Rich Harden

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Posted by pompos 04/06/2009 @ 20:10

Tags : rich harden, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Harden's return gives Cubs 13 pitchers - MLB.com
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com The Cubs activated Rich Harden from the disabled list on Saturday in time to start against the Minnesota Twins and optioned infielder Bobby Scales to Triple-A Iowa. By doing so, the roster now includes 13 pitchers....
Harden Set To Return As Reeling Cubs Host Twins - KTVU.com
The Cubs will send hard-throwing Rich Harden to the hill this afternoon in search of his fifth win of the season. He is fresh off a stint on the 15-day disabled list with a bad back, and it has been reported that he will be limited to approximately 85...
NL Notes: Cubs activate Harden from the disabled list - Houston Chronicle
The team has activated righthander Rich Harden from the disabled list to start against the Minnesota Twins and optioned infielder Bobby Scales to Class AAA Iowa. The team sent Manny Parra to Class AAA Nashville. LHP Chris Narveson will take his place....
Harden back to work...Round 3 in Memphis...Nordqvist still leads ... - KXMC
AP CHICAGO (AP) Rich Harden took the mound for the Chicago Cubs against the Minnesota Twins this afternoon, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out nine in six innings. Harden was activated before the game after missing nearly a month with a...
Harden throws 70 pitches in rehab start - MLB.com
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com Cubs right-hander Rich Harden, who has been on the disabled list since May 18 with a mid-back strain, tossed 4 1/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa on Monday. Harden allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits...
Play by play - USA Today
Error-wild-pitch: Nick Punto advances to second on a Rich Harden wild pitch. Runner on second with one out and Brendan Harris at the plate. Out: Brendan Harris flied out to center. Runner on second with two outs and Joe Mauer due up....
Morrow moves into M's rotation earlier than expected - USA Today
Rich Harden returns to the mound for the Chicago Cubs today. It looked like he might not be ready to come off the disabled list, but his back held up during a rehab start on Monday and he's been cleared to pitch against the Twins - although he'll be...
A Quick Guide To Realistic Options To Fix The 2009 Cubs - Bleed Cubbie Blue
Offer Rich Harden in trade. This was already brought up in sackman's fanpost this morning, but I had also thought of this over the weekend. I'm guessing about half of those 23 teams would be lined up outside Jim Hendry's office if the Cubs made Harden...
Cubs place Harden on DL - MLB.com
By Sandy Burgin / Special to MLB.com SAN DIEGO -- Right-handed pitcher Rich Harden was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 18, the day after he suffered a mid-back strain while pitching against the Houston Astros....
Fantasy Baseball Tonight: June 13 - Bleacher Report
by Ryan Hallam (Analyst) Rich Harden had a mixed outing on Saturday. His numbers look good, but there are a couple of trends that I don't like. For the day Harden pitched five innings, allowed two runs, and struck out nine. His team, unfortunately...

Rich Harden

James Richard Harden (born November 30, 1981 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.

Harden attended Claremont Secondary School (Victoria, BC) in 1999, and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 38th Round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. He did not sign with the Mariners, but instead attended Central Arizona College, where he graduated from in 2001. Harden was drafted by the Athletics in the 17th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft, and signed by the team on May 28, 2001, shortly after graduating.

He led all Division I Junior College pitchers with 127 strikeouts in 2001, and his ERA of 2.14 was the 5th lowest in the nation. In his first professional season as a 19 year old with the Vancouver Canadians in Single-A, Harden had a 2-4 record in 18 games (14 starts), a 3.39 ERA, allowed only 47 hits and struck out 100 batters in 74 innings.

In 2002, Harden began the year with the Single-A Visalia Oaks of the California League and was very impressive in 12 starts, as he had a 4-3 record with an ERA of 2.91, and struck out 85 batters in 68 innings. Halfway through the 2002 season, Harden was promoted to the Double-A Midland RockHounds of the Texas League, where he continued his impressive season, earning a record of 8-3, with an ERA of 2.95 in 16 starts. He also struck out 102 batters in 85 innings. His combined 2002 stats were 12-6, 2.93 ERA, 187 strikeouts and 75 walks in 153 innings.

Harden began the 2003 season with Midland, and in 2 games, he had a 2-0 record and pitched 13 perfect innings, striking out 17 along the way. He was then promoted to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League, where he pitched very well. In 16 games, 14 of which he started, Harden went 9-4 with an ERA of 3.15. Overall, Harden finished with a combined 11-4 record, 2.74 ERA, 107 strikeouts and 35 walks in 102 innings in the Minor leagues during the 2003 season. He was then promoted to the Oakland Athletics in July 2003.

Harden made his major league debut on July 21, 2003, against the Kansas City Royals. He held the Royals to only one run on four hits in seven innings, earning a no decision. Through Harden's first five starts, he had a 3-1 record, with an ERA of 1.69. In his next two, he allowed six runs in four innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 21, and then eight runs in 2.2 innings on August 26 against the Boston Red Sox. He finished the season with a 5-4 record with an ERA of 4.46. Harden pitched in two games in relief with the Athletics in their Division Series matchup with the Red Sox. In his playoff debut on October 1, Harden earned the win, pitching a scoreless inning. However in his second appearance, he pitched only one-third of an inning, and allowed two runs and was tagged with the loss.

Harden began the 2004 season with the Sacramento River Cats, coming out of spring training as the A's 5th starter. But the Athletics had two off days in the first eight days of the season, and they optioned him down to get a start in the minor leagues. He pitched in one game, losing 5-3 to the Edmonton Trappers. The Athletics called him up on April 10, and he put together a very solid season with an 11-7 record and an ERA of 3.99. Harden complied an 8-2 record and an ERA of 3.49 after the All-Star break. He ranked 8th in the AL with 167 strikeouts, and was tied for 7th with 81 walks. Harden allowed just 16 home runs in 189.2 innings, an average of 0.76 per nine innings, which was tied for 4th lowest in the American League.

In 2005, Harden began the season with the Athletics, but was sidelined with an oblique injury, and missed more than a month. Harden came back and pitched a two-hit game against the Texas Rangers on July 14, in which he allowed no runs for 7+ innings. One month later on August 14, Harden allowed only one hit, but received a no decision, en route to a 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Twins. On August 19, Harden had a 10-5 record with an ERA of 2.63 ERA, until he injured his right shoulder, sidelining him until September 25, by which time the Athletics were already out of the playoff hunt. Harden appeared in three games late in the season, pitching 5 innings of shutout ball, striking out seven and walking one. He finished the year with a 10-5 win-loss record, an ERA of 2.57 and 121 strikeouts in 128 innings. He allowed only seven HR's all season long, and despite the injuries, he emerged as the ace of the Oakland Athletics pitching staff.

In 2006, Harden had two lengthy stints on the DL, spending most of the season there. He came back from the DL on September 21, 2006, for a short but outstanding start, going 3 innings allowing 1 run and recording 7 strikeouts.

He started off the 2007 season with a win against the Seattle Mariners, going 7 innings, striking out 7, and allowing two walks and two hits, before returning to the DL, on April 23.

After another injury-plagued season, Harden started off the 2008 season with a strong start against the Boston Red Sox, pitching six strong innings and giving up a run and three hits while walking three and striking out nine batters. However, after his second start, he was again placed on the disabled list. Harden was activated on May 11 and struggled in his return allowing 8 hits and 5 runs in 3.2 innings and earning a no decision. In Harden's next start against his former teammate Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves, he pitched 7 innings only allowing 4 hits and 1 run while earning the win. In this start against the Braves on May 17, Harden also achieved his first major league hit.

On June 8, 2008, he became the 38th pitcher to strike out three batters on nine pitches. This was done in the first inning, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Harden was traded to the Chicago Cubs on July 8, 2008, in a six-player deal. He made his Cubs debut on July 12, against the San Francisco Giants, leaving the game with a 7-0 lead after pitching 5 1/3 scoreless inning and striking out 10. Though the Cubs won 8-7, Harden earned a no decision after Carlos Marmol was unable to hold a five run lead in the ninth. Harden registered ten strikeouts and allowed only one run in both of his following starts, but was not able to earn a win. He finally recorded his first win as a Cub on July 31, 2008, against the Milwaukee Brewers. On October 8, 2008, the Cubs picked up the $7 million option in Harden's contract for the 2009 season.

Harden's most effective pitches are his fastball and his splitter. Harden's fastball typically reaches speeds of 95-98 mph, and on occasion has broken 100 mph. His splitter features an unusual break in mid-flight, similar in unpredictability to a knuckleball. It has been referred to as the "ghost pitch", while former Oakland Athletics catcher Adam Melhuse coined the term "spluckle", (a combination of splitter and knuckleball.) He also uses a slider and a changeup.

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1999 Major League Baseball Draft

The 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, was held on June 2 and 3, 1999. A total of 1474 players were drafted over the course of 50 rounds.

Future major leaguers Noah Lowry (19th round, 585th overall), Rich Harden (38th round, 1145th overall), and Pat Neshek (45th round, 1337th overall) were also selected during this draft, but did not sign with the teams that selected them. Lowry was subsequently drafted for the last time in 2001, Harden in 2000, and Neshek in 2002.

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Sean Gallagher (baseball)

Cubs Pitcher Sean Gallagher.jpg

Sean Patrick Gallagher (born December 30, 1985 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who plays for the Oakland Athletics.

Gallagher was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 12th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. He played for the Peoria Chiefs and made the Midwest League All-Star Game in 2005. Gallagher made his major league debut on June 9, 2007, against the Atlanta Braves. During the week of April 20-27, 2008, Gallagher was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week. The Cubs called him up to take the place of Rich Hill in their starting rotation after Hill struggled early in 2008.

On July 8, 2008, Gallagher was traded from the Chicago Cubs as part of a six-player trade that saw the Cubs acquire Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from the A's.

Gallagher is a prospect for the A's who features an above average fastball, curveball, and slider.

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Chicago Cubs

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The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team. They are based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members and currently the two-time defending champions of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago, (the other being the Chicago White Sox) and they are one of the two remaining charter members of N.L. (the other being the Atlanta Braves). The franchise is infamous for its 100-year title drought, which is longer than that of any other major North American professional sports team.

Chicago's manager is Lou Piniella (MLB's current National League Manager of the Year), and their general manager is Jim Hendry. In December 2007, Sam Zell completed his purchase of the club's parent organization, Tribune Company, and announced his intention to sell the team. On January 23, 2009, it was announced that the Cubs would be sold to Tom Ricketts for $900 million.

The success and fame of the Cincinnati Red Stockings (c. 1869), baseball's first openly all-professional team, led to a minor explosion of other openly professional teams, each with the singular goal of defeating the Red Stockings. On April 29, 1870, the Chicago Base Ball Club played their first game, an exhibition, against the St. Louis Unions, defeating them 47-1. The White Stockings, who played home games on Chicago's west side at the Union Base-Ball Grounds, joined the nation's principle amateur league National Association of Base Ball Players, when the league began to allow professional teams. The NABBP was previously dominated by the Brooklyn Atlantics, who had won three straight titles and were the sports first true dynasty, but Chicago won the N.A. championship in the league's final year of operation.

The now all professional Chicago White Stockings, financed by businessman William Hulbert, became a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, the nation's first all professional league, in 1871. The White Stockings were close contenders all season, despite the fact that the Great Chicago Fire had destroyed the team's home field and most of their equipment. The White Stockings finished the season in second place, but ultimately were forced to drop out of the league during the city's recovery period, finally returning to National Association play in 1874. Over the next couple seasons, The Boston Red Stockings dominated the league and hoarded many of the game's best players, even those who were under contract with other teams. After Davy Force signed with Chicago, and then breached his contract to play in Boston, Hulbert became discouraged by the "contract jumping" as well as the overall disorganization of the N.A., and thus spearheaded the movement to form a stronger organization. The end result of his efforts was the formation a much more "ethical" league, which became known as the National Base Ball League, and thus the Chicago National League Ball Club was born.

Hulbert, retaining his position as Chicago's club president, signed multiple star players, such as pitcher Albert Spalding, and infielders Ross Barnes, Deacon White and Adrian Anson to join the team prior to the N.L.'s inaugural season of 1876. The Chicago franchise, playing its home games at West Side Grounds, quickly established themselves as one of the new league's top teams. Spalding won 47 games and Barnes led the league in hitting at .429 as Chicago won the first ever National League pennant, which at the time was the game's top prize.

After back to back pennants in 1880 and '81, Hulbert died, and Al Spalding, who had retired to start Spalding sporting goods, assumed ownership of the club. The White Stockings, with Anson acting as player/manager, captured their third consecutive pennant in 1882, and "Cap" Anson established himself as the game's first true superstar. In 1885 and '86, after winning N.L. pennants, The White Stockings met the short-lived American Association champion in that era's version of a World Series. Both seasons resulted in matchups with the St. Louis Brown Stockings, with the clubs tying in '85 and with St. Louis winning in '86. This was the genesis of what would eventually become one of the greatest rivalries in sports. In all, the Anson-led Chicago Base Ball Club won six National League pennants between 1876 and 1886. As a result, Chicago's club nickname transitioned, and by 1890 they had become known as the Chicago Colts, or sometimes "Anson's Colts," referring to Cap's influence within the club. Anson was the first player in history to collect 3,000 hits, and when he left the team in 1898, the loss of his leadership resulted in the team becoming known as the Chicago Orphans (or Remnants) and a few forgettable seasons. After the 1900 season, the American Base-Ball League formed as a rival professional league, and incidentally the club's old White Stockings nickname would be adopted by a new A.L. neighbor to the south.

In 1902, Spalding, who by this time had revamped the roster to boast what would soon be one of the best teams of the early century, sold the club to John Hart, and the franchise ultimately became known as the Chicago Cubs. During this period, which has become known as baseball's dead ball era, three Cub infielders; Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance were made famous as a double-play combination by Franklin P. Adams' poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon. The poem first appeared in the July 18, 1910 edition of the New York Evening Mail. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jack Taylor, Ed Reulbach, Jack Pfiester and Orval Overall were several key pitchers for the Cubs during this time period. With Chance acting as player-manager from 1903 to 1912 the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series titles over a five-year span. Although they fell to the White Sox in the 1906 World Series, The Cubs recorded a record 116 victories and the best winning percentage (.763) of the modern era. With mostly the same roster, Chicago won back to back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908. Their appearance in 3 consecutive World Series made the Cubs the first Major League Club to play 3 times in the Fall Classic. Likewise, their back-to-back World Series victories in 1907 and 1908 made them the first modern club to win 2 World Series.

The next season, veteran catcher Johnny Kling left the team to become a professional pocket billiards player. Some historians think Kling's absence was significant enough to prevent the Cubs from also winning a third straight title in 1909, as they finished 6 games out of first place. When Kling returned the next year, the Cubs won the pennant again, but lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1910 World Series.

In 1914, advertising executive Albert Lasker obtained a large block of shares and before the 1916 season had assumed majority ownership of the franchise. Lasker quickly acquired the services of astute baseball man William Veeck, Sr. to run his new team, and brought in a wealthy partner, Charles Weeghman. Weeghman was the proprietor of a popular chain of lunch counters who had previously owned the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League. As principal owners, the pair moved the club from the West Side Grounds to the much newer Weeghman Park, which had been constructed for the Whales two years earlier. The club responded by winning a pennant in the war-shortened season of 1918, where they played a part in another team's curse. The Boston Red Sox defeated Grover Cleveland Alexander's Cubs four games to two in the 1918 World Series. Afterward, Boston sold its star pitcher, Babe Ruth, to the New York Yankees, starting a tale of futility which would last 86 years, known as The Curse of the Bambino.

During what is often called the "Golden age of baseball," one of Cubs's minority owners, William Wrigley Jr., who also happened to be the owner of Wrigley Company, a Chicago-based maker of chewing gum, would begin to increase his share of ownership. In 1921 Wrigley bought Weeghman's shares and in 1925 had acquired most of Lakser's shares as well. The home park name was changed to its current name, Wrigley Field during this time. Additionally, the area around the ballpark came to be known as "Wrigleyville". With his vast monetary resources and Veeck's front-office savvy, the "double-Bills" soon had the Cubs back in business in the National League, building a team that would put numerous future Hall of Famers in Cub uniforms. Some of the most notable of these players were Hack Wilson, Gabby Hartnett, and Rogers Hornsby. Chicago remained strong contenders for the next decade.

During the end of the first decade of the double-Bills' guidance, the Cubs won the NL pennant in 1929 and then achieved the unusual feat of winning a pennant every three years, following up the 1929 flag with league titles in 1932, 1935, and 1938. Unfortunately, their success did not extend to the Fall Classic, as they fell to their AL rivals each time. The '32 series against the Yankees featured Babe Ruth's "called shot" at Wrigley Field. There were some historic moments for the Cubs as well; they claimed the '35 pennant in thrilling fashion, winning a record 21 games in a row in September. The '38 club saw Dizzy Dean lead the team's pitching staff and provided a historic moment when they won a crucial late-season game at Wrigley Field over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a walk-off home run by Gabby Hartnett, which became known in baseball lore as "The Homer in the Gloamin'". By 1939, the "double-Bills" (Wrigley and Veeck) had both died, and the front office, now under P.K. Wrigley, found itself unable to rekindle the kind of success that P.K.'s father had created, and so the team slipped into a few years of mediocrity.

The Cubs enjoyed one more pennant at the close of World War II, finishing 98-56. Due to the wartime travel restrictions, the first three games of the 1945 World Series were played in Detroit, where the Cubs won two games, including a one-hitter by Claude Passeau, and the final four were played at Wrigley. In Game 4 of the Series, the Curse of the Billy Goat was allegedly laid upon the Cubs when P.K. Wrigley ejected Billy Sianis, who had come to Game 4 with two box seat tickets, one for him and one for his goat. They paraded around for a few innings, but Wrigley demanded the goat leave the park due to its unpleasant odor. Upon his ejection, Mr. Sianis uttered, "the Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more." The Cubs lost Game 4, lost the Series, and have not been back since. It has also been said by many that Sianis put a "curse" on the Cubs, apparently preventing the team from playing in the World Series. After losing the 1945 World Series, the Cubs finished with winning seasons the next two years, but those teams did not enter post-season play.

In the following two decades after Sianis' ill will, the Cubs played mostly forgettable baseball, finishing among the worst teams in the National League on an almost annual basis. Longtime infielder/manager Phil Cavarretta, who had been a key player during the '45 season, was fired during spring training in 1954 after admitting the team was unlikely to finish above fifth place. Although shortstop Ernie Banks would become one of the star players in the league during the next decade, finding help for him proved a difficult task, as quality players such as Hank Sauer were few and far between. This, combined with poor ownership decisions (such as the College of Coaches), hampered on-field performance.

The mid-1960s brought hope of a renaissance, with third baseman Ron Santo, pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, and outfielder Billy Williams joining Banks. The Cubs brought home consecutive winning records in '67 and '68, marking the first time a Cub team had accomplished that feat in over two decades.

In 1969 the Cubs, managed by Leo Durocher, had built a substantial lead in the newly created National League Eastern Division by mid-August. Ken Holtzman pitched a no-hitter on August 19, and the division lead grew to 8½ games over the St. Louis Cardinals and by 9½ games over the New York Mets. Ultimately, however, the Cubs wilted under pressure. Although they had their best season in decades at 92-70, they lost key games against the Mets and finished the season a disappointing eight games out of first place while the Mets exploded past them by winning thirty-nine of their last fifty games. Many superstitious fans attribute this collapse to an incident at Shea Stadium when a fan released a black cat onto the field, further cursing the club, although the "Amazin' Mets" ended the season at a torrid pace, finishing with a remarkable 100 wins.

Following the '69 season, the club posted winning records for the next few seasons, but no playoff action. After the core players of those teams started to move on, the 70's got worse for the team, and they became known as "The Loveable Losers." In 1977, the team found some life, but ultimately experienced one of its biggest collapses. The Cubs hit a high-water mark on June 28 at 47-22, boasting an 8 1/2 game NL East lead, as they were led by Bobby Murcer (27 Hr/89 RBI), and Rick Reuschel (20-10). However, the Philadelphia Phillies cut the lead to two by the All-star break, as the Cubs sat 19 games over .500, but they swooned late in the season, going 20-40 after July 31. The Northsiders finished in 4th place at 81-81, while Philadelphia surged, finishing with 103 wins. Ironically, the following two seasons also saw the Cubs get off to a fast start, as the team rallied to over 10 games above .500 well into both seasons, only to again wear down and play poorly later on, and ultimately settling back to mediocrity. This trait became known as the "June Swoon." Again, the Northsiders' unusually high number of day games is often pointed to as one reason for the team's inconsistent late season play.

After over a dozen more subpar seasons, GM Dallas Green made a midseason deal to acquire ace pitcher Rick Sutcliffe from Cleveland, who joined Scott Sanderson, Dennis Eckersley, Ron Cey and NL MVP Ryne Sandberg on a squad that ultimately tallied an NL-best 96 victories, winning the NL East. In the NLCS, skipper Jim Frey's Cubs won the first two games at Wrigley Field against the San Diego Padres. The Cubs needed to win only one game of the next three in San Diego to make it back to the World Series. After being beaten in Game 3, the Cubs lost Game 4 when dependable closer Lee Smith allowed a game-winning home run to Steve Garvey in the bottom of the ninth inning. In Game 5 the Cubs took a 3–0 lead to the 6th inning, and a 3–2 lead into the seventh with Sutcliffe (who won the Cy Young Award that year) still on the mound. Then, Leon Durham watched a routine grounder go through his legs. This critical error helped the Padres win the game and keep Chicago out of the 1984 World Series.

The following season hopes were high after the signing of Dennis Eckersley. The club started out well, going 35–19 through mid-June, but injuries to the pitching staff and a 13 game losing streak pushed the Cubs out of contention.

The '98 season would begin on a somber note with the death of broadcaster Harry Caray, and after the retirement of Sandberg and the trading of Dunston, the Cubs needed to look elsewhere for help, signing Henry Rodriguez to bat cleanup and provide protection for Sammy Sosa in the lineup. Mark Grace turned in one of his best seasons. The club got a Rookie of the Year effort from pitcher Kerry Wood, which included a one-hit, 20 strikeout performance versus the Houston Astros. "H-Rod" payed immediate dividends by slugging 31 round-trippers, and Sosa earned the N.L.'s MVP award with a 66 home run season. The club won a down-to-the-wire Wild Card chase with the San Francisco Giants, culminating with the Cubs beating the Giants in a one game playoff at Wrigley in which Gary Gaetti hit the game winning homer and propelled the Cubs into the postseason once again, with a 90–73 tally. Unfortunately, the bats went cold in October, as manager Jim Riggleman's club batted .183 and scored only four runs en route to being swept by Atlanta. On a positive note, the home run chase between Sosa, Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. generated a great deal of media coverage, and helped to bring in a new crop of fans as well as bringing back some fans who had been disillusioned by the 1994 strike. The Cubs retained many players who experienced career years in '98, and after a fast start in 1999, they collapsed again (starting with being swept at the hands of the cross-town White Sox in mid-June) and finished in the bottom of the division for the next two seasons.

Despite losing fan favorite Grace to free agency, and the lack of production from newcomer Todd Hundley, skipper Don Baylor's Cubs put together good season in 2001. The season started with Mack Newton being brought in to preach "positive thinking." One of the biggest stories of the season transpired as the club made a midseason deal for Fred McGriff, which was drawn out for nearly a month as McGriff debated waiving his no-trade clause, as the Northsiders led the wild card race by 2.5 games in early September. That run died when Preston Wilson hit a three run walk off homer off of closer Tom "Flash" Gordon, which halted the team's momentum. The team was unable to make another serious charge, and finished at 88-74, only five games behind both Houston and St. Louis, who tied for first. Sosa had perhaps his finest season and Jon Lieber led the staff with a 20 win season.

The Cubs had high expectations in 2002, but the squad played poorly, and the club responded by hiring Dusty Baker and by making some major moves in '03. Most notably, they traded with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez (with the latter finally filling a gaping hole at third base), and rode dominant pitching as the Northsiders led the division down the stretch. Chicago halted St. Louis' run by taking 4 of 5 games from the Redbirds in early September and ultimately won their first division title in 14 years. In what was a dramatic five game series, their NLDS victory over the Atlanta Braves was the franchise's first postseason series win since they won the World Series in 1908. After dropping an extra-inning affair in Game 1, the Northsiders rallied and took a 3 games to 1 lead over the Wild Card Florida Marlins in the NLCS. Florida shut the Cubs out in Game 5, but young pitcher Mark Prior led the Cubs in Game 6 as they took a 3–0 lead into the 8th inning and it was at this point when a now-infamous incident took place. A fan, Steve Bartman, attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Luis Castillo, disrupting a potential catch for the second out by Moisés Alou. Interference was not called on the play, as the ball was ruled to be on the spectator side of the wall. Neither Alou nor Bartman were able to make the catch. Two batters later, and to the horror of the packed stadium, Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez misplayed a potential inning ending double play, loading the bases and leading to eight Florida runs and a Marlin victory. Despite sending Kerry Wood to the mound and holding a lead twice, the Cubs ultimately dropped Game 7, and failed to reach the World Series.The "curse" of the goat was realized once more.

In 2004, despite the return of Greg Maddux and a midseason deal for Nomar Garciaparra, misfortune struck the Cubs again. They led the Wild Card by 1.5 games over San Francisco and Houston on September 25, and both of those teams lost that day, giving the Northsiders a chance at increasing the lead to a commanding 2.5 games with only eight games remaining in the season, but reliever LaTroy Hawkins blew a save to the Mets, and the Cubs lost the game in extra innings, a defeat that seemingly deflated the team, as they proceeded to drop 6 of their last 8 games as the Astros won the Wild Card. Despite the fact that the Cubs had won 89 games, this fallout was decidedly unlovable, as the Cubs traded superstar Sammy Sosa after he had left the season's final game early and then lied about it publicly. Already a controversial figure in the clubhouse after his corked-bat incident, Sammy alienated much of his fan base, the few teammates still on good terms with him, and possibly tarnished his place in Cubs' lore for years to come. The disappointing season also saw fans start to become frustrated with the constant injuries to ace pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Additionally, the '04 season led to the departure of popular commentator Steve Stone, who had become increasingly critical of management during broadcasts and was verbally attacked by reliever Kent Mercker. Things were no better in 2005, as despite a career year from Derrek Lee and the emergence of closer Ryan Dempster, the club struggled and suffered more key injuries, only managing to win 79 games after being picked by many to be a serious contender for the N.L. pennant.

After finishing last in the N.L. Central with 66 wins in 2006, the Northsiders re-tooled and went from "worst to first" in 2007. In the offseason they inked Alfonso Soriano to the richest contract in Cubs history, and replaced unpopular skipper Dusty Baker with fiery veteran manager Lou Piniella. After a rough start, which included a brawl between Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs overcame the Milwaukee Brewers, who had led the division for most of the season, with winning streaks in June and July, coupled with a pair of dramatic, late-inning wins against the Reds, and ultimately clinched the NL Central with a record of 85-77. They met Arizona in the NLDS, but controversy followed as Piniella, in a move that has since come under scrutiny, pulled Carlos Zambrano after the sixth inning of a pitchers duel with D-Backs ace Brandon Webb, to "....save Zambrano for (a potential) Game 4." The Cubs, however, were unable to come through, losing the first game and eventually stranding over 30 baserunners in a 3-game Arizona sweep.

The Cubs successfully defended their National League Central title in 2008, going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1906-1908. The offseason was dominated by three months of unsuccessful trade talks with the Orioles involving 2B Brian Roberts, as well as the signing of Chunichi Dragons star Kosuke Fukudome. The team recorded their 10,000th win in April, while establishing an early division lead. Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds were added early on and Rich Harden was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in early July. The Cubs headed into the All-Star break with the N.L.'s best record, and tied the league record with eight representatives to the All-Star game, including catcher Geovany Soto, who was named Rookie of the Year. "The Boys in Blue" took control of the division by sweeping a four game series in Milwaukee. On September 14, in a game moved to Miller Park due to Hurricane Ike, Zambrano pitched a no-hitter against the Astros, and six days later the team clinched by beating St. Louis at Wrigley. The club ended the season with a 97-64 record and met Los Angeles in the NLDS. The heavily favored Cubs took an early lead in Game 1, but James Loney's grand slam off Ryan Dempster changed the series' momentum. Chicago committed numerous critical errors and were outscored 20-6 in a Dodger sweep, which provided yet another sudden and stunning ending to what had once been looked at as a season of destiny.

Tribune Company, whose main arm is the Chicago Tribune, has owned the club since 1981, when they purchased it from the Wrigley Family for $20,000,000. The Wrigley family, who also owns Wrigley's Chewing Gum had owned the team and the ballpark since buying it from Albert Lasker and Charles Weeghman almost 6 decades earlier. Al Spalding, who also owned Spalding sporting goods, played for the team for two seasons under club founder William Hulbert, and then owned the club for twenty one years. In December 2007, Tribune Company was purchased by businessman Sam Zell, who has listed the team and Wrigley Field for sale.

In 2008, while the team excelled on the field, Sam Zell and the Tribune continued their search for buyer. In late July, they narrowed down their original list of ten prospective investors to three, all of whom offered over $1 billion for both the Cubs and Wrigley Field. The presumptive fan favorite of the three was outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. That list grew to five by August as other leading bidders, including private equity investor and Brewers minority owner John Canning, Jr.. When owner Sam Zell originally trimmed the candidates down, Canning Jr. was eliminated from consideration because his bid was too low, but commissioner Bud Selig had apparently picked Canning Jr. as a favorite of the fraternity of MLB owners. Others among the five remaining bidders for the Cubs included the son of Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, who has reportedly submitted the highest bid to date. However, during a Chicago Bulls-Dallas Mavericks telecast on October 9, 2008, Cuban, in a courtside interview with Comcast Sports Net, claimed he had made the highest bid and although he did not know where he stood, noted that the state of the economy as well as the poor playoff performance by the team would likely affect the time frame of the eventual sale.

On January 8, 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported that three finalist groups, Tom Ricketts, Hersch Klaff, and a partnership of private equity investors Marc Utay and Leo Hindery Jr., were expected to submit finalized, polished offers "within days" after which the winning bid would be accepted, and pending the winning bidders approval by 2/3 of the current MLB owners, would be final. Chairman Crane Kenney also reported that Zell would hold on to nothing more than a minor share of the team.

The Cubs announced that the Ricketts family was their choice for the sale on January 22. Before the sale can be completed, it needs to be approved by 23 of the thirty team owners.

The Cubs' flagship radio station is WGN-AM, 720 AM. With the recent end of the Pittsburgh Pirates' run on KDKA, this may now be the longest team-to-station relationship in MLB. Pat Hughes does the play-by-play along with color commentator Ron Santo and pre- and post-game host Cory Provus. Hughes did play by play for the Minnesota Twins prior to coming to Chicago, and Santo, a former Cubs star and a devout fan of the team (Hughes introduces Santo as "Cub legend Ron Santo" on a daily basis), is known for his emotional highs and lows during games. One example of a "low" was his "Noooo! Noooo!" when Brant Brown dropped a fly ball in a key game in 1998. A "high" for Santo was upon the retirement of his number on the last day of the 2003 season, in which he declared his #10 flag to be "my Hall of Fame." Santo is a type 1 diabetic and has lost both his legs to the disease. Most sponsors of the radio program center their promotions around the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other diabetes-based charities. The Chicago Cubs Radio Network consists of 45 stations and covers at least eleven states. WGN Radio is owned and operated by Tribune Company.

Cubs telecasts are split three ways: WGN (both the local station and the superstation), WCIU (a local independent station), and CSN Chicago (with some games, often Wednesday night contests, aired on the supplemental channel CSN+). Len Kasper is the play-by-play announcer, and Bob Brenly, a former major league catcher and Arizona Diamondbacks manager, is the color commentator for the games. WGN also produces the games shown on WCIU; for those games, the score bug changes the "WGN" logo to "CubsNet." WCIU games additionally air over MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYS-LP (Channel 69) in the South Bend, Indiana market. WGN and CSN Chicago generally show an even number of Cubs games, while WCIU averages about 8 games per season.

In addition to The Chicago Tribune itself, the club also produces its own print media; the Cubs' official magazine Vineline, which has twelve annual issues, is in its third decade, and spotlights players and events involving the club.

Two broadcasters in particular have made their mark on the team. Jack Brickhouse manned the Cubs radio and especially the TV booth for parts of five decades, the 34-season span from 1948 to 1981. He covered the games with a level of enthusiasm that often seemed unjustified by the team's poor performance on the field for many of those years. His trademark call "Hey Hey!" usually followed a home run or other spectacular play. That expression is spelled out in large letters vertically on both foul pole screens at Wrigley Field. "Whoo-boy!" and "Wheeee!" and "Oh, brother!" were among his other pet expressions. When he approached retirement age, he personally recommended his successor.

Harry Caray's stamp on the team is perhaps even deeper than that of Brickhouse, although his 17-year tenure, from 1982 to 1997, was half as long. First, Caray had already become a well-known Chicago figure by broadcasting White Sox games for a decade, after having been a Cardinals icon for 25 years. Caray also had the benefit of being in the booth during the NL East title run in 1984, which was widely seen due to WGN's status as a cable-TV superstation. His trademark call of "Holy Cow!" and his enthusiastic singing of "Take me out to the ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch (as he had done with the White Sox) made Caray a fan favorite both locally and nationally. Harry occasionally had problems pronouncing names, to comic effect, such as his attempt at saying "Hector Villanueva" which was captured on WGN's memorial CD to Harry. He also continued his long-standing bit (dating back to the Cardinals years) of pronouncing names backwards. Caray had lively discussions with commentator Steve Stone, who was hand-picked by Harry himself, and producer Arne Harris. Caray often playfully quarreled with Stone over Stone's cigar and why Stone was single, while Stone would counter with poking fun at Harry being "under the influence." Stone disclosed in his book "Where's Harry" that most of this "arguing" was staged, and usually a ploy developed by Harry himself to add flavor to the broadcast. Additionally, Harry once did a commercial for Budweiser, dressed as a "Blues Brother" and parodying "Soul Man", singing "I'm a Cub fan, I'm a Bud man," while dancing with models dressed as Cubs ballgirls.

The Cubs still have a "guest conductor," usually a celebrity, lead the crowd in singing "Take me out to the ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch to honor Caray's memory. The quality of their renditions and ability to sing in tune vary widely. Chicago icons often return annually, such as former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who tends to sing the song very fast and possibly on key. Caray is also honored with a statue located at the corner of Sheffield and Addison streets, and during the 1998 season, a patch with Caray's caricature and Brickhouse's trademark "Hey Hey" were worn on the players sleeves to honor the passing of both commentators within a span of a few months. Harry's popularity also led to his grandson Chip Caray joining the broadcast team in winter of 1997, shortly before Harry's death. Chip Caray worked the Cubs games alongside Stone until events that unfolded in 2004, when Stone became increasingly critical of management and players toward season's end. At one point, reliever Kent Mercker phoned the booth during a game and told Stone to "keep out of team business." Stone left the team, taking a position with Chicago-based WSCR. Chip Caray also left, joining his father Skip Caray on TBS, providing play-by-play for the Atlanta Braves.

On September 23, 1908, the Cubs and New York Giants were involved in a tight pennant race. The two clubs were tied in the bottom of the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds, and N.Y. had runners on first and third and two outs when Al Bridwell singled, scoring Moose McCormick from third with the Giants' apparent winning run, but the runner on first base, rookie Fred Merkle, went half way to second and then sprinted to the clubhouse after McCormick touched home plate. As fans swarmed the field, Cub infielder Johnny Evers retrieved the ball and touched second. Since there were 2 outs, a forceout was called at second base, ending the inning and the game. Because of the tie the Giants and Cubs ended up tied for first place. The Giants lost the ensuing one-game playoff and the Cubs went on to the World Series.

On June 23, 1984, Chicago trailed St. Louis 9-8 in the bottom of the ninth on NBC's Game of the Week when Ryne Sandberg, known mostly for his glove, slugged a game-tying home run off ace closer Bruce Sutter. Despite this, the Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the tenth. Sandberg came up again facing Sutter with one man on base, and hit yet another game tying home run, and Ryno became a household name. The Cubs won what has become known as "The Sandberg Game" in the 11th inning.

On April 23, 2008, against the Colorado Rockies, the Cubs recorded the 10,000th regular-season win in their franchise's history dating back to the beginning of the National League in 1876. The Cubs reached the milestone with an overall National League record of 10,000 wins and 9,465 losses. Chicago is only the second club in Major League Baseball history to attain this milestone, the first having been the San Francisco Giants in mid-season 2005. The Cubs, however, hold the mark for victories for a team in a single city. The Philadelphia Phillies are the only team with 10,000 losses. The Chicago club's 77–77 record in the National Association (1871, 1874–1875) is not included in MLB record keeping. Post-season series are also not included in the totals. To honor the milestone, the Cubs flew an extra white flag displaying "10,000" in blue, along with the customary "W" flag.

On May 11, 2000, Glenallen Hill, facing Brewers starter Steve Woodard, became the first, and thus far only player, to hit a pitched ball onto the roof of a five-story residential building across Waveland Ave, beyond Wrigley Field's left field wall. The shot was estimated at well over 500 feet (150 m), but the Cubs fell to Milwaukee 12–8.

No batted ball has ever hit the center field scoreboard in Wrigley Field, although the original "Slammin' Sammy", golfer Sam Snead, hit it with a golf ball in an exhibition in the 1950s. In 1948, Bill Nicholson barely missed the scoreboard when he launched a home run ball onto Sheffield Avenue and in 1959, Roberto Clemente came even closer with a home run ball hit onto Waveland Avenue. In 2001, a Sammy Sosa homer landed across Waveland and bounced a block down Kenmore Avenue. Dave Kingman hit a shot in 1978 to the third porch roof on the east side of Kenmore, which was estimated at 555 feet (169 m), and is regarded as the longest home run in Wrigley Field history.

The official Cub mascot is a young bear cub, which has gone through various transformations through the years. The Cubs have no official physical mascot, though a man in a 'polar bear' looking outfit, called "The Beeman" (or Bearman, B-man), which was not very popular with the fans, was employed by the club briefly in the early 1990s. However, the Cubs' unofficial mascot is a formerly homeless man named Ronnie Wickers, who goes by the nickname of "Ronnie Woo Woo." Wickers is not employed by the team, but is seen daily at games and outside the park, dressed in full uniform, usually with a hula hoop or jump rope. Wickers is the second fan to reach this status, the first being "Gary The Drunk" in the 1980s through mid 90s, and was featured in Steve Stone's book "Where's Harry?" (Gary was featured in 2008, after having exchanged gloves with Luis Gonzalez for 13 seasons. He was also kicked out of Wrigley for 3 years after attacking a fan with a knife). Wickers, however, is much more popular. He is known for his trademark yelling, for example "Mark.... Wooo! Grace.... Wooo!," and has been adopted by fans as a part of the culture at Wrigley Field. Wickers has gained national fame, and has appeared on the Howard Stern and Mancow radio programs after the two paid for him to get his teeth fixed.

The term "White flag time at Wrigley!" means the Cubs have won.

Beginning in the days of P.K. Wrigley and the 1937 bleacher/scoreboard reconstruction, and prior to modern media saturation, a flag with either a "W" or an "L" has flown from atop the scoreboard masthead, indicating the day's result(s) when baseball was played at Wrigley. In case of a doubleheader that results in a split, both the "win" and "loss" flags are flown.

Past Cubs media guides show that originally the flags were blue with a white "W" and white with a blue "L", the latter coincidentally suggesting "surrender". In 1978, consistent with the dominant colors of the flags, blue and white lights were mounted atop the scoreboard, denoting "win" and "loss" respectively for the benefit of nighttime passers-by.

The flags were replaced by 1990, the first year in which the Cubs media guide reports the switch to the now familiar colors of the flags: White with blue "W" and blue with white "L". In addition to needing to replace the worn-out flags, by then the retired numbers of Banks and Williams were flying on the foul poles, as white with blue numbers; so the "good" flag was switched to match that scheme.

This long-established tradition has evolved to fans carrying the white-with-blue-W flags to both home and away games, and displaying them after a Cub win. The flags have become more and more popular each season since 1998, and are now even sold at the ballpark.

The Cubs have played their home games at Wrigley Field, also known as "The Friendly Confines" since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Whales, a Federal League baseball team. The Cubs also shared the park with the Chicago Bears of the NFL for 50 years. The ballpark includes a manual scoreboard, ivy-covered brick walls, and relatively small dimensions.

Located in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, Wrigley Field sits on an irregular block bounded by Clark and Addison Streets and Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. The area surrounding the ballpark is typically referred to as Wrigleyville. There is a dense collection of bars and nightclubs in the area, most with baseball inspired themes, including Harry Caray's, Murphy's Bleachers, and Sluggers. On game days, many residents rent out their yards and driveways during games to people looking for a parking spot. Though many Wrigleyville homeowners have seen their property values skyrocket, most, along with Mayor Richard M. Daley, still oppose the team's quest to play more night games and stadium expansion. Average attendance at games has also skyrocketed, as annual ticket sales have more than doubled, with attendance rising from 1.4 million in 1983 to nearly 3.2 million in 2004.

The "Bleacher Bums" is a name given to fans, many of whom spend much of the day heckling, who sit in the bleacher section at Wrigley Field. Initially, the group was called "bums" because it referred to a group of fans who were at most games, and since those games were all day games, it was assumed they did not work. Many of those fans were, and are still, students at Chicago colleges, such as DePaul University, Loyola, and Illinois-Chicago. A Broadway play, starring Joe Mantegna, Dennis Farina, Dennis Franz, and Jim Belushi ran for years and was based on a group of Cub fans who frequented the club's games. The group was started in 1967 by dedicated fan Ron Grousl and "mad bugler" Mike Murphy, who is currently a sports radio host mid days on Chicago-based WSCR AM 670 "The Score". Murphy alleges that Grousl started the Wrigley tradition of throwing back opposing teams' home run balls. The current group is headed by Derek Schaul. More recently, the bleachers have had the stereotype of being populated by attractive and lightly dressed women. Prior to the 2005 season, they were updated, with new shops and private bar (The Batter's Eye) being added, and Bud Light bought naming rights to the bleacher section, dubbing them the Bud Light Bleachers. Bleachers at Wrigley are general admission.

The song "Go, Cubs, Go!" by Steve Goodman is often played over the loudspeakers when the Cubs win a game at Wrigley Field. The song was recorded early in the 1984 season, and was heard frequently during that season. Goodman died in September of that year, four days before the Cubs clinched the National League Eastern Division title, their first title in 39 years. Since 1984, the song started being played from time to time at Wrigley; since 2007, the song has been played over the loudspeakers at Wrigley Field following each victory by the home squad.

In 2008, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder composed a song dedicated to the team called "All the Way". Vedder, a Chicago native, composed the song at the request of Ernie Banks.

An album entitled Take Me Out to a Cubs Game was released in 2008. It is a collection of 17 songs and other recordings related to the team, including Harry Caray's final performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on September 21, 1997, the Steve Goodman song mentioned above, and a newly-recorded rendition of "Talkin' Baseball" (subtitled "Baseball and the Cubs") by Terry Cashman. The album was produced in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cubs' 1908 World Series victory and contains sounds and songs of the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series championship since 1908 and have not appeared in the Fall Classic since 1945. Between their next postseason appearance in 1984 and their latest in 2008, they have only made the postseason six times. It is the longest title drought in all four of the major American professional sports leagues, which includes the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL, as well as, of course, Major League Baseball. In fact, the Cubs' last World Series title occurred before those other three leagues even existed, and even the Cubs' last World Series appearance predates the founding of the NBA. The Cubs' 3-2 series victory over the Atlanta Braves in the 2003 NLDS was the franchise's first postseason series win since the 1908 championship.

At 28-55-1, the Cubs have won fewer postseason games in their history than any of the 16 original pre-expansion major league teams, and their win percentage of .337 is also by far the lowest. They have lost the last three games in eight of their ten postseason appearances between 1932 and 2008, being swept in five of the eight. Since 1984, their postseason record has been 9-22, a win percentage of .290, and between 2003 and 2008, the team has lost its last nine postseason games. With a home postseason record of 12-25 going back to 1906, their postseason home win percentage of .324 has produced an average of less than one home win in the team's 16 postseason series in 15 postseason appearances. The Cubs have recorded only seven postseason wins at Wrigley Field since their first postseason appearance there in 1929, including only two World Series wins, the first by Lon Warnecke in Game 5 in 1935 and the last by Hank Borowy in Game 6 in 1945. Mark Prior is the only Cubs pitcher ever to win two postseason games at Wrigley Field (2003 NLDS Game 3 and 2003 NLCS Game 2). The Cubs have only three other postseason wins in Wrigley Field, two in 1984 (Rick Sutcliffe's win in NLCS Game 1 and Steve Trout's win in NCLS Game 2, the Cubs' only consecutive postseason home wins since the 1907 World Series at the West Side Grounds) and one in 1989 (NCLS Game 2, won by Les Lancaster). The Cubs' total of seven postseason wins in over 90 years of Wrigley Field history equals the number of postseason home wins the Phillies had just in 2008.

Playful theories try to blame the team's futility in reaching and winning in the postseason on alleged supernatural intervention, such as the Curse of the Billy Goat from 1945, citing the Leon Durham error of 1984 and the Bartman incident in 2003 as "evidence" of a curse. More practical theories include the too-cozy dimensions of Wrigley Field; the physical toll from the summer heat discussed in the 1977 book Stuck on the Cubs; and evidenced by the plentiful late season collapses, most notably in 1969 and 2004, as well as 1977, 1979, 1985, and 1999, among others. Finally, the most obvious candidate for this happenstance is the club's poor front office decisions. The 2008 season marked the 100th year anniversary of the last World Series title for the Cubs.

The Cubs spring training facility is located in Mesa, Arizona, where they play in the Cactus League. The club plays its games at HoHoKam Park, the name of which is literally translated from Native American as "those who vanished." The park seats just under 13,567, and the Cubs annually sell out most of their games both at home and on the road. The Northsiders have called Mesa their spring home for most seasons since 1952. In addition to Mesa, the club has held spring training in Champaign, Illinois (1901–02, 1906); Los Angeles (1903–04, 1948–1949), Santa Monica, California (1905); New Orleans (1907, 1911–1912); Vicksburg, Miss. (1908); Hot Springs, Arkansas (1909–1910); Tampa (1913–1916); Pasadena, Cal. (1917–1921); Santa Catalina Island, California (1922–1942, 1946–1947, 1950–1951); French Lick, Indiana (1943–1945); Mesa (1952–1965, 1979–present); Long Beach, California (1966); and Scottsdale, Arizona (1967–1978).

The curious location on Catalina Island stemmed from Cubs owner William Wrigley Jr.'s then-majority interest in the island in 1919. Wrigley constructed a ballpark on the island to house the Cubs in spring training: it was built to the same dimensions as Wrigley Field. (The ballpark is long gone, but a clubhouse built by Wrigley to house the Cubs exists as the Catalina County Club.) However by 1951 the team chose to leave Catalina Island and spring training was shifted to Mesa, Arizona.

The current location in Mesa is actually the second HoHoKam Park; the first was built in 1976 at Fitch Park as the spring-training home of the Athletics who left the park in 1979. The new complex provides 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of team facilities, including major league clubhouse, four practice fields, one practice infield, enclosed batting tunnels, batting cages, a maintenance facility, and administrative offices for the Cubs.

The practice of teams traveling for organized spring training practice games and drills is almost as old as baseball itself. One of the earliest recorded spring training camps took place in 1870, when the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Chicago White Stockings (now the Cubs) held organized baseball camps in New Orleans.

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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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Brad Halsey

Bradford Alexander Halsey (born February 14, 1981 in Houston, Texas) is a Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Halsey was an eighth-round pick out of University of Texas at Austin in 2002, when he was the No. 1 starter on the Longhorns' College World Series championship team--a team which also featured former teammate Huston Street.

Signed by the New York Yankees, Halsey spent most of 2004 at Triple-A Columbus, going 11-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 144 innings. He posted a 2.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio (109-to-37), while opponents batted .237 against him with eight home runs. The Yankees gave him a spot in their pitching rotation on June 19, 2004. In seven starts and a relief appearance, Halsey finished with a 1-3 record, 25 strikeouts, and a 6.47 ERA in 32 innings. The high point of his season with the Yankees came when he out-dueled Pedro Martínez on July 1, 2004, in an extra inning game in which Derek Jeter dove into the stands and John Flaherty won the game in the 13th with a walk off single.

Before the 2005 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded pitcher Randy Johnson to the Yankees in a three-team deal that included the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona received Halsey, pitcher Javier Vázquez, and catcher Dioner Navarro from New York, then sent Navarro and three minor league prospects to the Dodgers for outfielder Shawn Green.

On March 26, 2006, the Diamondbacks traded Halsey to the Athletics for Juan Cruz. Halsey made the Athletics' opening-day roster as a middle reliever, then was pressed into starting duty in May with injuries to starters Esteban Loaiza and Rich Harden. Halsey pitched in six starts, with a record of 1-2, ERA of 5.63, and opponents batting .305 against him.

When Loaiza returned, Halsey returned to middle relief duty in mid-June. His statistics through mid-August were 3-3, 4.50 ERA. On August 10, Halsey was optioned to Oakland's Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento when the Athletics activated reliever Jay Witasick from the disabled list only to be recalled on August 22 with the A's needing a fifth starter in a string of consecutive games. He finished the year in middle relief, usually as the first reliever. His statistics for the year were 5-4, 4.67 ERA.

Halsey did not make the playoff roster for Oakland's division series against the Minnesota Twins. Oakland already had a left-hander in Joe Kennedy, and teams tend to carry one less pitcher in the playoffs given the added rest days and usual movement of the fifth starter to the bullpen.

Halsey entered the 2007 season as a candidate for the fifth starter slot, but did not pitch well in spring training, going 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA, and lost out to favorite Joe Kennedy. On April 1, Halsey was optioned to Sacramento.

On April 21, 2007, Halsey was held out of his start at Triple-A Sacramento, in case he was called to start for Rich Harden 3 days later. Harden couldn't go, but instead of Halsey, the A's went with left-hander Dallas Braden. Halsey made inflammatory comments that he was bypassed because the A's found out that Halsey was scheduled for an MRI exam.

Halsey eventually did have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder on July 12, 2007, and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Halsey had a grievance filed against the A's over the misdiagnosis of his injury and won.

After being released in 2008, Halsey signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2009.

Halsey throws a fastball in the 87-90 MPH range, but his best pitches are a fine slider and a deceptive changeup.

He was the person who threw the pitch on May 20, 2006, that Barry Bonds hit out of the park for his 714th home run, tying Babe Ruth for second place all-time.

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Source : Wikipedia