Monday, September 15, 2014

"HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 1970'S" #34: THE OAKLAND A'S BURN UP THE BASE PATHS IN 1976

I'm STILL amazed all these years later by that 1976 Oakland A's team that absolutely ran wild on the base paths on their way to a (still) American League record of 341 stolen bases!
So I created a 1977 "Highlights" card celebrating the feat. Take a look:


Even though they were still considered a team with "pop" with sluggers Sal Bando, Gene Tenace and Joe Rudi in the line-up, they featured no less than EIGHT players who stole 20 or more bases that year!
As a matter of fact, those 341 stolen bases were almost a MAJOR League record, falling just 6 behind the 1911 New York Giants for most Post-1901.
Bill North (who ended up leading the league with 75), Bert Campaneris and Don Baylor paced the team, combining for 181 steals between them!
In addition to that mighty trio, Claudell Washington, Phil Garner, Larry Lintz, Sal Bando and Matt Alexander joined them with 20 or more steals.
Incredible.
I remember when the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals were stealing bases at a record pace, with rookie Vince Coleman leading the way.
But they fell short of the '76 A's, ending up with 314 steals, though STILL an impressive number to say the least.

4 comments:

  1. Another great card. It looks like it came right out of the pack.

    Didn't realize Baylor and Bando had that many steals. Baseball sure has changed since then.

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  2. Love the card. Was kind of wondering the order of Baylor, North and Campy. They are not in order by number of steals that year nor are they in order alphabetically. Any rhyme and reason?

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    Replies
    1. Funny, I guess it was my failed attempt at an "Olympic" style podium order. Seemed to make perfect sense at the time, now it leaves me wondering what I was thinking! Ha!

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