Battling Legends: The Cincinnati Reds Vs. Oakland Athletics Rivalry

John Means

reds vs athletics

The Cincinnati Reds vs. Oakland Athletics rivalry, though not as widely celebrated as some other matchups, holds a special place in baseball history.

Dating back to their first encounter in 1969, these storied franchises have faced off in epic battles, producing iconic moments and showcasing legendary players.

From the Reds’ dominant “Big Red Machine” era to the A’s triumphant “Dynasty of the Seventies,” both teams have left a lasting impact on the sport.

With loyal and passionate fan bases cheering them on, the rivalry’s intensity and significance endure.

In this exploration, we delve into the history and captivating moments that define the Cincinnati Reds vs. Oakland Athletics rivalry.

History: Cincinnati Reds Vs Oakland Athletics

Franchise Establishment and Origins

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds are one of the oldest teams in Major League Baseball, founded in 1881. They have a deep-rooted history and are often referred to as the “first professional baseball team.” The Reds have been a member of the National League (NL) throughout their existence.

  • Oakland Athletics: The Athletics, commonly known as the A’s, were founded in 1901 as one of the eight charter members of the American League (AL). The team started in Philadelphia, then moved to Kansas City in 1955 before finally settling in Oakland in 1968.

World Series

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have won a total of five World Series titles, with championships in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, and 1990. The two titles in the 1970s were achieved during the era of “The Big Red Machine.”

  • Oakland Athletics: The A’s have a total of nine World Series titles, with championships in 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, 1930, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1989. The A’s three consecutive titles in the 1970s earned them the moniker “Dynasty of the Seventies.”

Notable Achievements and Records

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have produced many individual achievements and records. Pete Rose holds the MLB record for the most career hits, and Johnny Bench is considered one of the greatest catchers in baseball history.

  • Oakland Athletics: The A’s have had remarkable individual achievements, particularly in the 1970s. Reggie Jackson’s three home runs in a single World Series game and Rickey Henderson’s all-time stolen base record are some of the most notable records.


  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds played at the iconic Crosley Field until 1970 and then moved to Riverfront Stadium until 2002. Since 2003, they have been playing at the Great American Ball Park.

  • Oakland Athletics: The A’s have called several stadiums home, including Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium (Philadelphia), Municipal Stadium (Kansas City), and the Oakland Coliseum (since 1968).

Fanbase: Cincinnati Reds Vs Oakland Athletics

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds boast one of MLB’s most loyal and passionate fan bases. Rooted in the team’s 1881 founding, they are known as the “Reds Family,” taking immense pride in the franchise’s rich tradition.

Fans remain steadfast in their support, regardless of on-field performance. At “The Great American Ball Park,” they revel in a family-friendly atmosphere with scenic Ohio River views.

Fondly remembering “The Big Red Machine” era, where iconic players brought home two World Series titles, further solidifies their deep connection to the team’s illustrious history.

Through highs and lows, the Reds fanbase remains a testament to unwavering devotion and enduring love for baseball.

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics boast a resilient and dedicated fan base that stands by the team through thick and thin. Known as the “Green and Gold,” fans proudly wear the team’s colors, showcasing their unwavering loyalty at games.

The iconic “Oakland Coliseum” has witnessed countless memorable moments, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere for supporters.

The cherished “Bash Brothers” era, led by sluggers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, holds a special place in fans’ hearts, captivating them with powerful hitting.

Despite changes in cities and stadiums, the Athletics fanbase remains a testament to enduring passion and unwavering commitment to their beloved team.

Iconic Moments: Cincinnati Reds Vs Oakland Athletics Rivalry

The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics has produced some memorable and iconic moments over the years. While they may not have the same level of historical spotlight as some other rivalries, their clashes have certainly left a lasting impact on baseball history.

Here are some iconic moments from their rivalry

1972 World Series

The Reds and the Athletics faced off in the 1972 World Series, which turned out to be a dramatic and memorable showdown.

The series went to seven games, and the Athletics emerged victorious, claiming their first of three consecutive World Series titles.

The competitiveness and high-stakes nature of this series added to the rivalry’s significance.

Bench-clearing Brawl (1972)

During a regular-season game in 1972, tensions boiled over between the Reds and the Athletics. An argument between Pete Rose and A’s manager Billy Martin escalated into a bench-clearing brawl.

The incident intensified the rivalry between the two teams and captured the attention of baseball fans.

Mcgwire’s 500th Home Run (1999)

Mark McGwire, who played for the Athletics early in his career, achieved his 500th career home run while playing against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, on August 5, 1999.

It was a special moment that showcased the power of one of baseball’s most prolific home run hitters.

The 1976 All-star Game

The 1976 MLB All-Star Game was a significant moment for the rivalry as it took place at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both the Reds and the Athletics had several representatives in the All-Star Game, highlighting the talent and competitiveness of both teams.

The “Rickey Steal” (1982)

In a game between the Reds and the Athletics in 1982, Rickey Henderson, one of the greatest base stealers in baseball history, stole his 100th base of the season.

This moment solidified Henderson’s reputation as a dominant force on the basepaths and added to the excitement of the rivalry.

Recent Performance: Cincinnati Reds Vs Oakland Athletics

Game 1 (Mar 30, 2022): Athletics 5-4 Reds

  • This game was a close contest that saw the Athletics rallying in the seventh and ninth innings to secure a narrow 5-4 victory.

  • Key Players: Nick Senzel (Reds) hit a home run and had 2 runs and 1 RBI. Brent Rooker (Athletics) contributed with 2 runs and 2 RBIs, including a home run.

Game 2 (Apr 28, 2023): Reds 11-7 Athletics

  • This high-scoring game saw the Reds dominating from the start, scoring early runs and maintaining their lead throughout.

  • Key Players: Tyler Stephenson (Reds) was outstanding, hitting a grand slam and accumulating 4 RBIs.
    Stuart Fairchild (Reds) scored 2 runs and had 2 hits with 1 RBI. Shea Langeliers (Athletics) hit a home run and had 1 RBI.

Cincinnati Reds Vs Oakland Athletics Rivalry

1972Oct 14Riverfront StadiumOakland3-2 (Game 7)
1982Aug 27Oakland ColiseumCincinnati3-2
1990Jun 12Riverfront StadiumCincinnati6-3
1994Aug 15Oakland ColiseumOakland6-2
2000Jun 5Riverfront StadiumOakland6-4
2004Jun 26Oakland ColiseumOakland5-0
2010Jun 10Great American Ball ParkOakland5-4
2013Jul ColiseumCincinnati3-0
2018Jun 10Great American Ball ParkCincinnati6-0
2021Aug 28Oakland ColiseumCincinnati8-2


When did the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics first face off in a game?

The first game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics took place in 1969 when the A’s were based in Oakland.

How many World Series titles have the Reds and the Athletics won combined?

The Cincinnati Reds have won a total of 5 World Series titles, while the Oakland Athletics have won 9, resulting in a combined 14 championships.

Who are some legendary players that have represented both teams in their careers?

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan played for both the Reds and the Athletics during his illustrious career. Another notable player is Reggie Jackson, who had stints with both teams as well.

What is the most famous era in the rivalry’s history?

The most famous era in the rivalry’s history is the 1970s when the Reds’ “Big Red Machine” and the Athletics’ “Dynasty of the Seventies” clashed, including their memorable 1972 World Series matchup.

How often do the Reds and the Athletics face each other in regular-season games?

As members of different leagues (NL and AL), the Reds and the Athletics typically face each other in interleague play, which occurs during specific periods of the MLB regular season. The frequency of their matchups varies each year.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics may not receive the same widespread attention as some other MLB rivalries, but it is steeped in history and iconic moments.

From the dominance of “The Big Red Machine” and the A’s “Dynasty of the Seventies” to memorable World Series clashes, both teams have left a lasting impact on baseball history.

The loyal and passionate fan bases of the Reds and the Athletics add to the excitement and intensity of their matchups.

As the teams continue to compete, their unique histories, legendary players, and iconic moments keep the rivalry alive and captivating for fans, making it a cherished part of the sport’s heritage.

Photo of author

John Means

John Means is a professional baseball player who has played in the major leagues for the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics. He made his major league debut with the Royals in 2009. He was traded to the Athletics in 2012. Baseball is his favorite sport. His passion about the game is evident in his play. Now he write blogs about baseball and other things whenever he has some free time. LinkedIn