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 Orioles conclude, tune into A's Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round!
1. Rickey Henderson traded back to A's in 1989 (Defeated Grant Balfour converts 41st consecutive save, breaking Dennis Eckersley's record for 40 straight)
(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 !!!
2. Eric Chavez slides into A's dugout as he makes catch in 2003
(From Ben Ross)
It's one of the best plays you'll ever see by a third baseman. With one out in the top of the 10th inning and the score tied at 3, Atlanta's Rafael Furcal popped up into foul territory. Eric Chavez sprinted from his position all the way to the A's dugout, slid feet first, and made an unbelievable catch as he tumbled into the dugout.
Chavez also had a big night with the bat, blasting a solo home run off Greg Maddux earlier in the game. The A's would go on to win 4-3 on a walk-off home run by Jermaine Dye in the bottom of the 12th.
Oakland would win the American League West that season with a record of 96-66. Chavez won six consecutive Gold Gloves from 2001-06 and is considered one of the best defensive third baseman of all time.