1979 Oakland Athletics
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record54–108 (.333)
Divisional place7th
Other information
Owner(s)Charles O. Finley
Manager(s)Jim Marshall
Local televisionKPIX-TV
(Monte Moore, Bob Waller)
Local radioKKIS
(Hal Ramey, Red Rush)
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The 1979 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League West Division with a record of 54 wins and 108 losses. Only 306,763 paying customers (an average of 3,984 for 77 home dates; there were four doubleheaders) showed up to watch the A's in 1979, the team's worst attendance since leaving Philadelphia.

Team owner Charlie Finley nearly sold the team to buyers who would have moved them to New Orleans for 1979. Any deal to relocate fell through when the city of Oakland refused to release the A's from their lease. The city was in the midst of its battle with the Oakland Raiders over their move to Los Angeles and didn't want to lose both teams.

The Athletics' 54-108 finish remains, as of 2020, their worst (by far) since moving to Oakland in 1968. On a brighter note, the season saw the debut of Rickey Henderson. Henderson, a future Hall-of-Famer, would play for the team (in four separate stints) between 1979 and 1998.

Offseason

Regular season

On April 17, 1979, the A's had their smallest home crowd (and one of the smallest in a major league baseball game in the 20th century) when only 653 people came to the nearly 50,000 seat Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum[5] to see them beat the Seattle Mariners, 6 to 5.

On June 24, Rickey Henderson made his major league debut against the Texas Rangers. In four at bats, Henderson had two hits and a stolen base.[6]

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
California Angels 88 74 0.543 49–32 39–42
Kansas City Royals 85 77 0.525 3 46–35 39–42
Texas Rangers 83 79 0.512 5 44–37 39–42
Minnesota Twins 82 80 0.506 6 39–42 43–38
Chicago White Sox 73 87 0.456 14 33–46 40–41
Seattle Mariners 67 95 0.414 21 36–45 31–50
Oakland Athletics 54 108 0.333 34 31–50 23–58

Record vs. opponents


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


Notable transactions

Roster

1979 Oakland Athletics
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders 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 Jeff Newman 143 516 119 .231 22 71
1B Dave Revering 125 472 136 .288 19 77
2B Mike Edwards 122 400 93 .233 1 23
SS Rob Picciolo 115 348 88 .253 2 27
3B Wayne Gross 138 442 99 .224 14 50
LF Rickey Henderson 89 351 96 .274 1 26
CF Dwayne Murphy 121 388 99 .255 11 40
RF Tony Armas 80 278 69 .248 11 34
DH Mitchell Page 133 478 118 .247 9 42

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
Jim Essian 98 313 76 .243 8 40
Mike Heath 74 258 66 .256 3 27
Larry Murray 105 226 42 .186 2 20
Dave Chalk 66 212 47 .222 2 13
Mario Guerrero 46 166 38 .229 0 18
Derek Bryant 39 106 19 .179 0 13
Miguel Diloné 30 91 17 .187 1 6
Glenn Burke 23 89 19 .213 0 4
Joe Wallis 23 78 11 .141 1 3
Mickey Klutts 24 73 14 .192 1 4
Milt Ramírez 28 62 10 .161 0 3

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
Rick Langford 34 218.2 12 16 4.28 101
Steve McCatty 31 185.2 11 12 4.22 87
Matt Keough 30 176.2 2 17 5.04 95
Brian Kingman 18 112.2 8 7 4.31 58
John Henry Johnson 14 84.2 2 8 4.36 50
Mike Morgan 13 77.1 2 10 5.94 17

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
Mike Norris 29 146.1 5 8 4.80 96
Craig Minetto 36 118.1 1 5 5.55 64
Dave Hamilton 40 82.2 3 4 3.70 52
Alan Wirth 5 12.0 1 0 6.00 7

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
Dave Heaverlo 62 4 11 9 4.20 40
Jim Todd 51 2 5 2 6.56 26
Bob Lacey 42 1 5 4 5.85 33

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Ogden A's Pacific Coast League José Pagán
AA Waterbury A's Eastern League Ed Nottle
A Modesto A's California League Gaylen Pitts
A-Short Season Medford A's Northwest League Rich Morales

References