#19: Elmer Valo
Elmer Valo is another player who is often overlooked when thinking about offensive stars. However, his 1955 season is one of the best in A’s history, and his .403 lifetime on-base percentage is ranked eighth among Athletics’ players. His walk total is also fifth all-time in franchise history.
Valo started his career in 1940, and stayed with the Athletics through their first two seasons in Kansas City. In 1956, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies after 15 seasons as an A’s star. He had brief stays in a variety of other places – Minnesota and Cleveland, as well as with the Dodgers, Yankees and Senators – but never spent more than two years with any other team.
During his Athletics career, he hit 1229 hits, 47 home runs, and 196 doubles. What was truly impressive, however, were the 820 walks. When all was said and done, Valo finished his time with the A’s with a .285/.403/.395 line.
His patience at the plate more than made up for his lack of power, and he did steal 103 bases to add a speed element to his game. Valo might not have blown the cover off of the ball like many other names on this list, but he was a very reliable player to have at the plate when the team needed a base runner.
Next: Top 20 A's Hitters: #18