Beane, who grew up in the San Diego area, was a first-round choice by the New York Mets in the MLB amateur draft, and played parts of six seasons in the major leagues, with the Mets, the Minnesota Twins, the Detroit Tigers and the A's, from 1984 to 1989. He was on the bench for two World Series wins--with the Twins in 1987 and the A's in 1989.
He then moved into the A's front office, becoming an advance scout, and eventually an assistant to then-A's GM Sandy Alderson. In 1997, Alderson stepped down as GM and Beane replaced him. Since then, Beane has crafted the A's into one of the most successful regular-season teams in baseball, primarily through the shrewd application of sabermetric principles. Despite this, the A's have been repeatedly thwarted in their bid to win in the playoffs.
In 2003, Beane, his team and his approach to running the organization were the subject of the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis.