Rollie Fingers joined the Oakland Athletics in 1968, making a single appearance and giving up four runs in an inning and a third, something he would rarely do ever again. He would spend the next two years honing his skills as a reliever, although he did make 35 starts between 1969 and 1971. It was during the 1971 campaign that he posted his first sub 3.00 ERA, something he would do for the next seven seasons in a row. It was also around this time that his status as a reliever would be cemented, with Fingers only making two more starts his entire career. He would lead the league in Saves three times and win three World Series with the A’s. He had an incredible 1981 season, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to the postseason and winning both the Cy Young and MVP, a feat that has only been accomplished 7 other times.
Fingers didn’t grow his trademark mustache until 1972. Oakland owner Charles O. Finley had offered a $300 bonus to the player who could grow the most creative facial hair. Fingers won, with a handlebar ‘stache he styled after the ballplayers of the 19th century.
July 22, 2011