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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Dick Williams, R.I.P.

Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams died Thursday at 82.  Williams has to hold a special spot in the memories of old-school Oakland A’s fans. When he guided the A’s to the 1972 World Series championship, it was the first major pro sports title in the Bay Area. Then he did it again in 1973. He was the only manager to work for irascible owner Charlie Finley for more than two consecutive seasons. But Williams did something else even more… Read More »

Chuck Tanner’s Oakland A’s

Chuck Tanner, who died Friday at 82, is known for managing the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates to a World Series championship. But I like to remember him for his one season managing the Oakland Athletics. The A’s had won five straight division titles under Dick Williams and Alvin Dark when Charlie Finley hired Tanner for the 1976 season. Finley had just traded Reggie Jackson to the Baltimore Orioles, but Tanner still managed to win 87 games. More interestingly, he led one… 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. 3

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 and the 2002 opener at No. 4. Next up: No. 3.  April 5, 2010. Mariners at Oakland. That’s right, this season’s opener is symbolically significant… Read More »

All-time A’s home openers: No. 4

In a countdown to the 2010 baseball season, Old School blog will run 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. Next up: No. 4. April 1, 2002. Texas Rangers at Oakland. Attendance 43,908. This was the first game played following an offseason in which commissioner… Read More »