As I walked through an empty Oakland airport this week, just a short distance of the Oakland Coliseum, I was reminded of how for a period in the 1970’s this Titletown USA.
Charlie Finley and the A’s
There was the remarkable Oakland A’s who, under owner Charlie Finley, revolutionized baseball in style and substance and won five consecutive American League West titles and a World Series three-peat (something only the New York Yankees had achieved).
Just Win Baby
There was also Al Davis’ rowdy Oakland Raiders who played in 6 AFC Championship games. In 1976 they went 13-1 and won Super Bowl XI . The Raiders also won Super Bowl XV in 1980.
HBO captured the rebellious nature of those teams and the era in “Rebels of Oakland”. Segment one below.
What About Pittsburgh
In all fairness, the city of Pittsburgh two World Series and four Super Bowls in the 1970’s – beating Oakland in two out of three AFC Championship games and, most memorably, in the 1972 Divisional Playoff with the “Immaculate Reception.”
Warriors Come Out to Play
I list Oakland as Titletown because they won titles in three sports with the improbable tale of the Golden State Warriors who surprised everyone by making the NBA Finals (most of all their landlord which forced them to play in San Francisco’s Cow Palace)
Not So Golden Seals
There was one Oakland team that lived up to Margaret Mead’s famous diss about there being “no there there” — the NHL’s California Golden Seals. They moved to Cleveland after the 1976 season and were folded into the Minnesota Northstars.
Year by Year
|35||1979||Oakland Athletics||AL West||162||54||108||0||.333||7th of 7||573||860||R.Langford (4.1)||Jim Marshall (54-108)|
|36||1978||Oakland Athletics||AL West||162||69||93||0||.426||6th of 7||532||690||M.Keough (3.0)||Bobby Winkles (24-15) and Jack McKeon (45-78)|
|37||1977||Oakland Athletics||AL West||161||63||98||0||.391||7th of 7||605||749||M.Page (6.0)||Jack McKeon (26-27) and Bobby Winkles (37-71)|
|38||1976||Oakland Athletics||AL West||161||87||74||0||.540||2nd of 6||686||598||V.Blue (7.7)||Chuck Tanner (87-74)|
|39||1975||Oakland Athletics||AL West||162||98||64||0||.605||1st of 6||Lost ALCS (3-0)||758||606||R.Jackson (6.7)||Al Dark (98-64)|
|40||1974||Oakland Athletics||AL West||162||90||72||0||.556||1st of 6||Won WS (4-1)||689||551||C.Hunter (6.9)||Al Dark (90-72)|
|41||1973||Oakland Athletics||AL West||162||94||68||0||.580||1st of 6||Won WS (4-3)||758||615||R.Jackson (7.8)||Dick Williams (94-68)|
|42||1972||Oakland Athletics||AL West||155||93||62||0||.600||1st of 6||Won WS (4-3)||604||457||J.Rudi (6.1)||Dick Williams (93-62)|
|43||1971||Oakland Athletics||AL West||161||101||60||0||.627||1st of 6||Lost ALCS (3-0)||691||564||V.Blue (8.6)||Dick Williams (101-60)|
|44||1970||Oakland Athletics||AL West||162||89||73||0||.549||2nd of 6||678||593||S.Bando (6.1)||John McNamara (89-73)|
|1979-80||Golden State Warriors||24||58||.293||6||-4.20||102.0||106.3||A. Attles (18-43), J. Bach (6-15)|
|1978-79||Golden State Warriors||38||44||.463||6||0.46||102.4||102.0||A. Attles (38-44)|
|1977-78||Golden State Warriors||43||39||.524||5||0.41||99.6||99.3||A. Attles (43-39)|
|1976-77||Golden State Warriors*||46||36||.561||3||3.10||102.4||99.5||Lost Western Conference Semifinals||A. Attles (46-36)|
|1975-76||Golden State Warriors*||59||23||.720||1||6.23||100.6||94.5||Lost Western Conference Finals||A. Attles (59-23)|
|1974-75||Golden State Warriors*||48||34||.585||1||2.86||100.4||97.3||Won Finals||A. Attles (48-34)|
|1973-74||Golden State Warriors||44||38||.537||2||2.42||100.8||98.4||A. Attles (44-38)|
|1972-73||Golden State Warriors*||47||35||.573||2||3.12||Lost Western Conference Finals||A. Attles (47-35)|
|1971-72||Golden State Warriors*||51||31||.622||2||0.92||Lost Western Conference Semifinals||A. Attles (51-31)|
|1970-71||San Francisco Warriors*||41||41||.500||2||-0.83||Lost Western Conference Semifinals||A. Attles (41-41)|
|1969-70||San Francisco Warriors||30||52||.366||6||-4.15||G. Lee (22-30), A. Attles (8-22)|
|1975-76||California Golden Seals||80||27||42||11||65||4th||J. Evans (27-42-11)|
|1974-75||California Golden Seals||80||19||48||13||51||4th||M. Johnston (11-28-9), B. McCreary (8-20-4)|
|1973-74||California Golden Seals||78||13||55||10||36||8th||F. Glover (11-38-8), M. Johnston (2-17-2)|
|1972-73||California Golden Seals||78||16||46||16||48||8th||G. Young (2-7-3), F. Glover (14-39-13)|
|1971-72||California Golden Seals||78||21||39||18||60||6th||F. Glover (0-1-2), V. Stasiuk (21-38-16)|
|1970-71||California Golden Seals||78||20||53||5||45||7th||F. Glover (20-53-5)|