Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Could the Browns really have moved to L.A.?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Could the Browns really have moved to L.A.?

    In the days before easy intercontinental travel, the Browns' owner tried to move his club to Los Angeles. He was deined a day after Pearl Harbor, but...could it really have worked? Was the war the only reason, or was it just not feasible yet? How early is the earliest we could have seen a Pacific Coast team (or two)?

    I'm a little surprised Baltimore wasn't considered early - that was always a great baseball town.
    If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Baseballifsandmore - IBIE updated for 2011.

    "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input

  • #2
    --With the slow travel pre-airlines it wouldn't have been practical for one team to move to the west coast. Even in the late 50s the Dodgers wouldn't have been allowed to move to LA if they hadn't goten the Giants to move also. At least two teams were needed to make the trip worthwhile.
    --Baltimore had an NL team in the 1800. One that was very successfull on the field in the 1890s, but still went out of business. They also had a team in the first year of the AL, but that failed also. I guess it took awhile to grow into a major league city.

    Comment


    • #3
      In Peter Golenbock's book "Spirit of St. Louis" which is a history of the Cards & Browns, it was a done deal, to be announced on 12/8/41. Instead of making 4 trips a year to the city, as was done in those days of the 154 game schedule, with 11 home games for each team against the other 7 teams, the AL teams would only make 2 trips to LA to play the Browns or whatever they would be called. Arrangements would be made for travel time, they were working out a deal with one of the airlines. While it wouldn't have seemed very feasible, remember in the 30's the Browns attendance was absolutely terrible, a couple times they couldn't draw 100K for the season. So, looking at a choice of going to St. Louis where a club might draw 15K for the 11 road games or going to LA where they may split receipts for 150K fans for 11 road games, it isn't a hard decision.

      I can't figure out why in the 30's, the Browns didn't move to Milwaukee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Indianapolis or any other place.
      It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

      Comment


      • #4
        The Browns, most likely would have been renamed the Angels since the Brown took an old name in St Louis and were the Brewers in Milwaukee as well as taking the Orioles name in Baltimore, would have been an imporvement over whatever happened in St Louis. Even in 1942, LA was much larger than St Louis and with the Hollywood connections, the players would have gotten cameos in movies and the Angelinos would have supported them in droves.

        My guess is that another financially struggling team, possibly the A's would have soon followed suit to the Bay Area, and it would have been too long that only one West Coast team would have existed. The Braves, moved to Milwaukee, may have moved as well to the West Coast, since San Diego and Seattle would have been appropriate locations as well as a second team in LA. Remember, the Giants were planning to move to Minneapolis before O'Malley got his hooks into him.

        My guess is that several of the "Eastern Leagues" (as West Coasters called the AL and NL in those days) would have made the move out west a bit quicker. John McGraw said after ST in the LA area in the 1930s did say LA was ready for MLB even back then.

        However, Admirals Yamamoto and Nagumo had other ideas.
        http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/ex...eline_1961.jpg

        Comment


        • #5
          Walter O'Malley and Horace Stoneham moved their teams to the West Coast in 1958 and the positive consequences followed for all of MLB (not baseball but MLB) - especially the owner's pockets - but the vision was already there.


          - the PCL was highly successful for decades, they put on a quality show and the fans supported such
          - the NFL had moved to the west coast in 1946, demonstrating the feasibility of air travel
          - Don Barnes had the transfer of the St. Louis Browns to Los Angeles virtually completed in December 1941 but the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor, dashing the ambitious plans
          - the braves moving to milwaukee (and the attendence boom) really opened everyone's eyes about the potential of the west
          - what really made this move possible was television and advertisers like Gillette (the real visionaires). In 1951 coaxial cable was finally strung over the Rocky Mountains allowing live television to be seen throughout the nation (previously all video was taped and reran on the other side.) This immediately benefited the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams in the NFL, who had taken a big risk (guaranteeing visiting clubs higher gate receipts to compensate for the extra travel) uprooting to the West Coast from Cleveland in 1946. Soon, the major leagues would become interested in California.

          Keep in mind that MLB is a monopoly and has always operated as such. Others have always paid the price, always a bigger price, for MLB decisions. Like the Negro leagues, the PCL was devastated by MLB's incursions. They developed the area or players and big daddy came in an took it. This encroachment is why "organized baseball" was developed. Why any minor league team would subjucate themselves within the framework of the National Association. This all was made possible because of television could not broadcast anywhere. They probably didn't realize it that day but when the coaxil cable reached California, the PCL would be changed forever.

          Comment


          • #6
            question anything golenbock says - i've been burned quoting his stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              The 2 trips a year seems feasible, - but still, without TV there, it would have been interesting for the team in, say, the 1940 season. I agree that 2 teams seems more likely - the A's would seem like a logical choice.

              I'd forgotten about Baltimore's demise in the A.L., true; I guess it did take a long while to develop into one. I wonder if Jack Dunn's teams helped that any? One thing's for sure, a team with Ruth, Foxx, and Grove all on it (all from that area) would have been amazing

              Or - the Dodgers. If California doesn't seem like the right place, and Baltimore hasn't been expanded into...boy, now there's an interesting idea. Especially if the Giants would delay their move by a few years, and move when the Senators do, relocating in Washington. An interesting place for that rivalry :-)
              If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Baseballifsandmore - IBIE updated for 2011.

              "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bkmckenna
                question anything golenbock says - i've been burned quoting his stuff
                Yeah, true...I've come across numerous errors in his books.
                It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by leecemark
                  --
                  Baltimore had an NL team in the 1800. One that was very successfull on the field in the 1890s, but still went out of business. They also had a team in the first year of the AL, but that failed also. I guess it took awhile to grow into a major league city.
                  Kind of an unfair shot at the city of Baltimore.

                  Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this but didn't John McGraw 'jump' to the NL Giants from AL Baltimore taking the core of the Baltimore team with him?

                  McGraw and Ban Johnson were bitter enemies primarily because of McGraws' style and Johnson wanting the AL to be less rowdy than the NL. Johnson had fined and suspended him a couple times, I think.

                  When McGraw took the core of the best Baltimaore players with him to NY it left Uncle Robbie as Manager of a miserable remnant of a team.

                  July 7, 1902 (Standings)

                  Released John McGraw.

                  July 17, 1902 (Standings)

                  Received Lew Drill as a loan from the Washington Senators.

                  Released Roger Bresnahan. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

                  Released Jack Cronin. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

                  Released Joe Kelley. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

                  Released Dan McGann. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

                  Released Joe McGinnity. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

                  Released Cy Seymour. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

                  Ban Johnson who wanted/needed an AL team in NY then took the opportunity to 'move' the franchise to NY abeit to a couple questionable owners who were rather shady characters (no Steinbrenner jokes, please).

                  McGraw and Giants owner Freedman (?) tried their darndest to block the move but the Highlanders were finally 'born'.

                  Ban Johnson got the last laugh, in his grave, when the Giants moved to San Francisco and the Highlanders became the Yankees.

                  Yankees Fan Since 1957

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bet the fans of Baltimore wopuld have much preferred seeing the IL Baltimore Orioles than a transplanted Browns team in the 1930s.

                    I think the proposed move of the Browns shows the contempt that the big leagues had for California, think they should open that market with the worst of their teams. I also think it would have been a mistake to move a weak team into San Francisco with the Browns. In that era the San Francisco Seals were the most popular team in the PCL and I think a poor major league team might have run second behind a popular minor league team.

                    ***Quote from 64 Cards: I can't figure out why in the 30's, the Browns didn't move to Milwaukee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Indianapolis or any other place.****

                    Each of these cities had teams in the International League and American Association (which along with the Pacific Coast League were the most popular minor league teams) and may not have been very supportive of a very bad major league team. Later on they obviously did, but I don't know if the interest would have been there during the Depression.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bluesteve32
                      The Browns, most likely would have been renamed the Angels since the Brown took an old name in St Louis and were the Brewers in Milwaukee as well as taking the Orioles name in Baltimore, would have been an imporvement over whatever happened in St Louis. Even in 1942, LA was much larger than St Louis and with the Hollywood connections, the players would have gotten cameos in movies...
                      I think they should have been called the Hollywood Stars if they'd have moved. Sounds better.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bkmckenna
                        - the NFL had moved to the west coast in 1946, demonstrating the feasibility of air travel.
                        Hmmm, I've always thought it was the All-American Football Conference that was the organization that truly blazed the way when it came to the viability of coast-to-coast travel. While the NFL was dipping its baby toe into Los Angeles, the AAFC had the Los Angeles Dons AND the San Francisco 49ers in their western division and also had a Miami franchise in the eastern division. While the Miami team later moved to Baltimore, the AAFC did a lot to knock down the geographical barriers that were previously set by the other pro sports leagues.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Redondos
                          Hmmm, I've always thought it was the All-American Football Conference that was the organization that truly blazed the way when it came to the viability of coast-to-coast travel. While the NFL was dipping its baby toe into Los Angeles, the AAFC had the Los Angeles Dons AND the San Francisco 49ers in their western division and also had a Miami franchise in the eastern division. While the Miami team later moved to Baltimore, the AAFC did a lot to knock down the geographical barriers that were previously set by the other pro sports leagues.
                          The Dons and the 49ers began play the same year that the Rams started playing in LA. A major reason the Rams left Cleveland was that the Browns, which hadn't played a game yet, were getting more buzz in Cleveland than the Rams ever did. I think the Rams may be the only pro sports team in American history that moved to another city immediatley after winning a league championship. The Cleveland Rams were NFL champs in 1945 and in 1946 they were the Los Angeles Rams.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wamby
                            I bet the fans of Baltimore wopuld have much preferred seeing the IL Baltimore Orioles than a transplanted Browns team in the 1930s.

                            I think the proposed move of the Browns shows the contempt that the big leagues had for California, think they should open that market with the worst of their teams. I also think it would have been a mistake to move a weak team into San Francisco with the Browns. In that era the San Francisco Seals were the most popular team in the PCL and I think a poor major league team might have run second behind a popular minor league team.
                            Would that have still been better than an expansiojn team? If, say, baseball expands during the roaring 20s (hard to see how, but let's say integration in the 1890s means a bigger talent base), would they have been like the '62 Mets, a bunch of old has-beens and never-will-bes?

                            Of course, the Angels did very well as an expansion club, so maybe tey could have done the same thing.

                            It would be interesting to see what would have happened if Jack Dunn's Orioles, or the Angels or Seals, had been added directly to the American or National league. That might actually have been the preferred means of expansion in the 1910s/1920s, simply because the rosters were so small compared to 1961-1962, when it was easy to let 3-4 players unprotected on each club. In the 1910s and 1920s, you didn't carry as many extras. (Well, maybe in the 1920s teams started, but not during the deadball era.)

                            Of course, in 1919-1929 era you probably wouldn't get California teams, but you would in the late '40s or early '50s if there was expansion. In 1919, for instance, you likely get Dunn's Orioles, MIlwaukee, Kansas City, possibly, and antoher city's club just added wholesale to each league.
                            Last edited by DTF955; 02-19-2006, 12:39 PM.
                            If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Baseballifsandmore - IBIE updated for 2011.

                            "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wamby
                              The Dons and the 49ers began play the same year that the Rams started playing in LA. A major reason the Rams left Cleveland was that the Browns, which hadn't played a game yet, were getting more buzz in Cleveland than the Rams ever did. I think the Rams may be the only pro sports team in American history that moved to another city immediatley after winning a league championship. The Cleveland Rams were NFL champs in 1945 and in 1946 they were the Los Angeles Rams.
                              I seriously doubt the NFL Rams moved simply because the AAFC Browns set up shop in Cleveland. After all, how can a team that had never played a single game (and in a brand new league, no less) generate more fan interest than the defending champions of a league that was then a quarter of a century old? Doesn't make sense.

                              For sure, the Rams were not the only pro team to pull up stakes after winning a championship.

                              In 1962, AFL champions Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs the following year.

                              In 1984, the Philadelphia Stars were the champs in the USFL. They moved to Baltimore for the 1985 season.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X