Best duos in Oakland Athletics history

Written by:
May 16, 2022
Schyler // Wikimedia Commons

Best duos in Oakland Athletics history

In Major League Baseball, it takes more than one skilled player to field a championship contender. It takes talent all over the field at a variety of positions, both in terms of pitchers and hitters. While having a star pitcher and a star hitter at the same time is no guarantee of success, it does put your team in a position to have the type of season that fans will talk about for generations.

While it’s not quite the same as the NBA, where one standout duo can take a team from the cellar to playoff contention, it’s not uncommon for an outstanding season from a pitcher and position player duo to add 20 wins or more, according to Baseball Reference’s wins above replacement player metric. The number is designed to illustrate the difference between a star player and the type of player that would be considered “replacement level”—that is, one who could be easily signed as a midseason free agent or called up from the minor leagues.

The following is a list of the top pitcher/position player duos in Oakland Athletics history. Using wins above replacement, Stacker compiled a list of the seasons in franchise history that had a pitcher and hitter with the most combined value. Note that, for the purpose of capturing and examining the game's "modern era", only seasons after 1969 were used for this list.

#10. 2019 Oakland Athletics
- Marcus Semien: 8.5 WAR (#3 position player in 2019)
- Liam Hendriks: 3.7 WAR (#22 pitcher in 2019)
- Total: 12.2 WAR

#9. 1974 Oakland Athletics
- Reggie Jackson: 5.7 WAR (#10 position player in 1974)
- Catfish Hunter: 6.9 WAR (#8 pitcher in 1974)
- Total: 12.6 WAR

#8. 2003 Oakland Athletics
- Eric Chavez: 5.3 WAR (#24 position player in 2003)
- Tim Hudson: 7.4 WAR (#4 pitcher in 2003)
- Total: 12.7 WAR

#7. 2013 Oakland Athletics
- Josh Donaldson: 7.2 WAR (#5 position player in 2013)
- Bartolo Colon: 5.6 WAR (#10 pitcher in 2013)
- Total: 12.8 WAR

#6. 2002 Oakland Athletics
- Miguel Tejada: 5.7 WAR (#18 position player in 2002)
- Barry Zito: 7.2 WAR (#5 pitcher in 2002)
- Total: 12.9 WAR

#5. 1976 Oakland Athletics
- Sal Bando: 5.8 WAR (#14 position player in 1976)
- Vida Blue: 7.6 WAR (#2 pitcher in 1976)
- Total: 13.4 WAR

#4. 1980 Oakland Athletics
- Rickey Henderson: 8.8 WAR (#3 position player in 1980)
- Mike Norris: 5.9 WAR (#6 pitcher in 1980)
- Total: 14.7 WAR

#3. 2001 Oakland Athletics
- Jason Giambi: 9.2 WAR (#3 position player in 2001)
- Mark Mulder: 5.6 WAR (#8 pitcher in 2001)
- Total: 14.8 WAR

#2. 1990 Oakland Athletics
- Rickey Henderson: 9.9 WAR (#1 position player in 1990)
- Dave Stewart: 5.2 WAR (#10 pitcher in 1990)
- Total: 15.1 WAR

#1. 1971 Oakland Athletics
- Sal Bando: 6.4 WAR (#9 position player in 1971)
- Vida Blue: 9 WAR (#4 pitcher in 1971)
- Total: 15.4 WAR

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