If you were going to pick an A's All-Star team, who would you pick? This is actually something of a difficult question, since the A's have only had two quality players (Eddie Rommel and Dick Green) who have ever played their entire careers with the A's. Nevertheless, the A's have had a number of great players over the years. These are who I think are best. I don't expect anyone to agree with me 100%. In fact, I hope if you do disagree, you'll let me know and tell me why. The years in parentheses are the years each player played with the A's.
1B: Tough choice. Bill James rates Jimmie Foxx (1925-35) and Mark McGwire (1986-97) as the number 2 and 3, respectively, best 1B of all time. They were similar players. Foxx - aka "Double X" and "The Beast" (Lefty Gomez said Foxx "wasn't signed, he was trapped.") - is a Hall-of-Famer. Triple Crown in 1933 (48, 163, .358), and MVP that year. Mark McGwire was a nine-time all-star with the A's, Rookie of the Year, and won a Gold Glove. Oh, and he hit a boat-load of home runs. You can't miss with either one, but on balance, I'll agree with James and take Foxx first.
2B: Eddie Collins (1906-14, 1927-30). No question. Hall-of-Famer, member of the $100,000 infield, one of the best hitters of his time. One of the three best 2B of all time. Dick Green (1963-74) was an outstanding defensive 2B, but not much of a hitter. Max Bishop (1924-33) was the lead-off hitter for the A's of the late 20's and early 30's. A pretty good player as well.
3B: Frank "Home Run" Baker (1908-14). Hall-of-Famer, member of the $100,000 Infield. One of the best hitters in the American League, 1910-14. Hit two key home runs in World Series play, earning his nickname. Sal Bando would be my second choice. Captain of the Swingin' A's, a key offensive player and 4-time all-star. If Eric Chavez has a couple of more good seasons with the bat and the glove, he could challenge for the number one spot.
SS: Miguel Tejada (1997-2003). An all-star and MVP with the A's. Great bat and glove. A man who played with fire and emotion. Second choice would be Bert Campaneris (1964-76). Great glove and base-stealer, a five-time all-star with the A's.
LF: Rickey Henderson (1979-84, 1989-93, 1994-5, 1998). The greatest lead-off man of all time. Most career stolen bases, runs scored and walks. One of only 6 players who have reached base 5000+ times. The hot dog with the most mustard I ever saw. Second choice (for me) would be Joe Rudi (1967-76, 1982), my personal favorite A's player. A three-time Gold Glove winner, a 3-time all-star, and a great clutch hitter. Also, One should mention Al Simmons (1924-32, 1944), a Hall-of-Famer who helped power the A's to three AL pennants.
CF: Dwayne Murphy (1978-87). Six Gold Gloves, and a fine hitter. Second choice would be Billy North (1973-77), or Dave Henderson (1988-93).
RF: Reggie Jackson (1967-75, 1987). Reggie, Mr. October, the Straw That Stirs the Drink. A Hall-of-Famer, Reggie was a six-time all-star with the A's, plus an MVP and a World Series MVP, plus he hit a helluva lot of home runs. Second choice would be Jose Canseco (1985-92, 1997): Rookie of the Year, MVP, and 5-time all-star.
C: Mickey Cochrane (1925-33). A Hall-of-Famer, one of the best catchers of all time and a team leader. Won an MVP. Second choice, Gene Tenace (1969-76), an all-star and World Series MVP, or Terry Steinbach (1986-96), a three-time all-star and very consistant player.
DH: Dave Kingman (1984-86). In his three years with the A's, Kong averaged 33 HR's and 101 RBI.
Starting Pitchers: Lefty Grove (1925-33). Hall of Fame. 300-141 lifetime. MVP. Led the AL in ERA 8 times. One of the five best pitchers of all time. Catfish Hunter (1965-74). Hall of Fame. Cy Young Award. 6-time all-star. Money pitcher. Dave Stewart(1986-92, 1995). Four 20-win seasons, LCS MVP, World Series MVP. Money pitcher. Eddie Plank (1901-14). Hall of Fame. 326-194 lifetime. Tim Hudson (1999-2004), another money pitcher. Runners up: Rube Waddell (1902-07), Chief Bender (1903-14), George Ernshaw (1928-33), Vida Blue (1969-77), Ken Holtzman (1972-75), and Mark Mulder (2000-04).
Relief Pitcher: Dennis Eckersly (1987-95). Hall of Fame. MVP, Cy Young Award, 4-time all-star. For a few years, when he came in, it was game over. Second choice: Rollie Fingers (1968-76). Hall of Fame. 4-time all-star. World Series MVP.
Pinch Runner: Herb Washington (1974-75). Who else?