2001 Oakland Athletics season

2001 Oakland Athletics
2001 AL Wild Card
Major League affiliations
Record 102–60 (.630)
Other information
Owner(s) Stephen Schott & Kenneth Hofmann
General manager(s) Billy Beane
Manager(s) Art Howe
Local television KICU-TV
FSN Bay Area
(Ray Fosse, Greg Papa)
Local radio KABL
(Bill King, Ken Korach, Ray Fosse)
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The Oakland Athletics' 2001 season was the team's 34th in Oakland, California, and the 101st season in franchise history. The team finished second in the American League West with a record of 102-60.

The Athletics entered the 2001 season with high expectations. Much of the excitement stemmed from the team's trio of promising young starting pitchers (Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson); after a strong showing in 2000, many expected the Athletics' rotation to rank among the American League's best in 2001. The signing of additional starter Cory Lidle during the 2000-01 offseason helped solidify the rotation's back-end. On offense, the Athletics were loaded; sluggers Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and reigning American League MVP Jason Giambi comprised the core of a powerful Oakland attack. The addition of Johnny Damon, acquired in a three-way trade for Ben Grieve, promised to add a new dimension to the Athletics' offense. A strong bullpen (led by Chad Bradford, Jim Mecir, and Jason Isringhausen) rounded out Oakland's roster.

These high expectations quickly evaporated. The Athletics stumbled out of the gate (winning just two of their first dozen games); while their play nominally improved over the first half of the season, they failed to build upon the momentum of their division-winning 2000 campaign. The rival Seattle Mariners, in stark contrast, raced to a historic 52-14 start. As expected, the offense performed well; Oakland was instead hamstrung by unexpectedly terrible starting pitching. At the season's midpoint, the A's boasted a sub-.500 record (39-42); they trailed the division-leading Mariners by some 21 games.

The Athletics responded with arguably the most dominant second half in modern MLB history. Over their final 81 regular season games, the A's went 63-18 (a record since the league switched to a 162-game schedule); this included 29 wins in their final 33 games. The Athletics' maligned rotation returned to form; over their final games, Zito, Mulder, Hudson, and Lidle went a combined 48-10. On July 25, the Athletics acquired slugger Jermaine Dye from the Kansas City Royals for prospects; this move further energized the already-surging squad. The Athletics ultimately weren't able to catch up with Seattle (which won an AL-record 116 games), but their remarkable run allowed them to clinch the AL's Wild Card. The Athletics' 102 wins remain the most by a Wild Card team in MLB history.

The Athletics faced the New York Yankees (the three-time defending World Series champions) in the ALDS. Oakland took the first two games, but unraveled after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in Game 3, in which Jeremy Giambi was infamously thrown out at the plate after a relay throw was flipped by Derek Jeter to Jorge Posada; they would lose the series to the Yankees in five games. At the end of the season, Oakland would lose Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jason Isringhausen to free agency; this would set the stage for the events portrayed in Michael Lewis' bestselling book Moneyball (and the film by the same name).


Regular season

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Seattle Mariners 11646 0.716 57–24 59–22
Oakland Athletics 10260 0.630 14 53–28 49–32
Anaheim Angels 7587 0.463 41 39–42 36–45
Texas Rangers 7389 0.451 43 41–41 32–48

Record vs. opponents

2001 American League Records

Anaheim 4–54–36–35–45–45–43–64–36–144–157–27–125–410–8
Baltimore 5–49–103–41–54–25–23–35–132–71–810–92–77–126–12
Boston 3–410–93–33–64–53–33–35–134–53–614–55–212–710–8
Chicago 3–64–33–310–913–614–55–141–51–82–75–27–23–312–6
Cleveland 4–55–16–39–1013–611–814–54–54–32–55–15–42–47–11
Detroit 4–52–45–46–136–138–114–154–51–62–54–28–12–410–8
Kansas City 4–52–53–35–148–1111–86–130–63–63–64–24–54–38–10
Minnesota 6–33–33–314–55–1415–413–64–25–41–81–64–52–59–9
New York 3–413–513–55–15–45–46–02–43–63–613–63–411–810–8
Oakland 14–67–25–48–13–46–16–34–56–39–107–29–106–312–6
Seattle 15–48–16–37–25–25–26–38–16–310–97–215–56–312–6
Tampa Bay 2–79–105–142–51–52–42–46–16–132–72–74–59–1010–8
Texas 12–77–22–52–74–51–85–45–44–310–95–155–43–68–10
Toronto 4–512–77–123–34–24–23–45–28–113–63–610–96–38–10

Notable transactions


2001 Oakland Athletics
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters




The A's lost 3-2 to the New York Yankees in the 2001 American League Division Series.

Player stats


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
CRamón Hernández156453115.2541560
1BJason Giambi154520178.34238120
2BFrank Menechino139471114.2421260
SSMiguel Tejada162622166.26731113
3BEric Chavez151552159.28832114
LFTerrence Long162629178.2831285
CFJohnny Damon155644165.256949
RFJermaine Dye6123269.2971359
DHJeremy Giambi124371105.2831257

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
José Ortiz11427.16703


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Tim Hudson35235.01893.37181
Mark Mulder34229.12183.45153
Barry Zito35214.11783.49205
Cory Lidle29188.01363.59118
Gil Heredia24109.2785.5848
Erik Hiljus1666.0503.4167

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO

Awards and records

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Sacramento RiverCats Pacific Coast League Bob Geren
AA Midland RockHounds Texas League Tony DeFrancesco
A Modesto A's California League Greg Sparks
A Visalia Oaks California League Juan Navarrette
A-Short Season Vancouver Canadians Northwest League Webster Garrison
Rookie AZL Athletics Arizona League Ricky Nelson



  1. Aaron Harang at Baseball Reference
  2. Johnny Damon at Baseball Reference
  3. Neal Cotts at Baseball Reference
  4. Dan Johnson at Baseball Reference
  5. José Ortiz at Baseball Reference
  • 2001 Oakland Athletics at Baseball Reference
  • 2001 Oakland Athletics at Baseball Almanac
  • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (3rd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-1-932391-17-6. 
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