OAKLAND, Calif. — Ten members of the Philadelphia A’s, including former owner/manager Connie Mack, Baseball Hall of Famers Eddie Collins and Eddie Plank, Frank Baker, Chief Bender, Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons, and Rube Waddell, will be enshrined in franchise history forever as members of the 2021 class of the Athletics Hall of Fame. The class will be honored during a pregame video tribute on Sunday, Aug. 22, when the team hosts the San Francisco Giants. The A’s annually induct a class voted on by a committee into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
Frank “Home Run” Baker, who played for the Philadelphia A’s from 1908 to 1914, led the American League in home runs from 1911-13 and tied for the lead in 1914. He earned his nickname by hitting two home runs in the 1911 World Series against the Giants, the second of three World Champion A’s teams that featured Baker as the A’s third baseman. A member of the A’s famed $100,000 infield, Baker led the league in triples in his rookie season of 1909 and topped the AL in RBI from 1912-13.
Charles “Chief” Bender was a Native American who played for the Philadelphia A’s for 12 seasons (1903 to 1914) and pitched in five World Series for the A’s. He had his finest season in 1910 when he authored a no-hitter while compiling a 23-5 record and a 1.58 ERA before helping the A’s to their first World Championship. Bender, who was Connie Mack’s choice “if there was one game I wanted to win above all others,” won five of his seven World Series starts in 1910, 1911, and 1913 to lead the A’s to their first three World Championships.
Gordon “Mickey” Cochrane, a member of the Philadelphia A’s from 1925 to 1933, was one of baseball’s greatest catchers and was the backstop for the A’s three consecutive American League Pennant winning teams from 1929-31. He was named AL MVP 1928 and homered twice in the 1930 World Series as the A’s won their second straight World Championship.
Eddie Collins had two stints with the Philadelphia A’s (1906 to 1914 and 1927 to 1930). The first Athletic to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Collins batted .337 and stole 373 bases in 13 total seasons with the A’s. He finished in the top six in Chalmer’s Award Voting, a precursor to the MVP, in four straight seasons from 1911-14 and won the award in 1914. He hit .429 in the 1910 World Series to start the A’s championship run of three Series titles in four years.
Jimmie Foxx did not finish his senior year of high school as he went to spring training with the Philadelphia A’s in 1925 and made his Major League debut later that year at the age of 17. He would go on to hit 302 home runs in 11 seasons (1925 to 1935) as an Athletic, a franchise record that stood for 61 years. Foxx earned back-to-back MVP awards from 1932-33 and a Triple Crown in 1933. He represented the A’s in the first three All-Star Games from 1933-35 and was a World Champion in 1929 and 1930.
Robert “Lefty” Grove pitched for nine seasons with the Philadelphia A’s (1925 to 1933), leading the league in strikeouts seven times, ERA five times and wins four times. He won the pitching Triple Crown by leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts in back-to-back seasons from 1930-31. Grove capped that streak by going 31-4 with a 2.06 ERA and 175 strikeouts in 1931 to earn American League MVP honors. He was a member of the A’s back-to-back World Champions in 1929-30 and was a 1933 All-Star.
Connie Mack managed the A’s for 50 seasons from 1901 to 1950 and was part-owner of the club for all 54 seasons in Philadelphia (1901 to 1954). Under his leadership, the A’s would win five World Championship and nine American League Pennants. He built two dynasties, winning back-to-back World Series in 1910-11 as well as 1913, and then did it again in 1929-30. Known for managing in a suit, with a derby or bowler in place of a baseball cap, the A’s won 3,582 games with Mack at the helm.
Eddie Plank was a member of the original 1901 Philadelphia A’s and in 14 seasons as an Athletic, he won 284 games, started 459, completed 362, had 59 shutouts and struck out 1,985, all franchise records that still stand today. He never led the American League in wins, strikeouts or ERA but was always one of the top pitchers in the game, earning him a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946. Plank’s tenure with the A’s included six AL Pennants and three World Championships.
Al Simmons was a three-time member of the Philadelphia A’s (1924 to 1932, 1940 to 1941, and 1944). He was a major factor in the A’s three consecutive American League pennant winning clubs from 1929-31, hitting .346 with 92 home runs and 450 RBI. He led the AL in RBI in 1929 and then won back-to-back batting titles in 1930 and 31. Simmons hit .341 or better in seven consecutive seasons from 1925-31 and had a .356 average in 12 seasons with Philadelphia. He drove in at least 100 runs in each of his first nine seasons with the A’s and had at least 200 hits five times.
George “Rube” Waddell played for the Philadelphia A’s from 1902 to 1907. A fan favorite at the turn of the century not only for his skills on the mound but for his eccentricities that earned him the nickname Rube, George Waddell pitched six seasons for the Philadelphia A’s. He led the AL in strikeouts in each of those six campaigns and won the pitching Triple Crown in 1905 with a 27-10 record, a 1.48 ERA and 287 strikeouts. Waddell fanned a career-high 349 batters in 1904 and his 24 wins in 1902 led the A’s to their first AL Pennant.
In 2019, the A’s inducted Vida Blue, Bert “Campy” Campaneris, Mark McGwire, Walter A. Haas Jr., and Tony La Russa into the Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2018 inaugural class included Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Charlie Finley, Rickey Henderson, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, and Dave Stewart. To learn more about the Athletics Hall of Fame, visit athletics.com/athleticshof.
The A’s will induct the 2021 class into the Athletics Hall of Fame before the start of their 1:07 p.m. game versus the Giants on Sunday, Aug. 22. Fans can purchase tickets at athletics.com/tickets.