The Oakland A’s have made a pronounced effort over the last couple years to celebrate their storied past. They named parts of their stadium after all-time greats like Rickey Henderson and Catfish Hunter, held a fan vote to choose the Top 50 players in franchise history, and have spent all of this season recognizing the 50th anniversary of the team’s arrival in town.
The next step came on Tuesday, with the announcement of the Athletics Hall of Fame. There are seven members in the inaugural class, but more will be inducted each year by a committee vote. The Class of 2018:
- Dennis Eckersley, RHP
- Rollie Fingers, RHP
- Rickey Henderson, OF
- Catfish Hunter, RHP
- Reggie Jackson, OF
- Dave Stewart, RHP
- Charlie Finley, owner
It’s hard to go wrong with this initial group. The list includes all five of the club’s prominent members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, whose numbers are retired by the A’s. Beyond them are another key player in Stewart, and one of the most (in)famous owners in American sports history in Finley.
Of course, the ranks will grow as time goes on. If your reaction to this news is that a deserving name was omitted, then fear not and have some patience. Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle also points out that future classes can include folks from the Philadelphia years, too.
For now, though, this is as strong of an inaugural class as we could hope for. The top five names are obvious shoo-ins, and there are no Oakland A’s at all without Finley. As for Stewart, his resume includes being born and raised in The Town, helping lead their most recent championship team, earning the 1989 World Series MVP, and now serving as one of their TV personalities. He didn’t make the national Hall of Fame, but he absolutely belongs in this one.
The first class will be honored before the game on Sept. 5, and a permanent display will be added at some point in the Coliseum. Props to the A’s on launching this idea, and congrats to the seven greats recognized therein! We’ll look forward to finding out who’s next in line in 2019.
Who is your next pick for the A’s Hall of Fame?
This poll is closed
Tony La Russa
Someone else (to the comments!)