1976 Oakland Athletics
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record87–74 (.540)
Divisional place2nd
Other information
Owner(s)Charles O. Finley
Manager(s)Chuck Tanner
Local televisionKPIX-TV
Local radioKNBR
(Monte Moore, Bob Waller)
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The 1976 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's finishing second in the American League West with a record of 87 wins and 74 losses, 2+12 games behind the Kansas City Royals. The A's failed to win the division (and make the playoffs) for the first time since 1970. The team set and still holds the American League record for most stolen bases with 341,[1] second in Major League Baseball's modern era (since 1901) to the 1911 New York Giants, who had 347.[2]

The Athletics did not eclipse this season's win total until 1988 (104 wins). Nearly all of the team's stars (Sal Bando, Rollie Fingers, Gene Tenace, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Don Baylor, Phil Garner, Billy Williams, Claudell Washington, and an injury-plagued Willie McCovey) departed after this season. This staggering mass exodus led to a 24-win plunge in 1977 to last place in the standings and attendance.

Offseason

Regular season

As the 1976 season got underway (on April 9 for Oakland), the basic rules of player contracts were changing. It was ruled that baseball's reserve clause only bound players for one season after their contract expired. All players not signed to multi-year contracts would be eligible for free agency at the end of the 1976 season. Finley reacted by trading star players and attempting to sell others. On June 15, Finley sold left fielder Joe Rudi and relief pitcher Rollie Fingers to the Boston Red Sox for $1 million each, and pitcher Vida Blue[10] to the New York Yankees for $1.5 million. Three days later, Bowie Kuhn voided the transactions in the "best interests of baseball." Amid the turmoil, the A's still finished second in the A.L. West, 2.5 games behind the Royals.

Fire sale

O'Connell had contacted Detroit Tigers general manager Jim Campbell to purchase Vida Blue for one million dollars so that the New York Yankees could not get him.[12] Gabe Paul of the Yankees advised that he would pay $1.5 million for the opportunity to acquire Blue. Finley offered Blue a three-year extension worth $485,000 per season to make the sale more attractive to the Yankees.[12] With the extension, the Yankees agreed to purchase Blue.

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Kansas City Royals 90 72 0.556 49–32 41–40
Oakland Athletics 87 74 0.540 51–30 36–44
Minnesota Twins 85 77 0.525 5 44–37 41–40
Texas Rangers 76 86 0.469 14 39–42 37–44
California Angels 76 86 0.469 14 38–43 38–43
Chicago White Sox 64 97 0.398 25½ 35–45 29–52

Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK TEX
Baltimore 7–11 8–4 8–4 7–11 12–6 6–6 11–7 4–8 13–5 4–8 8–4
Boston 11–7 7–5 6–6 9–9 14–4 3–9 12–6 7–5 7–11 4–8 3–9
California 4–8 5–7 11–7 7–5 6–6 8–10 4–8 8–10 5–7 6–12 12–6
Chicago 4–8 6–6 7–11 3–9 6–6 8–10 7–5 7–11 1–11 8–9 7–11
Cleveland 11–7 9–9 5–7 9–3 6–12 6–6 11–6 9–3 4–12 4–8 7–5
Detroit 6–12 4–14 6–6 6–6 12–6 4–8 12–6 4–8 9–8 6–6 5–7
Kansas City 6–6 9–3 10–8 10–8 6–6 8–4 8–4 10–8 7–5 9–9 7–11
Milwaukee 7–11 6–12 8–4 5–7 6–11 6–12 4–8 4–8 5–13 5–7 10–2
Minnesota 8–4 5–7 10–8 11–7 3–9 8–4 8–10 8–4 2–10 11–7 11–7
New York 5–13 11–7 7–5 11–1 12–4 8–9 5–7 13–5 10–2 6–6 9–3
Oakland 8–4 8–4 12–6 9–8 8–4 6–6 9–9 7–5 7–11 6–6 7–11
Texas 4–8 9–3 6–12 11–7 5–7 7–5 11–7 2–10 7–11 3–9 11–7


Notable transactions

Roster

1976 Oakland Athletics
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Larry Haney 88 177 40 .226 0 10
1B Gene Tenace 128 417 104 .249 22 66
2B Phil Garner 159 555 145 .261 8 74
3B Sal Bando 158 550 132 .240 27 84
SS Bert Campaneris 149 536 137 .256 1 52
LF Joe Rudi 130 500 135 .270 13 94
CF Billy North 154 590 163 .276 2 31
RF Claudell Washington 134 490 126 .257 5 53
DH Billy Williams 120 351 74 .211 11 41

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Don Baylor 157 595 147 .247 15 68
Ken McMullen 98 186 41 .220 5 23
Jeff Newman 43 77 15 .195 0 4
Tommy Sandt 41 67 14 .209 0 3
Tim Hosley 37 55 9 .164 1 4
Ron Fairly 15 46 11 .239 3 10
César Tovar 29 45 8 .178 0 4
Matt Alexander 61 30 1 .033 0 0
Willie McCovey 11 24 5 .208 0 0
Wayne Gross 10 18 4 .222 0 1
Ángel Mangual 8 12 2 .167 0 1
Denny Walling 3 11 3 .273 0 0
Gary Woods 6 8 1 .125 0 0
Jim Holt 4 7 2 .286 0 2
Nate Colbert 2 5 0 .000 0 0
Larry Lintz 68 1 0 .000 0 0
Don Hopkins 3 0 0 ---- 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Vida Blue 37 298.1 18 13 2.35 166
Mike Torrez 39 266.1 16 12 2.50 115
Paul Mitchell 26 142.0 9 7 4.25 67
Mike Norris 24 96.0 4 5 4.78 44

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Stan Bahnsen 35 143.0 8 7 3.34 82
Dick Bosman 27 112.0 4 2 4.10 34
Glenn Abbott 19 62.1 2 4 5.49 27
Chris Batton 2 4.0 0 0 9.00 4

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Rollie Fingers 70 13 11 20 2.47 113
Paul Lindblad 65 6 5 5 3.06 37
Jim Todd 49 7 8 4 3.81 22
Craig Mitchell 1 0 0 0 2.70 0

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tucson Toros Pacific Coast League Hank Aguirre and Lee Stange
AA Chattanooga Lookouts Southern League Rene Lachemann
A Modesto A's California League George Farson
A-Short Season Boise A's Northwest League Tom Trebelhorn

References

  1. ^ "Team Stolen Base Records & Team Caught Stealing Records". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "1911 New York Giants Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  3. ^ Dal Maxvill page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Ray Fosse page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ "A's trade Jackson, Holtzman". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. April 3, 1976. p. 1B.
  6. ^ Reggie Jackson page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.244, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  8. ^ a b Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.245, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  9. ^ Ken McMullen page at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ "SITT – Vida Blue". Archived from the original on August 14, 2002. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
  11. ^ a b Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.247, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  12. ^ a b Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.248, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  13. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.249, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  14. ^ Tim Hosley page at Baseball Reference
  15. ^ Rickey Henderson page at Baseball Reference
  16. ^ Ernie Camacho page at Baseball Reference
  17. ^ Nate Colbert page at Baseball Reference
  18. ^ Willie McCovey page at Baseball Reference