In 1954, Chicago real estate magnate Arnold Johnson bought the Philadelphia Athletics and moved them to Kansas City. Although he was initially a hero for making Kansas City a major-league town, it soon became apparent that he was motivated more by profit than any regard for the baseball fans of Kansas City. He had long been a business associate of ...
On December 19, 1960, Charles “Charlie” O. Finley purchased a controlling interest in the team from Johnson’s estate after losing out to Johnson six years earlier in Philadelphia. He bought out the minority owners a year later. Finley promised the fans a new day. In a highly publicized move, he purchased a bus, pointed it in the direction of New ...
History of the Athletics
The history of the Athletics Major League Baseball franchise spans the period from 1901 to the present day, having begun in Philadelphia before moving to Kansas City in 1955 and then to its current home in Oakland, California, in 1968.
Normally, Arnold Johnson would have had to pay the Yankees an indemnity for moving to Kansas City, and also would have had to reimburse the Yankees for the costs they incurred for moving the Blues to Denver, Colorado as the Denver Bears to make way for the A's. Major-league rules of the time gave the Yankees the major-league rights to Kansas City. However, the Yankees waived these payments as soon as the purchase was approved. This, combined with the Yankees' thinly concealed support for the sale, led to rumors of collusion between Johnson and the Yankees.
Rumors abounded that Johnson's real motive was to operate the Athletics in Kansas City for a few years, then move the team to Los Angeles (the Brooklyn Dodgers would later move there after the 1957 season). Whatever the concern about the move to Kansas City, fans turned out in record numbers for the era. In 1955, the Kansas City Athletics drew 1,393,054 to Municipal Stadium, a club record easily surpassing the previous record of 945,076 in 1948; in fact, it was the third-highest attendance figure in the majors, behind only the all-powerful Yankees and the also recently relocated Milwaukee Braves in the National League (1953-1965). That number would never be approached again while the team was in Kansas City, and would remain the club record for attendance until 1982—the Athletics' 15th season in Oakland. The A's of this era were barely competitive; in five years under Johnson's ownership, the closest they got to a winning record was 1958, when they finished 73–81, eight games below .500, and 19 games out of first.
Philadelphia – Kansas City – Oakland
2000 – Present / Major League Baseball
1901 – 1999 / American League
1968 – Present / Oakland Athletics
1955 – 1967 / Kansas City Athletics
1901 – 1954 / Philadelphia Athletics
Athletics – The Athletics nickname is one of the oldest in baseball, dating to the early 1860s and the “Athletics” name originated in the term “Athletic Club” for local gentlemen’s clubs in Philadelphia. The nickname was retained when the team moved to Kansas City in 1955.
World Series 0
1989, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1930, 1929, 1913, 1911, 1910
2019 – Present / RingCentral Coliseum
1968 – 2018 / Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
2012 – 2015 / O.co Coliseum
2011 / Overstock.com Coliseum
2004 – 2008 / McAfee Coliseum
1998 – 2004 / Network Associates Coliseum
1955 – 1967 / Municipal Stadium
1909 – 1954 / Shibe Park
1953 – 1954 / Connie Mack Stadium
1901 – 1908 / Columbia Park
2016 - Present / John J. Fisher
2005 – 2015 / Lewis Wolff
1995 – 2005 / Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann
1981 – 1995 / Walter Haas
1960 – 1981 / Charlie Finley
1954 – 1960 / Arnold Johnson
1922 – 1954 / Connie Mack
1901 – 1922 / Ben Shibe
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
9 / Reggie Jackson
24 / Rickey Henderson
27 / Catfish Hunter
34 / Rollie Fingers
42 / Jackie Robinson
43 / Dennis Eckersley
– / Walter A. Haas, Jr.
*Blue is this team’s history