Greatest Oakland Athletics Sluggers of All-Time
Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco
The Oakland Athletics (A's) have been in Oakland for forty years. Before that, the franchise was in Kansas City for thirteen seasons and before that they were in Philadelphia for about fifty years. Over the last few decades though, this team has been a powerhouse most of the time, and many of its home run leaders have come from recent teams. Here is a complete list of franchise leaders in home runs hit with the A's:
Mark McGwire (363)-It's sad that there is an asterisk attached to this post, but whether or not Mark McGwire was chemically enhanced when he hit 70 home runs in 1998, the truth is he was hitting plenty of homers long before his days with the Cardinals. McGwire began his major league career with Oakland, and played there from 1986 to 1997. He leads the A's franchise all-time with 363 homers and his best season with the team was in 1996, when he batted a career high .312 with 52 homers and 113 RBI. McGwire also won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1987 when he belted 49 homers with 118 runs batted in.
Jimmie Foxx (302)-Jimmie Foxx was a perennial slugger who hit no less than 30 homers in a season between 1929 and 1940 with both the Philadelphia A's and Boston Red Sox. Foxx's 534 career long balls rank him fifteenth all-time in baseball. While with the A's from 1925 to 1935, Foxx belted 302 homers. His best year with the team was 1932, when he won the MVP Award by hitting .364 with 58 homers and 169 RBI. That's maybe the best overall season for any player in history.
Reggie Jackson (269)-Reggie Jackson was one of the game's most animated players, and he had a knack for both home runs and strikeouts (he leads the majors all-time in the latter category). Jackson helped the A's to three straight championships from 1972 to 1974, and he won the AL MVP in 1973 by hitting .293 with 32 homers and 117 RBI. But his best overall season may have been 1969, when Jackson had career highs in both home runs (47) and RBI (118). Jackson went on to play for the Yankees, whom he helped win two championships in the late ‘70's.
Jose Canseco (254)-Along with McGwire, Jose Canseco formed the "bash brothers" who led the A's to three straight World Series appearances from 1988 to 1990, winning it all in 1989. Canseco ranks fourth in franchise history with 254 home runs, and despite hitting 44 homers in 1991, his best overall season with the team was in 1988. That year, Canseco won the AL MVP Award by batting .307 with 42 homers, 124 runs batted in, and 40 stolen bases.
Bob Johnson (252)-Bob Johnson played for the Philadelphia A's from 1933 to 1942, ranking fifth in team history with 252 home runs. Johnson hit 31 homers for the team in 1940, a career high. But his best season was in 1938, when he hit .313 with 30 homers and 113 RBI.
Eric Chavez (229)-Infielder/DH Eric Chavez is the only active player on this list at press time (2008), and has been with the A's from 1998 until now. He ranks sixth all-time for the franchise with 229 homers. In 2002, Chavez had his best power season, hitting .275 with 34 homers and 109 RBI.
Al Simmons (209)-Al Simmons played for the Philadelphia A's from 1924 to 1932, and again in 1940, 1941 and 1944. He was in contention for the MVP Award a few times early in his career, but never finished higher than second, in 1925. In 1930, Simmons had an incredible season for the A's, batting .381 with career highs in homers (36) and RBI (165).
Sal Bando (192)-Third baseman Sal Bando began his career with the Kansas City A's in 1966 and played for the franchise through 1976, helping them win those three World Series titles in Oakland from 1972 to 1974. Bando had a career season in 1969, when he batted .281 with 31 home runs and 113 runs batted in.
Gus Zernial (191)-Gus Zernial played for the Athletics' franchise in both Philadelphia and Kansas City between 1951 and 1957 and ranks ninth all-time with 191 homers for the team. Zernial's best season with the franchise was 1953 when he had career highs in batting average (.284) and home runs (42) with 108 RBI.
Jason Giambi (187)-Jason Giambi got his big pay day from the New York Yankees after George Steinbrenner watched him put up huge numbers in Oakland. Giambi also has an asterisk following him around, but he had some great years when he played for the A's from 1995 to 2001. His best year with the team was 2000, when Giambi took home the AL MVP Award by batting .333 with career highs in homers (43) and RBI (137).