a general unhappiness among the team as the reason for his sudden departure.

Macha was replaced by bench coach and former major league catcher Bob Geren. Following the 2006 season, the A's also lost ace Barry Zito to the Giants due to free agency. They also lost their DH and MVP candidate Frank Thomas to free agency but filled his role with future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza for 2007. Piazza, a lifetime National League player, agreed to become a full-time DH for the first time in his career.

The 2007 season was a disappointing season for the A's as they suffered from injuries to several key players Rich Harden, Huston Street, Eric Chavez, and Mike Piazza. For the first time since the 1998 season, the A's finished with a losing record.

The 2008 off-season started with controversy, as the A's traded ace pitcher Dan Haren to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects. This would be followed by trades of outfielder Nick Swisher, who was considered to be a fan-favorite, to the Chicago White Sox, and another fan-favorite Mark Kotsay (also outfielder) to the Atlanta Braves. The trades, especially the first two, caused a lot of anger among fans and the media. The A's were considered to be a "rebuilding" team and were expected to be among the bottom-feeders of the MLB in the 2008 season. However, the A's performed well into the season as of late May, and have even held first place in the AL West for a good amount of time, but a 2-7 roadtrip in mid-May allowed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to take first place for the time being. An 18-37 record for the months of July and August (including a 10-game losing streak) dropped the A's into third place. In addition, several players from the trades are on the roster and have performed well. For example, pitchers Dana Eveland and Greg Smith from the Dan Haren trade, are on the starting rotation and have pitched well. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the Swisher trade made it onto the opening-day roster and has played well, and reliever Joey Devine from the Atlanta Braves trade has also performed well. Carlos González and Gio Gonzalez (no relation) from the Haren and Swisher trades, respectively, have also performed well for the Triple A Sacramento Rivercats. It is worth pointing out that Haren, Swisher, and Kotsay have all played well in their new teams. Kotsay himself had a game-winning RBI as a pinch-hitter, against his former team on May 16 in Game 1 of an interleague series between the A's and Braves. Kotsay also hit for the cycle for the Atlanta Braves.

On April 24, just weeks after playing against him on the Blue Jays, Frank Thomas re-signed with the A's after being released by the Jays after a slow start. On July 8, the A's were involved in a blockbuster trade, dealing Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to the Chicago Cubs for Sean Gallagher, Josh Donaldson, Eric Patterson, and Matt Murton. Then on July 17, the A's traded Joe Blanton to the Philadelphia Phillies for three minor leaguers. At the end of the 2008 season the Athletics were once again troubled with a losing record, finishing 2008 with a 75 - 86 3rd place finish in the AL West. In the 2008 off season the A's traded promising young star OF Carlos Gonzales, closer Huston Street and a player to be named later, for Matt Holliday of the Colorado Rockies. On January 6th 2009 Jason Giambi signed a one year, $4.6 million contract with a 2nd year option. Giambi said he was glad to be back as he put on his old number 16. Also signed were infielders Orlando Cabrera of the Chicago White Sox and Nomar Garciapara of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Team owners have been faced for several years with a problematic venue issue. The Oakland Coliseum was originally built as a multi-purpose facility. After the Oakland Raiders football team moved to Los Angeles in 1982, many improvements were made to what was suddenly a baseball-only facility. The 1994 movie Angels in the Outfield was filmed in part at the Oakland Coliseum.

Then, in 1995, a deal was struck whereby the Raiders would move back to Oakland for the 1995 season. The agreement called for the expansion of the Coliseum to 63,026 seats. The bucolic view of the Oakland foothills that baseball spectators enjoyed was replaced with a jarring view of an outfield grandstand contemptuously referred to as "Mount Davis" after Raiders' owner Al Davis. Because construction was not finished by the start of the 1996 season, the Athletics were forced to play their first six-game homestand at 9,300-seat Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

Although "official" capacity was stated to be 43,662 for baseball, seats were sometimes sold in Mount Davis as well, pushing "real" capacity to the area of 60,000. The ready availability of tickets on game day made season tickets a tough sell, while crowds as high as 30,000 often seemed sparse in such a venue. On December 21, 2005, the Athletics announced that seats in the Coliseum's third deck would not be sold for the 2006 season, but would instead be covered with a tarp, and that tickets would no longer be sold in Mount Davis under any circumstances. That effectively reduced capacity to 34,077, making the Coliseum the smallest stadium in Major League Baseball.

Since the expansion of Coliseum seating, ownership has stated that a new and smaller baseball-only facility is necessary to ensure the economic viability of the Athletics. In 2005, owner Wolff made public his plans to build a 35,000-seat baseball-only stadium not far from the present facility, as part of a larger commercial and residential development. However, those plans never moved past the nascent stage, in part because the cost of the football-related renovations to the Coliseum made public funding for a new baseball-only stadium too politically risky. After the city of Oakland failed to make any progress toward a stadium, the A's began contemplating a move to the Warm Springs district of suburban Fremont just north of the Santa Clara County line in the vicinity of San Jose on a parcel of land just north of Mission Blvd currently owned by Cisco Systems. Fremont is about 25 miles south of Oakland; many nearby residents are already a part of the current Athletics fanbase.

Finally, on November 7, 2006, many media sources announced the Athletics would be leaving Oakland as early as 2010 for a new stadium in Fremont, confirmed the next day by the Fremont City Council. The team would have played in what was planned to be called Cisco Field, a 32,000 seat, baseball-only facility. . The proposed ballpark would have been part of a larger "ballpark village" which would have included retail and residential development. While the existing Oakland Coliseum is easily accessible via public transit on BART, the proposed new stadium site did not lie near the existing BART lines, and could have been problematic for those not wanting to drive to the stadium. However, the new stadium site did have direct access to both Amtrak's Capitol Corridor train system and the Altamont Commuter Express rail lines. BART already has plans for a Warm Springs expansion station which, via a people mover or shuttle, would have made the new stadium much more accessible by public transit as well. In addition, Wolff has stated the transit to and from the stadium was a prime concern of his and that it would have been addressed. Speculation abounded that, were the move to have been made, the geographical part of the team's name would have changed accordingly.

Before the 2008 season began, the organization announced the reopening of the section of upper deck behind home plate in an "All You Can Eat" offer. Tickets are sold at $35 each, in which fans can enjoy as much as food as they like. Meanwhile, it is reported the completion date for Cisco Field would be likely delayed a year to 2012.

On February 24, 2009, Lew Wolff released an open letter regarding the end of his efforts to relocate the A's to Fremont. As of February 26th, the city of San Jose is expected to open negotiations with the team. Although parcels of land south of Diridon Station are being acquired by the city as a stadium site, the San Francisco Giants' claim on Santa Clara County as part of their home territory would have to be dealt with before any agreement could be made. If negotiations within the Bay Area fail, Portland, Las Vegas and Sacramento are considered possible destinations for the team.

The Angels have emerged as the principal rival of the A's due to the traditional animosity between Northern and Southern California and the great talent and farm systems of both clubs which have led to countless one-run contests. While the A's have been a member of the American League since 1901, the Angels, as well as their other divisional rivals, are of a more recent vintage. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim date from 1961, as do the Texas Rangers (but only since 1972 as a Dallas-Fort Worth team; the Rangers were the second incarnation of the Washington Senators, who played in the nation's capital from 1961-71). The Seattle Mariners were organized in 1977.

During the 1970s, the A's established a strong rivalry with the Kansas City Royals (then an A.L. West team), fueled by the Kansas City fans' resentment of the A's move to Oakland in 1968, and by the rivalry of the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs football teams. Arguably, the Athletics' biggest American League rivals in recent years have been the teams that were their old traditional rivals from decades ago in Philadelphia—the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox—if only because of the hard-fought playoff games between the teams.

The A's have also established a strong geographic rivalry with the San Francisco Giants. This rivalry is interesting in that it is generally acceptable in Northern California (unlike in other two-franchise baseball markets like New York and Chicago) to identify oneself as a fan of both baseball teams. The teams faced each other in the 1989 World Series, which the A's won in a four-game sweep, interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake. During that series, caps were sold with both team's insignias on the front, and the respective colors making up half the hat.

After a decade-plus of interleague play, the A's hold a 38-30 edge against the Giants head-to-head through June 29, 2008 -- including a 16-8 record against the Giants during the 2005-08 seasons. In addition, the A's have played in six World Series (winning four of them) since moving to Oakland in 1968, while the Giants have only been to three World Series (losing thrice) since moving to San Francisco in 1958.

The A's have a history with the Minnesota Twins as well. Between 1987-92, the A's and Twins combined to win six consecutive American League West titles and reach the World Series five times. Oakland finished second to Minnesota in 1987, while the Twins placed second to the Division champion A's the following year. Recent events that have taken place between the A's and the Minnesota Twins suggest a renewing of an old rivalry. In 2002 the Twins snapped the A's 20-game win streak. The Twins also beat the heavily favored A's that year in the ALDS. The A's got revenge in 2006 when they swept the favored Twins out of the post season, defeating their two-time Cy Young ace Johan Santana in Game One.

City Series Renewed: The Athletics played their former co-occupants of Shibe Park, the Philadelphia Phillies, for the first time in a regular season game in June 2003. Previously they had only played each other in exhibition games, dubbed "The City Series", which was played annually from 1903-1954, with the A's winning 123 games to the Phils' 115, with two ties. Ceremonies were held for the first game of the 3 game series at Veterans Stadium, as former Philadelphia A's players were honored on the field. The Phillies took the series against the A's, 2–1. They played each other again in June of 2005 in Oakland, this time the White Elephants defeating their former rivals two games to one. The Phillies returned to Oakland in 2008, losing 2 out of 3 to the home town team.

This table is a partial list of the seasons completed by the Athletics. For full season records see Oakland Athletics seasons.

The Spring Training Facility in Phoenix AZ has been the home of the Oakland A's since 1982.

For a list of former A's players/prospects still active in Major League Baseball, see List of former A's players/prospects (active).

No A's player from the Philadelphia era has his number retired by the organization. Though Jackson and Hunter played small portions of their careers in Kansas City, no player that played the majority of his years in the Kansas City era has his number retired either. As of 2007, the A's have retired only the numbers of members of the Hall of Fame that played large portions of their careers in Oakland.

Mack, Foxx, Grove and Cochrane have also been inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

As of 2009, the Athletics' flagship radio station is KTRB 860 AM. The current announcing team is Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo.

Television coverage is exclusively on Comcast SportsNet California. Some A's games air on an alternate feed of CSN, called CSN Plus, if the main channel shows a Sacramento Kings game at the same time. On TV, Glen Kuiper and Tim Roye take turns with play-by-play, and Ray Fosse provides color commentary. Fosse also does color commentary on the radio when the A's are not on TV, or the game is on Fox or ESPN. Fosse also does play by play on the radio during Spring training games.

During their three American League Championship titles from 1988-1990, the A's were widely popular. A few rap artists wore A's apparel in their videos. Angels in the Outfield features the A's being humiliated by Heaven's Angels helping the California Angels a Walt Disney owned team at the time. An episode of the cartoon Beetlejuice features a baseball game between the Jokeland Laffletics and a team called the Prankees, a play on both the Athletics and the New York Yankees.

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Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays cap logo (1989–1996)

The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball (MLB)'s American League.

The "Blue Jays" name originates from the bird of the same name. They are nicknamed "the Jays", which is featured on the team's logo and on the front of the home uniform.

An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Toronto, in 1977. Originally based at Exhibition Stadium, the team moved to the SkyDome in 1989. The Blue Jays are currently owned by Rogers Communications and in 2004, the SkyDome was purchased by Rogers Communications who renamed the venue to Rogers Centre. They are the first and only team outside the United States to win a World Series, the first team to win a World Series in Canada, and the fastest AL expansion franchise to win a World Series (winning in their 16th year, beating the Kansas City Royals' record by one year). With the fellow Canadian franchise Montreal Expos moving to Washington, D.C. after the 2004 season, and becoming the Washington Nationals, the Blue Jays are currently the only MLB team outside the United States.

The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1976 as one of two teams slated to join the American League for the next season (the other being the Seattle Mariners). Toronto had been mentioned as a potential major league city as early as the 1880s, and had been home to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League from 1896 to 1967. The San Francisco Giants were considering a move to the city until the team was purchased by Bob Lurie in 1976. However, the Giants' abortive bid was enough that the city renovated Exhibition Stadium, home of the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, to accommodate baseball.

The franchise was originally owned by Labatt Breweries, with Imperial Trust and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) as minority owners. The name "Blue Jays" came about when the team held a "name the team" contest. "Blue Jays" was one of the choices and was chosen by majority owners Labatt Breweries because "Labatt's Blue" was (and remains) its main brand of beer. Labatt Breweries hoped that the team name would be shortened to "Blues" in popular parlance, thus achieving crossover free advertising. Its hopes were dashed when the fans of Toronto almost immediately started referring to the team as the "Jays". It was very likely that the new team would have worn blue in any case; blue has been Toronto's traditional sporting colour since the Toronto Argonauts adopted blue as its primary colour in 1873.

The franchise's first employee was Paul Beeston, who began work in 1976 as the vice president of business operations. Beeston would later serve as president of the Blue Jays and MLB; he eventually returned to the Blue Jays in 2008 as interim president. Before the team's inaugural season in 1977, Peter Bavasi was chosen as the general manager, and Pat Gillick was assistant general manager.

The Blue Jays played their first game on April 7, 1977, against the Chicago White Sox, before a home crowd of 44,649. They won the snowy affair 9–5, led by Doug Ault's two home runs. That win would be one of only 54 of the 1977 season, as the Blue Jays finished in last place in the AL East, with a record of 54–107. After the season, Gillick became general manager of the team, a position he would hold until 1994.

In 1978, the team improved their record by four and a half games, but remained last with a record of 59–103. In 1979, after a 53–109 last place finish, shortstop Alfredo Griffin was named American League co-Rookie of the Year. In addition, the Blue Jays' first mascot, BJ Birdie, made its debut in 1979.

In 1980, Bobby Mattick became manager, succeeding Roy Hartsfield, the Blue Jays' original manager. In Mattick's first season as manager, although they remained at the bottom, Toronto almost reached the 70-win mark, finishing with a record of 67–95, a 14-win improvement on 1979. Jim Clancy led with 13 wins and John Mayberry became the first Jay to hit 30 home runs in a season.

In the strike-divided season of 1981, the Blue Jays finished in last place in the American League East in both halves of the season. They were a dismal 16–42 in the first half, but improved dramatically, finishing the 48-game second half at 21–27, for a combined record of 37–69.

Under new manager Bobby Cox, Toronto's first solid season came in 1982 as they finished 78–84. Their pitching staff was led by starters Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and Luis Leal, and the outfield featured a young Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield. 1982 was also the Blue Jays first season outside the bottom, as they finished sixth in the East out of seven teams.

In 1983, the Blue Jays compiled their first winning record, 89–73, finishing in fourth place, 9 games behind the eventual World Series champions, the Baltimore Orioles. First baseman Willie Upshaw became the first Blue Jay to have at least 100 RBIs in a season.

The Blue Jays' progress continued in 1984, finishing with the same 89–73 record, but this time in a distant second place behind another World Series champion, the Detroit Tigers. After 1984, Alfredo Griffin went to the Oakland Athletics, thus giving a permanent spot to young Dominican shortstop Tony Fernández, who would become a fan favourite for many years.

In 1985, Toronto won their first championship of any sort: the first of their five American League East division titles. The Blue Jays featured strong pitching and a balanced offense. Their mid-season call up of relief pitcher Tom Henke also proved to be important. They finished 99–62 (the franchise record for most wins), two games in front of the New York Yankees. The Blue Jays faced the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), and took a 3 games to 1 lead. However, Kansas City won three consecutive games to win the series 4 games to 3, on their way to their first, and only, World Series championship. Painfully ironic, prior to 1985, MLB League Championship Series (both the ALCS and NLCS) were best of 5, so, had the Blue Jays been in the same position in previous years as they were in 1985, leading Kansas City 3 games to 1, they would have won the League Championship and been on to the World Series.

With Jimy Williams now the skipper, The Blue Jays could not duplicate their success in 1986, sliding to a fourth-place tie at 86–76. Jesse Barfield and George Bell led the way with 40 and 31 home runs respectively and Jimmy Key and Jim Clancy tied for the team wins lead with 14 each.

In 1987, the Blue Jays lost a thrilling division race to the Detroit Tigers by two games, after being swept on the last weekend of the season by the Tigers. The Blue Jays finished with a 96–66 record, second best in the major leagues, but to no avail. However, George Bell was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the American League, the first and only Blue Jay to be named so.

In 1988, however, Toronto could not duplicate the successes of the previous season, tying the Milwaukee Brewers for third in the division at 87–75. Still, the season had numerous highlights. First baseman Fred McGriff hit 34 home runs, and Dave Stieb had back-to-back starts in which he lost a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning.

In 1989, the Blue Jays' new retractable roofed home, SkyDome, opened in the middle of the season. It also marked the start of an extremely successful five-year period for Toronto. In May, management fired manager Jimy Williams and replaced him with hitting instructor Cito Gaston. The club had a 12–24 record at the time of the firing, but recorded a 77–49 record under Gaston to win the American League East by two games. George Bell's walk-off home run, off Bobby Thigpen, marked the end of the Exhibition Stadium era. The first game at the new stadium took place on June 5 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Jays lost 5–3. In the 1989 American League Championship Series, Rickey Henderson led the Oakland Athletics to a 4–1 series win.

In 1990, the Blue Jays again had a strong season, but finished in second place, two games behind the Boston Red Sox. Dave Stieb pitched his first and only no-hitter, beating the Cleveland Indians 3–0 in front of a small crowd at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. That is also, as of 2008, the only no-hitter ever pitched by a Toronto Blue Jay pitcher. During the offseason, the Blue Jays made one of the two biggest trades in franchise history, sending shortstop Tony Fernández and first baseman Fred McGriff to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Joe Carter and second baseman Roberto Alomar. The Jays also traded for center fielder Devon White.

Carter, Alomar and White would prove to be effective additions, as the Blue Jays again won the division in 1991, as Carter drove in the division winning run. Once again, however, they fell short in the postseason, losing to the Minnesota Twins, who were on their way to their second World Series victory in five seasons, in the ALCS. In 1991, the Blue Jays became the first Major League club ever to draw over four million fans in one season.

After the 1991 season had ended, the Blue Jays acquired pitcher Jack Morris, who had led the Minnesota Twins to victory in the World Series by pitching a 10-inning complete game shutout in Game 7 and had been named the World Series MVP. To add veteran leadership to their explosive offense, Toronto signed future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield to be the team's designated hitter.

The 1992 regular season went well, as the Jays clinched their second straight AL East crown with a final record of 96–66, four games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers. They also went the entire season without being swept in any series. The Blue Jays met the Oakland Athletics (who had the same record as the Jays and led the division by six games over the defending champion Twins) in the ALCS, winning 4 games to 2. The pivotal game of the series was Game 4, considered by many to be one of the most important games in Blue Jays history: the Blue Jays rallied back from a 6–1 deficit after seven innings, capped off by Roberto Alomar's huge game-tying 2-run homer off Hall of Fame A's closer Dennis Eckersley in the top of the ninth. This paved the way for a 7–6 victory in 11 innings, a 3 games to 1 lead in the series and an eventual 4–2 ALCS series win.

The Blue Jays then faced the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. The pivotal game in this series turned out to be Game 2, in which reserve player Ed Sprague hit a 9th-inning 2-run home run off Braves closer Jeff Reardon to give the Blue Jays a 5–4 lead, which would hold up. After winning Game 3 thanks to Candy Maldonado's ninth inning RBI hit and Game 4 due to Jimmy Key's superb 7 1/3 inning pitching effort in which he retired 15 straight batters (five innings), the Jays could not win the Series on home turf as the Braves struck back with a 7–2 win in Game 5. Game 6 in Atlanta, with the Blue Jays leading 3 games to 2, was a very close game. Toronto was one strike away from winning in the bottom of the 9th inning, 2–1, but Otis Nixon singled in the tying run off the Blue Jays' closer Tom Henke. It was the first run the Toronto bullpen had given up in the series. The game was decided in the 11th inning, when Dave Winfield doubled down the left-field line, driving in two runs. The Braves would again come within one run in the bottom of the 11th, but Jays reliever Mike Timlin fielded Otis Nixon's bunt, throwing to Joe Carter at first base for the final out. The Blue Jays became the first team based outside of the United States to win the World Series. Pat Borders, the Jays' catcher, was the unlikely player who was named MVP after hitting .450 with one home run in the World Series. Oddly, Morris was acquired in large part for his reputation as a clutch postseason pitcher, but he went 0–3 in the playoffs. Morris, however, pitched well in the regular season, becoming the Blue Jays' first 20-game winner, with a record of 21–6 and an ERA of 4.04.

After the 1992 season, the Blue Jays let World Series hero Dave Winfield and longtime closer Tom Henke go but signed two key free agents: designated hitter Paul Molitor from the Milwaukee Brewers and perennial playoff success Dave Stewart from the Oakland Athletics.

In the regular season, three Blue Jays - John Olerud, Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar - finished 1-2-3 for the AL batting crown.

Expectations were high for the Blue Jays for the 1994 season, following back-to-back championships, but they slumped to a 55–60 record and a third place finish (16 games back of the New York Yankees) before the players' strike. It was their first losing season since 1982. Joe Carter, Paul Molitor and John Olerud enjoyed good years at the plate, but the pitching fell off. Juan Guzmán slumped considerably from his first three years (40–11, 3.28 ERA), finishing 1994 at 12–11 with a 5.68 ERA. Three young players, Alex Gonzalez, Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green, did show a lot of promise for the future.

Labatt Breweries was bought by Belgian-based brewer Interbrew (now InBev), making the Blue Jays the second baseball team owned by interests outside of North America. Interestingly, the first was the Blue Jays' expansion cousins, the Mariners, owned by Nintendo.

Before the 1995 season, Pat Gillick, the longtime Blue Jays general manager, resigned and handed the reins of the team to Toronto native Gord Ash, who would lead the team in its most tumultuous era yet.

In the 1995 season, the Blue Jays proved that they had lost their contending swagger of the past 12 years. Although they had most of the same cast of the World Series teams, the Blue Jays freefell to a dismal 56–88 record, last place in the AL East, 30 games behind the Boston Red Sox. Attendance also tailed off dramatically during the 1995 season, and has never recovered since. During SkyDome's first four-plus seasons, Blue Jays tickets were among the toughest in all of baseball. While attendance suffered throughout the majors in the years immediately after the strike, the dropoff was especially pronounced for the Canadian teams, the Montreal Expos and Blue Jays.

1996 was another mediocre year for the Blue Jays, despite Pat Hentgen's Cy Young Award (20–10. 3.22 ERA). Ed Sprague had a career year, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 101 runs. However, their 74 wins did put them in 4th place, improving over their last place finish in 1995. They improved their record by 18 victories as they played the full 162 game schedule for the first time since 1993.

The Blue Jays started 1997 with high hopes. Not only did the Jays drastically change their uniforms, they signed former Boston Red Sox ace Roger Clemens to a $24,750,000 contract. Clemens had one of the best pitching seasons ever as he won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the American League with a record of 21–7, a 2.05 ERA, and 292 strikeouts. This was not enough to lead the Blue Jays to the postseason, however, as they finished in last place for the second time in three years with a record of 76–86. Cito Gaston, the longtime manager who led the team to 3 division titles and 2 World Series crowns, was fired five games before the end of the season.

Before the start of the 1998 season, the Blue Jays acquired closer Randy Myers and slugger José Canseco. Gaston was replaced with former Blue Jay Tim Johnson, a relative unknown as a manager. Despite mediocre hitting, strong pitching led by Clemens' second straight pitching Triple Crown (20–6, 2.65 ERA, 271 strikeouts) sparked the Blue Jays to an 88–74 record – their first winning season since 1993. However, this was only good enough to finish a distant third, 26 games behind the New York Yankees, who posted one of the greatest records in all of baseball history at 114–48. They were, however, in contention for the wildcard spot until the final week.

Before the 1999 season, the Blue Jays traded Clemens to the Yankees for starting pitcher David Wells, second baseman Homer Bush and relief pitcher Graeme Lloyd. They also fired manager Tim Johnson during spring training after he lied about several things (including killing people in the Vietnam War) in order to motivate his players. The Blue Jays had initially been willing to stand by Johnson. A blizzard of questions about his credibility during spring training, however, led Ash to fire him less than a month before opening day. Johnson was replaced with Jim Fregosi, who managed the Phillies when they lost to the Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series. The offense picked up somewhat in 1999, but the pitching suffered without Clemens, as the Blue Jays finished at 84–78, in third place. After the 1999 season, the Blue Jays' original mascot for 20 years, BJ Birdie, was replaced by a duo named Ace & Diamond.

On November 8, 1999, Toronto traded star outfielder Shawn Green to the Los Angeles Dodgers for left-handed relief pitcher Pedro Borbón and right-fielder Raúl Mondesí. Green had told the Jays that he would not be re-signing when his contract was up at the end of the year (he wished to play closer to his home in Southern California).

2000 proved to be a similar season, as the Jays had an 83–79 record, well out of the wild card race but only a slim 4½ games back of the three-time defending World Series Champion Yankees in the AL East, the first time since 1993 they had contended for the division. Carlos Delgado had a stellar year, hitting .344 with 41 home runs, 57 doubles, 137 RBI, 123 walks and 115 runs. In addition, six other players hit 20 or more home runs, an outstanding feat. José Cruz Jr., Raúl Mondesí, Tony Batista, Darrin Fletcher, Shannon Stewart, and Brad Fullmer all contributed to the powerful heart of the lineup.

On September 1, 2000, Rogers Communications Inc. purchased 80% of the baseball club with Interbrew (now InBev) maintaining 20% interest and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce relinquishing its 10% share. Rogers eventually acquired the 20% owned by Interbrew and currently owns 100% of the team.

Buck Martinez, a former catcher and broadcast announcer for the Blue Jays, took over as manager before the 2001 season. The Blue Jays were back under .500 for 2001, finishing at 80–82, with mediocre pitching and hitting. Delgado led the team again with 39 home runs and 102 RBI. After the 2001 season ended, the Blue Jays fired Gord Ash, ending a seven-year tenure as general manager.

J. P. Ricciardi, then director of player development under Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, was named the Blue Jays' General Manager and was expected to slash the payroll immediately, in order to stem the tide of red ink. During the off-season, the team traded or let go several popular players, including Alex Gonzalez, Paul Quantrill, Brad Fullmer and closer Billy Koch to let talented youngsters such as Eric Hinske and Felipe Lopez get a chance to develop into major leaguers.

The Blue Jays started the 2002 season with slow progress in performance. Buck Martinez was fired about a third of the way through the season, with a 20–33 record. He was replaced by third base coach Carlos Tosca, an experienced minor league manager. They went 58–51 under Tosca to finish the season 78–84. Roy Halladay, a talented but inconsistent prospect who was no more than a fifth starter who alternated between Toronto and Triple-A during his first three seasons, was relied on as the team's ace and rose to the challenge being the team's top pitcher, finishing the season with a 19–7 record and a 2.93 ERA. The hitters were led once again by Carlos Delgado. Ricciardi was credited for dumping Raúl Mondesí in mid-season to the New York Yankees to free up his salary, which in turn was used for the off-season signing of Mike Bordick, Frank Catalanotto and Tanyon Sturtze. Promising young players were assigned to key roles, including starting third baseman Eric Hinske (who later won the Rookie of the Year Award for this year) and 23-year old centre fielder Vernon Wells, who had his first 100 RBI season replacing Mondesi. Another bright young player was Josh Phelps, a former catcher turned designated hitter, who hit 15 home runs.

The 2003 season was a surprise to both team management and baseball analysts. After a poor April, the team had its most successful month ever in May. The offense was mainly responsible for the stunning turnaround. Delgado took over the major league lead in runs batted in, followed closely by Wells. The middle infield positions remained a gametime decision - Bordick played shortstop and third base, Dave Berg second base and third base, Chris Woodward shortstop and Orlando Hudson second base. Minor league call-up Howie Clark entered the mix as a utility player after Hinske underwent surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand, which he had tried to play through for the first six weeks.

Despite their hitting successes, poor pitching continued to plague the team. Roy Halladay was spectacular in winning his first Cy Young Award, going 22–7, with a 3.25 ERA, but he didn't get much help from his fellow pitchers, although he had a poor start himself. Rookie Aquilino Lopez was a pleasant surprise out of the bullpen. Kelvim Escobar and former NBA player Mark Hendrickson were inserted into the rotation with their places in the bullpen filled by waiver acquisitions Doug Davis and Josh Towers, who went 8–1 after being called up from Triple-A Syracuse. The closer role was a season-long revolving door, with nobody able to take hold of the reins. Trade speculation had focussed on the acquisitions of pitching at the expense of hitters, but in the end the team simply divested itself of impending free agent Shannon Stewart without getting a pitcher in return. Instead Bobby Kielty, another outfielder with a much lower batting average than Stewart's, was obtained from the Minnesota Twins and later traded in November 2003 to the Oakland Athletics for starter Ted Lilly. The top four pitchers for the projected 2004 rotation would include Halladay, Lilly, free agent Miguel Batista, and the return of Pat Hentgen.

After the spectacular turnaround in May 2003, which helped the team move to just few games behind the wildcard leading Boston Red Sox, team performance slowly returned to reality, as predicted by team management. Carlos Delgado was second in the voting for the American League MVP although the Jays were in third place in their division. The Jays also announced that a new logo and new uniforms would be used as of January 1, 2004.

The 2004 season was a disappointing year for the Blue Jays right from the beginning. They started the season 0–8 at SkyDome and never started a lengthy winning streak. Much of that was due to injuries to All-Stars Carlos Delgado, Vernon Wells and Roy Halladay among others. Although the additions of starting pitchers Ted Lilly and Miguel Batista and reliever Justin Speier were relatively successful, veteran Pat Hentgen faltered throughout the season and retired on July 24. Rookies and minor league callups David Bush, Jason Frasor, Josh Towers and others filled the void in the rotation and the bullpen; however, inconsistent performances were evident. Most starting pitchers did not pitch further than the sixth inning; thus, the overused bullpen contributed to the frequent relinquishing of early scoring leads.

The offense really sputtered due to the injuries of Wells, Delgado, Catalanotto and others, although in their absence, Josh Phelps emerged as the team's go to guy, hitting 12 homers and driving in 51 runs before being limited to playing against left-handed pitching and was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Five different catchers were used: Greg Myers, Bobby Estalella, Kevin Cash, Gregg Zaun, and rookie Guillermo Quiroz. Greg Myers was injured running the bases in Minnesota, early in the season, and was lost for the year. Bobby Estalella was called up, but he proved to be brittle as well. Gregg Zaun landed the starting catching job for the rest of the season. Kevin Cash continued to struggle from an offensive standpoint and would be moved in the offseason. The highly-touted Guillermo Quiroz was promoted from the minors near the end of the season.

With the team struggling in last place and mired in a five-game losing streak, manager Carlos Tosca was fired on August 8, 2004 and was replaced by first-base coach John Gibbons through the end of the season. The Jays' trying year would also touch long-time radio announcer Tom Cheek, who had to break his streak of calling all 4,306 regular season games in franchise history, upon the death of his father. Cheek had to take more time off later to remove a brain tumor, and by the end of the season, Cheek only called the home games.

Nevertheless, prospects Russ Adams, Gabe Gross, and Alex Ríos provided excitement for the fans. Adams hit his first major league home run in his second game, in which Gross also earned his own first major league grand slam. Alex Ríos was among the MLB Rookie of the Year Award candidates. However, the award went to Bobby Crosby of the Oakland Athletics. Rookie pitchers David Bush, Gustavo Chacín and Jason Frasor also showed promise for the club's future. The Blue Jays' lone MLB All-Star Game representative in 2004 was pitcher Ted Lilly.

On October 2, 2004, the Toronto Blue Jays announced the dismissals of pitching coach Gil Patterson and first-base coach Joe Breeden, effective at the end of the season. One day later, the Blue Jays finished the 2004 campaign with a 3–2 loss against the New York Yankees in front of an announced crowd of 49,948. However, the Jays' annus horribilis continued after the game, when it was announced that former pitcher and current TV broadcaster John Cerutti died suddenly of natural causes at the age of only 44.

More losses to the Jays family came in the offseason. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member Bobby Mattick, the manager from 1980 to 1981 and perhaps the best baseball man in the organization, suffered a stroke and died at the age of 89. Mattick had also served as the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Blue Jays. A few days before Christmas, the Jays also mourned the loss of former first baseman Doug Ault, who had hit two home runs in the team's inaugural game in 1977; he was only 54 years old.

Rogers Communications, the owner of the Jays, purchased SkyDome from Sportsco International in November 2004 for approximately $25 million CAD ($21.24 million USD), just a fraction of the construction cost.

Just days after superstar Carlos Delgado became a free agent after the club refused arbitration, the Jays announced the signing of Manitoban third baseman Corey Koskie, formerly of the Minnesota Twins. One month after Koskie was inked, the Jays traded pitching prospect Adam Peterson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for corner infielder/DH Shea Hillenbrand.

On February 2, 2005, several days after finalizing the purchase of SkyDome by Rogers Communications, Rogers, to the widespread chagrin and derision of Jays fans, renamed the stadium the Rogers Centre. In spite of the best efforts of the new ownership, a wide majority of Blue Jays fans continued (and still continue) to refer to the stadium as SkyDome. By the start of the season Rogers had upgraded the stadium with a new "JumboTron" videoboard and added other state-of-the-art video screens around the stadium. Also, the AstroTurf surface was replaced by the more natural-looking FieldTurf. Owner Ted Rogers also promised a payroll increase to $210 million over the next three years, which allowed the team to have a team payroll of $70 million per year.

The Blue Jays finished spring training with a 16–10 record. Among the stars of spring training was Gabe Gross, who tied the Jays' record for most home runs in spring training with eight (the previous record breaker was long time Blue Jay Carlos Delgado). The Jays were able to translate their success in spring training into an excellent start - the team led the AL East from early to mid-April and held their record around .500 until late August. The Jays were hit with the injury bug when third baseman Corey Koskie broke his finger, taking him out of the lineup, but the club was pleasantly surprised with the performance of rookie call-up Aaron Hill in his stead.

On July 8, just prior to the All-Star break, Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay was struck on the shin by a line drive from Texas left fielder Kevin Mench and was placed on the DL with a fractured leg. The injury cost Halladay his chance to be the American League starter in the All-Star Game in Detroit; his place on the All-Star squad was taken by Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement. Though Halladay's injury was hoped to be minor, the recovery process was met with constant delays, and Halladay eventually would prove to be out for the rest of the season. Team management officially announced that he would miss the rest of the season in August. The Halladay injury is seen by many as the negative turning point in the Jays season; the team had been in serious wild card contention at the time, but afterwards fell out of the race and failed to make the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year.

On July 22, Toronto traded utility infielder John McDonald to the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations. This gave the Blue Jays an open spot on the roster so that Aaron Hill could stay with the team when Corey Koskie returned from injury.

On July 28, Toronto played in the longest game in franchise history, innings-wise, an 18-inning marathon against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rogers Centre. The Jays won 2–1, after nearly five hours of play when Orlando Hudson hit a line drive past a drawn in infield, scoring Alex Rios from third base.

The shutdown of Halladay for the remainder of the season seemed to affect the performance of the Jays. They went on a slump that brought their record under .500 in the beginning of September. From there, the Blue Jays finished the season 80–82 while receiving glimpses of the future from September call-ups Guillermo Quiroz, John-Ford Griffin, and Shaun Marcum. Marcum made himself noteworthy by posting an ERA of 0.00 over 5 relief appearances and 8 innings in September. Griffin hit his first career home run in the last game of the season and ended up going 4 for 13.

Josh Towers also stepped up, showing largely unseen potential going 7–5 with a 2.91 ERA in the 2nd half of the year and a 13–12, 3.71 ERA season overall, making him arguably the unlikely ace of the Jays rotation with Halladay injured and Gustavo Chacín faltering somewhat after the All-Star break.

The 2005 Jays inability to score with men in scoring position was a turning point in many games that ended up as losses, also contributing to the 80–82 record, although as a positive, the team did improve by 13 wins and returned to their usual 80-win plateau.

On October 9, the Jays, along with their fans, mourned the loss of inaugural broadcaster Tom Cheek. Cheek, 66, succumbed to brain cancer after just over a year-long battle. Cheek had broadcast 4,306 consecutive games since the first day of the franchise. His streak was ended in June 2004 when he took time off to visit his ailing father.

In the off-season, general manager J.P. Ricciardi began to make good use of the money that had been granted to the Jays by Rogers Communications before the season. Rogers had given Ricciardi $210 million over three years, which became $75 million a season to spend, $25 million more than the previous year. Ricciardi fulfilled the team's need for a stable closer by signing former Baltimore Orioles standout B. J. Ryan to the richest contract ever for a reliever - a 5-year, $47 million on November 28. Following that, the club awarded a 5-year, $55 million contract to highly coveted starting pitcher A. J. Burnett, formerly of the Florida Marlins, on December 6.

On December 23, 2005, Rogers Sportsnet reported that the Jays added a much needed 30 plus home run hitter to their lineup by getting third baseman and 2002 World Series MVP Troy Glaus and minor league shortstop Sergio Santos in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In return, the Diamondbacks received second baseman and 2005 Gold Glove Award winner Orlando Hudson and pitcher Miguel Batista. Glaus passed a team physical on December 26, and the trade was officially announced the next day. On the same day as the announcement of the Glaus deal, the Jays acquired solid-hitting first baseman Lyle Overbay and right-handed pitching prospect Ty Taubenheim in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers; with pitcher David Bush, pitching prospect Zach Jackson, and outfielder Gabe Gross going to Milwaukee. Glaus and Overbay were both introduced to the Toronto media together a few days later.

On January 3, J.P. Ricciardi signed free-agent catcher Jason Phillips to a minor league contract. Phillips, who hit .238 the previous season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, also had an invitation to spring training, was supposed to have competed with Guillermo Quiroz for the role of the Blue Jays' backup catcher. Quiroz was later claimed on waivers by the Seattle Mariners, and Phillips started the season with the team after Gregg Zaun was put on the disabled list.

The trades for Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay in the off-season created a glut of corner infielders for the Jays, as the team now had five players (Glaus, Overbay, Eric Hinske, Corey Koskie, and Shea Hillenbrand) who could play third base, first base, or designated hitter. The Jays relieved some of this pressure on January 6, by trading Koskie to the Milwaukee Brewers in the second deal between the two clubs in less than a month. The Blue Jays received minor league pitcher Brian Wolfe in return for Koskie. The Blue Jays also moved first baseman (and former third baseman) Eric Hinske to right field as a result.

On February 6, Toronto signed former Angels catcher Bengie Molina to a one year contract worth with an option for a second. Three days later, Toronto wrapped up its off season moves by re-signing Shea Hillenbrand and Pete Walker, each to a one year deal.

On July 2, Troy Glaus, Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay, B.J. Ryan, and Alex Rios were picked to represent the Blue Jays at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Rios would not end up competing due to a serious staph infection that occurred around June 28, possibly as the result of a foul ball off Rios' leg during a game on June 27. Along with them the manager John Gibbons was also picked as an assistant coach for the AL team. This was the most all stars selected for the game since 1993. The only AL team with more All-Stars than the Jays was the World Series champion the Chicago White Sox, with six.

On July 7, Troy Glaus was picked to compete in the 2006 Home Run Derby, though during the Derby, he hit only one home run and was eliminated after the first round.

On July 19, infielder Shea Hillenbrand was designated for assignment after an altercation with the team management. Shortly after Hillenbrand, along with reliever Vinnie Chulk, was traded to the San Francisco Giants for reliever Jeremy Accardo.

On August 3, rookie second baseman Ryan Roberts started his first game in the MLB, and had his first hit, which was a home run. He is one of few Blue Jays rookies to have his first hit a home run in his first start.

On August 12, the Blue Jays got the Minnesota Twins to hit into 6 double plays, tying a Blue Jays record set on April 16, 1996. (Blue Jays vs. Detroit).

On August 16, the Blue Jays traded reliever Scott Schoeneweis to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations or a player to be named later (later announced to be INF Trevor Lawhorn).

On August 17, the Blue Jays traded first and third baseman and outfielder Eric Hinske and cash considerations to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later.

During a game against the Oakland Athletics on August 21, 2006, while on the verge of blowing an 8-run lead, John Gibbons walked to the mound to remove starter Ted Lilly. An argument ensued on the mound, in front of the audience at the Rogers Centre. Lilly eventually did leave the game and then headed into the clubhouse. Gibbons subsequently followed him into the hallway, where it appeared to eyewitnesses that he and Lilly got into a fight. Numerous team members and support personnel rushed into the tunnel to break them up. After the game, both the pitcher and manager denied any altercation and said the problem had been resolved.

Despite their on-field and off-field problems, the Blue Jays managed to play well in the critical month of September, going 18–10. This, combined with the slumping of the Boston Red Sox, enabled Toronto to snare sole possession of second place in the American League East by the end of the season. This marked the first time that the Jays had finished above third place in their division since their World Championship season of 1993, and with the most wins since the 1998 season.

On November 17, the Blue Jays announced that they had signed designated hitter Frank Thomas to a two-year contract worth $18 million, with an option for 2009.

On November 28, the Blue Jays announced that they had re-signed catcher Gregg Zaun to a two-year contract with an option for 2009.

On December 18, the Blue Jays announced that they had re-signed centre fielder Vernon Wells to a seven-year contract worth $126 million, to come into effect after the 2007 season. It is currently the largest contract in club history.

During the month of January, Toronto signed starting pitchers John Thomson and then Tomo Ohka to incentive-based one-year contracts in an effort to strengthen their 4th and 5th rotational slots. On January 30 Toronto also signed starting pitcher Victor Zambrano to a minor league contract, and invited him to Spring Training. All three were eventually released. When Brandon League, who was being considered for the main setup role, arrived to Spring Training with a strained lat muscle, Zambrano took the empty spot in the bullpen. Thomson injured himself in spring training, so the Blue Jays named Ohka and Towers as their fourth and fifth starters. After four mediocre starts, Josh Towers was sent to the bullpen and replaced by Dustin McGowan. Towers returned to the rotation later in the year replacing released pitcher Tomo Ohka. When Gustavo Chacin was injured, he was replaced in the rotation by Shaun Marcum, who had a breakout year.

The season was blighted by persistent injuries, with 12 Blue Jays landing on the DL. The most serious injury was that of B.J. Ryan, who was out for the entire season having had Tommy John Surgery. However, due to the emergence of young pitchers like Dustin McGowan, Casey Janssen and Jeremy Accardo, the Jays finished 4 games above .500.

Another memorable moment of this season was Dustin McGowan's complete game one-hitter on Sunday, June 24 against the Colorado Rockies at the Rogers Centre. McGowan carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning when outfielder Jeff Baker hit a single with no out to break it up. This was the first Jays' one-hitter since September 27, 1998, in which Roy Halladay threw against the Detroit Tigers. The Jays won 5–0 and moved themselves up to .500 for the first time since May 1 of the season. The game was also notable for Frank Thomas hitting the 499th home run of his career. The day after McGowan's gem, the Jays defeated the Minnesota Twins 8–5 to climb over the .500 mark for the first time since April and get their first four-game winning streak of the season.

On June 28, Frank Thomas became the 21st Major Leaguer to hit 500 career home runs. The pitcher who surrendered the homer was Minnesota Twins' starter Carlos Silva. Despite jumping out to an early lead the Jays couldn't hold on and ended up losing 8–5. In addition, Thomas was ejected from the game in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Mark Wegner for arguing balls and strikes.

On July 6, Reed Johnson returned to the lineup after spending three months on the DL. Johnson had been suffering back problems early in the season and received surgery, which forced him onto the 60-Day DL. This situation left Adam Lind the odd-man out in the lineup and he was optioned down to Triple-A. In his first game back Johnson went 1–3 at the plate, and made a game-saving catch in the ninth which prevented two runs (only one run scored on a sac-fly) from scoring and a runner on second (possibly third) and a one run lead with only one out. The Jays won the game 8–6 against the Cleveland Indians.

On September 16, Aaron Hill broke the Blue Jays club record for most doubles by a second baseman in one season, set by Roberto Alomar in 1991 with 41 doubles that season. Hill recorded his 42nd double of the season against the Baltimore Orioles.

On September 17, Frank Thomas hit three home runs in a game for only the second time in his career, both times against the Boston Red Sox.

On April 4, the Blue Jays played in their home opener. During the pre-game ceremonies, both Roberto Alomar and Paul Beeston were inducted into the Level of Excellence for their contributions to the Blue Jays organization. Also during the pre-game ceremonies, the JumboTron featured a video package of former Blue Jays players and staff who had passed away (including broadcaster Tom Cheek, pitchers Joe Kennedy and Cory Lidle, and former pitching coach Al Widmar), the team then beat the defending World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, 6–3. At that game, the team also debuted their new "Flashback Friday" powder blue throwback uniforms, similar to those worn in the 1979 season. The uniforms were worn at each home game on Fridays, throughout the regular season.

On April 20, the Blue Jays gave Frank Thomas his outright release after he voiced his displeasure about being benched indefinitely. The benching was said to be a result of his low performance level early in the season. His contract stated that if he reached 1000 plate appearances in his two year contract he would receive a bonus year at $10 million. Thomas required 304 more plate appearances to be guaranteed the bonus. At the conclusion of the game on April 20, the Blue Jays announced the call up of catcher Robinzon Díaz to take over the roster spot of the departed Thomas. Four days later, Thomas was signed by the Oakland Athletics.

On April 25, the Blue Jays activated third baseman Scott Rolen from the 15-day disabled list. He was expected to provide a boost for a struggling Blue Jays team, which had lost 7 of its last 10 games. Rolen, who was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in a January trade for Troy Glaus, had suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right middle finger at spring training. Robinzon Díaz was sent back to Triple-A to clear the roster spot.

On May 24, Jesse Litsch pitched his first major league complete game shutout, blanking the Kansas City Royals 6–0 at the Rogers Centre. He also set a new team record of 38 consecutive innings without giving up a walk. That same game featured Brad Wilkerson hitting the team's fourth grand slam of the season.

On June 10, the Jays beat the Seattle Mariners 3–1 in a home game lasting 2 hours and 2 minutes, one of the quickest games played in the 2008 Major League Baseball season to that date. Right-hander Dustin McGowan pitches a complete game, 125 pitches for the win.

On June 20, following a five-game losing streak and with the Jays in last place in the East, management fired John Gibbons and several members of his coaching team and re-hired Cito Gaston.

On September 4, the Jays completed a three game sweep of the Minnesota Twins, with a 9–0 win. Rookie Travis Snider hit his first major league home run, a 400 foot shot straight to center field in the top of the fifth inning. Jesse Litsch pitches a complete game for the win.

The winning streak continued through September 7, with the Jays sweeping the 3-game set from the AL East division leading Tampa Bay Rays. Roy Halladay earned his 129th career win (and his fifth straight win this season), moving him into second spot on Toronto's all-time wins list, trailing only Dave Stieb with 175 wins. Joe Carter was the guest of honor during Flashback Friday celebrations, signing autographs for fans and receiving a lengthy ovation from the crowd at Rogers Centre.

After taking two games from the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox, the Jays saw their 10-game winning streak halted in a 6–5 loss on September 10. Roy Halladay, coming off a win versus the Tampa Bay Rays, gave up five runs and did not have the usual Halladay composure.

Following the conclusion of the 2008 regular season, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that, former president and CEO, Paul Beeston, will assist in the daily operations for the ballclub, with the support of Paul Godfrey, who will be stepping down as president and CEO at the end of the calendar year. Beeston will also aid in the search for a permanent replacement for Godfrey and hopes to find a successor before the 2009 season arrives.

On Halloween of 2008, the Toronto Blue Jays optioned the contract of catcher Rod Barajas. Gregg Zaun subsequently left to sign with the Orioles.

Additionally, Bobby Doerr, a second baseman with the Boston Red Sox, served as a coach with the Jays early in their history, and was the first person associated with the franchise to be elected to the Hall, in 1986. Early Wynn, the Hall of Fame pitcher and 300-game winner, was a broadcaster for the Blue Jays during their first few years.

The Blue Jays' former radio play-by-play announcer, Tom Cheek, called every Blue Jays game from the team's inaugural contest on April 7, 1977 until June 3, 2004, when he took two games off following the death of his father – a streak of 4,306 consecutive regular season games and 41 postseason games. Cheek died in 2005, and the team commemorated him during their 2006 season by wearing a circular badge on the left sleeve of their jerseys. The badge was adorned with Cheek's initials, as well as a stylized microphone. Cheek is also honoured with a place in the Blue Jays' "Level of Excellence" in the upper level of the Rogers Centre; the number 4,306 is depicted beside his name. In 2008 Cheek received the third highest amount of votes by fans to be nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence. This is the fifth year in a row Cheek has been named a finalist.

Today, radio broadcasts of Blue Jays games are on CJCL, known as The Fan 590. Jerry Howarth is the lead play-by-play announcer, with former Blue Jays catcher Alan Ashby serving as the colour commentator and secondary play-by-play announcer.

On television, most Blue Jays games are carried on Rogers Sportsnet (which, like the Blue Jays, is owned by Rogers Communications). Jamie Campbell is the play-by-play announcer, with colour analysis rotating between Pat Tabler, Rance Mulliniks, and Darrin Fletcher. TSN, which was formerly the chief television outlet for the Blue Jays, still carries a handful of Jays games; on these telecasts, Rod Black handles play-by-play while Tabler serves as colour commentator.

CBC carried eight Blue Jays games in 2007; the broadcasts featured Jim Hughson as the play-by-play announcer, and former Blue Jays Rance Mulliniks and Jesse Barfield on colour commentary.

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Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada talks to reporter Kelli Johnson 2005.

Miguel Odalis Tejada Martinez (born on May 25, 1974 in Baní, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball shortstop for the Houston Astros. He began his first six seasons of his career with the Oakland Athletics, where he began his streak of 1,152 consecutive games, that ended with the Baltimore Orioles on June 22, 2007. In 2002, he was awarded the AL MVP award, and he was the MVP of the 2005 All-Star Game. Tejada entered the 2007 season with an active streak of eight straight 20 home run seasons. His nickname is "La Gua Gua" which means "the bus" in certain Spanish dialects, as Tejada is known to drive in runs. On February 11, 2009, he plead guilty to one count of perjury for lying to Congress in his testimony on whether or not Rafael Palmeiro lied about whether or not he used steroids.

Tejada grew up in extreme poverty in Baní, a city approximately 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. Miguel Tejada grew up idolizing the Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.

At age 19 his childhood dream of playing professional baseball was realized when he signed with the Oakland Athletics for two thousand dollars, although at the time the organization believed him to be 17 years old.

Tejada developed quickly into a top-notch prospect, showing early signs of power. He reached the Majors towards the end of the 1997 season, joining a struggling Oakland Athletics club. Though he only hit .202 in 26 games that year, the A's saw potential in the 23-year-old Tejada and gave him the starting shortstop job beginning in 1998.

The A's, and Tejada, steadily improved over the next two years. His hitting improved as he gained more discipline at the plate. In 1998, he hit .233 with 11 home runs and in 1999 his average jumped to .251 with 21 home runs.

After a solid 87-win campaign in 1999, Tejada and a core of young players led their A's to their first American League Western Division title in eight years in 2000. Bolstered by an American League MVP-winning performance by first baseman Jason Giambi, and aided by Tejada's .275 average and 30 home runs, the A's won 91 games. The A's faced the New York Yankees in the first round of the postseason, which was won by the Yankees 3-2 in Oakland. The Yankees would go on to win the World Series that year, their fourth championship in five years.

In 2001, Tejada had a comparable offensive year, hitting .267 with 31 homers. The A's captured the American League wild card with a 102-60 record. In the postseason, however, the A's fell to the Yankees in five games, blowing an initial 2-0 series lead.

Tejada's breakout year came in 2002. With the departure of Jason Giambi to the New York Yankees during the offseason, and a leg injury to slugger Jermaine Dye, the A's lost two of their key offensive players. Tejada hit .308 with 34 homers and led the A's to their second Western Division title in three years. Their campaign included an American League record 20 game winning-streak. Tejada contributed one-out, game-winning hits in the 18th and 19th games of that run: a three-run homer off Minnesota Twins closer Eddie Guardado for a 7-5 victory and a bases-loaded single against Kansas City Royals reliever Jason Grimsley to break a 6-6 tie. Tejada also showed modest speed on the basepaths with 18 steals over a two-year stretch. His performance was rewarded with the 2002 American League MVP award. For the third straight year, though, the A's fell in the fifth game of the ALDS, this time to the Minnesota Twins.

The next year, both the A's and Tejada got off to a slow start, with the shortstop hitting under .200 for the first month of the season. Improved play in the second half of the season led the A's to their second straight Western Division title and their third in four years. Tejada hit .278 with 27 homers for the year, a decrease from his numbers in 2002, but still leading many offensive categories for shortstops.

In a tension-filled series, the powerful offense of the Boston Red Sox narrowly edged out the A's in the first round, once again in five games. Tejada was known for his public display of anger toward Boston starting pitcher Derek Lowe at the series' conclusion for what he perceived as obscene gestures. Lowe denied the accusation, claiming his fist pump was in celebration only.

By the end of the 2003 season, Tejada had established himself as one of baseball's premier shortstops. The A's elected not to resign the free agent, citing budget concerns and a young Bobby Crosby coming through the system, so Tejada signed a six-year, $72 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason.

On arrival in Baltimore, Tejada was given uniform number 10, since 4, his number in Oakland, had been retired for former manager Earl Weaver. As an Oriole, Tejada followed in the footsteps of legendary Baltimore shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.. Like Ripken, Tejada is a strong and durable shortstop with unusual power numbers for a middle infielder. Ripken currently holds baseball's record for consecutive games played at 2,632. Tejada played in his 1,000th consecutive game on July 1, 2006. Tejada's streak was at 1,151 games when he was hit on his left wrist by a pitch on June 20, 2007. The next day, he went up to bunt in the top of the first inning, bunted into a force play, and was replaced by a pinch runner. Following that game, it was announced that he had a broken wrist. On June 22nd he was placed on the disabled list, ending his streak at 1,152 consecutive games, the fifth longest in Major League history, behind Cal Ripken (2632), Lou Gehrig (2130). Everett Scott (1307). and Steve Garvey (1217).

On July 12, 2004, Tejada won the Century 21 Home Run Derby in Houston. Tejada hit a record 27 home runs in the contest, including a record 15 homers in the second round. He defeated Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman (whom would later become his teammate) 5-4 in the final round of the contest. Both records were broken the following year in Detroit by Bobby Abreu.

Tejada led the league with 150 RBIs in 2004.

While Tejada did not participate in the Home Run Derby in 2005, he was an All-Star and starter for the AL. In his first All-Star start, Tejada hit a solo home run against John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves, had a sacrifice RBI and was part of an all-Oriole double play with teammate Brian Roberts. His efforts earned him the All-Star MVP, winning a Chevrolet Corvette.

On December 8, 2005, it was widely reported by the Associated Press that Tejada asked the Orioles for a trade, citing unhappiness with the team's direction. Tejada challenged those statements in an interview with Comcast Sportsnet's Kelli Johnson, saying he only asked for a better team, referring to his hope that the Baltimore Orioles would improve after their eighth straight losing season.

Several weeks later, Tejada reiterated his complaints with the Orioles' lack of action and demanded to be traded, sparking immediate rumors of a trade to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Matt Clement and outfielder Manny Ramírez. Tejada stated that he wants a "good group that helps me to win" and commented briefly on his alleged non-involvement in Palmeiro's steroid scandal.

Rumors went around in early 2006 that Tejada might be traded to the Red Sox or Cubs. But on January 7, 2006, Tejada stated his intent to remain with Baltimore for "the rest of career." This statement was made to Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette in a meeting arranged by mutual friend and teammate Melvin Mora. It was reported that Tejada was claimed by the Chicago White Sox off trade waivers, but the two teams did not make a deal for Tejada to go to Chicago.

On December 12, 2007, Tejada was dealt to the Houston Astros for five players, including SP Troy Patton, OF Luke Scott, Rp Dennis Sarfate and RP/SP Matt Albers.. The Astros then opted against the renewal of shortstop, Adam Everett's contract, ensuring Tejada's place and role on the team. He continued to wear number 10, as he had in Baltimore.

Tejada scored his 1000th career run on July 7, 2008 at PNC Park. In the 2008 All-Star Game Tejada singled leading off the top of the eighth stole second with one out and advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's sacrifice fly.

On September 22, 2005, ESPN reported that Rafael Palmeiro, who had tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 games under Major League Baseball's steroid policy, implicated Tejada to baseball's arbitration panel, suggesting that a supplement given to him by Tejada was responsible for the steroid entering his system. Tejada has denied the allegations, saying that the only thing he gave Palmeiro was vitamin B-12, a completely legal substance under current MLB policy.

In José Canseco's 2005 book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, he mentions that he believes Tejada might have taken steroids. He claims to have spoken to him about them and the next season seeing him at spring training looking more defined. He never claims to have injected him with them, like he did with Palmeiro, McGwire and other ballplayers.

On September 30, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported that former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, during a June 6, 2006 federal raid, told federal agents investigating steroids in baseball named Tejada as a user of "anabolic steroids." The Times reported that Tejada was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court. However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies." Tejada, along with the other four players named, has denounced the story.

A report surfaced on January 15, 2008 stating that Rep. Henry Waxman had asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Tejada was truthful when speaking to the House committee when being interviewed in 2005 regarding possible connections to Rafael Palmeiro.

Despite all the allegations of steroids and HGH usage, Tejada was named to the 2008 National League All-Star team.

On February 10, 2009, Tejada was charged with lying to Congress about performance enhancing drug usage in Major League Baseball. On February 11, Tejada pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to Congress in 2005. He faced up to one year in federal prison and deportation.. On 26 March, 2009, he received a one year probation.

On April 17, 2008, Tejada was confronted by an ESPN reporter during an interview who revealed that Tejada had been lying about his age ever since he first signed a Major League Baseball contract in 1993. Tejada had claimed to have been born in 1976 when a Dominican birth certificate showed that he was born in 1974. That birth certificate also shows the spelling of his surname as "Tejeda" rather than "Tejada". Tejada stormed off the set, effectively ending the interview.

During the MLB offseason, Tejada resides in the Dominican Republic with his wife, Alessandra, his daughter, Alexa, and his son, Miguel Jr. He also plays for the Aguilas Cibaenas, Dominican Winter League team during the MLB offseason.

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Huston Street

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Huston Lowell Street (pronounced /ˈçʲustən/) (born August 2, 1983 in Austin, Texas) is a closer for the Colorado Rockies. His father is former University of Texas quarterback James Street.

Street attended The University of Texas from 2002-2004, where he pitched for the school's baseball team. He is widely regarded as one of the best collegiate closers of all time. Street earned a form of All-American honors at Texas every season he was there and helped his team win the College World Series of collegiate baseball in 2002. In that season, he set a CWS record for the most saves and won the Series Most Valuable Player honors for his amazing work as a closer. A year later, Street led the Longhorns to the Series semifinals, and in 2004, he helped his team to the finals, only to lose in two games to Cal State Fullerton.

Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2004, Street spent a few months in the minor leagues, spending no more than a month at each level. He then was invited to the Arizona Fall League where his team took the championship. Street was called up to the major leagues at the start of the 2005 season. He became Oakland's closer when incumbent Octavio Dotel went down in May with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Street saved 23 games in 27 chances to go along with a 5-1 record, 72 strikeouts, and a 1.72 ERA. Only Mariano Rivera's 1.38 ERA for the Yankees was better among American League relievers. Street had 72 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings pitched, and opposing hitters batted only .194 against him. He was rewarded for his effort by being named Rookie of the Year, as the third player in a row who had spent some time in the Athletics organization (after Angel Berroa in 2003, and Bobby Crosby in 2004).

Street continued to serve as the closer for the A's in 2006. He finished the 2006 season with a record of 4-4 and 37 saves, with 67 strikeouts and a 3.31 ERA in 70.2 innings pitched with 11 blown saves.

Street had a solid season in 2007 despite missing time with an injury. He went 5-2 with a 2.88 ERA, with 16 saves and 62 strikeouts in 50 innings.

Huston struggled somewhat in 2008. After a rough stretch in July and August, he lost his closer position to rookie Brad Ziegler. Street's pitching improved, although Ziegler continued to close.

On November 12, 2008, Street was traded to the Colorado Rockies with outfielder Carlos González and pitcher Greg Smith for outfielder Matt Holliday.

He beat out Manuel Corpas to earn the role of the Rockies' closing pitcher for the 2009 season.

Unlike most closers, Street is a finesse pitcher instead of a power pitcher. Street's fastball usually hovers in the 90-92 mph range, topping out around 94 mph, but has exceptional tailing movement. He also features a sharp slider at 84-86 mph that he uses frequently against righties, as well as a good circle changeup at around the 78-80 mph range with splitter-like movement that he uses effectively against lefties.

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Last Blood

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Last Blood is a webcomic published by Blatant Comics created by Bobby Crosby and Chris Crosby. It is written by Bobby Crosby and illustrated by Owen Gieni.

The tag-line, "After zombies take over the Earth, vampires must protect the last surviving humans so they can live off their blood," summarizes the set-up for the four-issue series. The first series was completed in December 2007.

Crosby has plans on filming the story as a movie himself, and considers the comic more of a storyboard.

In early 2008, a second series of Last Blood began being posted.

A month later, Murdo and Grady carry a dead zombie to a dumpster. Seeing that his dog tags and uniform belonged to WWII, they ponder on the possibility of it being The First Zombie. Mac rises in the morning and goes out to golf a little, where he is approached by April Davis, a school teacher. They discuss Mac making a supply-run to the nearby zombie-infested city that day, and he leaves, armed only with an axe.

Then, a group of approximately fifty zombies approaches the school and Murdo and Grady attempt fending them off and called the rest to help in the effort, but the other survivors cowered and didn't come to their help. As they ran out of ammunition, they desperately defended themselves with a shovel and a pipe. Suddenly two strangers appear to join them in the battle, quickly killing all the zombies with guns and swords.

After stopping the zombies, they meet with the survivors and introduce themselves as Matheson and Valerie, explaining that they are vampires that require their blood to live. April shoots Matheson out of shock and runs outside to be sick. Math follows her and explains that they are there to help, since the survival of vampires depends on the survival of humans and that it would be like donating blood to the hospital since they can live off very little blood. He reveals that she is the key to human survival, since she has been responsible for keeping everyone calm and normal by continuing to teach classes.

As it begins to rain, he convinces her to go back inside and start class 8 o'clock as usual. That day at lunch, Math tells April that The First Zombie was a vampire who had been starved of blood for 65 years, his sanity breaking down in pain and body decomposing as he turned into this new form. He also reveals that a vampire named Addison Payne has been largely responsible for many of humanity's finest medical advances over the past few centuries, and has been working on a 'cure' for the zombies. The First Zombie, the zombie shot in the head by Murdo at the beginning of the issue, is seen hiding in the bushes listening in at the end of the issue.

Devian, a vampire descended from the first vampire with the consequent ability to fly, arrives to tell Math that the last remaining humans in Canada have been killed. Math smells lots of zombies surrounding Mac and asks Devian to go rescue him before heading to Mexico to help protect the survivors there. Devian doesn't make promises since she is blessed with flight and not strength.

Math meets with principal Howard and explains some false myths about vampires, revealing that they aren't related to the Devil, they can walk in sunlight, they reflect on a mirror.

As zombies are about to kill Mac, he accidentally shoots Devian and she rescues him by shooting the zombies and opening a way to escape. April tells Math that the day the outbreak started, a tornado destroyed the communication lines and because of that the children don't know about the zombies. That night, Valerie unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Math. He later tells Murdo, who finds Val attractive, that his best chance is right now. Jimmy, one of the children, asks for a gun because he suspects that there are zombies after seeing the bodies in the dumpster. Murdo refuses, but Grady gives him one that evening in secret explaining him that the zombies are real. Murdo and Val sleep together while Math drifts off to sleep in the presence of April. That night zombies attack the school through an underground passageway. Jimmy makes a brave defense but is turned into a zombie and bites his mother, Murdo's sister while Murdo's mother dies of a heart-attack.

Math kills Jimmy and his mother. Murdo mourns for his mother, and is approached by Math who tells him that both he and Val will need to feed off his mother, since her blood is untainted. The principal confesses that he is to blame for Jimmy's death, since he shouted his name when zombies were about to kill him and Jimmy bravely rescued him, but when escaping he hit a zombie and his knuckles were scraped by the zombie's teeth. They amputate his arm hoping to stop the spread of the infection.

April tells Math about her grandfather, Sullivan Davis, and he begins to suspect that he is The First Zombie. Murdo blocks the tunnel with a secret buried switch, revealing that the tunnel is named after Sullivan, and that its existence is a secret only known by the town's people that served in the army.

Devian and Mac sit in a tree, and she tells him about a similar outbreak that happened in the 12th century. She explains that the zombies are controlled by a so-called schaemiac. The zombies beneath them begin heading toward the school all of the sudden and Devian leaves to find Addison Payne.

Murdo buries his mother, his sister, and his nephew, Jimmy. Val expresses her sorrow and asks if there's anything she can do and Murdo asks her to turn him into a vampire so he can be strong enough to protect the survivors. Math goes after Mac, whom wants to get his truck with supplies before returning.

The entire zombie army approaches the school, but before the battle has even begun, Addison Payne crashes his plane into the first ranks of the zombies, a few thousand. The rest of the vampires come out of the wreckage, back from unsuccessfully defending the humans in Mexico. Addison Payne reveals that this group are the only remaining humans on Earth.

Murdo is turned into a vampire by Val, and Val forces him to drink a pint of his mother's blood to end his first hunger. Murdo finds Grady with the Principal, and tells Grady to watch him since his blood is tainted and will turn soon. Then he changes his mind and decapitates the principal, before jumping off the roof to join Rage, who is having fun killing zombies with his bare hands. Addison Payne and the rest discuss tactics and make note of The First Zombie's plan to chain the vampires, torturing them with the hunger pains for 65 years till they too become schaemiacs. Math notes that a small group of 3000 zombies is approaching fast from the west, which suggests that The First Zombie is leading them, so he leaves with two other vampires to find him, but his car is destroyed by The First Zombie with a rocket launcher. The zombie army charges, forcing him and the others to go back to the battle.

After hours of fighting the pile of dead zombies is taller than the school (The First Zombie's plan is to wear the vampires out). They are eventually chained by armored zombies and led into the school. Val breaks free and cuts Murdo loose as well before being staked by The First Zombie. Murdo is chained again, The First Zombie orders his minions to kill the humans but he stops after April yells at him, thinking that he is her grandfather.

He reveals that he isn't Sullivan Davis, he is Francis Murdo Senior, the grandfather of Murdo. Seeing Addison Payne as a threat to his plans, The First Zombie stakes Payne and kills him. He then comments to April that she smells like her grandmother, the woman he loved. He approaches her, saying that he would allow her and the children to live. April thanks him and hugs him, using the opportunity to kill him with a concealed stake.

Hours later April and Math sit at the edge of the pond, taking a count of the surviving humans, which amount to 23. They discuss the repopulation issue. After April asks whether it is possible for humans and vampires to conceive, Math comments cryptically that the child "wouldn't be human." He then retrieves the briefcase Addison carried with him. Inside it is the cure for vampires, an unknown mixture contained in otherwise ordinary-looking vodka bottles. Drinking a mouthful will make a vampire human again, provided that they were not born a vampire. Math tests the cure, and it works, making him the 24th human.

Issue Five was announced in late 2008, and will post every Saturday starting 1/3/09.

Last Blood has been published in print as two comic books, the first appearing in May 2007 as part of Free Comic Book Day.

It is also available in full as an online archive and was once available as free PDFs from Wowio.

Benderspink is adapting the comic into a film.

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Mark McGwire

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Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963) is a former Major League Baseball player who played the majority of his major league career with the Oakland Athletics before finishing his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the highest at bats per home run ratio in baseball history (Babe Ruth is second at 11.80). In 1987, he broke the single-season home run record for rookies, with 49. In 1998, McGwire broke the single-season home run record by hitting 70. His mark was surpassed by Barry Bonds who hit 73 in 2001 .

McGwire worked hard on his defense at first base and resisted being seen as a one-dimensional player. He was regarded as a good fielder in his early years, even winning a Gold Glove in 1990. In later years his mobility was reduced, and his defense declined as a result.

McGwire's total of 363 home runs with the Athletics is that franchise's record. He was selected or voted to nine American League All-Star Teams while playing for the A's, including six consecutive appearances from 1987 through 1992.

McGwire's batting average, .289 as a rookie, plummeted over the next three seasons to .260, .231, and .235, respectively. In 1991, he bottomed out with a .201 average and 22 homers. Manager Tony LaRussa sat him out the last game of the season so his average could not dip below .200. Despite the declining batting averages during this time of his career, his high bases on balls totals allowed him to maintain acceptable on-base percentages. In fact, when he hit .201, his adjusted OPS (OPS+) was 103, or just over league average.

McGwire stated in an interview with Sports Illustrated that 1991 was the "worst year" of his life, with his on-field performance and marriage difficulties, and that he "didn't lift a weight" that entire season. With all that behind him, McGwire re-dedicated himself to working out harder than ever and received visual therapy from a sports vision specialist.

He changed his clean-cut look and grew a mullet, a mustache, and a goatee to look more fearsome. The "new look" McGwire hit 42 homers and batted .268 in 1992, with an outstanding OPS+ of 175 (the highest of his career to that point), and put on a home run hitting show at the Home Run Derby during the 1992 All-Star break. His performance propelled the A's to the American League West Division title in 1992, their fourth in five seasons. The A's lost in the playoffs to the eventual World Series champion, the Toronto Blue Jays. Mark smashed a game winning homer in the 9th inning to win the game. But running the bases, he hurt his foot.

Foot injuries limited McGwire to a total of 74 games in 1993 and 1994, and just 9 home runs in each of the two seasons. He played just 104 games in 1995, but his proportional totals were much improved: 39 home runs in 317 at-bats. In 1996, McGwire belted a major league leading 52 homers in 423 at-bats. He also hit a career high .312 average, and led the league in both slugging percentage and on base percentage.

In 1997, he hit a major league-leading 58 home runs for the season, but did not lead either league in homers, as he was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 31, when he had hit 34 homers for the A's. It was widely believed that McGwire, in the last year of his contract, would play for the Cardinals only for the remainder of the season, then seek a long-term deal, possibly in Southern California, where he still lives. However, McGwire signed a contract to stay in St. Louis instead. (It is also believed that McGwire encouraged Jim Edmonds, another Southern California resident, who was traded to St. Louis, to sign a contract with the Cardinals.) There was much media speculation as to where Maris' record would be broken in 1998, and a debate as to who would break it, Ken Griffey, Jr. or McGwire.

As the 1998 season progressed, it became clear that McGwire, Griffey, and Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa were all on track to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record. The race to break the record first became a media spectacle as the lead swung back and forth. On August 19, Sosa hit his 48th home run to move ahead of McGwire. However, later that day McGwire hit his 48th and 49th home runs to regain the lead. Griffey had injury problems and dropped out of the competition, leaving Sosa and McGwire to battle it out to #62.

On September 8, 1998 at 8:18 p.m. et, McGwire hit a pitch by the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. The fact that the game was against the Cubs meant that Sosa was able to congratulate McGwire personally on his achievement. Members of Roger Maris' family were also present at the game. Memorably, the ball was freely given to him in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it.

McGwire finished the 1998 season with 70 home runs, four ahead of Sosa's 66, a record that was broken three seasons later by Barry Bonds. Since Babe Ruth had hit 60 home runs in 154 games during 1927, and Roger Maris hit 61 in 161 games in 1961 (not breaking the record until after the 154 game mark), some had quibbled whether the single-season record was actually broken. With McGwire breaking the record in his team's 145th game, he laid to rest the issue of the extended season.

Although McGwire had the prestige of the home run record, Sammy Sosa (who had fewer HR but more RBI and stolen bases) would win the 1998 NL MVP award, as his contributions helped propel the Cubs to the playoffs (the Cardinals in 1998 finished third in the NL Central). Many credited the Sosa-McGwire home run chase in 1998 with "saving baseball," by both bringing in new, younger fans and bringing back old fans soured by the 1994 Major League Baseball strike.

In 1999, McGwire hit 65 home runs and drove in a league-leading 147 runs while only having 145 hits, the highest RBI-per-hit tally in baseball history. Sammy Sosa again was right on his tail, hitting 63 home runs.

In 2000 and 2001, McGwire had reduced numbers as he played in a reduced amount of games (32-HR in 89 games, and 29-HR in 97 games, respectively).

McGwire ended his career with 583 home runs, which was then fifth-most in history. He led Major League Baseball in home runs five times. He hit 50 or more home runs four seasons in a row (1996-1999), leading Major League Baseball in homers all four seasons, and also shared the MLB lead in home runs in 1987, his rookie year, when he set the Major League record for home runs by a rookie with 49. McGwire had the fewest career triples-- 6-- of any player with 5,000 or more at-bats.

In 1999, the The Sporting News released a list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. The list had been compiled during the 1998 season and included statistics through the 1997 season. McGwire was ranked at Number 91. That year, he was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team (though he received fewer votes than any other selected player). In 2005, The Sporting News published an update of their list and McGwire had been moved up to Number 84.

However, in the 2007 and 2008 balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, McGwire failed to attain election, receiving 128 of the 545 cast, 23.5% of the vote. He received the same exact amount of votes both years. It is widely conceded that this was related to the steroid scandal and McGwire's less than forthcoming testimony (see below).

A portion of Interstate 70 in St. Louis and near Busch Stadium was named "Mark McGwire Highway" to honor his 70 home run achievement, along with his various good works for the city.

Although McGwire has never admitted to or been convicted of any steroid use, many of his accomplishments, particularly his historic home run surge late in his career, have come into question due to his connection to the steroid scandal in Major League Baseball. Despite being under a cloud of suspicion for years, McGwire has repeatedly refused to discuss his involvement, or lack thereof, with steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. McGwire was not identified by name in The Mitchell Report, but he has been accused by former teammate Jose Canseco, who said he personally injected McGwire with steroids.

In 1998, after an article written by Associated Press writer Steve Wilstein, McGwire admitted to taking steroid-precursor androstenedione, an over-the-counter muscle enhancement product. Rumors surfaced later that McGwire admitted to the use of androstenedione to throw off the scent of the steroids he was allegedly using. While legal at the time under U.S. law and for use in MLB, it had already been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the NFL and the IOC.

In 2005, McGwire and Canseco were subpoenaed to testify at a congressional hearing on steroids, along with five other baseball players and four baseball executives. Canseco had released Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, a book in which he spoke positively about steroids, and made various claims—among them, that McGwire had been using performance enhancing drugs since the 1980s. During his testimony on March 17, 2005, McGwire declined to answer questions under oath when he appeared before the House Government Reform Committee.

While no legal action has been taken against McGwire, in baseball or out of it, his testimony cost him public affection and support. In 1999, McGwire was voted to the All-Century Team, and upon his retirement in 2001, he was uniformly characterized as "a future Hall of Famer." However, when his Cooperstown eligibility began in 2006–07, McGwire received less than a quarter of the vote. Several of these sportswriters indicated that they were casting a protest non-vote in McGwire's first year of eligibility, or that they wanted more time to consider the developing steroid story in baseball; some noted that McGwire's relatively low career batting average (.263) and the fact that he did not attain 2,000 hits during his career as deciding factors to abstain. It is unclear where McGwire's true level of ballot support will end up leveling off.

On January 22, 2009, McGwire's brother Jay circulated a book proposal entitled The McGwire Family Secret: The Truth about Steroids, a slugger and Ultimate Redemption. The book proposal alleged that Jay was the one that introduced Mark to steroids in 1994 and was the first one to inject him with Deca-Durabolin. Jay also stated that McGwire used HGH during his baseball career.

McGwire was born in Pomona, California. He attended Damien High School in La Verne, California where he started playing baseball, golf, and basketball. He played college baseball at the University of Southern California under legendary coach Rod Dedeaux.

His brother Dan McGwire was a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins of the NFL in the early 1990s, and was a first round draft choice out of San Diego State University, where he was teammates with Marshall Faulk.

McGwire married Stephanie Slemer, a former pharmaceutical sales representative from the St. Louis area, in Las Vegas on April 20, 2002. They reside in a gated community in Shady Canyon Irvine, California and together created the Mark McGwire Foundation for Children to support agencies that work with children who have been sexually and physically abused to help come to terms with a difficult childhood.

McGwire currently avoids the media. He spends much of his free time playing golf. He is currently working as a hitting coach for Major League players Matt Holliday, Bobby Crosby, Chris Duncan and Skip Schumaker.

McGwire appeared on an episode of the sitcom Mad About You, playing a ballplayer infatuated with Helen Hunt's character.

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Source : Wikipedia