Orlando Cepeda (1972)
One could be forgiven if they forgot that Orlando Cepeda was a member of the Oakland A’s. To be fair, one could forgive Cepeda if he forgot he was part of the franchise as well.
Bringing in Cepeda put an end to the Oakland career of another forgotten member of the A’s, Denny McClain. Yes, Cepeda may have been reaching the end of his career, but McClain was not even close to the pitcher he was in Detroit. It was a way to get rid of a mistake, while theoretically adding more pop to the bench.
That never happened. Cepeda appeared in three total games as a pinch hitter, failing to record a hit in any of those appearances. He was then shut down due to his knee issues, sidelined after his last plate appearance on July 7 through the end of the year. Unsurprisingly, the A’s moved on from Cepeda following the season.
As it turned out, Cepeda still had something left. He would go on to be the first designated hitter in Red Sox history in 1973, hitting 25 doubles and 20 homers in 608 plate appearances. Being able to just focus on hitting, and getting away from defense, was the perfect move, at least for one year.
Orlando Cepeda still had something left in the tank when he was acquired by the Oakland A’s. It just did not work out in Oakland, as his injuries kept him from making a difference.