This Week in 1960s Baseball
As a left fielder for the A’s, Rudi would win three Gold Gloves and play a key role for the world championship teams during the early 70’s in Oakland.
Rudi was originally signed by the Athletics out of high school in June of 1964. Eleven months later, the Indians selected Rudi as a first-round waiver pick.
Playing for Class A Dubuque in the Midwest League, Rudi batted .254 with 21 doubles, 16 home runs and 58 RBIs. Then, after one season in the Indians’ minor league system, Rudi was traded with catcher Phil Roof back to the Athletics for outfielder Jim Landis and pitcher Jim Rittwage.
(If you never heard of Rittwage, you’re probably not alone. Rittwage’s major league career consisted of eight games and 26 innings, with a 1-1 record and a 4.15 ERA – all with Cleveland, all in 1970.)
Rudi would go on to play 11 seasons with the Athletics (one in Kansas City, 10 in Oakland). He would be an All-Star three times, leading the league in hits (181) and triples (9) in 1972 and in doubles (39) and total bases (287) in 1974.