30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Night Five: Favorite Oakland Athletics

Don't ask me to explain the 2012 Oakland Athletics, because I can't.  Trust me, I've sat around with buddies trying to dissect and analyze it, but a few weeks ago... I stopped.  I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride.

The fact is... there was a time when I could name the entire starting 9 for the Athletics.  But yesterday, one of my coworkers quizzed me and it wasn't pretty.  I was only able to produce five of the eight positional players... and only three of the five starting pitchers.
I know... I know.  Weak sauce!  What's worse is that I don't even have a favorite player on the current A's roster.

But here's the thing... there are plenty of former players I love to make up for it.  So without further adieu, here are my top 5 all-time favorite Oakland Athletics:

Honorable Mention:  Carney Lansford, Terry Steinbach, Billy Martin, and The Big 3 (Mulder, Hudson, and Zito)

You have no idea how hard it was to keep Billy off of my list.  He's one of the most entertaining managers I've ever had the pleasure to watch.  The other five are special in their own way... but just don't have what it takes to crack the top 5.

So... as my fellow A's fan, Mr. M.C. Hammer would say... let's get it started:

#5  Dennis Eckersley

He served up the dagger that nearly made me punch a hole in the wall in 1988... but more than made up for it by giving A's fans nine years of HOF effort.

#4 Jose Canseco

I'm sure this doesn't sit well with some of you, but I can't deny my past.  I loved JC back in the day.

#3 Rollie Fingers

Rollie has one of the coolest mustache's in the game.  He played for both of my favorite teams.  And he's my childhood buddy's uncle.  In other words, he's the man!

#2 Kurt Suzuki

Words can't express how I felt when the A's traded Kurt to the Washington Nationals earlier this season.  The fact is... I enjoyed cheering for him without the high expectations people have for their favorite super stars.  He's just a hard working catcher, a solid leader, and a guy who happened to play for my favorite team and shares my ethnicity.

#1 Rickey Henderson

I was truly torn between Kurt and Rickey.  But I felt that my childhood carried more weight than the present, so I went with The Man of Steal.  When reflecting on my childhood favorites, plenty of names come to mind.  However Tony Gwynn and Rickey Henderson are truly in a league of their own.

Okay... it's time to share your favorite five:

What's your favorite MLB team?  And who are your five favorite players from that franchise?

Alright Athletics... I did my part.  Now it's time to do yours.  Let's take care of business and finish what you started.  And in the meantime... Hammer will lead us in prayer:

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. I live in Blue Jays land, and still cheer for them as long as they aren't playing my favourite team - The Mets. Let's see how this goes.

    5. Eric Valent. Who? A journeyman utility type. He makes it into my top 5 because he gave me one of my favourite baseball moments that I've seen in person. I saw him hit for the cycle in Montreal. It might have been the cheapest cycle ever. The single could have been an error as there was miscommunication between the 1st baseman and the pitcher. The double was almost a shoestring catch. The home run was a 'stadium rules' home run, as it hit off a speaker at the Big O, and the triple was a double where he decided "We've got a big lead, I might as well go for the cycle". Plus, it taught me that the French-Canadian term for the cycle is 'Carousel'. I'm disappointed there don't seem to be any cards of him in a Mets uniform.

    4. Jason Bay. Yes. He's struggled since the move to Queens. But I have to stick up for the most profile Canadian to put on a Mets uniform. It is encouraging that he still gives the fullest effort when he is playing. He has every reason to give up, but he won't.

    3. R.A. Dickey. Might be something just coming out of his incredible season, but he's shot up the list. Reading his book probably helped, especially because it gave such a great insight into the brotherhood of the knuckleballer.

    2. Carlos Delgado. Probably the best player to play for my two favourite teams, and to have a really good run with them.

    1. Mookie Wilson. The reason I'm a Mets fan. Way back in 1983, 8-year old me was watching an Expos/Mets game. I was immediately struck by the fact the Mets had a guy named Mookie playing for them. That was all it took to make a fan of the club. It is helpful that he was also part of one of the most memorable moments not just in Mets, but in baseball history.

    1. Wow... that's a great Eric Valent memory. Okay my turn. Here are my all-time top 5 favorite Mets:

      Honorary Mention: Tom Glavine, Gary Carter & Mike Piazza... love all of these guys, but I associate Glavine with the Braves, Carter with the Expos and Piazza with the Dodgers.

      #5 - R.A. Dickey
      #4 - Mookie Wilson
      #3 - Darryl Strawberry
      #2 - Ron Darling
      #1 - Dwight Gooden

      I remember having arguments over who was better... Gooden or Clemens. Good times.

  2. Orioles:
    5) Elrod Hendricks.... an ambassador for the game and the team
    and (tie)Mike Cuellar.... loved his grit
    4) Eddie Murray.... cuz he was so bad ass cool
    3) Jim Palmer.... our best ever
    2) Frank Robinson.... he made the Orioles of the glory days
    1) Brooks Robinson.... no need to explain is there?

    Honorable mentions go to Boog Powell, Dennis Martinez, Cal Ripken and Dave Johnson

    1. Okay... I apologize in advance. My Orioles picks are going to be 80's heavy.

      Honorable Mentions: Brooks Robinson, Brian Roberts, Eddie Murray, Nick Markakis, and Rick Dempsey

      #5 - Doug Decinces
      #4 - Lenn Sakata
      #3 - Jim Palmer
      #2 - Earl Weaver
      #1 - Cal Ripken Jr.

      Ripken is a class act, who was loyal to the Orioles... all while he made MLB history.

  3. Too easy.


    5. Hideo Nomo
    4. Clayton Kershaw
    3. Orel Hershiser
    2. Sandy Koufax
    1. Ron Cey

    In case you haven't noticed, that's one for each of the last 5 decades.

    1. This is far from easy sir. But I'll give it a shot:

      Honorable Mentions: Pedro Guerrero, Ron Cey, Matt Kemp, Mike Scioscia, and Mike Piazza

      #5 - Steve Garvey
      #4 - Steve Sax
      #3 - Fernando Valenzuela
      #2 - Hideo Nomo
      #1 - Jackie Robinson

      Actually... that wasn't too bad. Once I got started... the ball kept rolling and rolling.

    2. Since I'm a 'closeted' Dodger fan I'll toss my 5 in here as well.
      5. Roy Campanella
      4. Fernando Valenzuela
      3. Tommy Davis
      2. Don Drysdale
      1. Sandy Koufax

    3. Great list... I should have added Campanella to my honorary mentions list. Looks like I missed out on Koufax too.

  4. I consider myself privileged to be able choose from the thousands upon thousands of great talents that have donned pinstripes in the Bronx, but chances are my personal 5 doesn't include most of them.

    My Top 5 Yankees
    5. Roger Maris (the unsung hero)
    4. Alex Rodriguez (love him or hate him, he's a generational talent)
    3. Derek Jeter (nuff said)
    2. Dellin Betances (New York native playing for Yankees :))
    1. Jorge Posada (one of the best players I ever did see)

    Honorable mentions go to Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Joe DiMaggio, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Cito Culver, Ichiro Suzuki and future Yankees David Price, Bryce Harper & Felix Hernandez (you can't deny the inevitable :D).

    1. Damn... I hate the Yankees. I can't believe I'm going to even create this list. But here are my Top 5 Yankees:

      Honorable Mentions: Joe DiMaggio, Willie Randolph, Dave Winfield, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada.

      #5 - Graig Nettles
      #4 - Ron Guidry
      #3 - Lou Gehrig (Pride of the Yankees)
      #2 - Derek Jeter
      #1 - Thurman Munson

      In my eyes, Rickey Henderson was a zombie while wearing pinstripes, so he wasn't in the right mindset. He is and always will be an Oakland Athletic in my mind.

    2. You missed his 1985 season; he was a monster that year. Every Yankee game was Henderson getting on base, stealing, and Mattingly driving him in. It was like clockwork.

    3. Oh... I know that Rickey was a beast in NY... I just choose to ignore it. During those years, he was dead to me.

    4. Nice list Fuji. I thought you'd mention Henderson at least once lol. I have a feeling Red Sox fans felt the same with Roger Clemens (& possibly Johnny Damon).
      Still I think it's neat when you look at the list of all the HoF (& HoF worthy) players the Yankees scooped up with big contracts. From Babe Ruth to Rickey Henderson to Reggie Jackson to Randy Johnson and beyond. I remember having conversations with my friends that being a Yankee made you a hall of famer being a 2nd grader in New York will do that to you lol).

    5. Thanks ZZ... yeah the Yankees are the kings of the free agent market & have a way of pulling off amazing trades. They're baseball's version of the Los Angeles Lakers.

      They're so talented that people without rings want to go play with them. Unfortunately it's what made me stop rooting for the Lakers and begin cheering for the local GS Warriors.

    6. I understand. When Darryl Strawberry went to the Dodgers, he was dead to me. Things did not improve when he went to the Yankees.

    7. Strawberry will always be a NY Met in my eyes! Him & Doc.

  5. The New York Mets are my team. My all time Top 5, in order: (with apologies to David Wright, Dwight Gooden, Jerry Grote, Ed Kranepool, et al).

    5. Keith Hernandez
    4. Todd Hundley
    3. Mike Piazza
    2. Tom Seaver
    1. Gary Carter

    So, chances are, if you played catcher and played for the Mets, you are my favorite.

    1. Oooh... I can't believe I left off Seaver. Here's my updated Mets list:

      #5 - Mookie Wilson
      #4 - Darryl Strawberry
      #3 - Tom Seaver
      #2 - Ron Darling
      #1 - Dwight Gooden

      So, chances are, if you played pitcher and played for the Mets, you're my favorite Met ;-)

  6. I'd be curious to see your list of five favorite *current* A's. ;)

    1. Okay... okay. If you're going to twist my arm, here are my top 5 current A's:

      #5 Jemile Weeks - exciting player to watch
      #4 Derek Norris - the guy who replaced Kurt
      #3 Tommy Milone - love my lefties
      #2 Yoenis Cespedes - best player on the team
      #1 Coco Crisp - 1 of the coolest names in the MLB

      The problem is I have no desire to collect Coco, nor buy his jersey, or any other memorabilia... because as with any other Oakland A's player, he could be gone tomorrow.

    2. Coco Crisp knows no boundaries. I have a page of him simply because, hey, his name is friggin' Coco Crisp!

    3. Yeah... he's come up big so many times this season for the Athletics. Maybe I'll build a page with him in his A's uniform.

  7. New York Yankees

    1. Bernie Williams
    2. Jorge Posada
    3. Don Mattingly
    4. Jim Bouton
    5 (tie). Dave Winfield
    5 (tie). Robinson Cano

    1. Damn... left Bernie off of my list. He wouldn't have cracked my top 5, but should have been added to my honorable mentions list.

      I admire players who stick with one franchise their entire career.

  8. Dodgers

    5. Matt Kemp
    4. Steve sax
    3. Orel hershiser
    2. Jackie Robinson
    1. Steve garvey

    Could prob switch 4 and 5 now. Too many honorable mentions to mention.

    1. Nice to see another Sax fan out there... although I'm surprised that out of the famous Garvey, Cey, Russell, and Lopes infield, only Garvey made the top 5.