From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on June 15, 2016:
On June 15, 1976, 40 years ago today, while the nation was gearing up for its bicentennial celebration, an incident arose that highlighted the intersection of two of America’s abiding interests: baseball and money.
On that date Charles O. Finley’s Oakland A’s were sitting at 27-31 as they returned home to host the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox were also suffering from the ho-hums with a 26-27 record.
There was a long way to go in the season; it was not panic-button time. But June 15 was then the trading deadline, and the baseball spirit of ’76 dictated that drastic measures were called for. A financial earthquake was about to rock baseball’s world and the Oakland A’s were at the epicenter. How fitting that Oakland was so close to the San Andreas fault line.
The A’s and the Red Sox expected to be contenders in 1976. The A’s had won five straight division titles and three World Series from 1972 to 1974. The Red Sox swept the A’s in the 1975 American League Championship Series and almost dismantled the Big Red Machine in the 1975 World Series before succumbing in seven games. Understandably, both teams were disappointed to find themselves below .500 in mid-June.
Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/bowie-the-k-and-charlie-o/
Originally published: June 23, 2016. Last Updated: June 23, 2016.