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Thread: Boston Braves move to Milwaukee

  1. #1
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    Boston Braves move to Milwaukee

    Is it common knowledge whether or not the Boston Braves knew by, say, the fall of 1950 that they were moving to Milwaukee soon? Thanks
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  2. #2
    "Knew"?

    I would say no. Milwaukee was considered an attractive potential Major League market since at least 1951, when Veeck tried to move the St. Louis Browns back to the Cream City, but 1950 seems to be awfully early for the Braves to be sure.

    Maybe they had an idea, maybe securing the market was even one of the reasons why they signed the Milwaukee Brewers as their AAA team. But given that the move was so last-minute, happening a week before the season started, I don't think there were any concrete plans that early.

  3. #3
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    We had an SABR Regional meeting in Milwaukee about 20 years ago, and the featured speaker was the Mayor of Milwaukee in 1953, Frank Zeidler.

    He had a lot to say on the subject, and as I recall he said the move of the Boston Braves to Milwaukee was kind of a "last-minute" thing. Milwaukee, after building County Stadium, was seeking a major league team, and with Boston having the old American Association Brewers as a farm team, the Braves obviously would have first refusal.

    Wish I'd taped that meeting. He was an excellent speaker, and had a ton of anecdotes. Unfortunately Mayor Zeidler died in 2006.......

  4. #4
    That's a shame. Every day, we lose a little more history.

    Milwaukee had been angling for a big league team for some time. In 1952 Bill Veeck tried to move the St. Louis Browns back to Milwaukee (where as the Brewers they were a charter member of the American League, and where he had owned the minor league version of the Brewers in the 1940s) but was denied permission by the AL.

    Milwaukee built County Stadium in the hopes of eventually luring a Major League team, but until a few weeks before it opened it they still thought it would be hosting the minors.

    The Braves announced the move to Milwaukee on March 19th. They played their first game of the 1953 season less than one month later, on April 13th. So yes, this all happened very quickly (unlike the departure to Atlanta, which was painful and prolonged).

    It's also ironic to note that just a few decades later, another team would relocate during Spring Training - the Pilots were cleared to move to Milwaukee just one week before Opening Day in 1970.

  5. #5
    One more observation - while reading that article, I noticed that the 1953 All-Star Game had been scheduled for Braves Field!

    Really shows how last-minute the move was....

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