On This Date: A’s Extend Winning Streak To 19
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 2002 Oakland Athletics, we are now on the doorstep of a historic milestone for this memorable team.
On September 2, 2002, future Most Valuable Player award winner Miguel Tejada sent the Coliseum into a frenzy as he delivered a bottom-of-the-ninth, walk-off single against the Kansas City Royals to hand Oakland its 19th-straight victory.
After trailing 5-0 in the fifth inning, it seemed as if the Athletics’ magic had finally run out.
However, Tejada and the rest of the A’s offense would not let this streak come to an end until that elusive 20th game was reached.
David Justice’s two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth got Oakland on the board. One inning later, Justice drove two more runs in during the bottom of the sixth to follow up Scott Hatteberg and Eric Chavez’s contributions (one RBI apiece) to give the A’s a 6-5 lead.
After Kansas City evened things up during the top of the eighth inning, the A’s were once again backed into a corner as they hoped to extend their winning-streak to an American League-tying record 19th triumph.
Terrence Long’s leadoff triple in the ninth put the A’s just 90 feet away from extending the streak with nobody out. The Royals intentionally walked the bases loaded to create a force-out at any base, but by doing so they put a bat in Tejada’s hands with one out.
What happened next? History.
Tejada ripped a single up the middle to score pinch-runner Greg Myers and hand Oakland its 19th-straight win, tying the 1947 New York Yankees and 1906 Chicago White Sox for the American League’s consecutive wins record.
‘That’s a great ball club,” then-Kansas City manager Tony Pena said following the game. ”They believe in themselves and what they can do. We were up 5-0, but they came back and showed what they were after.”
Next stop: win number 20.