Joseph Oden Rudi
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.
Joe Rudi played sixteen years in the major leagues and was a key part of the Oakland Athletics teams that continually won their division in the early 1970's (and won the World Series in 1972-74). Rudi finished # 2 in the All Star voting in both 1972 and in 1974, and won three Gold Gloves in 1974-76.
Rudi was signed as a free agent in 1964 and came to the majors with the Kansas City Athletics in 1967. He stayed with the A's for ten years, becoming a regular in 1971. His best season with the bat was probably 1972, when he hit .305 with 19 home runs (in a year when the American League as a whole hit only .239 and slugged .343). He led the league in hits and triples. In 1974, another good year for Rudi, he led the league in doubles, total bases, and extra base hits.
On June 15, 1976, with the Boston Red Sox in Oakland to play the A's, Rudi and Rollie Fingers were sold to the Red Sox for $1 million dollars each. On June 18, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the sale, citing the "best interests of baseball".
He became a free agent after the 1976 season and signed with the California Angels. He helped the Angels win the division in 1979, although his batting average went down each year from 1974 to 1981. He finished out his career playing for the 1981 Red Sox and the 1982 Athletics.
- As of 2002, he was a real estate agent in Oregon.
- Homered 13 times off of these Hall of Famers: Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry and Nolan Ryan.
- 3-time AL All-Star (1972, 1974 & 1975)
- 3-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1974-1976)
- AL Hits Leader (1972)
- AL Total Bases Leader (1974)
- AL Doubles Leader (1974)
- AL Triples Leader (1972)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1974 & 1975)
- Won three World Series with the Oakland Athletics (1972, 1973 & 1974)
- Rory Costello: "Joe Rudi", in Chip Greene, ed.: Mustaches and Mayhem, Charlie O's Three-Time Champions: The Oakland Athletics 1972-74, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 97-103. ISBN 978-1-943816-07-1