|Posted on January 9, 2012 at 11:25 AM|
I learned something today. Who knew that former member of "The Amazing A's," Joe Rudi, returned to Oakland for a swan song in 1982? I sure didn't. I had thought that only Reggie Jackson in 1987 returned to his original team for a farewell tour.
Rudi was one of the many A's who left Charlie Finley and the green and gold for greener pastures during the infancy of free agency. He fled to California for a ton of cash while his other teammates, Bando, Hunter, Tenace, Fingers and Blue (to name a few) found new places to play.
Leaving Oakland after his 29th birthday, it would have seemed that Rudi was going on to bigger and better things but injuries hampered him throughout his 5 year - $2million contract. He only played more than 105 games one time in those five years and was eventually traded to Boston in the Fred Lynn deal. Talk about trading injuries for injuries.
The funny part about Rudi's big contract, he wasn't a power hitter and he never hit for high average. What exactly did he do to earn that big contract? My guess is, he played on a winning team and reaped the benefits. I have no other explanation.
Well, thanks to the 1982 Topps Traded Set, the same one that featured the expensive Cal Ripken Jr card, I have found out that Joe Rudi returned home for his final season. It's a shame he only hit .212, but that's 32 points higher than he hit in his lone season in Boston.
I'll always remember "The Amazing A's" so I'll never forget Joe Rudi. But he was no Vida Blue or Reggie Jackson, the players that were the characters of the A's!
Categories: Memory of the Week