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Six Hall of Famers highlight A’s 50th Anniversary Team

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Six Hall of Famers highlight A's 50th Anniversary Team
Former Athletics great Rickey Henderson looks on during pregame festivities as the Chicago White Sox face the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, April 4, 2016.

With back-to-back 40-home run, 100-RBI seasons Khris Davis has secured his place among the elite power hitters in Oakland Athletics history.

His spot in Oakland A’s lore was further solidified Monday, when the team announced its 50th Anniversary Team.

Davis, who has been in Athletic for just two seasons, represents the lone selection on the 50-man roster currently a member of the A’s organization. He is joined by a veritable who’s who of green and gold glory, including six Hall of Famers, a “Big Three” and two “Bash Brothers.” Among the Hall of Famers is the all-time stolen base king Rickey Henderson, who received the highest total of fan votes.

In a press release issued by the team, Henderson said:

“Growing up in Oakland as an A’s fan, I have been able to witness and experience the rich history of the A’s. This 50th Anniversary team – made up of both old and new players – represents the memories created throughout the past 50 years and the excitement as we look toward the next 50.”

“The Man of Steal” isn’t the only Bay Area — or NorCal kid — to make the roster. Redwood City native Eric Byrnes had his place as an all-time fan favorite assured through selection, as did the pride of Stockton Dallas Braden. Henderson’s fellow Oakland product Dave Stewart was rewarded for having earned his spot many times over.

A vast majority of the selections are obvious ones. Clearly, if your jersey number had been retired in Oakland — Reggie Jackson, Henderson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley — your place on the list is guaranteed. But some were a bit more surprising.

Frank Thomas, who spent just 192 games in and A’s uniform was voted in. As was Josh Donaldson, who has reached his greatest level of success as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Donaldson is also a member of an eight-part contingent of players who made the list while also being active major leaguers. Davis and Donaldson are joined by Yoenis Cespedes, Sean Doolittle, Sonny Gray, Josh Reddick, Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt.

One name on the list is there, no doubt, as much for his voice as for his three rock-solid seasons behind the dish. Former Oakland catcher and current A’s television and radio color commentary man Ray Fosse was also shown love.

The list of players, as Fosse would likely say, is one whose talent would rival a match put together by any other major league club. And team president Dave Kaval agrees, saying via press release:

“The fans put together an incredible 50th Anniversary team to celebrate 50 years in Oakland. We are excited to honor our past and the roles these players have had on our history and tradition.”

The team will be honored during a pre-game ceremony prior to the A’s first night game, against the Los Angeles Angeles on March 30.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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