December 7, 1941 - a day that changed baseball history
Today is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. One fact about the day that may not be discussed much today is the fact that the Browns were planning to make a case to move the to Los Angeles at the Dec. 1941 Winter Meetings. The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred and the plan was dropped as Organized Baseball braced itself for the new reality of baseball in wartime as the U.S. entered World War II.
st louis browns wash post 12-10-1941.pdf
Here is a copy of Shirley Povich's column from the Washington Post on Dec. 10th, 1941 that describes the attempt of the Browns to move from St Louis to Los Angeles but that the U.S.'s entrance in the war played a part in stopping the move.
I used to believe that the Browns 1941 move was a baseball urban legend but I've seen two contemporary accounts of the possible move. That said neither made it out that the move would have occured without the war occuring when it did. It seems to me that it was more than the war that would have made this move unlikely.
I had read something about this a while back and thought about the what-ifs. What if this had happened? No LA Dodgers? I cannot see having two teams in LA back at that time. Would they be the Minnesota Dodgers instead? Would the owner have had the power to even move the team out of Brooklyn at the time?
I've heard about the Browns' proposal to move to LA before. But how common was commercial airline travel in the 1940s? I've never heard much about public airplane transportation in the 1940s, the only way I see a west-coast MLB team could have worked in that time period. I think it was like 20 hours by train from New York to St. Louis in those days.
Originally Posted by disgrig
Perhaps the Browns thought they could average one or two wins per home stand via forfeits from teams not being able to make it in to LA in time.
Originally Posted by bryanac625
I imagine it would have worked something like this
Each team would have made 2 trips out there by rail-one 5 game series and one six game series
Take the Yankees
They would play the Tigers Indians and Browns and end in Chicago. They would leave Chicago say Sunday nite and get in LA Tues nite
They'd play a 5 game set Wedns-Sun or a 6 game set Weds to Monday, with a DH on Sunday.
They leave Sunday or Monday nite, and get in Chicago Cleve or Det Monday or Tues nite
They'd play a 3 game series, then one more travel day back to NY
Gruelling twice a year, but doable
Browns would have made 4 road trips a year, 19 games each, in 3 or 4 cities
More grueling for them
they would get to Chi, Cle or Det Tues or Wedns nite