A's & O's Just Like Old Times
Both the Athletics and Orioles could well qualify for postseason play this year as both are in contention for their division titles as well as the two wild-card spots in the American League. They are vying with each other for the role of Cinderella. If the season ended now both would be in the playoffs.
As they square-off for three games this weekend, it's worth noting that it's been a long time since the A's and O's both made the postseason--38 years, to be exact. The President of the United States was Gerald Ford--sworn-in during August 1974--he was #38 at that position.
The A's and O's met often in the early 70's postseason--three times, in fact. The first A's vs O's playoff match-up was 1971, which the O's won. The A's, of course, had the upper hand in '73 and '74. I'm old enough to remember those series--a lot of great piitching--who could forget Vida Blue's 1-0 shutout in Game 3 of '74 playoff! Or Sal Bando's 2 HRs in game 2 of '73 playoff after Al Bumbry had robbed him of a HR!
In the 38 years since 1974, the A's have made the postseason 10 times, the Orioles just 4 times--none together. The difference between then and now is that both were at minimum defending division champions in '74, whereas in 2012 both were down in the dumps the preceding year-- In April, you probably could have gotten 50-1 odds that both these teams would make the postseason. Now the odds are probably close to even money.
So the A's could meet the O's in the 2012 postseason. Those 3 series in the '70s being the only precedents, the A's postseason record vs Orioles, then is 2-1. Regarding other potential postseason opponents, A's vs Yanks are 0-3, A's vs Tigers are 1-1, A's vs Rays or Chisox or Rangers or Angels are 0-0. Other A's postseason matches have included the Red Sox (2-2), Royals (1-0), and Blue Jays (1-1).
Throw the A's and O's in with the Washington Nationals and you've got three potential playoff teams that were below .500 the previous year. A potential first, perhaps?