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Interesting Sports History

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I would like to see what people's opinions on these interesting facts and see what they would do about it...
First up: MLB
I was reading about MLB history and I came across some very interesting facts:

Everyone knows that in 1958 the Brooklyn Dodgers moved west to LA and the owner Walter O'Malley persuaded the New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move west as well to San Francisco, but what I didn't know is if O'Malley wasn't able to get the Giants to move west the Giants would have moved to Minneapolis instead. This would result in the Minneapolis Giants or Twins or some other name. That would have lead the "first" Washington Senators franchise to stay in D.C., but lets say the Dodgers owner convinced the Senators to move to San Fransisco. This would mean California would have the Los Angeles Dodgers & San Fransisco Senators, but the name wouldn't make sense in San Fransisco. So they become the San Fransisco Islanders. They would take that nickname if the New York Giants retain the "Giants" nickname when they moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul, but if not they become the San Fransisco Giants as planned.

Separate situation:

Another thing I didn't know... after the 2001 season, team owners voted in favor of contraction. The Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins would cease to exist, but due to lawuits the plan was abandoned in June 2002. What if no lawsuits were filed and the plan went through? This would mean three years later the Washington Nationals would not exist. If the Twins didn't exist anymore, that would ultimately lead an existing MLB to move or the Minneapolis-St. Paul market would never see another MLB team.
What are your takes on this?

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There's lots of revisionist history possibilities out there. Among the ones I know of...

1. The St. Louis Browns were considering a move to Los Angeles as early as 1946, but for one reason or another it never came about.

2. The Griffith's were looking at Los Angeles as early as 1955 as a relocation site for the Senators. O'Malley simply beat them to it.

3. Horace Stoneham owned the Minneapolis Millers minor league team in 1957, and indeed had intended to relocate the Giants there. O'Malley convinced him to go farther west. After the move to San Francisco, Stoneham would sign off on Griffith's moving the Senators to Minneapolis for 1961.

4. The Brooklyn Dodgers likely would have stayed put had it not been for New York's public works commissioner (forget the guy's name or precise title, but he basically was a dick who wouldn't let O'Malley build what he wanted, where he wanted, though it could've been accommodated).

5. During Charlie Finley's ownership, the Oakland A's applied at one point or another to relocate to Indianapolis, New Orleans and Denver. Denver was the only one that went to a vote, and it was rejected.

6. The Pittsburgh Pirates also flirted with New Orleans and Denver during the 1980's, though any talks obviously never went anywhere substantive.

7. The San Francisco Giants got approval to move to Tampa in 1991 when I believe Vince Namoli (sp?) was approved to buy the team and relocate it. Fans threw a fit and lawsuits were filed all over the place, at which point MLB quietly told Namoli "you'll get an expansion team" and asked him to withdraw. Namoli got the Devil Rays with the next expansion round.

8. At one point Bill Veeck toyed with the idea of moving the Chicago White Sox to Milwaukee.

9. The Sox, A's, and Seattle Pilots have been reported as considering a weird move for the 1970 season in which the Sox would've moved to Oakland, the A's to Milwaukee, and the Pilots to Chicago (or some other combination of those, I forget the specifics).

10. When Leonard Tose was heading for bankruptcy, he had a deal in principle to sell the Philadelphia Eagles to a group that would've moved them to Phoenix, 5-6 years before the Cards moved.

11. Robert Kraft essentially saved the Patriots from heading to St. Louis, buying the team instead of a group that intended to move them there.

12. The Seattle Seahawks announced a sale and move to Los Angeles sometime around 1995, but public pressure killed it.

13. Before moving to Indianapolis, Bob Irsay had shopped the Colts around to a number of cities, including Phoenix, Memphis and Jacksonville.

14. The franchise that's now the Houston Texans was originally awarded to Los Angeles, pending its ability to finalize a stadium deal. When it fell through, the NFL withdrew the award and gave it to Bob McNair.

15. The Minnesota Timberwolves were reportedly nearing a deal that would've put them in New Orleans just a few years after the franchise was awarded.

16. One team (the now-Memphis Grizzlies?) had a tentative deal to move to Louisville and be a reincarnated Kentucky Colonels. The Grizz also reportedly asked the league to be renamed the "Express" when it moved from Vancouver to Memphis, to exploit a corporate tie-in with FedEx, but the league shot it down.

17. During the Ted Stepien ownership days, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced they were moving to Toronto and taking the name the "Toronto Towers." At that point the NBA had had enough of Stepien and his shenanigans and actively found someone to buy the franchise.

18. The St. Louis Blues reportedly were headed for Saskatoon at one point in the early 1980's. I'm sure the hockey nuts here can provide more detail on that.

19. The Hartford Whalers were basically shopped around like a $20 ho before my home city (Raleigh) became the team's home. I remember Columbus, Cleveland and Minneapolis were each cities that Peter Karmanos had been to.

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Dickish NY public works guy in the 40's? Has to be Robert Moses.

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Yes, but that's an amazing oversimplification of the situation. Actually, that's too kind - it's just flat-out wrong. O'Malley didn't want something that could just easily be accommodated - he wanted Moses to kick dozens of businesses and homeowners off their own land. He found Los Angeles's city fathers willing to do that, in no small part because of who was on the land he wanted in LA.

Nothing was going to keep O'Malley in New York when he realized what LA was willing to do to get the Dodgers out there. Moses is hardly a hero (especially to anyone who loves the Village), but he's not the villain of that story.

But my favorite bit of forgotten baseball history is that in 1943 Bill Veeck (who owned the minor league Milwaukee Brewers at the time) had a deal to buy the Philadelphia Phillies. He was going to sign an all-black roster from the Negro Leagues. Veeck would have done it, except that he couldn't keep his mouth shut and told Commissioner Landis of the plan, and Landis killed the sale.

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11. Robert Kraft essentially saved the Patriots from heading to St. Louis, buying the team instead of a group that intended to move them there.

13. Before moving to Indianapolis, Bob Irsay had shopped the Colts around to a number of cities, including Phoenix, Memphis and Jacksonville.

11. The team was also on its way to Hartford before the deal to build Gillette Stadium came to fruition.

13. .. and Tampa. I vaguely remember the "Don't Tampa With Our Colts" bumper stickers.

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8. At one point Bill Veeck toyed with the idea of moving the Chicago White Sox to Milwaukee.

I think you're conflating two separate incidents here.

In 1953, Veeck owned the St. Louis Browns. He knew that the city couldn't support two clubs, and when the Busch family bought the Cars he saw the writing on the wall (the Cardinals had been picked to move before that, since the Browns owned the stadium both played in). He tried to move them to Milwaukee, but the AL turned him down.

In 1969, Bud Selig had a deal to buy the White Sox and move them to Milwaukee. The league warned him that they'd never approve a move out of Chicago, mindful of the mess when the NL abandoned New York a decade earlier.

9. The Sox, A's, and Seattle Pilots have been reported as considering a weird move for the 1970 season in which the Sox would've moved to Oakland, the A's to Milwaukee, and the Pilots to Chicago (or some other combination of those, I forget the specifics).

I'm not aware of a Pilots move to Chicago at all. So far as I know, the only possible relocation option was Milwaukee, since Bud was the one who bought them out of bankruptcy. And why would the A's leave Oakland after only two years?

I'm going to call faulty memories or urban myth on that one.

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I'm not aware of a Pilots move to Chicago at all. So far as I know, the only possible relocation option was Milwaukee, since Bud was the one who bought them out of bankruptcy. And why would the A's leave Oakland after only two years?

I'm going to call faulty memories or urban myth on that one.

This was supposed to happen in 1975, not 70. The A's were supposed to go to Chicago, and the Sox to Seattle.

As for the A's move to Denver, that was in 1978. Oilman Marvin Davis tried to buy them, but they couldn't get out of the lease with the Oakland Coliseum. Marvin Davis also tried to get the Cowboys in 1988 as well.

Also, I think that Eddie Debartolo, Jr. tried to move the White Sox to Denver around 1980, but Bowie Kuhn blocked it.

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In 1969, Bud Selig had a deal to buy the White Sox and move them to Milwaukee. The league warned him that they'd never approve a move out of Chicago, mindful of the mess when the NL abandoned New York a decade earlier.

He didn't just try to move them. The White Sox played some of their home slate at Milwaukee County Stadium in 1968 and 1969.

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Sure did, and those handful of games accounted for an amazingly high percentage of the White Sox's attendance those two seasons. Bud did it to gauge interest, and if the AL hadn't vetoed it those two seasons would have led to the Milwaukee White Sox in 1970.

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At the time (mid-90s), the Patriots were owned by Victor Kiam, owner of Remington Razors. Kiam was not well-liked, the team was horrible, played in a toilet bowl of a stadium, and were dealing with lawsuits from sexual harassment of female reporters.

James Busch Orthwein bought the team form Kiam. Kiam was bankrupt, and may have owed Orthwein millions.

Robert Kraft owned Foxboro Stadium. Orthwein was trying to move the team to St. Louis (renaming them the Stallions). This failed, and Kraft led a hostile takeover of the franchise. He leveraged building a new stadium into the deal, with three possible locations: Hartford, Providence, and South Boston.

South Boston never happened, although the Revolution are still hoping to get a soccer-specific stadium built there.

Providence was going to build a domed stadium, but there was too much upgrading to the existing infrastructure that needed to be done first.

The franchise was thisclose to moving to a location just outside of Hartford, when the Gillette Stadium plan came through. I don't remember Foxboro ever being an option at that time...it's a town of about 40,000 with too much traffic to support a professional franchise. But the Gillette Stadium plan included additional parking, roadwork, and development, so it was approved. Gillette is built directly next to the site formerly occupied by Foxboro Stadium, and that area was redeveloped into a shopping plaza, hotel, team hall of fame, and other buildings.

The Hartford location eventually moved to East Hartford, and Rentschler Field (UConn) was built on that site.

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That fakeout with the Patriots may have cost Hartford the Whalers because the governor thought he could upgrade from hockey to football, unless you believe as I do that Karmanos had no intention of staying under any circumstance and basically Clay Bennetted the arena proposal.

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11. Robert Kraft essentially saved the Patriots from heading to St. Louis, buying the team instead of a group that intended to move them there.

13. Before moving to Indianapolis, Bob Irsay had shopped the Colts around to a number of cities, including Phoenix, Memphis and Jacksonville.

11. The team was also on its way to Hartford before the deal to build Gillette Stadium came to fruition.

13. .. and Tampa. I vaguely remember the "Don't Tampa With Our Colts" bumper stickers.

Rosenbloom wanted to move the Colts to Tampa in 1972, but was blocked by Rozelle. Then, he tried to give his kid the Colts and take the Rams, but Rozelle said that wasn't right due to nepotism. That is where Irsay came in.

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