2002 Oakland Athletics season

2002 Oakland Athletics
2002 AL West Champions
Major League affiliations

103–59 (.636)

playoff finish: made playoffs, lost in ALDS to Minnesota Twins
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 KFRC
(Bill King, Ken Korach, Ray Fosse)
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The Oakland Athletics' 2002 season was the team's 35th in Oakland, California.

It was the 102nd season in franchise history. The Athletics finished first in the American League West with a record of 103-59.

The Athletics' 2002 campaign ranks among the most famous in franchise history. Following the 2001 season, Oakland saw the departure of three key players. Billy Beane, the team's general manager, responded with a series of under-the-radar free agent signings. The new-look Athletics, despite a comparative lack of star power, surprised the baseball world by besting the 2001 team's regular season record. The team is most famous, however, for winning 20 consecutive games between August 13 and September 4, 2002.[1] The Athletics' season was the subject of Michael Lewis's 2003 book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (Lewis was given the opportunity to follow the team around throughout the season). A film adaptation of the book, also titled Moneyball, was released in 2011.


Regular season


Oakland's 2002 campaign began on a tumultuous note. During the 2001–02 offseason, the team lost three key free agents to larger market teams: 2000 AL MVP Jason Giambi to the New York Yankees, outfielder Johnny Damon to the Boston Red Sox, and closer Jason Isringhausen to the St. Louis Cardinals. Faced with a number of significant roster holes, general manager Billy Beane sought to replace Damon and Giambi with free agent hitters Scott Hatteberg, David Justice, and Ray Durham (among others). Beane also made a number of key pitching acquisitions; most notably, he traded for Toronto Blue Jays reliever Billy Koch. Koch ultimately succeeded Isringhausen as the team's closer. Beane also traded for then-unheralded starter Ted Lilly. Additionally, the season saw the MLB debuts of second baseman Mark Ellis and eventual starter Aaron Harang.

The new-look Athletics experienced a bumpy start to the season. The team followed a respectable 15-10 start with an abysmal 5-16 run; at the end of their slump, on May 23, the team's record stood at 20-26. From that point forward, the Athletics' fortunes improved significantly. In a prelude to the team's famous late-season winning streak, the Athletics went 16-1 from June 6 to June 24. The surge propelled the club within two games of first place, but a prolonged funk saw the A's play roughly .500 baseball for the next month and a half. That ended with an unremarkable 2-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on August 12.

On August 13, the Athletics began their then-AL-record 20-game win streak. The streak's first win came courtesy of Barry Zito, who allowed three runs (one earned) over eight innings in a 5-4 victory over the Jays. Over the next several weeks, stellar pitching, hitting, and defense all played a significant role in the Athletics' surge. Most notable were the efforts of fourth starter Cory Lidle. During August, Lidle went 5-0 while posting a scant 0.20 earned run average (he allowed one run his final start of the month); three of his five winning decisions were during the streak. Many of the Athletics' victories were by narrow margins; closer Billy Koch recorded either a win or save in 12 of the streak's 20 games.

The Athletics' 18th and 19th wins came courtesy of game-ending hits by shortstop Miguel Tejada. On September 4, Oakland sought to win its 20th consecutive game; in doing so, the team hoped to break the 1947 New York Yankees' American League record of 19 consecutive wins. Their opponent was the Kansas City Royals. Over the first three innings of the game, Oakland shelled Kansas City pitchers Paul Byrd and Darrell May for a total of 11 runs, building a seemingly insurmountable 11-0 lead. Sloppy play down the stretch, however, allowed the Royals to score five runs apiece in the fourth and eighth innings. In the ninth, Billy Koch surrendered a two-out single to Royals pinch hitter Luis Alicea; the single allowed pinch runner Kit Pellow to score the tying run. So the Athletics entered the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at 11-11. In one of the most famous moments in Oakland Athletics history, pinch hitter Scott Hatteberg then hit a one-out solo home run off of Kansas City reliever Jason Grimsley. The home run clinched the AL-record 20th consecutive victory for the Athletics.

Oakland's streak came to an end with a 6-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins on September 6. The A's continued to play well down the stretch, as evidenced by their final record of 103-59. The club's late-season surge allowed it to hold off the Anaheim Angels, who finished four games behind them at 99-63. Oakland's regular season exploits, however, once again failed to translate into postseason success. The team again lost the American League Division Series (this time to the Twins) in five games.

Tejada and starting pitcher Barry Zito went on to win the American League MVP and Cy Young Award, respectively. Tejada left the Athletics following the 2003 season, while Zito stayed until the end of the 2006 campaign.

Game log

2002 Game Log (103–59)[6]
Legend:           = Win           = Loss           = Postponement
Bold = Athletics team member

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Oakland Athletics 10359 0.636 54–27 49–32
Anaheim Angels 9963 0.611 4 54–27 45–36
Seattle Mariners 9369 0.574 10 48–33 45–36
Texas Rangers 7290 0.444 31 42–39 30–51

American League Wild Card

Division Leaders W L Pct.
New York Yankees 10358 0.640
Minnesota Twins 9467 0.584
Oakland Athletics 10359 0.636
W L Pct.
Anaheim Angels 9963 0.611
Boston Red Sox 9369 0.574
Seattle Mariners 9369 0.574
Chicago White Sox 8181 0.500
Toronto Blue Jays 7884 0.481
Cleveland Indians 7488 0.457
Texas Rangers 7290 0.444
Baltimore Orioles 6795 0.414
Kansas City Royals 62100 0.383
Detroit Tigers 55106 0.342
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 55106 0.342

Record vs. opponents

2002 American League Records

Anaheim 7–23–46–36–38–16–34–53–49–119–108–112–77–211–7
Baltimore 2–76–133–41–52–47–05–16–134–55–410–93–64–159–9
Boston 4–313–62–45–45–44–23–39–106–34–516–34–313–65–13
Chicago 3–64–34–29–1012–711–88–112–42–75–44–35–44–28–10
Cleveland 3–65–14–510–910–99–108–113–62–53–44–24–53–36–12
Detroit 1–84–24–57–129–109–104–141–81–62–52–45–40–66–12
Kansas City 3–60–72–48–1110–910–95–141–51–83–64–27–23–45–13
Minnesota 5–41–53–311–811–814–414–50–63–65–45–26–36–110–8
New York 4–313–610–94–26–38–15–16–05–44–513–54–310–911–7
Oakland 11–95–43–67–25–26–18–16–34–58–118–113–63–616–2
Seattle 10–94–55–44–54–35–26–34–55–411–85–413–76–311–7
Tampa Bay 1–89–103–163–42–44–22–42–55–131–84–54–58–117–11
Texas 7–126–33–44–55–44–52–73–63–46–137–135–48–19–9
Toronto 2–715–46–132–43–36–04–31–69–106–33–611–81–89–9

Draft picks

  • June 4, 2002: Nick Swisher was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (16th pick, compensatory) of the 2002 amateur draft.
  • June 4, 2002: Joe Blanton was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (24th pick, compensatory) of the amateur draft.
  • June 4, 2002: John McCurdy was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (26th pick) of the amateur draft.
  • June 4, 2002: Benjamin Fritz was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (30th pick, compensatory) of the amateur draft.
  • June 4, 2002: Jeremy Brown was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (35th pick, compensatory) of the amateur draft.
  • June 4, 2002: Mark Teahen was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (39th pick, compensatory) of the amateur draft.



2002 Oakland Athletics
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager



The Athletics clinched the American League West with a regular season record of 103–59, advancing to the first round of the postseason. They were defeated in the 2002 American League Division Series three games to two by the American League Central champion Minnesota Twins,[10] who would be defeated in the 2002 American League Championship Series by the eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels.

Postseason game log

2002 Postseason Game Log (2–3)[10]
Legend:           = Win           = Loss           = Postponement
Bold = Athletics team member

Player statistics


Tim HudsonSP34238.115902.98152
Barry ZitoSP35229.123502.75182
Mark MulderSP30207.119703.47159
Cory LidleSP31192.081003.89111
Aaron HarangSP1678.15404.8364
Billy KochCP8493.2114443.2793
Chad BradfordRP7575.14223.1156
Jim MecirRP6167.26414.2653
Jeff TamRP4040.11205.1314
Mike VenafroRP4737.02204.6216
Mike FyhrieRP/SP1648.22404.4429
Erik HiljusRP/SP945.23306.5029
Mike MagnanteRP3228.20205.9711
Ted LillyRP/SP623.12104.6318
Ricardo RincónRP2520.10013.1019
Mike HoltzRP1614.00006.437
Micah BowieRP1312.02001.508
Totals 1452.010359483.681021
AL Ranking / 14 2113417


Ramón HernándezC136403.233.31394200742
Scott Hatteberg1B136492.280.3741382241561
Mark Ellis2B98345.272.35994164635
Eric Chavez3B153585.275.34816131334109
Miguel TejadaSS162662.308.35420430034131
David JusticeLF118398.266.3761061831149
Terrence LongCF162587.240.2981413241667
Jermaine DyeRF131488.252.3331232712486
Ray DurhamDH54219.274.35060144622
John MabryLF89193.275.322531311140
Jeremy GiambiLF42157.274.3904370817
Olmedo Sáenz1B68156.276.35443101618
Greg MyersC65144.222.3413250621
Randy Velarde2B56133.226.325308028
Frank Menechino2B38132.312.3122770315
Adam PiattLF55137.234.3033280518
Carlos Peña1B40124.218.3052740716
Eric ByrnesUT9094.245.2912342311
Esteban Germán2B935.200.30070000
Mike ColangeloOF2023.174.24041000
Larry SuttonUT719.105.15020013
Jason GrabowskiLF48.375.54531101
Jose FloresUT73.000.40000000
Cody McKayC23.667.50020002
Barry ZitoP354.000.00000000
Tim HudsonP345.200.33311000
Mark MulderP305.000.00000000
Aaron HarangP163.000.00000000
Cory LidleP311.000.00000000
Totals 5558.261.339145027928205772
AL Ranking / 14 985912104

Note: Only players with at least one at-bat are listed.

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 Webster Garrison
A-Short Season Vancouver Canadians Northwest League Orv Franchuk
Rookie AZL Athletics Arizona League Ruben Escalera


  1. Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p. 377, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  2. "Mark Bellhorn Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  3. "David Justice Trades and Transactions". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  4. "Randy Velarde Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  5. "Justin Duchscherer Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  6. "2002 Oakland Athletics Schedule". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 "2002 Oakland Athletics Trades and Transactions". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  8. Ted Lilly at Baseball Reference
  9. "Ray Durham Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  10. 1 2 "2002 American League Division Series". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 July 2014.

General references:

  • 2002 Oakland Athletics at Baseball Reference
  • 2002 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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