PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports California is looking back at the A's 50 Memorable Moments since the franchise relocated to Oakland in 1968. Below are the next two moments you can vote on. Tune into A's Pregame Live tonight at 6:30pm to watch highlights of the two moments. After the A's and Mariners conclude, tune into A's Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round!
1. Grant Balfour converts 41st consecutive save, breaking Dennis Eckersley's record for 40 straight (Defeated Ramon Hernandez's walk-off bunt in 12th inning of Game 1 of 2003 ALDS)
On July 8, 2013, Grant Balfour etched his name in Oakland A's history. The Australian closer set down the Pittsburgh Pirates in order to record his 41st consecutive save, passing the great Dennis Eckersley for the A's all-time record.
Balfour's save streak would eventually end at 44, ranking sixth in MLB history. Eric Gagne still holds the all-time record with 84 straight saves converted for the Dodgers from 2002-04.
Balfour became a fan favorite in Oakland, due in large part to his fierce intensity on the mound, also known as "Balfour Rage." He finished his career with 84 saves, 64 of them coming with the A's.
2. Rickey Henderson traded back to A's in 1989
(From 12-year major league veteran Bip Roberts)
Rickey is Oakland. All of us ballplayers coming through after him, wanted to be like him, and because we saw a young kid from Oakland make it, we all thought we could make it. He meant the world to us.
So in 1989, it was really my first full year in the Majors and I was really thinking about what I could be as a pro player, and you hear that Rickey was traded back to Oakland from New York. And from afar, I'm thinking he's left New York and he's gone back home because we're all from Oakland and anytime something happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. And I was thinking "Wow" New York traded him back to Oakland, I couldn't believe it!
Everywhere that Rickey was traded to, the team went to the World Series, and it seemed like they would win based on him being there, he had something to do with it being the offensive machine that he was
I started thinking about what that would do for the Oakland-East Bay Area, coming back home, he's one of the best players in all of baseball, he's the most exciting lead-off hitter in the game and now he's going back home to a team that's pretty good. I think they're probably going to win a World Series !!!