2000 - A's Pitching Ace, Tim Hudson records his 20th victory on the last day of the season; the A's would clinch the A.L. West by 1/2 game.
2001 - This Oakland team finished with an impressive 102-60 record, good enough for second in the division and a Wild Card ticket to the playoffs -- a second consecutive American League Division Series matchup against the Yankees. Once again, the A's jumped out to a 2-0 series lead when one of the most infamous games in A's history took place at the Oakland Coliseum. New York led 1-0 in the seventh when, with two outs, Jeremy Giambi singled off Mike Mussina. Terrence Long followed with a hit down the right-field line, bringing Giambi around third. Right fielder Shane Spencer fired toward the plate, but his throw overshot two cutoff men and headed toward foul ground near the first-base line where Derek Jeter suddenly appeared. The Yankees shortstop grabbed the ball and, while heading the opposite direction, made a flip toward the plate. Giambi came in standing and was called out on the tag from catcher Jorge Posada, thus bringing to life "Slide, Jeremy, slide."
Jeremy's brother, Jason Giambi, followed up his MVP season with a .342 average and 38 home runs -- which landed him in second place behind Ichiro Suzuki for another MVP award. Meanwhile, third baseman Eric Chavez earned his first career Gold Glove award while also posting a .288 batting average and driving in 114 runs. On the mound, Mark Mulder led all pitchers with 21 wins to finish second next to Roger Clemens in Cy Young voting.
2002 - Oakland gave its fans one of the most memorable seasons in recent history by putting together 20 consecutive wins between August 13 and September 4 -- the longest winning streak in AL history. The A's brought out 55,528 fans to the 20th game of their historic streak, jumping out to an 11-0 lead against visiting Kansas City after three innings only to blow it and come back again. Pinch-hitter Scott Hatteberg homered in the bottom of the ninth inning to notch the win in true dramatic fashion. The A's finished first in their division with a 103-59 record but eventually lost the American League Division Series in five games to the Minnesota Twins. The unforgettable season was topped off with southpaw Barry Zito -- who tallied a 23-5 record and 2.75 ERA -- winning his first AL Cy Young Award. The 2002 season was the subject of Michael Lewis' 2003 best-selling book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," which was later adapted into the Academy Award nominated film "Moneyball," starring actor Brad Pitt as A's GM Billy Beane.
2003 - Facing several challenges, including serious injuries to Mark Mulder and Jermaine Dye, Oakland managed to take home its third AL West title -- with a 96-66 record -- in its last four seasons. But the A's suffered a familiar heartbreak in October for the fourth straight year, falling to Boston, 3-2, in the American League Division Series. It was a bittersweet ending to a campaign which saw the A's welcome new stars Rich Harden and Keith Foulke.
Foulke finished with a 9-1 record, a 2.10 ERA and 43 saves to earn himself the AL saves crown after joining Mulder and catcher Ramon Hernandez in representing the A's at the All-Star Game. The Big Three of Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito combined for 45 wins and an average 3.04 ERA.
2004 - Despite winning at least 91 games for the fifth consecutive season, the A's were unable to make the playoffs, falling one game short of the American League West title. Tied with the Anaheim Angels heading into the final weekend of the season, the A's dropped the first two games of a winner-take-all three-game series. Star third baseman Eric Chavez and ace right-hander Tim Hudson each missed six weeks with injuries, so that the A's were able to stay afloat was something of an accomplishment, and shortstop Bobby Crosby's rookie season earned him a sweep of the three major AL Rookie of the Year awards.
2005 - The A's had a difficult task ahead them in the 2005 season after trading away starters Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. They had a slow start and on May 29 their record stood at 17-32. But through June and July Oakland complied a 39-14 record and on Aug. 5 they became the first team in history to go from 15 games below .500 to 15 games above in the same season. But in September, Oakland went 11-17 and missed the playoff for the second straight year. The A's finished at 88-74 in second place in the American League behind the Angels.
2006 - The Oakland A's reached the American League Championship in 2006, doing so for the first time since 1992. After winning 93 games and winning the AL West by four games, Oakland beat Minnesota in three games before being swept by the Tigers in the ALCS. Oakland was led by the resurgence of Frank Thomas as the 38-year old hit 39 home runs and had 114 RBIs.
2007 - Coming off their first American League Championship appearance since 1992, the A's entered the 2007 campaign with high hopes and a new manager (Bob Geren) but ended with a third-place 76-86 finish in part due to several injuries, which proved to be a theme for Oakland in the later part of the decade. Early in the season, righty Dan Haren -- later traded in the winter -- emerged as the ace of the staff, and that status was confirmed by the nod he received to start for the American League in the Midsummer Classic. He finished the year with a team-leading 15 wins and 3.07 ERA.
For the first time in a while, the A's started September out of contention, and bad news continued to roll in with word that Mark Kotsay and Eric Chavez were out for the season; Buck needed elbow surgery, and Chavez was headed for an offseason in which his back and both shoulders went under the knife. The highlight of a 9-17 final month was the debut of highly touted rookie Daric Barton, who batted .347 over 18 games.
2008 - The A's watched an Oakland-record 21 rookies enter the scene in 2008 but, unfortunately, also saw just as many players go on and off the disabled list, as they used it a team-record 25 times. In the end, a season of countless highs and lows left the A's with a 75-86 mark -- good for a third-place American League West finish. Surprise catching sensation Kurt Suzuki quietly led the offense as the A's found themselves nine games over .500 on July 11 to come out as one of the feel-good stories of the first half. Following the trades of rotation leaders Rich Harden and Joe Blanton at midseason, though, Oakland's wins were far and few between -- evidenced by a 10-20 month of August.
In other happenings, Huston Street lost the closer role to Brad Ziegler, who turned heads around the baseball community with a modern-day record 39 scoreless innings to begin his big league career. The right-handed sidearmer began the streak on May 31 before watching it come to an end Aug. 14 after surrendering an RBI double to Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton. The feat left the Hall of Fame calling for several of Ziegler's personal items.
2009 - Oakland entered the season with a handful of big-name veterans -- including the likes of Matt Holliday, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Giambi and Orlando Cabrera -- with high hopes of solidifying its otherwise young roster into potential playoff contenders. All four proved to be busts, though, and Garciaparra was the only one of the bunch left by season's end. A plethora of injuries -- 17 uses of the disabled list, to be exact -- further left Oakland in the shadows. The 2009 edition of the A's walked away as the first Oakland team since 1998 to finish in the American League West cellar thanks to a 75-87 record. Furthermore, the offensive-weak A's, who finished last in the AL in home runs, lingered longer (160 days) in last place than any team in the franchise's 109-year history.
Not to be forgotten, though, were several individual accomplishments -- most notably by closer Andrew Bailey, who acted as the A's lone representative at the All-Star Game before going on to receive AL Rookie of the Year honors. Arriving at the big league scene with his first save May 8, Bailey made up for his belated launch by posting 26 saves -- the last 21 consecutively -- as he broke the previous club record of 23 by a rookie set in 2005 by Huston Street. Fellow youngster pitchers Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill further represented an in-season rebirth, as they aided a starting staff that compiled the AL's fourth-lowest ERA while also setting a franchise record for strikeouts.