UNITED STATES—The Oakland Athletics, a California-based American League baseball team frequently referred to as the “A’s,” has a long history in the sport. With nine victories in the World Series, they are joint third in overall wins of the title.
The Oakland Athletics haven’t always been called that, nor have they always been based in Oakland. They started out as Philadelphia Athletics in 1901 and became a dominant team in the league. They remained in Philadelphia until 1955 when they moved to Kansas to become the Kansas City Athletics. The move came after a Chicago real estate mogul named Arnold Johnson bought the team, which was originally met with celebrations from residents in Kansas City who delighted that their city now had a Major League Baseball team.
However, the celebrations didn’t last long, and Johnson’s interest in profit over the success of the team became apparent. In 1960, Charles Finley bought the Kansas City Athletics and symbolically burned the club’s lease on the stadium, along with a bus outside of the stadium, to signify the end of Johnson’s ownership.
Despite promises by Finley to not move the Kansas City Athletics, the team’s residence there lasted only 12 years, after which they relocated to Oakland in 1968. It turns out, Finley had been trying to move the team since taking over and had considered Atlanta, Milwaukee, Kentucky, New Orleans, Seattle and San Diego before finally settling on Oakland, where the Athletics have remained to this day.
In their 118-year history, the Oakland Athletics have had many successes. They won their first American League pennant in their second year of competing, their first World Series title eight years later as well as plenty more since. As well as their nine World Series victories, the team has 15 American League pennants and 16 West Division titles.
However, the Oakland Athletics’ success seems to have dried up in recent years, apart from several victories in the West Division. Without an American League pennant victory since 1990, a World Series title since 1989 and a West Division title since 2013, the Oakland Athletics don’t have great odds for securing the 2019 American League, according to odds comparison site Oddschecker.
Without a doubt, the Oakland Athletics are a team with a rich history in Major League Baseball. After hitting the ground running from their foundation in 1901, the team won many titles, though this success has petered out in more recent years. Future performance is never guaranteed, but what does seem certain is that the A’s won’t be moving from Oakland any time soon.