Joe Rudi

Joseph Oden Rudi (born September 7, 1946 in Modesto, California) is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Kansas City & Oakland Athletics (1967–76, 1982), California Angels (1977–80) and Boston Red Sox (1981). In a 16-year career, Rudi was a .264 hitter with 179 home runs and 810 RBI in 1,547 games. He won American League Gold Gloves in 1974, 1975 and 1976, and played in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1972, 1974 and 1975. He batted and threw right-handed.

Rudi currently works in real estate in Baker City, Oregon. He is a long-time amateur radio operator with the call sign NK7U.

Joe Rudi
Joe Rudi - California Angels
Left fielder
Born: September 7, 1946 (age 72)
Modesto, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 11, 1967, for the Kansas City Athletics
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1982, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average.264
Home runs179
Runs batted in810
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Playing career

Rudi batted a career-high .309 in 1970 and had a career-best 181 hits in 1972. That year, he helped the Athletics win the World Series and made a great game-saving catch in Game 2 that went on to become part of the highlight reel for many Major League Baseball films. With Tony Pérez on first and Oakland leading 2-0 in the ninth inning, Rudi raced to the left-field fence and made a leaping, backhanded catch of Denis Menke's smash to save a run. Earlier in the game, Rudi hit a solo home run. He also caught Pete Rose's fly ball for the final out of the Series.

In 1974 he had a career best 22 home runs and 99 runs batted in and hit a home run in Game 5 of the 1974 World Series off Mike Marshall that would turn out to be the game winner and Series clincher. Rudi's Athletics became the first team since the 1949–1953 New York Yankees to win 3 straight World Championships.[1]

In 1975, he was elected by the fans as a starter in the All-Star Game as an outfielder, where he joined four other Oakland A's in the American League starting lineup. He also played some first base for the A's in 1975.

With baseball entering the free agency era, A's owner Charlie Finley attempted to sell Rudi and pitcher Rollie Fingers to the Boston Red Sox for $1 million each at the MLB trade deadline on June 15, 1976, rather than trading them (as he had done with Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman the year before) or risking losing them in free agency. Rudi actually reported to the Red Sox and was issued a uniform, but never was permitted to play, as baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the transaction as not being in the best interests of baseball.[2] Rudi later played for Boston in 1981.

Rudi, along with Don Baylor, ended up leaving the A's as a free agent and signed with the California Angels for the 1977 season. However, Rudi's tenure with the Angels was mostly injury-plagued, even though he posted respectable home run and RBI totals in his four seasons. His best year with the Angels was 1978, when he played in 133 games and hit .256 with 17 home runs and 79 RBI's. He missed the Angels' 1979 post-season run with injury. After the 1980 season, Rudi was traded by the Angels along with Frank Tanana to the Red Sox for Fred Lynn. After one injury-filled season, he closed his career back with the A's in 1982 and hit a home run in his last professional at-bat.

In a 16-year career, Rudi was in 1,547 games played, compiling a .264 batting average (1,468-for-5,556) with 684 runs scored, 287 doubles, 39 triples, 179 home runs, 810 RBI and 369 walks. His on-base percentage was .311 and slugging percentage was .427. Strong defensively, he recorded a career .991 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions. In 38 post-season games, covering five American League Championship Series and three World Series from 1971-75, he handled 124 total chances (120 putouts, 4 assists) without an error.

See also

References

  1. ^ Bock, Hall (18 October 1974). "Oakland takes third straight title; Rudi blast wins it". Lewiston Daily Sun. AP. p. 24. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  2. ^ New York Times

External links

1964 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1964 Kansas City Athletics season was the tenth for the franchise in Kansas City and the 64th overall. It involved the A's finishing 10th in the American League with a record of 57 wins and 105 losses, 42 games behind the American League Champion New York Yankees.

1965 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1965 Kansas City Athletics season was the eleventh for the franchise in Kansas City and the 65th in its overall history. It involved the A's finishing 10th in the American League with a record of 59 wins and 103 losses, 43 games behind the American League Champion Minnesota Twins. The paid attendance for the season was 528,344, the lowest in the major leagues (and the lowest ever by the A's in Kansas City). The club won 59 games, their worst showing since the A's moved to Kansas City.

1966 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1966 Kansas City Athletics season was the twelfth and penultimate season in Kansas City, and the 66th in overall franchise history. It involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 74 wins and 86 losses, 23 games behind the World Champion Baltimore Orioles. Paid attendance for the season was 773,929. The pitching staff had an earned run average of 3.56, which ranked sixth in the American League.

1968 Oakland Athletics season

The 1968 Oakland Athletics season was the franchise's 68th season and its first in Oakland, California. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses, placing them 21 games behind the eventual World Series champion Detroit Tigers. The Athletics' paid attendance for the season was 837,466.

The 1968 season represented a tremendous breakthrough for the Athletics organization. The campaign resulted in their first winning record since 1952, when they were still located in Philadelphia. Moreover, the Athletics' 82 wins marked a 20-win increase over the prior year's 62–99 mark. The team's young core of Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Gene Tenace, and Rick Monday began to gel; all of these young players (with the exception of Monday, who would be traded in 1971 for pitcher Ken Holtzman) would power the Athletics' forthcoming 1970's dynasty.

1971 Oakland Athletics season

The 1971 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's finishing first in the American League West with a record of 101 wins and 60 losses. In their first postseason appearance of any kind since 1931, the A's were swept in three games by the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series.

1972 American League Championship Series

The 1972 American League Championship Series took place between October 7 and 12, 1972. The Oakland Athletics (93–62 on the season) played the Detroit Tigers (86–70 on the season) for the right to go to the 1972 World Series, with the A's coming out on top in the five-game series, 3–2. Games 1 and 2 took place at the Oakland Coliseum, and 3 through 5 took place at Tiger Stadium.

1972 Oakland Athletics season

The 1972 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's winning the American League West with a record of 93 wins and 62 losses. In the playoffs, they defeated the Detroit Tigers in a five-game ALCS, followed by a seven-game World Series, in which they defeated the Cincinnati Reds for their first World Championship since 1930, when the club was in Philadelphia.

1973 American League Championship Series

The 1973 American League Championship Series took place between October 6 and 11, 1973. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Baltimore Orioles, three games to two. Games 1 and 2 were played in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore; Games 3–5 were played at the Oakland Coliseum. It was the second match-up between the two teams in the ALCS.

1973 Oakland Athletics season

The 1973 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's winning their third consecutive American League West title with a record of 94 wins and 68 losses. The A's went on to defeat the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS for their second straight AL Championship, and won the World Series in seven games over the New York Mets to take their second consecutive World Championship.

1973 World Series

The 1973 World Series matched the defending champions Oakland Athletics against the New York Mets; the A's won in seven games for their second of three consecutive World Series titles.

The Mets won the National League East division by 1½ games over the St. Louis Cardinals, then defeated the Cincinnati Reds, three games to two, in the National League Championship Series. The Athletics won the American League West division by six games over the Kansas City Royals, then defeated the Baltimore Orioles, three games to two, in the American League Championship Series.

This was the first World Series in which all weekday games started at night. The three weekday games the previous year were scheduled to be played at night, but a postponement of Game 3 eliminated the scheduled off day between Games 5 and 6, and Major League Baseball moved Game 5 on Friday to an afternoon start to allow the teams more travel time for the day game on Saturday.

This was the last World Series in which each team produced and sold its own game programs for its home games. Starting in 1974, Major League Baseball printed an official World Series program that was sold in both stadiums.

This was the third consecutive World Series, all seven games, in which the winning team scored fewer runs overall. The trend continued for the next seven-game series in 1975 when the Reds defeated the Boston Red Sox.

1974 Oakland Athletics season

The 1974 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's winning their fourth consecutive American League West title with a record of 90 wins and 72 losses. In the playoffs, the A's defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS for their third straight AL pennant, and in the World Series, the first ever played entirely on the West Coast, defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to take their third consecutive World Series championship. Paid attendance for the season was 845,693.In early 1974, owner Charlie Finley tried to sell the team with an asking price of $15 million.

1974 World Series

The 1974 World Series matched the two-time defending champions Oakland Athletics against the Los Angeles Dodgers with the A's winning the Series in five games.

Rollie Fingers figured in three of the four Oakland victories, posting a win and two saves, and was honored as the Series MVP. Oakland became the first team to win three consecutive Series since the New York Yankees won five in a row between 1949 and 1953; the win secured the Athletics' status as one of the truly dominant teams of the 1970s. (The other "team of the decade," the Cincinnati Reds, would check in with consecutive Series victories in 1975 and 1976.)

The 1974 Fall Classic was the first all-California World Series. These two teams would meet again in the fall classic 14 years later in 1988.

1975 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1975 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 46th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 15, 1975, at Milwaukee County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League. The game resulted in a 6–3 victory for the NL.

While this was the first time that the Brewers were acting as hosts of the All-Star Game, this was not the first time the game had been played at Milwaukee County Stadium. The 1955 game had been played there when the Braves had called Milwaukee home. Thus, Milwaukee County Stadium joined Sportsman's Park in St. Louis and Shibe Park in Philadelphia as the only stadiums to host All-Star Games with two different franchises as host.

This would also be the last time Milwaukee County Stadium would host the game. When the game returned to Milwaukee in 2002, the Brewers had moved into their new home at Miller Park.

The 1975 All-Star Game saw the start of the tradition of naming honorary captains to the All-Star teams. The first honorary captains were Mickey Mantle (for the AL) and Stan Musial (for the NL).It would also mark the final All-Star Game in which only "The Star-Spangled Banner", sung this year by Glen Campbell, was performed prior to the game. Beginning the following year, "O Canada" would also be performed as part of the All-Star pregame ceremonies.

1976 Oakland Athletics season

The 1976 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's finishing second in the American League West with a record of 87 wins and 74 losses, 2½ games behind the Kansas City Royals, meaning that the A's failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1970. This team set and still holds the modern Major League team record for most stolen bases in a season with 341.The Athletics would not eclipse this season's win total until 1988 (when they won 104). Indeed, nearly all of the team's stars (Sal Bando, Rollie Fingers, Gene Tenace, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Don Baylor, Phil Garner, Billy Williams, Claudell Washington, and an injury-plagued Willie McCovey) would depart during the 1976–77 offseason. This staggering mass exodus contributed led to a 24-win plunge in 1977.

1977 California Angels season

The 1977 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing fifth in the American League West with a record of 74 wins and 88 losses.

1981 Boston Red Sox season

The 1981 Boston Red Sox season was the 81st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. Due to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, play during the regular season was

suspended for 50 days, and the season was split into two halves, with playoff teams determined by records from each half of the season. In the first half of the season, the Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 30 wins and 26 losses, four games behind the New York Yankees. In the second half of the season, the Red Sox finished second in the division with a record of 29 wins and 23 losses, 1½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Red Sox' overall record for the season was 59 wins and 49 losses.

1982 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1982 season involved the A's finishing fifth in the American League West with a record of 68 wins and 94 losses.

The 1982 Athletics are remembered mainly for the exploits of star left fielder Rickey Henderson. Henderson, in his fourth major league season, stole an MLB-record 130 bases over the course of the year. Henderson broke the record, previously held by Lou Brock, by swiping his 119th base of the season on August 27 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Henderson's record has not been approached since.

The season also marked the end of manager Billy Martin's tenure with the Athletics. Martin was unceremoniously fired at season's end, despite having led the A's to the ALCS only one season prior. He was replaced by Steve Boros.

1984 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1984 season involved the A's finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. While the A's struggled for a third consecutive season, they staged a major coup by drafting future superstar Mark McGwire with the tenth overall pick of the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft. The season also marked the end of Rickey Henderson's first (of four) stints with the Athletics. His second stint would begin in 1989.

Oakland Athletics award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Oakland Athletics professional baseball franchise.

The team was first known as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 and then as the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to 1967.

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