Rickey said this about being traded from the Yankees to the A’s on June 22: “It was in my best interest to approve the deal. Oakland was the only place I would accept a trade. My wife wanted to be in Oakland, but I wanted to stay in New York.
”I felt it was time. There were rumors that I’d be traded, and then they came to me and asked if I would take a trade. Oakland was the only place I knew I’d like to go.
“I knew that if we didn’t come to an agreement by the All-Star break I’d be a free agent anyway, and we had the opportunity to do it now, so I decided to go back home.”
A’s General Manager Sandy Alderson: “We expect great things from him, both for the rest of the season and in the future. He’s extremely excited. We did not make the trade with the short term in mind. We have somebody who is enthusiastic about coming back to Oakland.
He agreed to come to the A’s without agreeing to anything, without talking to me, without talking to Tony (La Russa), without talking to anyone.”
La Russa: “The reaction I’m getting from the clubhouse is that he is a force that is going to help us win ballgames.”
Rickey had been in a slump with the Yankees. He said: “It’s just a matter of time before I started to hit better. I’ve been hitting the ball hard, but right at people. I got off to a slow start but I knew it would get better.”
Yankee Manager Dallas Green: “I hated to give up Rickey. He played very hard and busted his tail. But this trade was for the betterment of the Yankees. We desperately needed pitching. It’s been our Achilles heel.”
Dave Righetti, the San Jose native and Yankees pitcher: “Before he got here, we were a good team. When he got here in ’85, we became a damn good team right away. He had that try-to-get-me-out arrogance. Our whole lineup was like that last year. I hope he doesn’t come back and beat us. But you know he will someday.”
The Yankees were actually trying to trade Rickey to the Giants, but Syd Thrift, their senior vice president, said Henderson didn’t approve the deal. Thrift: “I met with Rickey last week, and it was obvious then that he was interested in going to only one other team. I had put it out of my mind that he would go anywhere. Then Monday morning, they called.”
Here’s the front page of the S.F. Chronicle on June 23, ‘89, with a picture of Rickey saying goodbye to ex-Yankees teammate Mike Pagliarulo.
You can also read Mike’s thoughts on Rickey, the trade, the A’s, and the Giants. And here’s the S.F. Chronicle Sporting Green front page announcing the trade for Rickey.