TRIVIA WINNER: For the first time there is NO WINNER in the trivia contest. There were lots of great guesses and lots of entries and research, but NO ONE was able to come up with the answer we sought. The MLB Record Bobby Tolan tied in the game highlights was the fact he made two of the three outs in an inning when the Reds scored multiple runs. No one in the modern era of MLB has ever made three outs in one inning. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.
TRIVIA CONTEST: By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card. YOU MUST ENTER VIA THE EMAIL AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN. Please put your mailing address in with the answer so if you win we can send you the gift card in the mail.
NEW TRIVIA QUESTION: The oldest player on the 1968 A's also played with one other team that seasons. Who was he and for which other team did he play in his final season in the big leagues?
It is a fact that the Kansas City Athletics never finished in the positive when it came to their seasonal record. In 1968 that all changed and for the first time since 1950 when they were the Philadelphia A's, did the Athletics get to .500. And they did it by two games.
This was a team made up of newbies who would become great players and oldies who were average to decent major league players playing out the string. Danny Cater led the team in batting at .290 but Reggie Jackson led the club in homers with 29. He only hit .250 however. Jackson's 29 dingers was almost one third of the club total of 94. The team only hit .240 on the season. It no longer had a coach by the name of Joe DiMaggio either.
Youngsters Joe Rudi (.177), Sal Bando (.251) and Rick Monday (.274) would form the nucleus of a team which would win for years afterwards. However, this club also had Phil Roof, Jim Pagliaroni, a young Bert Campanaris, Dick Green, Tony La Russa and Floyd Robinson. It was basically the same team (give or take a few players) who lost 99 games in 1967.
They also had pitching. They had six pitchers under age 26 who would become household names. Starting with Catfish Hunter there was also Blue Moon Odom, Lew Krause, Jim Nash, Chuck Dobson and a 21 year old reliever named Rollie Fingers.
They finished 82-80-1 and a sixth place finish in a 10 team league while they were in 8th place when it came to the 837,000 fans Charlie O. Finley watched come through the turnstiles. It was their first year in Oakland after finishing with only 62 wins and 99 losses in KC. They avoided a 5th, 100 loss season in Kansas City. They also lost 103 in the club's final season in Philadelphia.