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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

A’s should go beyond Wall of Fame

Sure, the Oakland Athletics honor their Hall of Famers by displaying their names and retired numbers — Hunter, Fingers, Jackson, Eckersley and Rickey Henderson. But there are A’s players who may not be Hall of Famers but who contributed greatly to the team’s illustrious history. An Oakland A’s Wall of Fame would certainly include Bert Campaneris, the base-stealing shortstop and leadoff sparkplug of the A’s three consecutive World Series championship teams, 1972-74; and Vida Blue, the American League’s MVP and… Read More »

When Catfish was perfect

Dallas Braden’s perfect game on Sunday was the second in Oakland Athletics’ history. The first came in the A’s first season in Oakland. On May 8, 1968, in front of 6,298 fans at the Coliseum (the more things change, the more they stay the same), Jim Catfish Hunter threw a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins in a 4-0 victory. In the Twins’ lineup were two future Hall of Famers — Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew — and one should-be… Read More »

All-time A’s home openers: No. 2

In a countdown to the 2010 baseball season, Old School blog is running brief descriptions of the most significant home openers in the history of the Oakland A’s and SF Giants — one a day, a total of five for each team. We already started with the A’s, picking the 1981 opener at No. 5, the 2002 opener at No. 4 and this year’s opener at No. 3. Next up: No. 2. April 6, 1973. Twins at Oakland. Attendance 38,207.… Read More »

Muhammad Ali and baseball

Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is visiting the Padres, Giants and Reds spring-training camps this week. Here is a look at selected baseball highlights in the years that are most significant in Ali’s boxing career. 1964. Ali stops Sonny Liston after six rounds, wins heavyweight championship. St. Louis Cardinals defeat New York Yankees in seven-game World Series. Richie Allen of the Phillies is NL rookie of the year. Tony Oliva of the Twins is AL rookie of the year. Dean… Read More »

Best all-time A’s pitching staff

Spring-training stories are already calling this year’s Oakland A’s pitching staff perhaps the best in the AL. Which staff would you call the Athletics’ best ever since moving to Oakland 42 years ago? Here are my picks: 1971-73. These staffs were anchored by Vida Blue and Catfish Hunter. Ken Holtzman was a major contributor in 1972-73. Rollie Fingers was the closer but several other relievers got plenty of save opportunities. A remarkable run of pitching excellence. 1988-90: Another sensational three-year… Read More »