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New York Yankees, Kansas City A’s Trading Relationship

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  • New York Yankees, Kansas City A’s Trading Relationship

    Clete Boyer was at the center of the highly suspect relationship between the New York Yankees and Kansas City A’s. Through their American Association farm club the Yankees owned the rights to the Kansas City territory prior to the A’s shifting there from Philadelphia in 1955. As such, the A’s were required to indemnify the Yankees for their departure from the city. Graciously, the Yankees eventually waived these payments. By the way, the new A’s owner Arnold Johnson was an executive for the company that owned the Yankees’ American Association ballpark and their major league park, Yankee Stadium and held a close relationship with Yankee owners Del Webb and Dan Topping.

    During the A’s first five seasons in Kansas City, they made sixteen trades with the Yankees which netted the “parent club” Ryne Duren, Roger Maris, Bobby Shantz, Ralph Terry and Boyer, among others. Boyer’s case was a little unusual in that it was going to require a bonus to sign the young ballplayer. Under Major League Baseball rules during that time Boyer would have to spend two seasons on the major league roster. The Yankees, as perennial pennant contenders, could not waste a roster spot on an unseasoned player. An agreement was made with Kansas City in 1955 wherein the Yankees would pickup the tab for Boyer and he would gain major league experience in K.C. On cue Boyer was sent to the Yankees in June 1957.

  • #2
    Originally posted by bkmckenna
    Clete Boyer was at the center of the highly suspect relationship between the New York Yankees and Kansas City A’s. Through their American Association farm club the Yankees owned the rights to the Kansas City territory prior to the A’s shifting there from Philadelphia in 1955. As such, the A’s were required to indemnify the Yankees for their departure from the city. Graciously, the Yankees eventually waived these payments. By the way, the new A’s owner Arnold Johnson was an executive for the company that owned the Yankees’ American Association ballpark and their major league park, Yankee Stadium and held a close relationship with Yankee owners Del Webb and Dan Topping.

    During the A’s first five seasons in Kansas City, they made sixteen trades with the Yankees which netted the “parent club” Ryne Duren, Roger Maris, Bobby Shantz, Ralph Terry and Boyer, among others. Boyer’s case was a little unusual in that it was going to require a bonus to sign the young ballplayer. Under Major League Baseball rules during that time Boyer would have to spend two seasons on the major league roster. The Yankees, as perennial pennant contenders, could not waste a roster spot on an unseasoned player. An agreement was made with Kansas City in 1955 wherein the Yankees would pickup the tab for Boyer and he would gain major league experience in K.C. On cue Boyer was sent to the Yankees in June 1957.
    Arnold Johnson was 'indebted' to the Yankees owners Webb and Topping in more ways than one. There were some rather suspect dealings that elevated Johnson to the ownership of the Athletics.

    Webb and Topping had put their erstwhile GM, George Weiss, on a cost cutting project with a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. Reducing minor league affiliations, releasing/trading/selling minor leaguers, reducing the scouting staff and ordering them to check with front office before signing players, eliminating the roving instructors that made the Yankees the best fundamentals team in baseball, and ordering Weiss to slash the salary total (which had risen substantially under Larry McPhail's stewardship) by tying Weiss' own salary + bonus to the total players salary.

    This little tete-a-tete with Kansas City helped the Yankees offset their own farm system losses.

    How they got Roger Maris is pretty strange as well. He was with Cleveland. At the time Kansas City and Cleveland were working on a huge multi player deal. The Yankees tapped the KC baseball men on the shoulder and told them to have Maris thrown in on the deal. According to Hank Greenberg, the former Indians GM, the Yankees coveted Maris. He wouldn't trade Maris to the Yankees. The stupid idiot in Cleveland (Trader Frank Lane) did so. It was only a matter of time until Maris showed up in the Bronx as a member of the Yankees.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

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    • #3
      Originally posted by yanks0714
      Arnold Johnson was 'indebted' to the Yankees owners Webb and Topping in more ways than one. There were some rather suspect dealings that elevated Johnson to the ownership of the Athletics.

      Webb and Topping had put their erstwhile GM, George Weiss, on a cost cutting project with a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. Reducing minor league affiliations, releasing/trading/selling minor leaguers, reducing the scouting staff and ordering them to check with front office before signing players, eliminating the roving instructors that made the Yankees the best fundamentals team in baseball, and ordering Weiss to slash the salary total (which had risen substantially under Larry McPhail's stewardship) by tying Weiss' own salary + bonus to the total players salary.

      This little tete-a-tete with Kansas City helped the Yankees offset their own farm system losses.

      How they got Roger Maris is pretty strange as well. He was with Cleveland. At the time Kansas City and Cleveland were working on a huge multi player deal. The Yankees tapped the KC baseball men on the shoulder and told them to have Maris thrown in on the deal. According to Hank Greenberg, the former Indians GM, the Yankees coveted Maris. He wouldn't trade Maris to the Yankees. The stupid idiot in Cleveland (Trader Frank Lane) did so. It was only a matter of time until Maris showed up in the Bronx as a member of the Yankees.
      Can someone give some background on Del Webb and Arnold Johnson?
      Johnny
      Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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      • #4
        Originally posted by johnny
        Can someone give some background on Del Webb and Arnold Johnson?
        A very short outline is this. The Yankee owners Del Webb/Dan Topping were real estate developers on a national and global scale.

        Arnold L. Johnson was also in real estate / development but based pretty much strictly in the Midwest around Kansas City.

        Webb/Topping were big fish in a big pond. Johnson was a little fish in a little pond. Johnson had serious financial problems right from the start. If I'm not mistaken, the Yankees actually 'assisted' him with the lease on Municipal Stadium.
        Can you say syndicate ball? That doesn't mean the A's didn't try to beat the Yankees when they played, they did try to beat them. But I do suspect Johnson and his management team were 'forced' to 'play ball' with the Yankees more than they would have liked.
        George Weiss found that he could offset the Yankees losses in their farm system by utilizing the A's farm system to supplement the Yanks own.

        Yankees Fan Since 1957

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        • #5
          Man, that sale to Finley almost seems good for baseball after that :-)

          I always thought it was the case of an owner just being really dumb and another club being smart enough to take advantage.

          Something like that happened in the early 1980s in the NBA. Ted Stepien (known in cleveland as Ted St*pid) traded lots of high draft picks to Dallas' Mavericks over and over (well, several times, anyway) for very poor return, trades that anyone with a brain would know shouldn't be made.

          I don't remember a lot of the details, since I'm not a huge NBA fan, but now it makes me wonder if Stepien and the Dallas owner had some other sort of business relationship as well.
          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

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