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1978 Oakland Athletics season

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Title: 1978 Oakland Athletics season  
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1978 Oakland Athletics season

The 1978 Oakland Athletics season was the team's eleventh in Oakland, California. The team sought to rebound from its first losing season in a decade (a 63-99 result in 1977). Despite low expectations, the Athletics remained competitive for nearly three-quarters of the season. Despite posting a respectable 61-56 mark through 117 games, the Athletics collapsed in the season's final weeks; their 8-37 finish ensured a second consecutive season of fewer than 70 wins.

Only one player (Billy North) remained from the team's 1974 championship season. He would depart at the end of the season.

Prior to the season, owner Charlie Finley nearly sold the team to buyers who would have moved them to Denver.

Offseason

Vida Blue trade

The trade of Vida Blue was a very complicated deal for A's owner Charles O. Finley. At the end of the 1977 season, Finley attempted to trade Vida Blue to the Cincinnati Reds for a player of lesser stature and cash, but baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn vetoed the deal. The commissioner claimed that it was tantamount to the sale of the star pitcher to the Yankees that the commissioner voided during 1976. The commissioner claimed that adding Blue to the Reds' already formidable pitching staff would make a mockery of the National League West race. Instead, Blue was traded across the bay to the San Francisco Giants in a multi-player trade that received the commissioner's blessing.

Proposed sale

After the 1977 season, Charlie Finley had heart bypass surgery and his health was in decline. He had received offers from groups in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and from billionaire oilman Marvin Davis from Denver.[6] In December 1977, Finley agreed to sell the Athletics to Marvin Davis for 12.5 million dollars. The franchise would move to Denver for the 1978 season. The American League owners approved the sale and the transfer of the franchise.[7] The board of the Oakland Coliseum had prepared a lawsuit against Finley, as there were still 10 years left on their stadium lease. Bowie Kuhn and San Francisco Giants owner Bob Lurie worked with Finley to attempt to find a compromise that would allow the Athletics to leave Oakland.

Regular season

Season standings

AL West W L GB Pct.
Kansas City Royals 92 70 -- .568
Texas Rangers 87 75 5 .537
California Angels 87 75 5 .537
Minnesota Twins 73 89 19 .451
Chicago White Sox 71 90 20.5 .441
Oakland Athletics 69 93 23 .426
Seattle Mariners 56 104 35 .350

Notable transactions

Draft picks

Roster

1978 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
1B Revering, DaveDave Revering 152 521 141 .271 16 46
2B Edwards, MikeMike Edwards 142 414 113 .273 1 23
SS Guerrero, MarioMario Guerrero 143 505 139 .275 3 38
CF Wallis, JoeJoe Wallis 85 279 66 .237 6 26
RF Thomasson, GaryGary Thomasson 47 154 31 .201 5 16
DH Alexander, GaryGary Alexander 58 174 36 .207 10 22

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
Newman, JeffJeff Newman 105 268 64 .239 9 32
Diloné, MiguelMiguel Diloné 135 258 59 .229 1 14
Burke, GlennGlenn Burke 78 200 47 .235 1 14
Alston, DellDell Alston 58 173 36 .208 1 10
Carty, RicoRico Carty 41 141 39 .277 11 31
Horton, WillieWillie Horton 32 102 32 .314 3 19
Robinson, BruceBruce Robinson 28 84 21 .250 0 8
Staggs, SteveSteve Staggs 47 78 19 .244 0 0
Fuentes, TitoTito Fuentes 13 43 6 .140 0 2
Hosley, TimTim Hosley 13 23 7 .304 0 3
Adams, MikeMike Adams 15 15 3 .200 0 1
Murray, LarryLarry Murray 11 12 1 .083 0 0
Tabb, JerryJerry Tabb 12 9 1 .111 0 1

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
Keough, MattMatt Keough 32 197.1 8 15 3.24 108
Johnson, John HenryJohn Henry Johnson 33 186 11 10 3.39 91
Broberg, PetePete Broberg 35 165.2 10 12 4.62 94
Wirth, AlanAlan Wirth 16 81.2 5 6 3.43 31
Conroy, TimTim Conroy 2 4.2 0 0 7.71 0

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
Norris, MikeMike Norris 14 49 0 5 5.51 36
Minetto, CraigCraig Minetto 4 12 0 0 3.75 3

Relief pitchers

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

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
Sosa, ElíasElías Sosa 68 109 8 2 14 2.64 61
Heaverlo, DaveDave Heaverlo 69 130 3 6 10 3.25 71
Coleman, JoeJoe Coleman 10 3 0 0 1.37 4

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Vancouver Canadians Pacific Coast League Jim Marshall
AA Jersey City A's Eastern League John Kennedy
A Modesto A's California League Gaylen Pitts
Short-Season A Bend Timber Hawks Northwest League Ed Nottle

References

External links

  • 1978 Oakland Athletics team page at Baseball Reference
  • 1978 Oakland Athletics team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
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