By The Numbers: The Yankees-A's Connection
The Yankees begin their second West Coast trip of the season Thursday night with the opener of a four-game set against the A’s, and so we take a look back at some of the history involving the Yankees and Athletics – and those who have played for both – in a special By The Numbers.
187: Before he was “The Giambino,” Jason Giambi was an MVP first baseman for the Oakland Athletics. In his first seven years in Oakland, Giambi hit 187 home runs, was a two-time All-Star, and won the American League MVP Award in 2000.
5/3: Rickey Henderson played 14 seasons in Oakland in three different stints with the A’s, two of which sandwiched his time with the Yankees. The Bombers traded five players (including future World Series MVP Jose Rijo) to get Rickey in December 1984, and then got three back (most notably Luis Polonia) when they traded him back to the Bay Area in June 1989.
33: Eric Plunk wore No. 33 for the Yankees, and he has the distinction of being one of few players traded for the same person twice…that person being the aforementioned Rickey Henderson. The Yankees traded Plunk to Oakland as part of the Rickey package in 1984, and he was one of the three men who came back for Henderson in 1989.
6-8, 3.88: After going 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games (26 starts) for the Yankees last season, Bartolo Colon is 6-8 with a 3.88 ERA in 17 starts for the A’s in 2012. His 18th is scheduled to come Sunday, when he is set to duel CC Sabathia in the series finale.
.250: Josh Reddick saw the Yankees quite a bit while with the Red Sox from 2009-2011, but he hit just .118 against the Bombers while in Boston. This year, however, the man who leads Oakland in both home runs and RBI is 3-for-12 (.250) with two homers, two RBI, and two runs scored against the Yankees.
18: Scott Brosius was the 1998 World Series MVP and a three-time World Champion with the Yankees. But prior to that, he was the third baseman in Oakland, where he hit .248 over seven seasons before being replaced by a current Yankee…
13: … that being Eric Chavez. Eric debuted in 1998 (the year after Brosius was traded to New York) and spent the first 13 seasons of his MLB career in Oakland, winning six Gold Gloves and hitting 230 home runs – but for the last two years, he has nominally been the backup to the Yankees’ own No. 13, Alex Rodriguez.
2: One of the most famous defensive plays of Derek Jeter’s career came against Oakland. It was October 13, 2001, and with the Yankees down 2-0 to the A’s in the ALDS, Jeter perhaps saved the series with a heads-up play that Yankees fans remember simply as “The Flip Play.”
8: That 2001 Oakland team featured eight former or future Yankees. In addition to Giambi and Chavez, the ’01 A’s also had Johnny Damon, Mark Bellhorn, Sal Fasano, Jim Mecir, Cory Lidle, and Luis Vizcaino.
21: Reggie Jackson played 21 years in the Majors, starting and ending his career with the Athletics – but doing so in two different cities. As a 21-year-old rookie in 1967, Jackson hit .178 in 35 games with the Kansas City Athletics in their final season in the Midwest; 20 years later, he finished his career with the Oakland A’s, hitting .220 with 15 home runs in 115 games.
1: Billy Martin spent eight years in pinstripes as a player and had five stints as the Yankees’ manager. But Martin has plenty of Athletics cred as well; he played half a season with the Kansas City A’s in 1957 (after being traded by the Yankees to KC), and then went 215-218 as the manager of the Oakland A’s from 1980-82.
2002: And finally, 2002 is the date of the last trade between the Athletics and Yankees. That was a three-team deal between Oakland, New York, and Detroit on July 5, 2002, where the Yankees acquired Jeff Weaver from the Tigers and sent pitcher Ted Lilly and two prospects to Oakland.
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