The Oakland Athletics are one of Major League Baseball's most historic franchises as they were founded in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. They moved to Kansas City in 1955 and became the Kansas City Athletics, and then finally moved to Oakland in 1968 and are still there to this day. Fun Fact: the Athletics got their name from the term "Athletic Club" for local gentlemen's clubs that were located in Philadelphia in the late 1800's. As of 2021, the A's have won the American League West division a total of 17 different times, they've won the American League Pennant a total of 15 different times, and they have 9 World Series championships to add to their name. The history of the franchise is littered with legendary players such as Ricky Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, and countless others. Because of their impact on the game can be measured in numerous ways such as revenue, endorsements, and memorabilia. Recently we've discovered that some of these Athletics jerseys have been sold for extremely high amounts. Today we will take a look at the five most expensive Athletics jerseys ever sold to date:
5. 1976 Vida Blue Game Worn and Signed Jersey - $ 3,355
Vida Blue was the hardest thrower this side of Nolan Ryan throughout the entire course of the 1970's. In 1976, Blue went 18-13, he posted an ERA of 2.36, he struck out a total of 166 batters, and he pitched a total of 298.1 innings. Blue pitched a no-hitter in his career in 1970 against the Minnesota Twins. Blue had his best season of his career in 1971, where he was named the American League's Most Valuable Player, and the American League's CY Young Award winner. Blue is represented the A's in the All-Star game in 1971 as he was a member of the American League team, he led the league in ERA as he had an efficient ERA of 1.82, he led the league in total shutouts with a total of 8, he struck out a total of 301 batters, and he pitched a total of 312 innings. His jersey was sold as part of the Gray Flannel Auctions as part of the June 5th, 2013 Summer Games Catalog Auction, as the jersey sold for $3,355.
4. 1969 Rollie Fingers Game Worn and Signed Rookie Jersey - $ 6,436
Rollie Fingers was known for more than just having his absolutely fantastic handlebar mustache. In his rookie campaign in 1969, Fingers was still getting a feel for the major leagues as it was his first full season. He had a 6-7 record, he had 12 saves, he struck out a total of 61 batters, he posted an ERA of 3.71, and he pitched a total of 119 innings. Fingers improved throughout his career as he finished his career as a 4 time Rolands Relief Pitcher of the Year, he was a 3-time Major League Baseball saves champion, he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award and the American League's CY Young Award in 1981, and he was a 3-time World Series champion. Rollie Fingers was also named the World Series Most Valuable Player in 1974, where the A's defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. His jersey was sold at the Gray Flannel Auctions, and the jersey sold for $6,436.
3. 1990 Ricky Henderson Game Worn World Series Jersey - $28,800
Ricky Henderson could do it all, he was a leadoff hitter who had all the speed in the world and who had magnificent power. 1990 was Ricky Henderson's best season of his big league career as he led the major leagues in stolen bases with a total of 65, he led the league in runs scored with a total of 119, he led the league in on-base percentage with a percentage of .439%, and he led the majors in on-base plus slugging with 1.016. Also in 1990, Henderson hit 28 home runs, drove in 61 runs, posted a batting average of .325, he represented the A's in the All-Star game as a member of the American League team, and he was named the American League's Most Valuable Player. Henderson is the all-time major league leader in stolen bases, runs scored, walks, and leadoff home runs. Henderson also finished his career making the All-Star game 10 different times and winning a Gold Glove Award. His jersey was sold as part of the Heritage Auctions as part of the Platinum Night Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction that was held in Dallas, as the jersey sold for $28,800 and was sold on February 26th, 2017.
2. Dennis Eckersley Game Worn Jersey - $60,000
When Dennis Eckersley first step foot into the big leagues, he was initially a starting pitcher, but then he became the A's closer when their All-Star Jay Howell had to miss the entire 1987 season due to injury. Dennis was able to quickly establish himself as one of the best closers in the game. In 1992, he was named the American League's Most Valuable Player and the American League's CY Young Award winner, as he led the majors in saves with 51, had a 7-1 record, posted an efficient 1.91 ERA, he struck out 93 batters, he pitched a total of 80 innings and he represented the A's in the All-Star game as a member of the American League team. This particular jersey that was sold was from the game that he gave up a walk-off home run to Dodgers Kirk Gibson in the World Series, the first home run he had given up since August of that year to, as it sold for $60,000.
1. 1971 Reggie Jackson Game Worn Longest Home Run in All-Star game Jersey - $250,000
Reggie Jackson, possessed all of the tools, speed, power, fielding ability, you name it, he had it. One of Jackson's most iconic moments from his big league career is when he hit one of the longest home runs ever recorded at 539 feet. The home run came off of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, as the even the broadcasters calling the game couldn't even find the ball as soon as it went off of Reggie's bat, it was an absolute moonshot of a homer. Jackson played for the A's for 10 seasons, as he made 6 All-Star appearances, won the American League Most Valuable Player Award, won a World Series Most Valuable Player Award, and won 3 World Series championships wearing an Oakland A's uniform. Jackson was also known as "Mr.October" for his ability to come up big in key clutch moments for his teams in the postseason. His jersey that he wore when he hit this long towering home run from the 1971 All-Star game was sold for $250,000.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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