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A history of sorts between Yankees, Athletics

The history.  The prestige.  The pinstripes.  The Athletics.  This Wednesday, the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics will face off in what should be a wild (no pun intended) Wild Card game.  The game will take place in the Bronx, and although these franchises are two of the most prestigious in MLB history, there really isn’t much history between them.

Consider this;  Between the two clubs there are 36 World Championships.  If you’re a Yankee fan you know 27 belong to the Bronx Bombers, but the Oakland Athletics have nine of their own.  While the most recent success for the Yankees was just nine seasons ago, the A’s haven’t won even an AL Pennant since 1990.

The two teams have so much history individually, but they surprisingly have not played each other much in the postseason.  In three postseason matchups, the Yankees are 3-0.  They swept the A’s in the 1981 ALCS, beat them 3-2 in the 2000 ALDS, and most famously came back from down 2-0 to beat Oakland in the 2001 ALDS.  If you’re an Athletics fan, pleas shield your eyes at the below Youtube clip.

Anyway, there HAVE been many similarities between the two teams player wise.  The following is a list of prominent players that put on both the Green & Yellow and the pinstripes.  You’ll notice that most of these people are Hall of Famers or damn near close to it;

  • Catfish Hunter
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Goose Gossage
  • Tim Raines
  • Billy Martin (manager)
  • Dave Righetti

That’s a who’s who of names right there.  There is SO much history between the two teams, yet not much history facing each other.  This will be the first time the Yankees and A’s are playing each other in the Wild Card game.  The A’s have never been in the Wild Card game, and the Yankees are 1-1.  Last season, the Yanks were able to beat up on the Minnesota Twins after spotting them an early 3-0 lead.  Three seasons ago, they weren’t so lucky, losing an incredibly boring game 2-0 to the Houston Astros.

This time around, it’s anyone’s guess who will win this game.  Both teams have major sluggers and Oakland seems to be taking a page out of the Tampa Bay Rays’ book by using an “opener” in the game.  The teams played six times this season and split the games evenly.  It’s going to be a fun one, and a full preview is coming tomorrow.  For now, all history can tell us is that it should be a good game.

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