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This is the story of a losing baseball team that became a 1970s dynasty, thanks to the unorthodox strategies and stunts of two very colorful men.
When Charlie Finley bought the A's in 1960, he was an outsider to the gamea insurance businessman with a larger-than-life personality. He brought his cousin Carl on as his right-hand man, moved the team from Kansas City to Oakland, and pioneered a new way to put together a winning team. With legendary players like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Vida Blue, the Finleys' Oakland A's won three straight World Series and riveted the nation.
Now Carl Finley's daughter Nancy reveals the whole story behind her family's winning legacyhow her father and uncle developed their scouting strategy, why they employed odd gimmicks like orange baseballs and "mustache bonuses," and how the success of the '70s Oakland A's changed the game of baseball.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
NANCY FINLEY, the Oakland A’s "dugout daughter," was two years old when her father, Carl, joined his cousin Charlie Finley to run the Athletics' front office, and she grew up with the team. She and her family now live in Dublin, California.
Table of Contents
Author's Preface xiii
Part I The Kansas City Athletics 1960-1968
Chapter 1 The Midnight Meeting 3
Chapter 2 A Team is Brought Down 11
Chapter 3 Not Invited to the Dance 17
Chapter 4 Kansas City, Here We Are 25
Chapter 5 Life at the Muehlebach 29
Chapter 6 What Color is Second Base? 33
Chapter 7 Drama With the City Council 39
Chapter 8 Overland Park 43
Chapter 9 Breaking Barriers and Beatle Mania 47
Chapter 10 Seeds of Success 57
Chapter 11 The Road to Freedom 63
Chapter 12 Take that Gun to the Train Station 67
Chapter 13 Don't Cry For Me. Kansas City 75
Part II The Oakland A's 1968-1982
Chapter 14 Game On 85
Chapter 15 New City, New Ballpark, New Life 91
Chapter 16 Coming of Age in Oakland 97
Chapter 17 The Crouch Before the Leap 101
Chapter 18 The Suspense Builds 107
Chapter 19 Another Divorce 111
Chapter 20 Redemption 115
Chapter 21 Return of the Unseen Hand 127
Chapter 22 The A's Return 133
Chapter 23 Mike Andrews's Last Hurrah 139
Chapter 24 Switchboard Politics 151
Chapter 25 Kiss My Ass 155
Chapter 26 Catfish, The Million-Dollar Man 163
Chapter 27 Going for a Fourth 167
Chapter 28 From the Highs to the Lows 173
Chapter 29 The Creeping Hand and Starting Over 181
Chapter 30 More Departures 187
Chapter 31 Trials and Tribulations 191
Chapter 32 Don't Let Them! 197
Chapter 33 The Last Straw 201
Chapter 34 Billy Club 205
Chapter 35 Billy Ball 211
Chapter 36 Charlie Fires and Carl Rehires 215
Chapter 37 The Last Finley in Baseball 219
Chapter 38 The Last Finley Team 225
Chapter 39 The Last Phone Call 229
Chapter 40 Legacy 233
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Oakland A's were the last dynasty before free agency changed the sports landscape in the mid-1970s. And Charlie O. Finley (the man not the mule) built the team through a combination of horsetrading, hard work, a keen eye, and a lot of bull. Author Nancy Finley's father, Carl, was Charlie O's favorite cousin and right hand man in both Kansas City and Oakland. Nancy grew up in the A's front office in Oakland, an office smaller than an NBA Development League team today, and with an owner who lived almost 2,000 miles away but had a voice that carried. The Finley voice still carries and Nancy finds hers in this entertaining tale of building up a team, tearing it down, and building it up again--the Finley way.
Charley O. Finley was one of the most colorful, innovative and controversial owners in baseball history. From the moment he outbid a Kansas City sportswriter to purchase the Kansas City Athletics to the day he sold the franchise to Walter Haas, he was continually working on improving the team despite rubbing some people in baseball and the media the wrong way. One person who played a very important role in the operations of the franchise was Finley’s brother Carl. Often Charlie would call Carl in the wee hours of the morning, waking Carl and his daughter Nancy. Nancy would often listen to her father’s side of the conversation. Stories about these conversations and other tidbits that only an insider would know make up this book written by Nancy Finley about the time that her family owned the Kansas City/Oakland team. Nancy Finley was allowed access to the team’s offices and clubhouse from the time she was a young girl until her uncle sold the team. This allowed her to witness some of the inside work done by her family to improve the team and everything associated with it. This included the improvements made to Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, the wild celebrations when the Oakland A’s won three consecutive World Series titles from 1972 to 1974 and later, the “Billy Ball” years when her uncle hired Billy Martin as the manager to groom the young talent signed to replace the starts from the championship teams that mostly left for more money from other teams. Throughout the book, it is clear that Nancy wants to ensure that readers get a complete picture of some of the more controversial aspects of the era in which her uncle owned the team. This includes revealing documents about incident involving Mike Andrews during the 1973 World Series, the inside story about the 1967 incident aboard a team flight that resulted in the firing of manager Alvin Dark, the failed negotiations with the City Council in Kansas City that ultimately paved the way for the move to Oakland and even a few stories about the beloved mascot mule Charlie O. Through memories she had of her and her dad working for her uncle at the Oakland Coliseum and meticulous research, the reader will learn much about the team that was not written in the media. She writes with a sense of pride about what her father and uncle accomplished with the team, not only for the championship teams in the 1970’s but also about what her family endured in Kansas City from the writer who failed to purchase the team and from the city of Oakland, who sued the Finleys in 1980 for putting a poor team on the field. (While the team’s record in 1979 was only 54-108, they had a lot of good young players who two years later made it to the postseason.) This is a very entertaining and fun book to read that any baseball fan, especially fans of the Athletics, will want to include in his or her library. It is an excellent collection of stories from one of the more colorful owners in baseball history. I wish to thank Ms. Finley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.