List of Oakland Athletics Opening Day starting pitchers

The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Oakland, California. They play in the American League West division. The club was founded in Philadelphia in 1901, moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1955 and relocated to Oakland in 1968.[1] The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season,[2] though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.[3]

Since their arrival in Oakland, the A's home field has been the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, a multi-purpose stadium that has also been used for football, and soccer games. Commonly referred to as The Oakland Coliseum, or simply The Coliseum, it was formerly known as Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (1966–1998, Present), Network Associates Coliseum (1998–2004) and McAfee Coliseum (2004–2008).[4][5][6] The A's played their 1996 Opening Day game at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Nevada while repairs at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum were being completed, the first time in 39 years that a major league team played in a minor-league ballpark.[7]

In Oakland, the A's have used 31 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 51 seasons. The 31 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 16 wins, 18 losses and 17 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game or if the starting pitcher pitches fewer than five innings. Of the 17 no decisions, the A's went on to win seven and lose ten of those games, for a team record on Opening Day of 23 wins and 28 losses.[8]

Since it moved to Oakland, the team has played 36 of their Opening Day games at home: 33 at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, twice in Tokyo, and once in Las Vegas. Of the 33 games played in Oakland, the A's starting pitchers have a record of 12 wins, 9 losses and 12 no decisions (the team won seven and lost six of these no decisions). The 1996 game at Las Vegas' Cashman Field was a loss for starter Carlos Reyes. The 2008 game in the Tokyo Dome was a no decision for starter Joe Blanton that ended in an A's loss. The 2012 Tokyo Dome game resulted in a no decision for starter Brandon McCarthy and a loss for the team. Overall, the team's starting pitchers' record in home games is 1210 (with 14 no decisions).[8]

The A's have advanced to the playoffs 18 times while in Oakland, winning the American League Championship Series six times and going on to win the World Series in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1989. In the 18 seasons that the A's advanced to the playoffs, the teams Opening Day starting pitchers have had a record of eight wins, four losses and six no decisions; the team ultimately won three and lost three of the no decisions. The team's starters won four and lost one Opening Day game in the six seasons they advanced to the World Series.[8]

Catfish Hunter was the team's first Opening Day starter after the team moved to Oakland, taking a 31 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium in 1968.[8][9]

Key

Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Athletics season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Athletics won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Athletics lost game
Final Score (#) Game score with Athletics runs listed first;
in brackets are the number of innings over than 9
Location Stadium in bold for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Athletics
* Advanced to the post-season
** Won the American League Championship Series
*** World Series Champions

Opening Day results

Season Pitcher Decision Final
score
Opponent Location Attendance Ref.[8]
1968 Catfish Hunter L 13 Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium 22,050 [9]
1969 Blue Moon Odom W 52 Chicago White Sox Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 23,610 [10]
1970 Blue Moon Odom (2) W 64 Kansas City Royals Municipal Stadium 18,127 [11]
1971* Vida Blue L 08 Washington Senators Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium 45,061 [12]
1972*** Ken Holtzman ND (W) 43 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 9,912 [13]
1973*** Catfish Hunter (2) L 38 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 38,207 [14]
1974*** Catfish Hunter (3) W 72 Oakland Athletics Arlington Stadium 21,907 [15]
1975 Vida Blue (2) W 32 Chicago White Sox Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 17,477 [16]
1976 Mike Torrez W 52 California Angels Angel Stadium 30,194 [17]
1977 Mike Torrez (2) W 72 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 12,562 [18]
1978 Rick Langford L 01 California Angels Angel Stadium 28,194 [19]
1979 Rick Langford (2) L 35 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 10,387 [20]
1980 Rick Langford (3) ND (L) 79 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 33,196 [21]
1981 Mike Norris W 51 Minnesota Twins Metropolitan Stadium 42,658 [22]
1982 Rick Langford (4) ND (W) 32 (11) California Angels Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 51,513 [23]
1983 Rick Langford (5) L 53 Cleveland Indians Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 34,831 [24]
1984 Steve McCatty ND (W) 65 Milwaukee Brewers Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 45,398 [25]
1985 Chris Codiroli L 36 Seattle Mariners Kingdome 37,161 [26]
1986 Chris Codiroli (2) L 23 Cleveland Indians Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 44,726 [27]
1987 Curt Young ND (L) 45 Minnesota Twins Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 43,548 [28]
1988** Dave Stewart W 41 Seattle Mariners Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 45,333 [29]
1989*** Dave Stewart (2) W 32 Seattle Mariners Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 46,163 [30]
1990** Dave Stewart (3) W 83 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 48,219 [31]
1991 Dave Stewart (4) W 72 Minnesota Twins Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 44,373 [32]
1992* Dave Stewart (5) ND (W) 53 Kansas City Royals Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 44,078 [33]
1993 Bob Welch W 94 Detroit Tigers Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 43,370 [34]
1994 Bobby Witt ND (L) 711 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee County Stadium 52,012 [35]
1995 Dave Stewart (6) L 113 Toronto Blue Jays SkyDome 50,426 [36]
1996 Carlos Reyes L 69 Toronto Blue Jays Cashman Field 7,294 [37]
1997 Ariel Prieto ND (L) 79 Toronto Blue Jays Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 41,235 [38]
1998 Tom Candiotti L 02 Boston Red Sox Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 36,915 [39]
1999 Gil Heredia L 511 Detroit Tigers Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 46,650 [40]
2000* Kevin Appier ND (W) 53 New York Yankees Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 46,380 [41]
2001* Tim Hudson ND (L) 45 Seattle Mariners Safeco Field 45,911 [42]
2002* Mark Mulder W 83 Texas Rangers Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 43,908 [43]
2003* Tim Hudson (2) W 50 Seattle Mariners Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 41,723 [44]
2004 Tim Hudson (3) ND (W) 54 Texas Rangers Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 45,122 [45]
2005 Barry Zito L 04 Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards 48,271 [46]
2006* Barry Zito (2) L 215 New York Yankees Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 35,077 [47]
2007 Dan Haren L 04 Seattle Mariners Safeco Field 46,003 [48]
2008 Joe Blanton ND (L) 56 Boston Red Sox Tokyo Dome 44,628 [49]
2009 Dallas Braden L 03 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Angel Stadium of Anaheim 43,220 [50]
2010 Ben Sheets ND (L) 35 Seattle Mariners Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 30,686 [51]
2011 Trevor Cahill ND (L) 26 Seattle Mariners Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 36,067 [52]
2012 Brandon McCarthy ND (L) 13 Seattle Mariners Tokyo Dome 44,227 [53]
2013 Brett Anderson L 02 Seattle Mariners O.co Coliseum 36,067 [54]
2014 Sonny Gray ND (L) 02 Cleveland Indians O.co Coliseum 36,067 [55]
2015 Sonny Gray (2) W 80 Texas Rangers O.co Coliseum 36,067 [56]
2016 Rich Hill L 34 Chicago White Sox Oakland Coliseum 35,067 [57]
2017 Kendall Graveman W 42 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Oakland Coliseum 36,067 [58]
2018 Kendall Graveman (2) ND (W) 65 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Oakland Coliseum 27,764 [59]

Pitchers

Opening Day starting pitchers listed in descending order by the number of Opening Day starts for the A's in Oakland:

Pitcher Starts Wins Losses No Decisions Winning % Seasons
Dave Stewart 6 4 1 1 .800 1988,[29] 1989,[30] 1990,[31] 1991,[32] 1992,[33] 1995[36]
Rick Langford 5 0 3 2 .000 1978,[19] 1979,[20] 1980,[21] 1982,[23] 1983[24]
Catfish Hunter[a] 3 1 2 0 .333 1968,[9] 1973,[14] 1974[15]
Tim Hudson 3 1 0 2 1.000 2001,[42] 2003,[44] 2004[45]
Blue Moon Odom 2 2 0 0 1.000 1969,[10] 1970[11]
Vida Blue 2 1 1 0 .500 1971,[12] 1975[16]
Mike Torrez 2 2 0 0 1.000 1976,[17] 1977[18]
Chris Codiroli 2 0 2 0 .000 1985,[26] 1986[27]
Barry Zito 2 0 2 0 .000 2005,[46] 2006[47]
Sonny Gray 2 1 0 1 .500 2014,[55] 2015[56]
Kendall Graveman 2 1 0 1 .500 2017,[58] 2018[59]
Ken Holtzman 1 0 0 1 .000 1972[13]
Mike Norris 1 1 0 0 1.000 1981[22]
Steve McCatty 1 0 0 1 .000 1984[25]
Curt Young 1 0 0 1 .000 1987[28]
Bob Welch 1 1 0 0 1.000 1993[34]
Bobby Witt 1 0 0 1 .000 1994[35]
Carlos Reyes 1 0 1 0 .000 1996[37]
Ariel Prieto 1 0 0 1 .000 1997[38]
Tom Candiotti 1 0 1 0 .000 1998[39]
Gil Heredia 1 0 1 0 .000 1999[40]
Kevin Appier 1 0 0 1 .000 2000[41]
Mark Mulder 1 1 0 0 1.000 2002[43]
Danny Haren 1 0 1 0 .000 2007[48]
Joe Blanton 1 0 0 1 .000 2008[49]
Dallas Braden 1 0 1 0 .000 2009[50]
Ben Sheets 1 0 0 1 .000 2010[51]
Trevor Cahill 1 0 0 1 .000 2011[52]
Brandon McCarthy 1 0 0 1 .000 2012[53]
Brett Anderson 1 0 1 0 .000 2013[54]
Rich Hill 1 0 1 0 .000 2016[57]

Footnotes

  • a Catfish Hunter also had one Opening Day start for the Kansas City Athletics in 1966, giving him a total of four Opening Day starts with the franchise. Hunter got the loss in his Opening Day start in 1966.[60]

References

  1. Oakland Athletics year-by-year results, Oakland Athletics. Accessed October 25, 2008.
  2. Bastian, Jordan (March 22, 2010). "Marcum tapped for Jays' Opening Day". MLB.com. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  3. Dilbeck, Steve (February 24, 2014). "Dodgers may not start Clayton Kershaw in Sydney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  4. Ballparks: 1901 - Present, Oakland Athletics. Accessed October 24, 2008.
  5. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland Athletics. Accessed October 24, 2008.
  6. Bay City News Service. "McAfee Coliseum name reverts to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum", Contra Costa Times, September 19, 2008. Accessed October 24, 2008.
  7. Dahlberg, Tim. "A's new `home' is in Las Vegas Renovations forced move for start of season", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 1, 1996. Accessed October 27, 2008.
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  10. 1 2 April 8, 1969, White Sox at Athletics Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 25, 2008.
  11. 1 2 April 7, 1970, Athletics at Royals Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 25, 2008.
  12. 1 2 April 5, 1971, Athletics at Senators Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 25, 2008.
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  14. 1 2 April 6, 1973, Twins at Athletics Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 25, 2008.
  15. 1 2 April 4, 1974, Athletics at Rangers Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 25, 2008.
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  19. 1 2 April 7, 1978, Athletics at Angels Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 25, 2008.
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  32. 1 2 April 9, 1991, Twins at Athletics Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 27, 2008.
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  39. 1 2 April 1, 1998, Red Sox at Athletics Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 27, 2008.
  40. 1 2 April 5, 1999, Tigers at Rangers Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed October 27, 2008.
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  57. 1 2 "CWS vs. OAK - 04/04/2016". MLB.com. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
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