A short history of the Milwaukee White Sox

The Boston Braves’ move to Milwaukee made history in 1953 as the first franchise shift in major league baseball in more than half a century. When the Braves moved on to Atlanta in 1966, they again made history. The franchise shifts of the previous decade all involved multi-team cities. During the 1950s, when the Braves, Browns, A’s, Dodgers and Giants packed up and moved, Boston, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and New York were left with one franchise. When the Braves left Milwaukee, they left a void.

The city of Milwaukee had been left behind once before. The first major league franchise shift in the 20th century involved a 1902 move of the Brewers to St. Louis, where they became the Browns. That Brewers team played in Milwaukee only one year, the inaugural season for the American League. After a 48-89 season witnessed by a mere 139,034 home fans, the franchise shift was not exactly headline news. Anyway, a minor-league version of the Brewers carried on in the American Association from 1902-1952.

In 1965 Milwaukee was again devoid of major league ball, but this time it wasn’t like 1902. During their 13-year tenure (1953-1965) in Milwaukee, the Braves might have been the ultimate riches to rags story in major league history. The Braves led the NL in attendance from 1953, their inaugural season, through 1958, when they won their second consecutive pennant but failed to retain their World Series title. Their attendance mark of 1,826,397 in their first year enabled them to set a NL attendance record—which they proceeded to break the next year.

Considering the 281,278 the Braves had drawn in Boston the year before, there was no doubt that the franchise shift was warranted. Since the move was not announced till March 18, while the Braves were still training in Sarasota, Milwaukee did not have long to get ready for major league ball. Milwaukee County Stadium, the first baseball park built with public money, was intended for the minor league Milwaukee Brewers, the Braves’ former Triple-A affiliate, who were hastily transferred to Toledo.

From 1954-1957, the Braves drew more than two million fans per season—heady numbers in those days and still pretty good in some markets today. In 1959, they lost a three-game playoff to the Dodgers to decide the NL pennant. The Dodgers, thanks to cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum, were able to out-draw the Braves in the pennant fever sweepstakes that season. The Braves were still a force to be reckoned with, but they had already peaked, though at the time no one would have guessed that.

Though they never had a losing season in Milwaukee, the 1960s Braves were no match for the 1950s version. The County Stadium faithful had been spoiled. A mere winning record was not enough. Attendance declined to disastrous levels. The Braves sank to ninth in the league in 1962 with 766, 921.

But that wasn’t the worst that happened to the Braves. The sale of the team to a syndicate headed by Bill Bartholomay nudged the team away from Milwaukee. Bartholomay had his sights set on Atlanta and the fans were making it easy for him. In 1963 the Braves again finished ninth in attendance with 793,018. There was an uptick in 1964 to sixth place (910,911), but by then it was too late to make a difference.

After the 1964 season, the rumored move to Atlanta was confirmed. When the team’s $500,000 buyout offer to Milwaukee County was refused, the Braves were compelled to remain in Milwaukee for a lame duck season. Understandably, it was their worst year at the gate, as they drew just 555,584, last in the league. The last home game was an 11-inning, 7-6 loss to the Dodgers on Sept. 22. The prospect of seeing Sandy Koufax in his prime on the mound would normally fill up a ballpark. The best Milwaukee fans could do was 12,577.

The franchise shift was especially hard on one minority owner, a car dealer by the name of Bud Selig. A longtime fan of the minor league Brewers, he was a frequent visitor to old Borchert Field, where the locals had witnessed baseball since 1888. He had also followed the White Sox and Cubs via radio. The arrival of the Braves when he was 18 years old had been a dream come true. Their departure (when he was 31) was his worst nightmare. But if Milwaukee had once been a great baseball town, it could be again. Of course, to prove it, the city needed another team.

When it first appeared that the Braves were Atlanta-bound, Selig started recruiting local movers and shakers (such as the CEO of Schlitz and a local federal judge) and organized the opposition. He kept his organization intact after the Braves’ move was a done deal. On July 30, 1965, with two months left in Milwaukee Braves history, he named his group Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, Inc. Whether he was paying tribute to the minor league team of his youth or indulging in prophecy is open to debate. But Selig’s group needed to work fast because in 1967, both major leagues voted to expand.

On July 24, 1967, Selig’s group staged a Monday night exhibition game between the first-place (53-40) White Sox and the Twins. More than 51,000 fans turned out. Since County Stadium held 43,768 in those days, that was an achievement—especially for a game that didn’t count. It’s fair to say that most of the fans were local, as the White Sox and Twins fans had ample opportunities to see their own clubs play. Why would they bother to drive to Milwaukee to see an exhibition game?

The Twins were on the road between Anaheim and New York and had agreed to break up the trip with this exhibition game. The White Sox had just played a double-header against the A’s in Kansas City and probably would have liked to have an off day before returning to Chicago to take on the Indians. How Selig prevailed on the two teams to spend an off day in Milwaukee we’ll never know. But the turnout certainly justified the trip.

Selig also managed to persuade the White Sox to stage nine “home” games—not exhibition games—in Milwaukee in 1968. The White Sox were coming off a competitive year in 1967, having finished just three games behind the Red Sox in a four-team showdown that went into the final season of the weekend. The attendance, however, was 985,634, not exactly overwhelming for a pennant contender, so White Sox President Arthur Allyn agreed to the Selig plan.

Savvy baseball fans in Chicago might have remembered that the Dodgers had played “home” games in Jersey City in 1956 and 1957 right before they vacated Brooklyn. To the hard-core White Sox fan, the Milwaukee games must have been a worrisome development.

Also, during the late 1960s the Cubs were emerging from the doldrums and were getting more attention in the Chicago sports pages. In 1967, they drew 977,226, not too far behind the White Sox. In 1968 they surpassed the million mark (by just 43,409) for the first time since 1952. The trend continued in subsequent years. The Friendly Confines got more and more crowded; White Sox Park, “the Baseball Palace of the World” when it opened in 1910, now offered an overabundance of seats at popular prices.

The Milwaukee games served as a reminder to MLB that County Stadium was only 15 years old and ready and waiting for an expansion team. One can imagine Selig’s heartbreak on May 27, 1968, when the National League announced that Montreal and San Diego would join the league the following season. In the American League, Kansas City was pretty much a given since Charlie Finley’s move to Oakland had raised political hackles in Missouri. The other American League franchise was awarded to Seattle, but Selig would never have guessed then the key role the fledgling Pilots would play in his quest to land a team.

The 1968 plan was for each American League team to play the White Sox one time in Milwaukee. All games were weeknight affairs and were either the first or last game of a series. The extra travel and hotel arrangements were a headache to American League traveling secretaries, and one can imagine the players grumbling about the side trip to Milwaukee. Nowadays, given the power of the players’ association, it would surely be more difficult to set up such an arrangement.

The nine White Sox “home” games in Milwaukee in 1968 were:

Wednesday, May 15	Angels 4 - White Sox 2			        23,510  
Tuesday, May 29		Orioles 3 - White Sox 2 			18,748
Monday, June 17		White Sox 2 - Indians 1				28,081
Monday, June 24		Twins 1 - White Sox 0 (5 inning game)	        25,267
Thursday, July 11	Yankees 5 - White Sox 4				40,575
Monday, July 22		Athletics 4 - White Sox 0			30,818
Friday, Aug. 2	        Senators 11 - White Sox 6			20,622
Thursday, Aug. 8	Red Sox 1 - White Sox 0				33,872
Monday, Aug. 21	        Tigers 3 - White Sox 0			        42,808

Obviously, the results on the field for the White Sox were dismal. Not only did they go 1-8, they were shut out four times. In these nine games, they scored a grand total of 15 runs. Granted, 1968 was the Year of the Pitcher, but I doubt the White Sox were facing aces every time out.

The attendance, however, was another story. The grand total of 264,478 works out to an average of 29,366 per game. By contrast, for their “real” home games, the White Sox drew 539,478 at White Sox Park in 58 openings. You can tell at a glance that the Sox average wasn’t much more than 9,000 per opening.

For a team that would finish the season in ninth place at 67-95, while playing most of its home games at an aging South Side ballpark, such attendance was understandable. Almost one third of the White Sox home attendance occurred in Milwaukee, so Arthur Allyn probably didn’t need Selig to twist his arm too hard to bring the Sox back to Milwaukee for an encore in 1969.

The setup was the same: each American League team (thanks to expansion, there were now 11 visitors) would play one weekday game in Milwaukee. The games were:

Wednesday, April 23	White Sox 7 - Angels 1		 8,565 
Thursday, May 22	White Sox 7 - Tigers 3		15,948
Wednesday, May 28	White Sox 7 - Yankees 6		16,749
Wednesday, June 11	White Sox 4 - Indians 3		15,715
Monday, June 16	        White Sox 8 - Pilots 3		13,133
Wednesday, July 2	Twins 4 - White Sox 2		23,525
Monday, July 7		White Sox 2 - Athletics 0	26,659
Wednesday, Aug. 6	Senators 4 - White Sox 3	25,520
Wednesday, Aug. 13	White Sox 5 - Red Sox 3		24,708
Monday, Sept. 1	        Orioles 8 - White Sox 0		18,102
Friday, Sept. 26	Royals 5 - White Sox 3		 9,587

For whatever reason, the White Sox actually played (7-4) as though they had a home field advantage in Milwaukee. And why not? Given the depressing environment at White Sox Park, perhaps they began to enjoy the occasional jaunt to Milwaukee.

Overall, the Sox’ record in 1969 was about the same as the year before. The difference was that this was the first year of divisional play in the American League, so the Sox finished fifth in a field of six (the Seattle Pilots finished last) in the American League West.

Attendance was down in both Milwaukee and Chicago, but the percentage of fans attending games in Milwaukee was even greater than the year before. Of the 589,546 fans who attended White Sox games in 1969, 391,335 did so at White Sox Park (average 6,673), while 198,211 attended games at Milwaukee (18,019 average). So the average attendance at Milwaukee was almost three times the average attendance at White Sox Park.

Having been stiffed by the major leagues during expansion, acquiring the White Sox became Selig’s Plan B. I doubt Selig relished the idea of raiding the Windy City of an heirloom franchise, but what other choice did he have? At least Chicago would still have the Cubs, whose fortunes seemed to be on the rise.

So Selig arranged for his group to buy the Sox. Unfortunately, the American League owners did not want to abandon the enormous Chicago market, so the deal was killed. Arthur Allyn sold the team to his brother John, who was opposed to moving the team out of Chicago.

If Selig had packed it in after so many years of frustration, no one would have blamed him. Then came deliverance right out of left field… or from the left coast, to be more exact.

The Seattle Pilots were in deep financial trouble after just one year of play. During spring training 1970, the courts were hashing out the team’s fate. The clincher came when the team filed for bankruptcy in federal court, thus rendering moot a lot of local maneuvering. Selig’s offer to buy the team and move it to Milwaukee was obviously in the best interests of the debtors.

On March 31, 1970 at 10:15 p.m., Selig got the phone call he’d been waiting for. The bankruptcy judge had approved of his purchase of the Pilots. The team equipment truck had left Arizona and gone only as far north as Utah. Now the driver knew to go east rather than west. Selig had one week to get ready for Opening Day in Milwaukee. In 1953, the Braves, lucky stiffs, had all of four weeks to get ready!

So from that point on, the possibility of the Chicago White Sox moving to Milwaukee shrank to zero. Had the team moved, it would have been interesting to see if it would have remained the White Sox or would have been changed to Brewers, as happened to the Pilots in 1970. The name “Pilots” was a good one for Seattle, as it incorporated the area’s links to aviation and seafaring. In fact, the team logo combined a pair of wings and a ship’s helm. Pilots wouldn’t have been totally inappropriate for Milwaukee, perched on the banks of Lake Michigan, but a more appropriate option was at hand. Brewers was as apt in 1970 as it was in 1901 and as it is today.

In a sense, the city of Milwaukee had come full circle. In 1902, after one year of operations, Milwaukee lost the Brewers to St. Louis; 68 years later, after one year of operations, Seattle lost the Pilots to Milwaukee.

Given the 1969 end-of-season rosters of the White Sox and the Pilots (they were, of course, the team Jim Bouton wrote about in Ball Four), it wouldn’t have made much difference, talent-wise, which team went to Milwaukee. The White Sox were fifth in the American League West at 68-94, and the Pilots were right behind them at 64-98.

In the short term, the difference in attendance at County Stadium and White Sox Park continued. With only a week to get ready, the Brewers still managed to pull in 37,237 for a Tuesday afternoon Opening Day on April 7, 1970. On the same day, the White Sox drew 11,473 for their opener against the Twins. That’s pitiful for Opening Day, but it looked positively robust compared to the crowd of 1,036 who witnessed the Brewers’ first game at White Sox Park a few days later.

For the 1970 season, the Sox drew a mere 495,355, their lowest total since 1942. The Brewers, meanwhile, drew 933,690 for the season. The Brewers tied with Kansas City for fourth place in the American League West with a 65-97 record. The White Sox were mired in the cellar with a 56-106 record.

As it turned out, that June 16, 1969 game between the Pilots and White Sox in Milwaukee provided a preview of Milwaukee’s home team the following season. With all signs indicating the White Sox would be heading north, it must have been quite a surprise to find deliverance via the Pilots flying east.

Now, 43 years after the return of baseball to Milwaukee, the White Sox and Brewers have both come a long way. The same is true of Bud Selig. Whatever criticism you might make about his actions as commissioner—and I’ve always thought it unseemly for an owner to occupy the commissioner’s office—it’s hard to find fault with his efforts on behalf of Milwaukee. I suspect baseball fans in Wisconsin would have been just as happy with the Milwaukee White Sox as they were with the way things eventually worked out.

So if you go to a Brewers game at Miller Park and see a statute of Selig, rest assured he deserves it. Same goes for his induction into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. And now that I think about it, Cooperstown is a strong possibility.

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Comments

  1. Jim G. said...

    Great article, Frank. It’s great to see some Milwaukee history covered.

    One clarification – County Stadium was built with the hopes of attracting a major league team, but the minor league Brewers were certainly slated to play there until that dream was realized.

    I would guess there’s no way that that exhibition game in ‘67 could happen today. The player’s union would never allow it.

    There are Brewer uniforms from that inaugural game in ‘70 on display at Miller Park. It’s funny to see the Brewers logo and lettering hastily stitched over what were obviously Pilot uniforms.

  2. KJOK said...

    Great article as always.
    One nitpik – on “Milwaukee County Stadium, the first baseball park built with public money,..”

    that’s certainly not true.  Tons of parks were built with WPA money, and I think some professional parks going back to the 1910’s were publicly financed stadiums.  It wasn’t even the first park built with public money to eventually be used by an MLB team, as WPA financed Roosevelt Stadium was built in 1937 and eventually used by the Dodgers.

  3. Philip said...

    According to the Atlanta Braves:

    ‘‘County Stadium was the first Major League ballpark built with lights and the first to be completely financed by public funds.’‘

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/ballpark/history.jsp

    Yet, as KJOK said, other parks were built with public funds, such as Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.

    http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/past/ClevelandMunicipal.htm

    Perhaps, it’s as the Braves said: ‘‘completely financed’’ that way?

    Hopefully, some of the stadium history gurus on Hardball Times can enlighten us.

  4. Matt Mitchell said...

    Glad to see this article up on HBT after what was a very interesting SABR Day presentation in Kenosha on the subject.

  5. Frank Jackson said...

    Re the public funds issue…my source didn’t clarify (and I should have), but I think what they meant to say was that Milwaukee County Stadium was the first publicly-funded major league baseball-only park.  Cleveland was certainly publicly funded, but it was done with the hope of attracting the 1932 Olympics.  I’m sure there were plenty of publicy-funded minor league parks, but the WPA projects, so far as I know,never ventured into the big leagues.  In fact, if I remember correctly, Cleveland was the only new major league venue to open during the FDR administration.

  6. Jim said...

    I know Bud is over-powerful, but there’s a statute named after him?  Is it the anti-good baseball statute?

    Or did you mean statue?

    Nice story anyway, even if you did mention Jim Bouton.

  7. Jason said...

    This is a fascinating article. I grew up as a Brewers fan in the ‘80s and have read a reasonable amount about baseball history, but I didn’t realize how many home games the White Sox played at County Stadium before 1970.

    This gives rise to a possible stumper of a trivia question (though I suppose the phrasing could reveal it as a trick question): “On what date was the first regular-season major league baseball game played by the Pilots/Brewers franchise at Milwaukee County Stadium?”

    Irrationally, I miss that place. It was pretty bare-bones but it was where I learned to love baseball.

    I do also think Bud is somewhat unfairly maligned. He was of course instrumental in returning baseball to Milwaukee (a great baseball town) and the fact is that he has presided over a period of great growth for baseball. I think he’s done as Commissioner what he thinks is right for the game. Even if he’s made some blunders, history will probably look kindly on him. I think he redeems himself ultimately in his effort to get rid of PEDs (as flawed and late as it’s been).

  8. Philip said...

    Nice research on the depressing state of attendance in Chicago.

    I agree with the comment about Selig.

    It’s too bad the Braves hadn’t stayed in Milwaukee. Kansas City Athletics owners Charlie O. Finley was eyeing Atlanta perhaps more so than Oakland and maybe if the Braves move hadn’t closed that door, that might have been where the A’s wound up.

    In that case, ending into the eventual expansion year of 1968, the National League would have looked like:

    Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco

    The A.L.:
    Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, California, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, New York, Washington

    As Frank noted, the loss of the Athletics had created a political firestorm in Missouri.

    U.S. Senator Stuart Symington (D-MO) threatened to move legislation to revoke baseball;s antitrust exemption. Formerly the first Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Symington went so over the top in his lambasting of Finley that he called Oakland “the luckiest city since Hiroshima.”

    So the Kansas City Royals would still have been born. But without a team in Oakland the American League might have swapped Seattle, which the N.L. had favored as a site for expansion, for San Diego, so the Angels could have a closer rival.

    As the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals were sure to mount the (same) fight to be in the N.L. East, the divisions likely would have look like this:

    N.L. East
    Chicago, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis

    N.L. West
    Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Seattle

    A.L. East
    Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, New York, Washington

    A.L. West
    California, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, San Diego

    (When the Senators move to Texas in 1972, they’d flip divisions with Detroit – instead of the Milwaukee Brewers)

    Of course because of the lawsuit Seattle later filed for losing the Pilots, that led to A.L. expansion in 1977 with the Mariners.

    If the N.L. Seattle Pilots fared better than their A.L. counterparts, perhaps there is no 1977 expansion at all. Or maybe the Pilots still fail there and fly off to Toronto?

    The Giants would have the Bay Area to themselves and might have been more competitive as a result in the 1970s.

  9. scott said...

    Wow.  I knew about the White Sox’ home games in 68 and 69 but never knew about the 67 exhibition game, which obviously factored into the Sox’ decision to play games there.  51,000 fans for an exhibition game not involving a local team!  Holy Cow! (Was Harry Caray with the Sox back then?)

  10. TR said...

    Great article, glad the White Sox have stayed and stabilized in Chicago, I remember there was a threat of the White Sox moving to Tampa Bay in the late 1980’s about that time the San Francisco Giants where talking to New Jersey about coming back east. Speaking of moving franchise I have always wondered what would have happened if only one of the NY franchises had left in ‘58? Would the fans of their hated rivals switch alligance? Perhaps the Baseball exec’s knew that both had leave and NY would be granted a new NL franchise.

  11. Jim said...

    There was also talk of the Giants coming to Denver, also.

    I believe that Walter O’malley needed a playmate in California and convinced Horace Stoneham to accompany him.  There wasn’t much movement about putting another team in New York until Branch Rickey came up with the Continental League.

  12. Dave Cornutt said...

    I agree that whatever Selig’s sins as commissioner may be, there’s never been any doubt about his dedication to baseball in Milwaukee.

    One curio about the Braves is that, of all of the ML franchises that have located, the Braves are one of the few that counts records from its previous incarnations among its official team records.  So, making it into the Braves’ record book is a pretty good accmoplishment.  Consider then that the Milwaukee Braves’ 1957 attendance of 2,215,404 stood as the franchise record for 35 years, until the Atlanta Braves of 1992 finally broke it.

  13. Dave Cornutt said...

    @Jim: One of the Continental League’s proposed franchises was to have been in Atlanta.  One wonders what would have happened with the Braves if that had occurred.

  14. Jim said...

    Dave, that is pretty amazing that the Braves include the total franchise in their records.  I was a Brooklyn fan growing up and one day in the late 1990’s got a hold of a LA Dodgers media guide and when I went to look at the records to see if any of the old guys I followed had any records left, I was really disappointed to find they didn’t even recognize them.  Since I don’t and didn’t like the Dodgers at all, it was not hard for me to put another red mark by their organizaion.

    Also, wouldn’t it be interesting if the Continental League had started and prospered.  How would we wild-card that in as all the cities now are in the Majors and some say because of the threat of the Continental League.

  15. james jelak said...

    Wonderful writing Frank.
    I attended three of those Milwaukee games (2 in ‘68, 1 in ‘69) as a young boy.
    I grew up listening to my Mom and Dad talk about Henry Aaron and Warren Spahn and the other great Braves. With no team to call my own, I simply loved seeing MLB games in person.
    The Sox ended up being a great rival for my Brewers, but I’ve never forgotten those special White Sox games in Milwaukee.

  16. Philip said...

    TR: ‘‘Speaking of moving franchise I have always wondered what would have happened if only one of the NY franchises had left in ‘58? Would the fans of their hated rivals switch alligance? Perhaps the Baseball exec’s knew that both had leave and NY would be granted a new NL franchise.’‘

    Giants’ fans rooting for the Dodgers? They had been more likely to buy tickets to the new Dodger Dome or whatever it would have been called just to go there and root for the visiting club!

    TR, the Giants were ready to move to Minneapolis whether the Dodgers got a new ballpark in Brooklyn or not. Walter O’Malley suggested to Giants owner Horace Stoneham to contact San Francisco officials.

    Had the Dodgers been able to acquire the land for O’Malley to build his new ballpark in Brooklyn, the Giants likely would have still moved – but to Minneapolis.

    That would have meant Los Angeles officials continuing to woo the Washington Senators. But whether the A.L. would have approved one team moving to the west coast is uncertain.

    The Continental League could have still been headed off with west coast expansion.

    And the smart play would have been to create divisions in 1961.

    Perhaps?

    NL East: Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
    NL West: Chicago, Exp-Houston, Exp-Hollywood, Minneapolis, St. Louis

    AL East: Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, New York, Washington
    AL West: Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Exp-Los Angeles, Exp-San Francisco
    (or perhaps the Senators move to one of the California cities and D.C. is granted the other expansion team)

  17. Philip said...

    Jim: ‘‘I was a Brooklyn fan growing up and one day in the late 1990’s got a hold of a LA Dodgers media guide and when I went to look at the records to see if any of the old guys I followed had any records left, I was really disappointed to find they didn’t even recognize them.  Since I don’t and didn’t like the Dodgers at all, it was not hard for me to put another red mark by their organizaion.’‘

    I’m sitting here looking at the 1991 Dodgers Media Guide and it has both Dodgers All-Time (including Brooklyn), as well as Los Angeles Dodgers individual records and yearly leaders since 1958. So there are plenty of mentions of Wheat, Newcombe, et all in the All-Time records. Ditto for their 1997 Media Guide… and 1998. Not sure when the practice you mentioned stopped. Maybe after 2000? Anyone know?

  18. TR said...

    Philip, thanks I knew the Giants where looking to leave I just wondered what would have happend if one team had stayed. In the mid fifites the Manhattan Burough president had offered the west-side railyard to build a new Polo Grounds. Amazingly those railyards are still an open railyard. Since then the area was look at by Madison Square Garden, The Yankees and The Jets.

  19. Philip said...

    TR, just to continue speculation: I think it would have been unlikely New York would have been granted an expansion team had only the Giants moved. But had the Giants gotten a new park, the pressure would have been greater to allow O’Malley to get his.

    I highly recommend the book ‘‘The Dodgers Move West’’ by Neil Sullivan, which offers much insight into the politics going on behind the scenes that cost NYC not just one, but two baseball teams. The O’Malley haters may not appreciate the book because it puts much of the blame on the politicians, like the unelected Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, and weak mayors.

  20. Yehoshua Friedman said...

    At one time the Pacific Coast League was granted “open” status with the expectation of possibly being upgraded to major league. Anybody want to take that on? What if the PCL had ended up a major league with a round-robin World Series?

  21. TR said...

    Yehoshua, Sports Illustrated did an article oh probably over a decade ago about the PCL and how strong it was. Some ballplayers could make more money in that league than in the “Major Leagues,” probably why the baseball exec’s wanted to go west.

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