Which Philly/K.C./Oakland Athletic …

He is the answer to question No. 4.

He is the answer to question No. 4.

By Glen Sparks

This is something you may not know: The A’s have won nine World Series during their far-flung history. Only the New York Yankees (27) and St. Louis Cardinals (11) have won more. This club has a history of being really good or really bad. One of baseball’s great franchises in the early 1900s, the team sold off its good players and finished last every season from 1915 through 1921. The A’s revved it up again, won more than 100 games for three straight years (1929-31) and then quickly went back into the cellar. Never very good in Kansas City, the A’s built a dynasty in Oakland, turned into a laughingstock for a few years and still hope to win their first “Moneyball” title.

  1. Which Philadelphia A’s star played third base for the so-called “$100,000 infield”?
  2. Which pitcher for the Philadelphia A’s once played semi-pro ball for the Los Angeles Looloos?

    He was a Looloo.

    He was a Looloo.

  3. Which Philadelphia A’s star also played for the Chicago White Sox from 1915-26?
  4. Which Philadelphia A’s Hall of Famer grew up on the White Earth Indian Reservation near Brainerd, Minn.?
  5. Which Philadelphia A’s manager is first on the all-time list for wins and also all-time losses?
  6. Which ace for the Philadelphia A’s led the A.L. in wins four times, ERA five times apiece and in strikeouts seven times?
  7. Which Kansas City A’s player pitched three innings for the team in 1965 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971?
  8. Which Kansas City A’s outfielder later managed a major league team in K.C.?
  9. Which Oakland A’s pitcher threw the ninth perfect game in major league history?
  10. Which Oakland’s A’s player was the first to hit home runs in his first two World Series at-bats? 
  • Frank “Home Run” Baker. John “Stuffy” McInnis played first base, Eddie Collins played second and Jack Barry was at shortstop. Baker, a Hall of Famer, slugged 96 home runs in his career, a strong number during the deadball era. Baker led the American League in home runs four straight years, 1911-14. He went into the Hall of Fame in 1955.
  • “Rube” Waddell. His life story was alternately funny and tragic. He was a heck of a pitcher, though. He threw for the Looloos one offseason. You can read more about the Hall of Famer in this post.
  • Eddie Collins. Collins was both athletic and brainy. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City. Collins led the league in stolen bases four times and won the MVP in 1914. The Hall of Famer played 13 seasons with the A’s and 12 with the Chicago White Sox. He retired with a .333 career batting average and 3,315 career hits.

    Eddie Collins is 11th on the all-time hits list 3,315.

    Eddie Collins is 11th on the all-time hits list 3,315.

  • Charles Albert “Chief” Bender. Bender was born in Crow Wing County, Minn., on May 5, 1884. They called him “Chief” because that’s what they usually called Native-American players back then. Bender compiled a 212-127 won-loss mark with the A’s. He the league in winning percentage three times and threw a no-hitter in 1910. Baseball writers elected him to the Hall of Fame in 1953.
  • Cornelius McGillicuddy Sr. You probably know him as Connie Mack. He started managing the A’s in 1901 and didn’t retire until 1950 at the age of 87. You can do that sort of thing when you own the team. His clubs won five World Series, but none after 1930. His career won loss mark of 3,731-3,948 over 53 years (including three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates) made him a sub-.500 manager. His later teams were pretty bad. Mack never wore a uniform as skipper. He showed up for work in a suit and wearing a hat.
  • Moses “Lefty” Grove. He may be the greatest left-hander in baseball history. Anyway, the argument is among Grove, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson. Grove won the A.L. MVP in 1931, going 31-4 with a 2.06 ERA. Later, he led the league in ERA four times with the Boston Red Sox. He is, of course, a Hall of Famer.
  • Leroy “Satchel” Paige. The legendary pitcher went 28-31 in the majors, and that’s embarrassing. He was a 42-year-old rookie in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians, and that’s also embarrassing. Paige, of course, earned his reputation in the Negro Leagues as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. The tall, slender right-hander out of Mobile, Ala., played in numerous exhibition games against some of the top big-league players. Joe DiMaggio supposedly said that Paige was the best pitcher he ever faced; Bob Feller said Paige was the best pitcher he ever saw. Satch, who warned everyone not to look back (“something might be gaining on you”), played for the Indians in 1948-49, the St. Louis Browns from 1951-53 and the A’s in ’65 for one game at the age of 58. Paige made it into the Hall of Fame in 1971.
  • Whitey Herzog. Herzog played 12 seasons in the majors, mostly as an outfielder. He hit .268 in three seasons with the Kansas City A’s. Later, he gained a reputation as one of baseball’s top managers, first with the Texas Rangers and, later, more notably with the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. His teams won six division titles, three pennants and the 1982 World Series. The White Rat, as many affectionately called him, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010.
  • Gene Tenace. The hard-hitting catcher broke in with the A’s in 1969. He hit home runs in his first two at-bats in Game 1 of the 1972 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Tenace also slammed homers in games four and five and was named Series MVP. In eight other postseason series, Tenace went homerless. 10. He hit 201 round-trippers in his career.
  • Jim “Catfish” Hunter. The right-hander won 224 games in his career, relying on guile and off-speed stuff. On May 8, 1968, Hunter threw his perfecto against the Minnesota Twins. He tossed 107 pitches and struck out 11.

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

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