According to a release by MLB on April 8, fans can visit MLB.com/FranchiseFour to select the four most impactful players for each franchise who best represent the history of each franchise out of eight choices from its lineage. There is also a space for a write-in selection. Voting is live now until May 8.
Dennis Eckersley (1987-1995)
Rollie Fingers (1968-1976)
Jimmie Foxx (1925-1935)
Lefty Grove (1925-1933)
Rickey Henderson (1979-1984, 1989-1993, 1994-1995, 1998)
Catfish Hunter (1965-1974)
Reggie Jackson (1967-1975, 1987)
Al Simmons (1924-1932, 1940-1941)
Shoestring Catches Recommendations for the Oakland Athletics:
Rollie Fingers: A four-time all-star with Oakland, Rollie Fingers was a leader Oakland’s first three world championship teams. Fingers had a win and two saves to earn the Most Valuable Player honor for the 1974 World Series winners. In Oakland’s 12 wins in World Series play from 1972-1974, he either won or saved eight of those contests. Fingers was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Jimmie Foxx: A two-time American League Most Valuable Player (1932-1933), Jimmie Foxx set team records for home runs in a season in 1932 with 58 long balls and RBI with 169. A member of the 1929 and 1930 world champions, Foxx is second on the franchise all-time list in homers 302 and RBI with 1,074. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951, he was also an all-star from 1933-1935.
Robert “Lefty” Grove: A winner of 300 games in his career and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947, Lefty Grove had 195 of those victories with the Philadelphia A’s. Grove was the American League Most Valuable Player in 1931 with a 31-4 record. A member of the 1929 and 1930 World Series winners, Grove had seven 20-win seasons for the A’s.
Jim “Catfish” Hunter: Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, Catfish Hunter won at least 20 games for the A’s from 1971-1974. In the final year of that stretch, Hunter won the Cy Young Award after a season with a 25-12 record and a league leading 2.49 ERA. The all-time leader with 131 wins in Oakland, Hunter tossed a 4-0 perfect game against the Minnesota Twins on May, 8, 1968.
Editor’s Note: This is probably the most difficult team in the American League. Everyone on the ballot is in the Hall of Fame. Eddie Plank, another Hall of Fame member and a solid write-in candidate, is the all-time wins leader in the history of the franchise with 284 victories from 1901-1914. Rickey Henderson and Al Simmons should probably have been on the list of recommendations, but you can only vote for four.