Tag Archives: Charley Finley


JANUARY 6, 1964 | FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY • Owner Charlie Finley‘s first choice for where to move his A’s was Louisville not Oakland. On this date in 1964 he signed a contract to move the franchise from Kansas City to Louisville. All that remained was the approval of 6 of the other 19 owners.
But Charlie Finley didn’t play well with others. He was not well liked by many of his colleagues. Chicago White Sox owner Arthur Allyn didn’t mince words, “Finley is a fool and his action is inexcusable. He has no right whatsoever to attempt such a move. He has an obligation to the people of Kansas City and he had better make it good. I don’t have to tell you how the White Sox will vote on the matter.”
Ironically, Cincinnati Reds General Manager Bill DeWitt didn’t have a problem with the move, even though Louisville was only 110 miles away. He thought it would increase the fan base for everyone.
As it turned out, the move was not approved. It never happened. The A’s, a charter American League franchise that originated in Philadelphia in 1901, moved to Kansas City in 1955, and Oakland in 1968 where they remain.
How does “Louisville A’s” sound? We’re unlikely to ever find out.
Contributing Sources:
“Vagabond A’s led colorful past lives in Philadelphia, Kansas City,“ Aug 16, 2016 by Thomas Neumann ESPN.com Associated Press, January 7, 1964
A’s history

June 5-Can’t we all just get along?

*1974 | DETROIT, MICHIGAN – The Oakland A’s came out swinging on this date in 1974, before the game against the Detroit Tigers. A’s teammates Reggie Jackson and Billy North got into a fight in the visitors’ clubhouse. It was broken up by teammates Vida Blue and John “Blue Moon” Odom, who had their own scuffle two years earlier.

A few minutes after the first fight was broken up Jackson and North came to blows again. This time Jackson banged his shoulder, but teammate catcher Ray Fosse playing peacemaker crushed a disc in his neck that virtually ended his season.

Jackson and North were close friends at one time, but according to the Oakland Tribune they had not spoken in a month. Apparently they had something to say to each other that day.

The ’74 A’s weren’t exactly the picture of harmony, still they went on to win their third straight World Series; a feat no team not named Yankees has ever done.

Oakland players have said they played so well as a team because of their common dislike for micromanaging owner Charles Finley. Oh, by the way, the A’s beat the Tigers that day 9-1.

Contributing sources:
Oakland Tribune, June 6, 1974
Consecutive World Series winners
World Series winners

MAY 5 – “Designated runner” experiment fails

1975 | CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – One of owner Charlie Finley’s novel ideas was put to rest on this date in 1975. Finley’s Oakland A’s released Herb Washington after a loss to the Chicago White Sox. Washington was a speedster put on the team for one purpose – to run.

He appeared in 104 games as a “designated runner, stealing 31 bases in 48 attempts, and scoring 33 runs. He had no at bats, no hits, no runs batted in and a fielding percentage of .000 because the former college sprinter never played in the field.

Herbert Lee Washington was born in Belzoni, Mississippi in 1951. He was a four-time all-American sprinter at Michigan State University. He tied or broke the world record in the 50 and 60-yard dashes several times.

Having a “designated runner” was just one of maverick Charlie Finley’s experiments. There were many. Some became as common as the 108 stitches on a baseball. Some didn’t work at all.

  • White shoes (worked). Before Finley shoes were either black or …. black. Now they are every color of the rainbow.
  • Two-tone uniforms (worked). Before Finley uniforms were either white (for home) or gray (for visitors. shoes were either black or …. black.
  • Orange baseballs (didn’t work)
  • Fired second baseman Mike Andrews for making two errors in a World Series game. (didn’t work, the Commissioner ordered Andrews re-instated almost immediately)
  • Released all his high priced stars in 1976 (initially didn’t work, but common practice now)
  • Pushed for designated hitter (worked)
  • Designated runner (hasn’t been tried since)

Herb Washington
Charlie Finley