The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants square off in the latest iteration of the Bay Bridge Series. Each year the two teams square off six times, with each team hosting three of them. The interleague series dates back to 1997, although the A’s do hold the ultimate bragging rights thanks to their World Series sweep back in 1989.
Over the past 14 years of interleague play, Oakland leads the series 42-38. The series was split down the middle through 2004, before the A’s took four of six and five of six in 2005 and 2007. The Giants bounced back in 2009 taking five of six before the two teams split the series last year.
The A’s-Giants rivalry actually dates back well before the current Bay Bridge incarnation. Before moving to San Francisco and Oakland (and Kansas City as well for the A’s), the New York Giants and Philadelphia Athletics squared off in three World Series battles between 1905 and 1913 featuring some fairly amazing players.
In 1905, New York defeated Philadelphia in the second ever World Series, taking four out five games. Christy Mathewson dominated the series, winning three games and throwing complete game shutouts in all three victories. It is a feat that likely will never be matched again.
In 1911, Philadelphia defeated New York 4-2 in a series that developed the nickname for A’s slugger Frank “Home Run” Baker. In two pivotal moments, Baker hit a game-winning home run off Rube Marquard in Game 2 and a game-tying shot off Christy Mathewson in the ninth inning of Game 3.
In 1913, Philadelphia once again defeated New York, this time by a margin of four games to one. This series once again featured battles between Christy Mathewson, Chief Bender and Eddie Plank. The Giants had won their third straight National League pennant but were unable to convert any of those three into World Series titles.