OAKLAND -- The Coliseum has been home to the A’s since their relocation from Kansas City in 1968. Over the span of those five-plus decades, the A’s have gone through different eras of dominance.
From the Swingin’ A’s dynasty of the '70s that captured three straight World Series titles to the powerful clubs led by the Bash Brothers in the '80s that reached three straight Fall Classics, and from The Big Three terrorizing opposing hitters in the early 2000s to the current A’s that have reached the postseason in each of the past three seasons, the club has produced countless legendary moments, all in the same home ballpark.
Let’s take a look at the top five moments in A’s history at the Coliseum:
1) Oct. 21, 1973: A’s capture second straight World Series title
After a pair of two-run blasts in the third inning by Bert Campaneris and Reggie Jackson provided plenty of run support for A’s starter Ken Holtzman, who held the Mets to one run over 5 ⅓ innings, relievers Rollie Fingers and Darold Knowles took over and closed out Game 7 of the World Series to bring Oakland its second consecutive World Series trophy. Knowles, who recorded the final out, became the first pitcher in Major League history to appear in all seven games of a seven-game World Series. The feat has been repeated just once since, when Brandon Morrow did it with the Dodgers in the 2017 Fall Classic. That sunny afternoon at the Coliseum marked the first World Series ever clinched in Oakland, and the last World Series game to end in daylight.
2) May 9, 2010: Dallas Braden’s perfect game on Mother’s Day
There might not be a more emotional moment in Oakland history than Braden’s perfect game. Pitching at the Coliseum on Mother's Day in front of his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey -- who raised Braden after his mother passed away from skin cancer when he was a high schooler -- the left-hander retired all 27 batters he faced on 109 pitches with six strikeouts.
As he made his way back to the A’s dugout, there was Lindsey, standing atop it. Braden spotted her and signaled to the security guard to allow her onto the field. The two ran to each other and embraced with a tear-filled hug.
3) Oct. 3, 2012: Josh Hamilton “drops the ball!”
What looked to be a routine fly ball off the bat of Yoenis Céspedes for what would be the final out of the inning was dropped by Josh Hamilton out in center field and instead broke a tie game as two runs scored as a result of the error. The ball clanking off Hamilton’s glove sent the Coliseum into a frenzy, expanding the momentum of what turned out to be a six-run fourth inning. The A’s went on to defeat the Rangers and clinch the American League West that day -- the final day of the regular season -- in front of a packed house.
4) Oct. 10, 2012: Coco keeps the A’s alive
Facing elimination from the postseason, Coco Crisp saved the A’s with a walk-off single that produced arguably the loudest moment in Coliseum playoff history against the Tigers in Game 4 of the AL Division Series. Crisp’s two-out single off Jose Valverde scored Seth Smith, who had just tied the game up with a two-run double earlier in the inning.
5) Sept. 4, 2002: Hatteberg’s heroics make it 20 in a row
The A’s had a date with destiny, entering the day with a 19-game win streak that tied the 1906 White Sox and 1947 Yankees for the longest streak in AL history. Getting to 20 looked like it would be easy after Oakland jumped out to an 11-0 lead against the Royals through the game’s first three innings, but things soon got weird.
A rare poor outing by Tim Hudson and a meltdown by an A’s bullpen that was reliable more often than not evaporated the large lead. By the time A’s closer Billy Koch got the ball in the ninth, the lead was down to one run, and the right-hander was unable to make it stick, as an RBI single by Luis Alicea tied the game.
Following Jermaine Dye’s flyout to begin the bottom of the ninth, A’s manager Art Howe had a hunch and pulled back Eric Byrnes for Scott Hatteberg, who had only pinch-hit five times all season to that point. Hatteberg was better against righties, but the right-hander he had to face on this night -- Jason Grimsley -- was no easy task.
Hatteberg was only trying to find a gap, perhaps for a double that could spark a rally. He looked at one pitch for a ball, then blasted a hanging slider into the right-field bleachers for a walk-off that capped not only one of the craziest comeback wins in club history, but one of the wildest baseball games ever.