OAKLAND -- A kooky band of misfits stars in MLB Network's latest documentary, which perfectly encapsulates the zany nature of the A's dynasty of the early 1970s.Equal parts drama and humor, "The Swingin' A's" chronicles the story of these colorful characters in a way never seen before, thanks to compelling
OAKLAND -- A kooky band of misfits stars in MLB Network's latest documentary, which perfectly encapsulates the zany nature of the A's dynasty of the early 1970s.
Equal parts drama and humor, "The Swingin' A's" chronicles the story of these colorful characters in a way never seen before, thanks to compelling footage and interviews with several members of the club that won three consecutive World Series titles.
MLB Network held an advance screening of the one-hour documentary in Oakland on Thursday evening, with the television debut scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.
The many anecdotes that retell the conflict and triumph of the three-peat A's make this must-see material. A multitude of players from the era, including Vida Blue, Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Sal Bando, Ken Holtzman, Gene Tenace and Ray Fosse, are candid in sharing their memories of dominance under a polarizing owner in the tightfisted Charlie Finley.
Narrated by Oakland-born rapper MC Hammer, an A's clubhouse assistant during that period, the documentary highlights the tense relationship between Finley and his star-studded roster. Blue, in attendance at the premiere, was among those who shed light on such friction. He also joined MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian for an audience Q&A following the film.
"He was a complicated man," Blue told fans of Finley. "He was a business man first, and that line about it being 'nothing personal, just business,' I heard him say that 1,000 times."
Finley ran business on the cheap, and his players proved furious because of it, and for good reason, considering their run of success. The New York Yankees are the only other franchise to win at least three straight World Series.
Fistfights amongst each other were common for these dysfunctional A's, but they also banded together as a united front in opposition to Finley, who surely had his faults but, at day's end, remained the man who assembled one of baseball's great dynasties.
Of course, Finley also dismantled it, selling off his star players and leaving them wondering just how much more success could have been had.
"I think we could have won at least one more," Blue said. "I don't know about two or three, but four in a row would have been sweet."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.