Gene Tenace says he doesn’t need the money. Says he’s not selling his memorabilia to get over the financial hump. Nevertheless, he hooked up with an auction house to sell some of his most prized possessions.
SCP Auctions is proud to present the “Gene Tenace Collection” in its 2015 Spring Premier, which starts on Wednesday, April 8, and runs through Saturday, April 25. Boasting more than 50 lots covering many of Tenace’s career highlights, the collection includes game-used milestone baseballs, his 1972 full-size World Series trophy, four World Series rings (two each as a player and coach) and his coveted 1972 World Series MVP plaque.
Gene Tenace was a large part of the Oakland A’s three-year dynasty during the early 1970s. After playing a backup role at catcher during his first three seasons, he got a chance to start as the A’s backstop late in 1972. He took full advantage of the opportunity and excelled in both the A.L. playoffs and World Series. In the ALCS against Detroit, he drove in the clinching run in Oakland’s 2-1 victory in the decisive Game 5. Playing in the World Series, Tenace caught fire. Not only did he lead the A’s in home runs with four, but he drove in nine runs and batted .348 for the seven-game series as Oakland outlasted the N.L. Champion Cincinnati Reds, four games to three. The man who started the season as a backup ended it as the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.
Tenace’s career spanned 15 major league seasons (1969 to ’83). The ‘72 season ignited the A’s to their first of three consecutive World Series titles. He won one more World Series ring as a player with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982 when he helped them beat the Milwaukee Brewers in a tight, seven-game series.
Retiring after the ’83 season, Tenace hung up his spikes with some impressive credentials: 1,060 hits including 201 home runs and 674 runs batted in. He became a coach after retirement and spent time with the Houston Astros (1986-87) and later with the Toronto Blue Jays. During his coaching time north of the border, Tenace was part of the Blue Jays’ back-to-back World Series-winning teams in ‘92 and ’93 giving him a remarkable six rings in six World Series appearances.