April 11, 2011
The Athletics were one of the charter members of the upstart American League in 1901, and immediately went about stripping the Phillies roster of it’s talent. The A’s grabbed future Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie, who led the new league in batting in 1901 with an incredible .426 average (still the AL record). Whereas the Phillies had struggled mightily in their first 25 years of existence, the A’s were dominant almost immediately. They won the pennant in 1902, and went to the Series in 1905, where they lost to the New York Giants 4 games to 1. The Giants were managed by John McGraw, who a year earlier had given the A’s a symbol they still use today, over 100 years later. McGraw told reporter in 1904 that Athletics owner Benjamin Shibe had a “white elephant” on his hands, and the A’s defiantly adopted the Elephant as their logo. The Athletics have long since moved away, but A’s players still wear an elephant on the sleeves of their jerseys, and their mascot is an elephant named Stomper.