The Oakland A's have qualified for their third consecutive World Series, prompting discussion about how they compare to other outstanding teams in baseball history. We'd like to limit that debate to the best teams of the past two decades and have come up with five candidates. The lineup:
1. The Baltimore Orioles of 1969, '70 and '71, led by Frank and Brooks Robinson.
2. The Oakland A's of 1972, '73, '74, led by Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers.
3. The Cincinnati Reds of 1975, '76, led by Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan.
4. The New York Yankees of 1976, '77, '78, led by Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson.
5. The Oakland A's of 1988, '89, '90, led by Dave Stewart and Jose Canseco.
Each of those clubs, with the exception of the Reds, made three World Series appearances in a row, and the Big Red Machine of '75-'76 won back-to-back championships.