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A's winter wish came true with Parker trade

Oakland landed 'The Cobra' at Winter Meetings 30 years ago
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Already equipped with Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, the A's sought a left-handed complement to their right-handed power duo in the offseason of 1987, reaching for a trade with the Reds that would net them Dave Parker.

On Dec. 8, 1987, in the backdrop of the annual Winter Meetings, A's general manager Sandy Alderson swung a deal for Parker, exchanging pitchers Jose Rijo and Tim Birtsas -- two players included in the package that Oakland received from the Yankees for Rickey Henderson in '84.

OAKLAND -- Already equipped with Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, the A's sought a left-handed complement to their right-handed power duo in the offseason of 1987, reaching for a trade with the Reds that would net them Dave Parker.

On Dec. 8, 1987, in the backdrop of the annual Winter Meetings, A's general manager Sandy Alderson swung a deal for Parker, exchanging pitchers Jose Rijo and Tim Birtsas -- two players included in the package that Oakland received from the Yankees for Rickey Henderson in '84.

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The left-handed-hitting Parker was inserted into a lineup between McGwire and Canseco, providing the type of veteran leadership that was invaluable to the A's consecutive World Series appearances in 1988 and '89.

"The Cobra" combined for 34 homers in two seasons with Oakland, 22 of them coming in 1989 with 97 RBIs en route to a World Series title following a year in which he deemed the A's "one of the best teams that had ever played."

When Parker was at his best, he was among the best of his era. From 1975-79, his numbers were sensational: .321/.377/.521, with an average of 23 homers and 98 RBIs.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics