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The Oilers' relocation, coming on the heels of losing two Los Angeles teams at once and the gong show of the Cleveland Deal, should have been the point where the league stood its ground and said no more moving out of major markets. Without wading into the brackish waters of the fan-fiction subfolder, it would have been interesting to see a scenario where the Oilers finish their lease with the Astrodome in 1997, then play three years at Rice with two games a year at the Alamodome to extend the fanbase and avoid playing too many games at Rice, then move into Reliant Stadium for 2001. Nashville would get its expansion team in 2002 or twinned with Cleveland's reactivation in '99. 

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6 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

This is true. I see plenty of Braves caps in Milwaukee, and there’s a definite degree of nostalgia for them. It’s why the Brewers playing in the NL doesn’t bother me. 

 

What I find kind of surprising is that the Philadelphia A’s don’t seem to be all that popular in vintage merchandise and public memory. Given their successes, there has to be some market for it, right? My guess is that the A’s 1970s dynasty and the Phillies getting their crap together in the late-1940s (as Connie Mack went super senile) hurt the Philly A’s long-term.


One of the smartest things the Brewers ever did was sign Hank Aaron.  It created a solid historical ineage from one era to the next in the hodgepodge that is Miwaukee's 20th century baseball history; which became cemented when the Brewers reitred his number (which obviously wasn't for the 22 HR's he hit in two years as the Brewers DH).
 

What I find kind of surprising is that the Philadelphia A’s don’t seem to be all that popular in vintage merchandise and public memory. Given their successes, there has to be some market for it, right? My guess is that the A’s 1970s dynasty and the Phillies getting their crap together in the late-1940s (as Connie Mack went super senile) hurt the Philly A’s long-term.


Before the Dodgers, the Phily A's were THE example of a team moving in spite of having a large local fanbase, so this is rather surprising to me too.  Maybe because they still had the Phillies, who won a pennant early in the decade?

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2 hours ago, NicDB said:

Before the Dodgers, the Phily A's were THE example of a team moving in spite of having a large local fanbase, 

 

Towards the end, the did not have a fanbase.  THere's a few really good stories about the end of the A's in Philly.  

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On 8/3/2018 at 7:50 PM, the admiral said:

Yeah, I skipped over the Browns because of the Cleveland Deal -- pace the talk about "shared records" in case something came up, we knew the Sonics were gone gone. But the Sonics had 41 years all in one place and a championship, the Colts a few less and were a vagabond franchise

 

I'm not sure I get the "vagabond franchise" part of this.

 

As for duration and legacy, the Sonics were around longer (41 years vs. 31 years).  However, the Colts won three NFL Championships/Super Bowls (1958, 1959, SB V) vs. the Sonics' one championship.

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The Colts were the Dallas Texans and that weird Boston Yanks team that no one remembers.

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2 hours ago, the admiral said:

The Colts were the Dallas Texans and that weird Boston Yanks team that no one remembers.

 

True, but they'd done a pretty good job of putting down roots after that.

 

By that standard, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are vagabond franchises because they were the Decatur Staleys and Portsmouth Spartans.

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The Boston Yanks absorbed to Brooklyn Dodgers, who started as the Dayton Triangles.

 

So, the modern Colts can trace their roots to a team that played only 116 miles from their current stadium.

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On 8/6/2018 at 2:17 AM, BringBackTheVet said:

Towards the end, the did not have a fanbase.  THere's a few really good stories about the end of the A's in Philly.  

 

My understanding is that by the time they moved, the Philadelphia A’s were in the same boat as the Boston Braves; utterly dominated in their home market by the NL team.  A ghost of a franchise, irrelevant in their own city.

 

When the Braves announced their move to Milwaukee a week before Opening Day, they had to refund the season ticket buyers for 1953 - all two dozen of them.

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9 hours ago, NicDB said:

The Boston Yanks absorbed to Brooklyn Dodgers, who started as the Dayton Triangles.

 

So, the modern Colts can trace their roots to a team that played only 116 miles from their current stadium.

 

That’s a great story, but it’s not entirely true.  The lineage was broken twice - once when the New York Bulldogs folded and a new franchise was issued as the Dallas Texans, the second when the Texans folded a year later. 

 

Buying some one of the equipment from a defunct franchise does not mean the first one continues on. 

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11 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

My understanding is that by the time they moved, the Philadelphia A’s were in the same boat as the Boston Braves; utterly dominated in their home market by the NL team.  A ghost of a franchise, irrelevant in their own city.

 

When the Braves announced their move to Milwaukee a week before Opening Day, they had to refund the season ticket buyers for 1953 - all two dozen of them.

 

I always forget the Braves were in Boston that late. Also they were the Boston Bees for 4 years in the 30's and switched back to the Braves. That's a weird little sports identity crisis blip we should talk about more often. If I was a Braves fan I'd 100% have some Boston Bees gear in the closet. 

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Were the Boston Bees like the Philadelphia Blue Jays or the Brooklyn Robins/Superbas, where the names were only half-observed but fans went on calling them what they'd always called them? Wish we'd done that with the Washington Bullets.

 

A question on the first Washington Senators, a defunct team that hardly seems popular: was there a team by 1960 whose branding was still as inchoate as theirs was? Feels like they never quite figured it out.

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1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

I always forget the Braves were in Boston that late. Also they were the Boston Bees for 4 years in the 30's and switched back to the Braves. That's a weird little sports identity crisis blip we should talk about more often. If I was a Braves fan I'd 100% have some Boston Bees gear in the closet. 

 

Don't forget that nicknames were much more unofficial back then, bestowed by fans and sportswriters while the club was officially known as “[City] [League] Base Ball Club”. Even in the early decades of the 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon to change the nickname to fit temporary circumstances - if you had several players get married over the off-season, you became the “Bridegrooms”.  If your new manager’s name was Napoleon, you were now the “Naps”.  Several clubs didn’t put their nickname on jerseys until the 1930s, that’s how often they changed.  

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57 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Were the Boston Bees like the Philadelphia Blue Jays or the Brooklyn Robins/Superbas, where the names were only half-observed but fans went on calling them what they'd always called them?

 

No.  The Phillies never took “Phillies” off their uniforms, that’s how half-hearted the change was.    The others, like “Bees”, “Robins”, and “Superbas” were all unofficial (like Braves and Dodgers at the start).

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5 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

No.  The Phillies never took “Phillies” off their uniforms, that’s how half-hearted the change was.    The others, like “Bees”, “Robins”, and “Superbas” were all unofficial (like Braves and Dodgers at the start).

 

Quoting myself,

 

The Bees were the longest-lasting replacement for the Braves name, coming about as a result of team president Bob Quinn holding a renaming contest (won by Arthur J. Rockwood). When the Bees name failed to produce a winner, the team-owning syndicate opted to switch the name back to Braves. It also had a legit color change coincide with it (shifting from red-dominant to blue-yellow for three years).

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On 8/5/2018 at 3:47 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

Sadly, my hometown California Golden Seals don't have that much retro appeal. I still own a few pieces of Seals gear though, I can't help but be attracted to the A's-style kelly green and gold.

The Sharks really should embrace that lineage.

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14 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

My understanding is that by the time they moved, the Philadelphia A’s were in the same boat as the Boston Braves; utterly dominated in their home market by the NL team.  A ghost of a franchise, irrelevant in their own city.

 

When the Braves announced their move to Milwaukee a week before Opening Day, they had to refund the season ticket buyers for 1953 - all two dozen of them.

 

From what I've read, the A's were the dominant team for the majority of their existence, with the Phillies being the LA Clippers of the town, until Connie Mack basically let it all go to hell and was selling players because the team was basically broke, couldn't keep up the stadium, and everyone lost interest and started following the Phllies, who ultimately took over the A's park.

 

There's a few really good links that I posted the last time this came up.  I'll try to find them, as I could use a refresher myself.

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I remember seeing quite a few Kansas City A's caps the last time I was at a Sporting KC game, but I'm sure that was just because it was a good looking navy cap with KC on them, rather than any sort of nostalgia.

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

 

Don't forget that nicknames were much more unofficial back then, bestowed by fans and sportswriters while the club was officially known as “[City] [League] Base Ball Club”. Even in the early decades of the 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon to change the nickname to fit temporary circumstances - if you had several players get married over the off-season, you became the “Bridegrooms”.  If your new manager’s name was Napoleon, you were now the “Naps”.  Several clubs didn’t put their nickname on jerseys until the 1930s, that’s how often they changed.  

 

True, but I’ve always understood that the Bees were much more of an official thing than those other examples. New owner bought the Braves, rebranded with new uniforms and everything in hopes of getting away from the stench on the Braves brand, and then sold the team four years later to a guy who changed the name back to the Braves. It reads like it’s closer to how rebrands work in today’s sports and less like the bridegrooms or whatever. 

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3 hours ago, McCarthy said:

Also they were the Boston Bees for 4 years in the 30's and switched back to the Braves.

 

The once-and-future Braves actually played five seasons as the Boston Bees: 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1940. As SFGiants58 noted, the team adopted a blue-and-yellow color scheme for three of those five years, before reverting back to a blue-and-red palette for the 1939 and 1940 Bees' seasons. Despite resurrecting the Braves moniker in 1941, the team largely dropped red from its uniforms (the exception being sleeve patches) for five seasons, before wholeheartedly embracing both red and blue again in 1946.    

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1 hour ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

From what I've read, the A's were the dominant team for the majority of their existence, with the Phillies being the LA Clippers of the town, until Connie Mack basically let it all go to hell and was selling players because the team was basically broke, couldn't keep up the stadium, and everyone lost interest and started following the Phllies, who ultimately took over the A's park.

 

There's a few really good links that I posted the last time this came up.  I'll try to find them, as I could use a refresher myself.

 

I think this was it:

https://sabr.org/research/departure-without-dignity-athletics-leave-philadelphia

 

Also, according to Quora, 

There was a family squabble among the Macks that led to bankruptcy which caused the franchise to be put up for sale.
The A's were the better and more popular team for most the history they shared in Philadelphia but in the 1950s when it counted it was the Phillies that ruled and crowds for A's games were sparse. 
It was thought by the rest of the league that team could not be viable in Philadelphia and they pushed for the move
.

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