Saturday, April 03, 2004
The A’s, before they were in Oakland, and before they were in Kansas City, were the Philadelphia Athletics. From 1901-1954 the A’s were the top Philly baseball team, the natural rivals of the Yankees when they emerged with Babe Ruth in the 1920s. In Philly, the A’s won the World Series five times (1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, & 1930) under the leadership of Connie Mack. The Phillies aren’t the whole book on baseball in Philadelphia.
There is quite a bit of interesting material on the ‘net about the old-time A’s: The Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society has done a great, and unique, job preserving the A’s history. Ted Taylor, a historical buff, evidentially published a piece back in 1995 about the interest in the Philadelphia A’s. (Check out his site, here.)
As an aside, I root for the A’s because they are the team that has made the greatest use of Sabermetics in building a contender. It is impossible not to be impressed by the A’s ability to put together four straight 90+ win seasons despite a payroll that is a fraction of the Yankees. Most fans are aware of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball and the negative reaction from Major League organizations angry with the A’s contemptuous view of traditional scout-centered baseball evaluations, but whatever your opinion of Beane, et al., I think the results speak for themselves. (I say this as I watch, here in the Three Rivers City, a small-market Pirates team with utterly no hope for 2004 or the foreseeable future take the field against the Phils on Monday.)
Root for the Phils! ... And root for the A’s!