TheBaseballPage.com

Charles Finley

Charles Finley

One of the most flamboyant, innovative, and controversial baseball club owners ever!

One of the most flamboyant, innovative, and controversial baseball club owners ever, Finley began as a semi-pro first baseman-manager in Indiana. Near-fatal tuberculosis in 1946 ended his playing career but inspired him to found a life insurance empire. Outbid for the Kansas City A's in 1960 by Arnold Johnson, Finley acquired the team a few months later when Johnson died. The A's had been sending such stars as Roger Maris, Clete Boyer, and Ralph Terry to the Yankees in exchange for washed-up journeymen; Finley immediately suspended dealings with New York and, as his own general manager, soon established a knack for acquiring unheralded talent like Ed Charles and Jose Tartabull.

Finley's first of many feuds with players and managers commenced at the 1962 All-Star break when he ordered Manny Jimenez, who was leading the AL with a .350 average, to start hitting home runs. Manager Hank Bauer took Jimenez's side and was fired after the season. Jimenez slumped and was sent down in 1963. In mid-1967, Finley fined and suspended young pitcher Lew Krausse for "rowdyism," and publicly berated his players over an insignificant airplane incident. A near-mutiny by the players followed. Finley fired manager Alvin Dark, then released Ken Harrelson, the team's best hitter, who had been quoted as saying that Finley was "a menace to baseball." Signed by the Red Sox, Harrelson helped them to the pennant, and won the AL RBI title the following year.

 

Finley had already established a reputation as a cantankerous buffoon by trading for sluggers Jim Gentile and Rocky Colavito, then building a bizarre "pennant porch" designed to increase their home run production. He later paraded a mule named Charley O about the field, into cocktail parties, and even through hotel lobbies. He relocated the A's Double-A franchise to Birmingham because he was born there. He introduced orange baseballs, ball girls, and a mechanical rabbit that gave baseballs to the umpires. He advocated night World Series games in an effort to boost fan interest.

 

Meanwhile, Finley signed Jim Hunter and dubbed him Catfish to give him press appeal, concocting a story set in Hunter's childhood to justify the nickname. Finley also signed Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Vida Blue, Bert Campaneris, and a host of others who became the nucleus of his Oakland dynasty. He shifted the club from Kansas City to Oakland after the 1967 season in a move he later acknowledged as his one big mistake. In a half-empty stadium, the A's were contenders during 1969 and 1970, then won five straight division titles in 1971-75 and World Championships in 1972-74.

 

Finley was named TSN Man of the Year for 1972, but continued having disputes with players. After Reggie Jackson hit 47 HR in 1969, Finley, during a prolonged contract dispute, threatened to send him back to the minors. Similar bitterness followed when Vida Blue won the Cy Young Award in his first full season, 1971. Both times, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn intervened to help bring about a resolution. In the 1973 World Series, Finley fired Mike Andrews after the reserve infielder committed two consecutive errors in the 12th inning of Oakland 's Game Two loss to the Mets. Other A's and manager Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark.

 

Under Dark, the A's won another World Championship in 1974. But after the season, Catfish Hunter was declared a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz because Finley had failed to make contractually stipulated payments for Hunter into an insurance annuity fund. Even without Hunter, the A's easily won their division in 1975. In the spring of 1976, Finley traded Jackson to the Orioles. During the season, he tried to sell Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox and Vida Blue to the Yankees, and did sell Paul Lindblad to the Rangers. In desperate financial trouble because of low attendance, Finley claimed he needed the money to sign free agents and rebuild. Kuhn disagreed, voiding the sales of Rudi, Fingers, and Blue as not being "in the best interests of baseball." Kuhn later voided another sale of Blue, to the Reds. Meanwhile, major league players won the right to play out their options, and seven A's did so in 1976. Despite the uncompensated losses, Finley rebuilt, and the A's were en route to yet another division title in 1981 when he sold the club to the Levi-Strauss company.

By Baseball Library

 

More From Around the Web

Sponsored Links

This day in baseball history

September 17

  • 1998

    On September 17, 1998, Chet Hoff, who pitched to Ty Cobb and ...

  • 1996

    On September 17, 1996, Hideo Nomo of the Los Angeles Dodgers ...

  • 1984

    On September 17, 1984, Reggie Jackson of the California Ange ...

More Baseball History

Player Profile

Solly Hemus

2B, St. Louis Cardinals

Read Bio
Hall of Fame

Tom Seaver

P, Chicago White Sox

Read Bio
Season Profile

1949 World Series: N

After finishing thir

Read Bio
Historical Figure

Jim A. Hart

Jim Hart managed for three

Read Bio
Manager Profile

Ozzie Guillen

Atlanta Braves

Read Bio
Ballpark Profile

Busch Stadium

Home of the St. Louis

Read Bio
Tagged:
1972 World Series, 1973 World Series, 1974 World Series, Kansas City Athletics, MLB Owner, Oakland Athletics, Reggie Jackson

Comments

  • sigma said: Despite the uncompensated losses, Finley rebuilt, and the A's were en route to yet another division title in 1981 when he sold the club to the Levi-Strauss company. bulk sms in nigeria 2:51AM 08/30/14
  • sigma said: Despite the uncompensated losses, Finley rebuilt, and the A's were en route to yet another division title in 1981 when he sold the club to the Levi-Strauss company. sit4life promo code 3:54AM 08/26/14
  • sigma said: I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks. Colorbond Pergola Sydney 3:31AM 08/20/14
  • sigma said: Other A's and manager Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. EvoWPThemes 3:48AM 08/16/14
  • sigma said: the 12th inning of Oakland 's Game Two loss to the Mets. Other A's and manager Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. coal merchants 11:59AM 08/05/14
  • sigma said: Despite the uncompensated losses, Finley rebuilt, and the A's were en route to yet another division title in 1981 when he sold the club to the Levi-Strauss company. MrMag.org 4:57AM 08/05/14
  • sigma said: Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. ​our site 1:51AM 07/29/14
  • elizabeth123 said: I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks. review for the venus factor 7:58PM 07/27/14
  • django said:

    Coach Outlet Online

    On Friday, Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon

    Coach Outlet

    told troops they should be prepared for the possibility of

    Coach Factory Outlet

    a “significant broadening” of the ground operation.

    Coach Factory Outlet

    It was unclear if that was more a negotiating tactic

    Coach Outlet Store

    as Israel jockeyed for better cease-fire terms

    Coach Outlet Store Online

    after 18 days of fierce fighting against Hamas.

    Coach Outlet

    Mr. Kerry flew to Paris to continue his diplomatic

    Coach Factory Online

    push and planned to meet there with the foreign ministers

    Coach Factory Outlet

    of Qatar and Turkey, two countries that have been

    Coach Factory Outlet

    supportive of Hamas and are functioning as intermediaries

    Coach Outlet

    Mr. Kerry also expected to confer with several European diplomats.

    Coach Outlet Store Online

    International alarm has been growing over the war that

    Chanel Outlet Online

    has claimed the lives of more than 800 Palestinians

    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    most of them civilians, as well as 35 Israeli soldiers.

    Louis Vuitton Handbags

    Three civilians in Israel have also been

    Gucci Belt

    killed in rocket and mortar fire from Gaza

    Gucci Belts

    killed in rocket and mortar fire from Gaza 8:47AM 07/26/14
  • sigma said: mechanical rabbit that gave baseballs to the umpires. He advocated night World Series games in an effort to boost fan interest. red diesel supplier 11:50AM 07/25/14
  • smith44 said: I like your website it has very nice stuff which i enjoyed reading. Wholesale Bean Bag Chairs 11:39PM 07/22/14
  • sigma said: He introduced orange baseballs, ball girls, and a mechanical rabbit that gave baseballs to the umpires. He advocated night World Series games in an effort to boost fan interest. Apollo Soul band 6:31AM 07/22/14
  • sigma said: Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. www.gbfuel.co.uk 3:50AM 07/22/14
  • godisagirl said: Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak,

    Coach Outlet Online

    who played Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in "The Patriot," died Saturday at her home in Houston,

    Coach Outlet

    her mother said Sunday. She was 21. "We lost our girl,"

    Coach Factory Outlet

    Helen McCole Bartusiak told CNN.While investigators have not determined a cause of death, Bartusiak had been suffering from epileptic seizures in recent days,

    Coach Outlet Online

    according to her mother."She was a kind and really beautiful girl,"

    Coach Factory Outlet

    her mother said.Bartusiak's most visible role was as the young daughter of Mel Gibson's Revolutionary War "Patriot" character in the 2000 movie.Her movie acting career began when she was just 6 in 1999 with a role in "The Cider House Rules."

    Coach Outlet Store Online

    She played the daughter of Michael Douglas' character in "Don't Say a Word" in 2001.Her last film role was the lead in "Sick Boy,"

    Coach Outlet Store Online

    a low-budget thriller released in 2012.Bartusiak had been preparing to produce and direct her first feature film in recent months,

    Coach Factory Outlet

    her mother said.Her boyfriend found Bartusiak sitting up in her bed in the garage apartment adjacent to her parents' Houston home, her mother said. "

    Coach Outlet

    We think she had a seizure and choked and nobody was there."Her mother said she started cardiopulmonary resuscitation on her daughter before paramedics arrived. "They were working on her for 45 minutes and could not get a heartbeat," she said.

    Coach Handbags Outlet

    "I've done CPR on that kid more than one time and it just didn't work this time," Bartusiak said.

    Coach Outlet

    She's suffered epileptic seizures since she was a baby, although they disappeared for a few years until returning last week, her mother said.

    Coach Outlet

    Bartusiak's mother spent Sunday morning looking through photos of her actress daughter for the funeral.

    Chanel Handbags

    The images include pictures with Presidents George W.

    Louis Vuitton

    and George H.W. Bush, Mel Gibson, Dennis Hopper and Michael Douglas, she said.

    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    "The girl has lived such an amazing life," she said. 11:56PM 07/20/14
  • sigma said: Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. hajj tours 11:29AM 07/17/14
  • sigma said: Other A's and manager Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. visit our site 11:25AM 07/15/14
  • sigma said: later acknowledged as his one big mistake. In a half-empty stadium, the A's were contenders during 1969 and 1970, then won five straight division titles in 1971-75 and World Championships in 1972-74. gold bullion bars 12:10PM 07/10/14
  • sigma said: The post is pretty interesting. I really never thought I could have a good read by this time until I found out this site. I am grateful for the information given.your writing is also very excellent. clash of clans hack 1:58PM 07/09/14
  • sigma said: Dick Williams rallied to Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. SEO Service Perth 3:00AM 07/09/14
  • sigma said: Andrews's defense. Kuhn forced Finley to reinstate the player. Williams resigned after winning the Series, and Finley replaced him with Alvin Dark. Timber Decking Sydney 12:35PM 07/07/14
  • albinamuro2 said: I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. http://www.besocial-blog.weebly.com 3:34AM 07/05/14
  • albinamuro2 said: I do agree with all the ideas you have presented on your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. air purifier reviews 3:27AM 07/05/14
  • albinamuro2 said: I just couldn't leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts. SEO NYC 3:12AM 07/05/14
  • sigma said: Interesting. I would agree that focusing on growth vs cost control during the early stages of a business is ideal, however, there will be a point when that shift Timber Pergola Sydney 5:43AM 07/02/14
  • sigma said: Interesting. I would agree that focusing on growth vs cost control during the early stages of a business is ideal, however, there will be a point when that shifts Colorbond Patio Sydney 12:46PM 06/19/14
  • albinamuro2 said: This is gonna be a informative post to those people who wants to know about this. Thank you for sharing this. It’s aware me about this. I’m gonna share this on to my friends. cheating 10:24AM 06/10/14
  • albinamuro2 said: Nice blog. You have collected so much information for your blog. I am really excited to see the next post. read this article 5:58AM 04/07/14
  • albinamuro2 said: Nice blog. You have collected so much information for your blog. I am really excited to see the next post. you can try this out 4:20AM 04/07/14
  • albinamuro2 said: Interesting. I would agree that focusing on growth vs cost control during the early stages of a business is ideal, however, there will be a point when that shifts. other 6:43AM 03/20/14
  • albinamuro2 said: I enjoyed reading your post and found it to be informative and to the topic. Thank you for not rambling on and on just to fill the page. New York SEO expert 6:00AM 03/17/14
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014: