#12: Bert Campaneris
Bert Campaneris got his start with the Kansas City Athletics in 1964, when he hit .257/.306/.375 in 67 games. His first All-Star season came after the team moved to Oakland in 1968, and he repeated the feat four more times with the A’s, as well as once more in Texas.
Campaneris led the league in stolen bases four times, from 1965 to 1968, and he led the league in hits in that 1968 season as well, with 177. The A’s scrappy shortstop was both speedy and smart on the basepaths, which helped to be in the top ten in WAR for position players four times during his career. In 13 years with the Athletics, swiped 566 total bases.
Much like Eric Chavez, who was mentioned earlier, Campaneris was best known for his defensive prowess. While he was ranked highly in Offensive WAR twice, he made the top ten in Defensive WAR nine times, and his career number of 20.8 is 44th all-time among players from any team.
Campaneris did not get elected to the Hall of Fame, falling off the ballot after just one try, but plenty of great players aren’t good enough to have that particular honor bestowed upon them. He might not be one of the best hitters in baseball history, but for the A’s, he was a key part of their lineup.
Next: Top 20 A's Hitters: #11