1990 Oakland Athletics season

1990 Oakland Athletics
American League Champions
AL Western Division Champions
Major League affiliations
Record 103–59 (.636)
Other information
Owner(s) Walter A. Haas, Jr.
General manager(s) Sandy Alderson
Manager(s) Tony La Russa
Local television KPIX/KICU-TV
Sports Channel Bay Area
(Monte Moore, Ray Fosse)
Local radio KSFO
(Bill King, Lon Simmons, Ray Fosse)
(Amaury Pi-Gonzalez, Erwin Higueros)
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The Oakland Athletics' 1990 season was their 23rd in Oakland, California. It was also the 90th season in franchise history. The team finished first in the American League West with a record of 103-59.

The Athletics' 1990 campaign ranks among the organization's finest. Oakland, in winning 103 games, led the league outright in wins for a third consecutive season; they remained the last major North American team to accomplish this until 2017, when the feat was matched by the nearby Golden State Warriors of the NBA. The Athletics benefited from stellar performances in all areas of the game. The team's offense was led by eventual Hall-of-Famer Rickey Henderson. Henderson finished the season with 65 stolen bases, 28 home runs, and a .325 batting average; for his efforts, he took home the 1990 American League MVP Award. The Athletics also benefited from strong performances by superstars Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. The pair clubbed 39 and 37 home runs, respectively; in doing so, they drove in a combined total of 209 runs. Over the course of the season, the team added to an already strong offense; the additions of recent All-Stars Willie Randolph, Willie McGee, and Harold Baines further widened the gap between the Athletics and the rest of the league. Established veterans (such as Carney Lansford, Terry Steinbach, Dave Henderson, and Mike Gallego) and promising young players (mainly Walt Weiss and Mike Bordick) rounded out arguably the deepest roster in all of Major League Baseball. Eight of the Athletics' nine main postseason starters (R. Henderson, McGwire, Canseco, McGee, Steinbach, Randolph, Baines, and Lansford) played in at least one All-Star Game between 1988 and 1990.

The Athletics pitching staff, in many regards, had an even stronger campaign. The starting rotation was led by veteran Bob Welch. Welch would finish the season with both an MLB-leading 27 wins and a 2.95 ERA; this performance was strong enough to net the 1990 Cy Young Award. Welch, as of 2014, remains the last MLB pitcher to win at least 25 games in a season.[1] Fellow starter Dave Stewart, winner of 22 games, finished in a tie (with Pittsburgh starter Doug Drabek) for the second-most wins in MLB. 1989 All-Star Mike Moore, 1991 All-Star Scott Sanderson, and longtime Athletic Curt Young rounded out the American League's top rotation. The Athletics' bullpen was led by superstar closer Dennis Eckersley, who posted a microscopic 0.61 ERA while recording 48 saves. As a team, the Athletics allowed only 570 runs (the fewest in the American League by a wide margin).

The Athletics easily won the American League West for a third consecutive season. They swept the Boston Red Sox, four games to none, in that year's American League Championship series; in doing so, they won a third consecutive American League pennant. The Athletics entered the 1990 World Series as heavy favorites. Despite this, however, they were themselves swept by the Cincinnati Reds. The Athletics have not reached the World Series since.


  • November 28, 1989: Rickey Henderson signed as a Free Agent with the Oakland Athletics.
  • December 13, 1989 – The Athletics sign Scott Sanderson as a free agent.[2]
  • December 13, 1989: Jamie Quirk was signed as a Free Agent with the Oakland Athletics.[3]

Regular season


Retired 1990
  • June 4, 1990: Todd Van Poppel was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (14th pick) of the 1990 amateur draft. Player signed July 16, 1990.
  • June 20, 1990 – Terry Steinbach has 6 RBIs in one game versus the Detroit Tigers.
  • July 25, 1990 – Jose Canseco had 6 RBIs in a game against the California Angels.

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Oakland Athletics 10359 0.636 51–30 52–29
Chicago White Sox 9468 0.580 9 49–31 45–37
Texas Rangers 8379 0.512 20 47–35 36–44
California Angels 8082 0.494 23 42–39 38–43
Seattle Mariners 7785 0.475 26 38–43 39–42
Kansas City Royals 7586 0.466 27½ 45–36 30–50
Minnesota Twins 7488 0.457 29 41–40 33–48

Record vs. opponents

1990 American League Records

Baltimore 4–97–56–66–76–78–37–66–66–74–83–98–45–8
Boston 9–47–56–69–48–54–85–84–89–44–88–45–710–3
California 5–75–75–87–55–77–67–59–46–64–95–88–57–5
Chicago 6–66–68–55–75–79–410–27–610–28–58–57–65–7
Cleveland 7–64–95–77–55–86–69–47–55–84–87–57–54–9
Detroit 7–65–87–57–58–55–73–106–67–66–67–56–65–8
Kansas City 3–88–46–74–96–67–54–88–58–44–97–65–85–7
Milwaukee 6–78–55–72–104–910–38–44–86–75–74–85–77–6
Minnesota 6–68–44–96–75–76–65–88–46–66–76–75–83–9
New York 7–64–96–62–108–56–74–87–66–60–129–33–95–8
Oakland 8–48–49–45–88–46–69–47–57–612–09–48–57–5
Seattle 9–34–88–55–85–75–76–78–47–63–94–97–66–6
Texas 4–87–55–86–75–76–68–57–58–59–35–86–77–5
Toronto 8–53–105–77–59–48–57–56–79–38–55–76–65–7

Notable transactions

  • May 13, 1990: Willie Randolph was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Oakland Athletics for Stan Javier.[4]
  • June 17, 1990: Ken Phelps was purchased by the Cleveland Indians from the Oakland Athletics.
  • July 15, 1990: Mike Norris was released by the Oakland Athletics.[5]
  • August 1, 1990: Ron Coomer was released by the Oakland Athletics.[6]
  • August 29, 1990: Willie McGee was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Oakland Athletics for Felix Jose, Stan Royer, and Daryl Green (minors).[7]

Draft Picks

  • June 4, 1990: Ernie Young was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 10th round of the 1990 amateur draft. Player signed June 7, 1990.[8]
  • June 4, 1990: Izzy Molina was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 22nd round of the 1990 amateur draft. Player signed June 28, 1990.[9]


1990 Oakland Athletics
Pitchers Catchers



Designated Hitters



Dave Stewart's No-Hitter

On June 29, Dave Stewart no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 5-0.

Player stats

= Indicates team leader


Starters by position

Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos. Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CTerry Steinbach11437995.291957
1BMark McGwire156523123.23539108
2BWillie Randolph9329275.257121
3BCarney Lansford134507136.268350
SSWalt Weiss138445118.265235
LFRickey Henderson136489159.3252861
CFDave Henderson127450122.2642063
RFJosé Canseco131481132.27437101
DHHarold Baines329425.266321

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Troy Afenir14142.14302
Lance Blankenship8613626.295010
Mike Bordick25141.07100
Ozzie Canseco9192.10501
Mike Gallego14038980.206334
Ron Hassey9425454.213522
Scott Hemond7132.15401
Rick Honeycutt6620.00000
Steve Howard215212.23101
Dann Howitt14223.13601
Stan Javier19338.24203
Doug Jennings6415630.192214
Félix José10134190.264839
Darren Lewis25358.22901
Willie McGee2911331.274015
Ken Phelps325911.18616
Jamie Quirk5612134.281326


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dave Stewart3626722112.56166
Bob Welch352382762.95127
Scott Sanderson34206⅓17113.88128
Mike Moore33199⅓13154.6573
Curt Young26124⅓964.8556

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Joe Bitker13000.002
Steve Chitren817.2101.0219
Reggie Harris1641.1103.4831
Mike Norris1427103.0016
Dave Otto22.1007.712

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Todd Burns433332.9743
Dennis Eckersley6342480.6173
Rick Honeycutt632272.7038
Joe Klink400012.0419
Gene Nelson513351.5738


Game 1

October 6, 1990, at Fenway Park

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 000 000 117 9130
Boston 000 100 000 151
W: Dave Stewart (1-0)   L: Larry Andersen (0-1)  
HR: BOS Wade Boggs (1)

Game 2

October 7, 1990, at Fenway Park

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 000 100 102 4131
Boston 001 000 000 160
W: Bob Welch (1-0)   L: Greg Harris (0-1)  S: Dennis Eckersley (1)
HR: None

Game 3

October 9, 1990, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 010 000 000 183
Oakland 000 202 00x 460
W: Mike Moore (1-0)   L: Mike Boddicker (0-1)  S: Dennis Eckersley (2)
HR: None

Game 4

October 10, 1990, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 000 000 001 141
Oakland 030 000 00x 360
W: Dave Stewart (2-0)   L: Roger Clemens (0-1)  S: Rick Honeycutt (1)
HR: None

World series

The four game sweep to the Reds in the 1990, was reminiscent of the A's loss to the Boston Braves 76 years earlier.

NL Cincinnati Reds (4) vs. AL Oakland Athletics (0)

Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1A's – 0, Reds – 7October 16Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati)55,8302:48
2A's – 4, Reds – 5 (10 inns)October 17Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati)55,8323:31
3Reds – 8, A's – 3October 19Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland)48,2693:01
4Reds – 2, A's – 1October 20Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland)48,6132:48

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

  • Jose Canseco, Outfielder
  • Dennis Eckersley, Relief Pitcher
  • Rickey Henderson, Outfielder
  • Mark McGwire, First Baseman
  • Bob Welch, Starting Pitcher
  • Tony La Russa, Manager

Team leaders

  • Home Runs – Mark McGwire (39)
  • RBI – Mark McGwire (108)
  • Batting Average – Rickey Henderson (.325)
  • Hits – Rickey Henderson (159)
  • Stolen Bases – Rickey Henderson (65)
  • Walks – Mark McGwire (110)
  • Wins – Bob Welch (27)
  • Earned Run Average – Dennis Eckersley (0.61)
  • Strikeouts – Dave Stewart (166)

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tacoma Tigers Pacific Coast League Brad Fischer
AA Huntsville Stars Southern League Jeff Newman
A Modesto A's California League Ted Kubiak
A Madison Muskies Midwest League Casey Parsons
A-Short Season Southern Oregon A's Northwest League Grady Fuson
Rookie AZL Athletics Arizona League Gary Jones


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