View Poll Results: If A's go to Atlanta for 1965, where to Braves end up?

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  • Atlanta, after Finley wears out his welcome or just moves 1-2 years later

    1 4.76%
  • Atlanta, in 3-way trade w/Chicago (A's) and Milwaukee (White Sox)

    1 4.76%
  • Dallas; Houston doesn't veto since Texas is so big, plus they wanted the South

    2 9.52%
  • Denver - owners get growing market and whole time zone to themselves

    1 4.76%
  • Florida - small but growing, in South, Houston can't object

    0 0%
  • Kansas City - Cardinals don't object, could still get better TV revenue

    0 0%
  • Milwaukee - Selig buys out majority owners

    10 47.62%
  • San Diego - area was itching for team, Jack Murphy Stadium opened in '67

    2 9.52%
  • Seattle - Almost got the Indians in '65

    2 9.52%
  • Toronto or Montreal - whichever gives them a stadium

    0 0%
  • Other

    2 9.52%
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: If Finley moves to Atlanta, where do Milw. Braves go?

  1. #1
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    If Finley moves to Atlanta, where do Milw. Braves go?

    Besides insane, of course. :-)

    I read something I hadn't known just now, that the Athletics, after trying to move to Louisville (which was pretty close to Cincinnati and smaller, so one can see why it was rejected), tried to move to Atlanta before the A.L.'s president forced Finley to sign another lease in K.C..

    Where would the Braves have gone? Anywhere? Bartholomay wanted the larger TV market; could have have gotten that in Dallas yet? What else was available? Or, might that have been the catalyst to get him to sell out to minority shareholders like Selig?

    Or, weirdly enough, could have have gone there anyway - I can see a weird, 3-way trade even taking place, there Finley gets Chicago, Milwaukee the White Sox, and Atlanta the Braves. Iv'e read where, ideally, Finley wanted Chicago because he was from there.

    But, did the White Sox want to move yet? I suppose this could have happened after 2-3 years in Atlanta, of course, but would their owners have sat around that long?

    I forgot about Oakland in the poll, but I'm unsure enough about Dallas and, especially, Kansas City in the poll, being so close to other N.L. cities; I can't imagine two teams in the Bay Area in the same league, though I suppose it could have helped boost interest. But, i included an "Other" part so if someone wanted to vote for that, they can.

    I actually voted for the 3-way thing, but it's hard to say, because I really don't know that the Whit eSox were in danger of moving as early as '65 or even '66.
    Last edited by DTF955; 12-24-2008 at 07:10 AM.
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  2. #2
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    The Braves did rather well in Milwaukee -- never had a losing season there. They were the polar opposites of the KC Athletics, who never had a winning season. Perhaps if the Athletics beat them to Atlanta, the Braves would have stayed put in Milwaukee. As far as I know, they were quite popular there, and the city was irate when they moved, only to be placated a few years later when the Pilots moved there.
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  3. #3
    I think somone else buys them. Batholomay bought them with the intention of moving to a larger market, Atlanta was the #1 market at the time so without that on the table he might not have had a place to go.

  4. #4
    Why isn't stay put a choice?

    Although Milwaukee wasn't and will probably never be a "major league" city. Why couldn't the Braves remained a small market club? Why did they have to move? If they hadn't, we would have never had to deal with the worst commissioner ever in Allan Selig. Steroids...what??? Why put an AL team in the NL...oh! it's mine and I can rake in ticket sales between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire fighting for the homerun crown. Oh both are tainted by steroid allegations. Yeah Milwaukee!!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSUlaxer27 View Post
    Why isn't stay put a choice?
    It was felt "Milwaukee" would look better since the other choices were also phrased as cities.

    Although the word "Other" does sort of spoil that; and I guess it's just a semantics thing whether they could ctually "go" someplace they already were. But, they can "go" to other owners and remain in the city, too. The poll probably would have been better phrased, "Where do they end up." that's easier, semantically, to answer "the same place they were." (Such as, "Despite a long winning streak to end the season, the team ended up in 2nd, right where they were when it began.")

    I remember reading that the Phillies were looking at Atlanta in the early 60s, too. Did their 1964 resurgence save them?
    Last edited by DTF955; 12-26-2008 at 05:33 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTF955 View Post
    I remember reading that the Phillies were looking at Atlanta in the early 60s, too. Did their 1964 resurgence save them?
    If the Phils were looking at Atlanta in the early 60s, it must have been to prompt the City Fathers to get busy and build a new stadium. Connie Mack Stadium (the old Shibe Park) was an ancient structure, at the end of its economic life.

    The main issues MLB had regarding an Atlanta move in the early sixties was the unresolved civil rights struggle. Imagine Dick Allen a Rookie for the Atlanta Phillies in 1964; how much fun would THAT have been? (It would have been less fun for Allen than anyone else, given his late grievances.) Baseball didn't want to be in the middle of THAT scene (although the city of Atlanta always had more moderate political leadership than the rest of Georgia when it came to the Civil Rights/Integration issues).

    The other issue was TV. Television might let a small-market team such as Milwaukee move to Atlanta, but there was no way, no how, that the TV execs were going to allow MLB to completely abandon the Philadelphia TV market. I'm sure that Bob Carpenter got that message from TV via MLB early in his "exploration" process.
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

    NL President Ford Frick, 1947

  7. #7
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    A followup I thought of - if the Braves stay in Milwaukee and expansion happens on schedule, what division do they go into?

    Let's say the A's move to Atlanta and the 4 expansion temas are the same - it would be really hard to split up the Braves and Cubs, and yet the Cubs and Cardinals pretty much demanded to stay together, because of their traditional rivalry.

    Perhaps the Braves, Cubs, and Cardinals are sent Westwith 3 California teams, and the Astros in the East? Or, would they decide the Braves and Cubs don't have that much of a rivalry and put them in the West as in OTL?

    Also, I've heard it said the move really helped Hank Aaron's home run chase? Do you think he'd have still set the record in MIlwaukee? I think so, it just would hve been toward the end of 1974.

    In fact, maybe Selig (figuring he buys the others out) moves the fences in a little in 1968 or so, to give Aaron a "better chance." So, Hank Aaron might just break the record about when he did in OTL.
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  8. #8
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    Given the NL's apparent disregard for basic geography in 1969, I would think it more likely that Milwaukee would have been placed in the West along with Cincinnati, allowing the Cubs and Cardinals to be placed in the East. In reality, Atlanta was placed in the West Division, and it's further east than Milwaukee. I think the more recent rivalry that might have sprung up between Chicago and Milwaukee would be less important to the Cubs than their longer rivalry with St. Louis and their desire to be placed in the East Division.

    Here's another question: If the KC Athletics move to Atlanta instead of Oakland, how is the AL split in 1969? I believe it would likely have been the same as in our timeline, just with Atlanta instead of Oakland in the West.

    AL West: Atlanta, California, Chicago, Kansas City, Minnesota, Seattle
    AL East: Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Washington

    Assuming the Pilots head to Milwaukee in 1970 and the Senators to Texas in 1972, I think the former relocation would result in an intact AL East, while the latter relocation would force Atlanta into the East. Thus the 1972 AL looks like:

    AL West: California, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Texas
    AL East: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, New York

    This only differs from our timeline in that the Atlanta/Oakland Athletics are in the East instead of the Brewers. At this point, though, with 3 NL teams west of the Rockies and only 1 AL team, the AL would be itching to colonize more of the West Coast, even if simply for the sake of travel logistics. Perhaps an AL team (I'm unsure which) would have relocated to the SF Bay Area anyway, or the 1977 expansion to Seattle might have occurred earlier.
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  9. #9
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    True; as you say, the Cubs-Braves rivalry hadn't been as huge for as long. Especially with the Cubs not having contended for so long.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJC View Post
    This only differs from our timeline in that the Atlanta/Oakland Athletics are in the East instead of the Brewers. At this point, though, with 3 NL teams west of the Rockies and only 1 AL team, the AL would be itching to colonize more of the West Coast, even if simply for the sake of travel logistics. Perhaps an AL team (I'm unsure which) would have relocated to the SF Bay Area anyway, or the 1977 expansion to Seattle might have occurred earlier.
    AL was putting a team out there in another year anyway so them not being there for '68 would have made little difference.

    The way I see it is IF the A's beat the Braves to Atlanta then the Braves stay put selling to Selig's group and Seattle moves down to Oakland after the '69 season.

    The only difference in the AL would be that Kansas City would force an expansion sooner than '69 possibly switching Toronto into the NL and Montreal into the AL.
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  11. #11
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    Ah, true. I assumed the Seattle Pilots would have moved to Milwaukee in 1970 as they did in our timeline, but with the Athletics in Atlanta and Braves remaining in Milwaukee, such a move would not have been likely. Seattle may have moved to Oakland in 1970 instead, as you say, although Finley's move to an already occupied Bay Area in '68 might not have been replicated by another owner. Seattle might have gone elsewhere in 1970, perhaps Denver or Dallas.

    However, an earlier vacancy in Kansas City might not have forced the 1969 expansion to an earlier period. The '69 expansion resulted in divisional play, which the league may not have been prepared for prior to that. Although with Missouri Senator Symington breathing down their necks, they might have rushed things along. Either that or a team such as Washington would relocate to Kansas City instead of Dallas, as it did a few years later. If the expansion was pushed to an earlier time, Seattle might not have been ready for a team yet (they weren't ready in '69), so another western city could have been granted a team.

    The 1967 Expo in Montreal gave that city credibility as an expansion site, so you're right that an expansion earlier than 1969, say 1966, could have placed a team in Toronto instead. Oh, the possibilities...
    Last edited by Nerdlinger; 01-04-2009 at 10:34 PM.
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  12. #12
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    A modest proposal

    I gave it some thought and came up with an alternate history of expansion and relocation stemming from the point of divergence in 1965, when the KC Athletics move to Atlanta instead of the Braves, as DTF proposed. Let me know how realistic this scenario sounds.

    1965: Kansas City Athletics > Atlanta Athletics (Milwaukee Braves stay put)

    1966: Expansion and divisional play (occurs earlier than 1969 due to earlier vacancy in Kansas City)
    NL: San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays
    AL: Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers
    (Note: The AL doesn't add Seattle because if the city wasn't ready for a expansion team in '69, it definitely wouldn't be ready by '66.)

    Thus in 1966, the league looks like:

    National League
    East: Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays
    West: Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Braves, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

    American League
    East: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Washington Senators
    West: Atlanta Athletics, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers

    1971: Washington Senators > Seattle Pilots (Seattle moves to AL West and Atlanta to AL East)

    1977: AL expansion (Denver Bears, Montreal Expos)

    1993: NL expansion (Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins)

    1994: Realignment into 3 divisions per league

    MLB in 1994:

    National League
    East: Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays
    Central: Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals
    West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

    American League
    East: Atlanta Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees
    Central: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins
    West: California Angels, Denver Bears, Seattle Pilots, Texas Rangers

    2010: Expansion and realignment of both leagues into four 4-team divisions
    AL: Charlotte Knights, Portland Beavers
    NL: Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Washington Nationals

    MLB in 2010:

    National League
    North: New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays
    East: Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Washington Nationals
    Central: Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals
    West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

    American League
    North: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees
    East: Atlanta Athletics, Charlotte Knights, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers
    Central: Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers
    West: Denver Bears, Los Angeles Angels, Portland Beavers, Seattle Pilots

    So whaddya think?
    Last edited by Nerdlinger; 01-05-2009 at 10:22 AM.
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  13. #13

    Playoffs

    Thus in 1966, the league looks like:

    National League
    East: Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays
    West: Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Braves, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

    American League
    East: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Washington Senators
    West: Atlanta Athletics, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers

    Looking at that, and looking at the actual standings from those years, here is how the playoffs could have went those years:

    1966
    AL: Orioles over Twins
    NL: Dodgers over Pirates
    WS: Orioles over Dodgers

    1967
    AL: Red Sox over Twins
    NL: Cards over Giants
    WS: Cards over Red Sox

    1968
    AL: Detroit over Atlanta A's
    NL: Cards over Giants
    WS: Detroit over Cards

    And, I will do 69 for the heck of it:
    AL: Orioles over Twins
    NL: Mets over Giants
    WS: Mets over Orioles

    When you look at it, that alignment doesn't seem to change a whole lot about baseball history.

  14. #14

    Milwaukee Braves = Louisville White Sox

    If the Athletics move to Atlanta, the Braves never leave Milwaukee. The real reason they left was due to greed. Atlanta wanted to prove they were a real big city and they went shopping for a team. Once that came out and that the Braves had had a bad public shares sales, Atlanta zeroed in on Milwaukee. If the option of Atlanta was not there, local fan support would have kept the team in the city and eventually a true local owner would have bought the team. Sellig? That I'm not sure of though.

    And why do all the "new" scenarios have the White Sox in Chicago? That team was looking harder than any other for a new home and Louisville did make sense for them eventually. Louisville has a fan base that is very loyal to any team there and they would draw folks from places like Evansville and Lexigton if the major leagues moved in.

    And as far as three way trade of franchise; that was a very real chance. It was all about the owners for that. The Athletics were owned by a guy that wanted to move back to Chicago. Milwaukee was owned by a Chicago man that loved all the money and offers that Atlanta had to share. All this while Chicago was owned by a guy that hated being number two in baseball and number three even to the Bears. He was looking for a place where the team would be treated like the only thing in town.

    What I want to know is what happens the West Coast if the Athletics move East? The trend to the West started in whole with KC pulling up and going. Toronto wanted a team badly. Houston was trying hard. New York tried to find someone to come back to town. Then there are places like Louisville and Richmond and New Orleans and Hartford and Montreal that were all willing to buy teams and move them there. If the Athletics go south rather than west, do we see more movement of teams east of the Mississippi or maybe expansion more aggresively to try and put teams in the West to make it a national game, or do we see more of the Pacific League growing to major status or maybe a whole new third league?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Milwaukee T View Post
    If the Athletics move to Atlanta, the Braves never leave Milwaukee. The real reason they left was due to greed. Atlanta wanted to prove they were a real big city and they went shopping for a team. Once that came out and that the Braves had had a bad public shares sales, Atlanta zeroed in on Milwaukee. If the option of Atlanta was not there, local fan support would have kept the team in the city and eventually a true local owner would have bought the team. Sellig? That I'm not sure of though.

    And why do all the "new" scenarios have the White Sox in Chicago? That team was looking harder than any other for a new home and Louisville did make sense for them eventually. Louisville has a fan base that is very loyal to any team there and they would draw folks from places like Evansville and Lexigton if the major leagues moved in.
    Because the American League didn't let them move to Milwaukee in 1969.

    I agree that the Braves would have stayed put. Selig came close to keeping them, without the lure of Atlanta's television dollars he might well have done so.

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