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Forgotten History: Name Changes, Logos, Relocation Rumors, etc.

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31 minutes ago, Wings said:

 

Wasn't there a rumored concern that Robert Pera was going to try and move the Grizzlies to San Jose?

 

Might he still move the Grizzlies?

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I think most of us know that the Oilers almost moved to Houston.  The team would have actually stayed in Edmonton for 3 years and only move if it continued to lose money.  However, Peter Pocklington wasn't authorized to sell the team to Leslie Alexander, opening the door for roughly a million people to throw in a dollar to keep the team around.

 

That wasn't actually the first time the Oilers could have moved.  In 1981, Pocklington had a deal with Toronto Maple Leafs owner, Harold Ballard to switch cities. 

 

The New Jersey Devils were considering moving to Nashville in 1995, after winning their first Stanley Cup.

 

The Penguins in 2006 were in a heap of trouble, so Jim Balsillie had a deal for the team, but it fell through when he wouldn't be allowed to move the team to Hamilton or Kitchener-Waterloo if it didn't work out in Pittsburgh.  The Pens were also being courted by Kansas City at the same time.

 

A year later, Balsillie was back at it, buying the Predators.  But, after starting a season ticket campaign in Hamilton, the deal died.

 

A third time's got to be the charm for Balsillie.  In 2009, he bought the Coyotes, but was blocked by the league.  That was it for him, but not the Coyotes relocation woes.

 

I heard that the year before the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, the Coyotes would have come full circle and went back to Winnipeg.  The league was actually 10 minutes away from announcing the sale to True North, the Jets 2.0 owners, but it was called off after Glendale came up with some money, buying the Coyotes some more time in the desert to find a new owner.

 

In 2013, moving trucks were ready to pack up all of the Coyotes gear and move to Seattle if Glendale didn't approve a new lease.  It barely passed 4-3.

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17 hours ago, Discrimihater said:

Somehow, I cannot imagine the Portland Raiders.  Or the Memphis Jets.

You sure? The AAF did.

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4 hours ago, M4One said:

I think most of us know that the Oilers almost moved to Houston.  The team would have actually stayed in Edmonton for 3 years and only move if it continued to lose money.  However, Peter Pocklington wasn't authorized to sell the team to Leslie Alexander, opening the door for roughly a million people to throw in a dollar to keep the team around.

Honestly, I would've been VERY interested in following the Houston Hockey Oilers.

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When I was a kid, the Kansas City Islanders was a big rumor in 2009. I remember thinking “This doesn’t make sense. That’s not even an ISLAND!”

Edmonton Oilers said they would fold had the 2004-05 lockout not happened. Interesting scenario where the Oilers just closed doors.

 

Can someone confirm if this was ever a thing? I remember someone telling me a rumor when Trump was looking into to buying the Buffalo Bills, that one of his plans were to move them to Flushing. This was when the Bills’ future in Buffalo looked uncertain. I didn’t believe it because I thought it was ridiculous story. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 1:25 AM, Old School Fool said:

This one is a favorite of mine. The Clippers were going to switch to this for the 1992-1993 season.

 

jcGkDcz.png

 

This is better than their current logo. 

 

Imagine if it was red and powder blue. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 11:09 AM, OnWis97 said:
    • The Timberwolves, less than a decade into their existence, almost moved to New Orleans.  And they should have. They were sold to Bob Arum.  The NBA vetoed the deal. I remember my father telling me it was probably because they didn't want a Vegas boxing promoter in the league.
  • NHL
    • This is way, way before my time, but at some point in the later 1970s, the North Stars absorbed the Cleveland Barons...or maybe "absorbed" is not the right word, because I think the Gunds owned the Barons (they owned the Cavs, anyway).  In any case, the two teams merged as the North Stars.

 

I believe the T-Wolves looked at Nashville as well, with Gaylord having a role.

 

There was also a story of a KC Scouts rumor with a WHA team... I want to say either Cleveland or Minnesota.  I am away from home and can't check the source at the moment.

 

Bill Veeck was also ready to move the Browns to LA.

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12 hours ago, GDAWG said:

 

Might he still move the Grizzlies?

 

He could sell them but I hope they stay in Memphis. There's always those Seattle rumors that pop up. 

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On 6/6/2019 at 8:29 PM, SFGiants58 said:

There's also the numerous attempts by Charlie O. Finley to move the A's away from Kansas City and his later attempts to dump them onto a new owner outside of Oakland. He explored, in no particular order:

  • Louisville
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Milwaukee
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • New Orleans
  • Phoenix (maybe)

Basically, if a market got a team after 1960, you can best bet that the A's briefly considered moving there. I hate to brag, but I've kind of been chronicling this sort of thing for a year. 

 

In the case of Denver, Finley came very close. On two separate occasions in 1978 and 1979, he reached agreement for a sale to Marvin Davis, who would have moved the team there. And after the second agreement to sell the team, the American League placed discussion of the A's move on its winter meeting agenda. But both sale agreements fell apart over the issue of who was going to pay for the remaining lease on the Oakland Coliseum.

 

The Giants were widely believed to be moving to Tampa for 1993. During the television broadcast of last home game of the 1992 season, announcer Joe Morgan talked extensively about the impending move. And after the game, newspapers quoted manager Roger Craig calling it the last game at Candlestick.

 

 

10 hours ago, insert name said:

When I was a kid, the Kansas City Islanders was a big rumor in 2009. I remember thinking “This doesn’t make sense. That’s not even an ISLAND!”

 

I don't follow hockey, so I don't know the details. But I do remember hearing plenty of speculation about an Islanders move to Kansas City. (If that had happened, the team surely would have changed its nickname.)

 

In 1995, there were very strong rumours about the possibility of the New Jersey Devils moving to Nashville. The only reason that I remember this is that it came at the time of the team's first Stanley Cup title. The rumours were so strong that they cast a pall over the fans' mood in what should have been their greatest moment.

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2 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

In the case of Denver, Finley came very close. On two separate occasions in 1978 and 1979, he reached agreement for a sale to Marvin Davis, who would have moved the team there. And after the second agreement to sell the team, the American League placed discussion of the A's move on its winter meeting agenda. But both sale agreements fell apart over the issue of who was going to pay for the remaining lease on the Oakland Coliseum.

 

Add in the issue of the Raiders attempting to move to LA, which prompted the Coliseum board and Oakland City Council's rejection of any potential buyout.

 

2 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

The Giants were widely believed to be moving to Tampa for 1993. During the television broadcast of last home game of the 1992 season, announcer Joe Morgan talked extensively about the impending move. And after the game, newspapers quoted manager Roger Craig calling it the last game at Candlestick.

 

 

Let's just say that it was thought to be a sure thing until it wasn't. Both Stadium for Rent and Home Team tell a similar story. Quoting from my thread (one of the most comprehensive posts, since I had fantastic sources to work with - I bolded some key statements):

 

On 1/8/2019 at 5:32 AM, SFGiants58 said:

After the San José failure in June 1992, Giants owner Bob Lurie put the team up for sale, announcing that he would consider both local and outside offers. Also, Commissioner Fay Vincent cleared the team to explore “relocation options” (but not to relocate). When no local bids immediately came, Lurie sent out team vice president Corey Busch to investigate relocation cities. Busch, of course, encountered Rick Dodge and Jack Critchfield.1

 

Both Dodge and Critchfield were ready for Lurie. They had assembled an ownership group, led by Vince Naimoli, Vincent Piazza (father of Mike Piazza), and Vincent Tirendi. After impressing Busch in early July 1992, Lurie opened negotiations. On August 6, the Naimoli group flew to San Francisco to make a deal. They reached an agreement in principle to buy the team for $115 million (with a $10 million loan from Lurie). With a jubilant press conference in St. Petersburg the following day and several months of promoting the market, it seemed like Tampa Bay would finally have its team.2

 

ludAlNl.png0RrLOCg.png

 

(Dodge & co.’s joy contrasted with future San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford’s dismay.3)

 

Meanwhile, San Francisco mayor Frank Jordan was trying to stop relocation. He had contacted Walter Shorenstein in June to form a group of investors to buy the team. They had several lead investors, the most notable being Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn, who arrived in August 1992. However, Shinn didn’t have enough capital to present a credible bid. After ejecting Shinn, the group recovered by upping various stakes and including a $10 million loan from Lurie, the same one he gave to the St. Petersburg bid.4

 

The timing worked well in San Francisco’s favor. The baseball owners ousted Commissioner Vincent in August, delaying discussions and leaving National League President Bill White (a former Giant) as the majors’ leader. On September 9, White gave the San Francisco investors an October 12 deadline to put together their bid. Naimoli protested that Lurie couldn’t consider a new deal until the St. Petersburg bid was off the table. White’s response was that it was the majors, not Lurie, considering the bid. Lurie’s loan did complicate things, but White’s reasoning was sound.5

 

With Safeway chairman Peter Magowan now leading the San Francisco group, the local investors presented a $95 million (later $100 million) offer on October 11. Now, the NL owners felt confident enough in the local investors to strike down the St. Petersburg group’s bid by a 9-4 vote. Despite the $15 million difference, the clubs decided that keeping the Giants in San Francisco was the right move.6

 

So, why did White give the San Francisco investors leeway and why did the owners decline a larger offer? Here are several reasons:

  • MLB’s TV contract with CBS was in a tenuous position. Falling ratings saw CBS wanting to renegotiate their contract for a lower price. Moving a team from San Francisco (the 5th-largest market) to Tampa Bay (the 13th-largest market), would have turned the $1.06 billion CBS contract into a $500 million deal. Each team stood to lose $5 - $10 million. High-ranking CBS employee Larry Baer’s presence in the San Francisco group lends credence to this hypothesis.7
  • Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley publicly opposed Tampa Bay’s bid. One can assume that it was both out of a sense of history (i.e., preserve the rivalry) and for financial reasons (e.g., travel costs and EST games – which is also why the Rockies and Padres’ ownership opposed the move). Like with Stoneham trying to move to Minneapolis, an O’Malley intervened to keep the Giants from being idiots.8
  • Stadium for Rent argues that Wayne Huizenga and his Florida Marlins wanted to have some exclusivity in the state. Huizenga opposed the Mariners move, while also arguing for a “transfer fee” to compensate his club.9 Even though he ultimately voted in favor of the Naimoli bid (along with the Cubs, Cardinals, and Phillies), Huizenga’s opposition was notable.10 
  • The book's introduction also suggests that the racism Bill White faced in St. Petersburg while playing motivated him to stop the move. That’s a bit dubious.11

This move would have been disastrous for baseball, from both a financial and historical perspective. A smaller TV deal have been a problem for small-market teams. The move also would have killed one of the greatest rivalries in baseball and condemned a legacy franchise to play in deeper obscurity. Maybe my biases are leading me to exaggerate the consequences of the move, I’m not sure. But the point stands – the Tampa Bay Giants should never have happened.

 

Also, because I figured out how the Giants used a modified Clarendon variant (one I've nicknamed "Lurie Slab" with "Candle$hit Sans" for numbers) for the 1983-93 ugmo uniforms:

 

On 1/8/2019 at 5:32 AM, SFGiants58 said:

This is one of those times where we have prototypes! Prepared late in the game (around September 26, when the San Francisco bid was well underway), these renderings of caps and road scripts appeared in the 60 Minutes segment entitled “Field of Dreams.”12 Thankfully, @Lights Out and @NDwas took screengrabs  of the video before it left YouTube. These screencaps formed the base of my digitizations.

 

The cap logos use both the 1983-93 Giants and the 1985-2003 Padres’ insignias for a base. I’ve included two variants of option C, since the compression blurred the image. EDIT: I've revised the recreations, per the suggestions of @Gothamite.

 

wvbV5kr.png p8KOX9q.pngWj8RmNQ.png

 6U8JjS6.png

 

With some help from @slapshot in identifying the 1983-93 Giants’ base font (modified Clarendon), I’ve been able to recreate the prototype scripts.

 

E2Mp3kr.png

 

 

1 Bob Andelman and Lori Parsells, Stadium For Rent: Tampa Bay’s Quest for Major League Baseball, 2nd edition (St. Petersburg, FL: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015), 330; Robert F. Garratt, Home Team: The Turbulent History of the San Francisco Giants (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017), 155–56.

2 Andelman and Parsells, Stadium For Rent, 331–41, 366–68; Garratt, Home Team, 158–59.

3 Andelman and Parsells, Stadium For Rent, 343; Gabe Zaldivar, “Giants’ Brandon Crawford 5-Year Old Self Featured in Coolest World Series Story,” Bleacher Report, October 26, 2012, https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1386320-giants-brandon-crawford-5-year-old-self-featured-in-coolest-world-series-story; Ann Killion, “Brandon Crawford: Living the Dream - SFGate,” SFGate, October 8, 2012, https://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Brandon-Crawford-living-the-dream-3930508.php.

4 Garratt, Home Team, 156–67.

5 Andelman and Parsells, Stadium For Rent, 370–71, 374–75; Garratt, Home Team, 165–66.

6 Garratt, Home Team, 167–69.

7 Andelman and Parsells, Stadium For Rent, 387–89.

8 Andelman and Parsells, 375–76, 385; Garratt, Home Team, 169.

9 Andelman and Parsells, Stadium For Rent, 389–91.

10 Garratt, Home Team, 169.

11 Andelman and Parsells, Stadium For Rent, xv.

 

TL;DR: Had MLB's teams not feared being penalized by CBS in their contract negotiations, as well as pressure from influential owners and the strength of the local ownership group (in spite of a smaller bid and a loan from Lurie), then the move might have gone through. Naimoli thought it was close enough to commission prototypes.

 

Also, the argument that Bill White was punishing St. Petersburg for the racism he faced as a player there is one of the STUPIDEST reasons I've heard mentioned for a prevented relocation. 

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20 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

Also, the argument that Bill White was punishing St. Petersburg for the racism he faced as a player there is one of the STUPIDEST reasons I've heard mentioned for a prevented relocation. 

 

Mmm, I don’t know.  

 

If he really faced racism as a player there, it’s almost certain other players did as well.  And it’s feasible that his new players would too, which is a terrible position to be in when you’re trying to lure free agents.  I could see him saying that he’d have to overpay to lure players to a market with a bad reputation.  Hell, we see that now, with fan apathy substituted for racism. 

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4 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Mmm, I don’t know.  

 

If he really faced racism as a player there, it’s almost certain other players did as well.  And it’s feasible that his new players would too, which is a terrible position to be in when you’re trying to lure free agents.  I could see him saying that he’d have to overpay to lure players to a market with a bad reputation.  Hell, we see that now, with fan apathy substituted for racism. 

 

Except Bill White was NL President, not a prospective owner. That’s somewhat different.

 

The article also described how Elston Howard faced similar issues from the St. Petersburg elites, yet never ascended to the power that White did.

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The Texas Rangers also almost moved to Tampa Bay before a group that featured Dubya swooped in and purchased the team.

 

Tampa was obsessed with getting a baseball team so badly, that when they finally got one, nobody cared.  And now they could lose that team because they play in one of the worst stadiums in baseball.

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On 6/7/2019 at 5:05 AM, VDizzle12 said:

 

Interesting. I always remember seeing the Baltimore CFL logo and just assumed they were always the Stallions. You'd think if they already had a horse logo it shouldn't have been hard to just think of a nickname to go with it. Instead of going a whole season nameless. 

 

Remember that 1970s song by America.  1994 was the year the Baltimore Football Club was referred to as "the Horse With No Name".

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9 minutes ago, Wade Heidt said:

So we are talking possible San Francisco Giants possible relocation, and we have not mentioned the Toronto Giants yet?

 

http://bluejayhunter.com/2019/05/tale-of-the-toronto-giants-baseball-team.html

 

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Been there, done that:

 

I also made a digital version of that logo (relatively easy, what with the simple shape, good reference material - this screencap from the documentary What If: The Unlikely Story of Toronto's Baseball Giants, and Helvetica Black font):

 

C0GOk6q.png

 

This was probably my easiest recreation. The Florida White Sox t-shirt and both the Giants/Mariners designs (which involved replicating drop shadow) were far more difficult).

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Does anyone remember the supposed move of the Timberwolves to New Orleans in the mid-90's? And the names floating around of Loup-Garou and Rhythm. 

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31 minutes ago, jrodsep said:

Does anyone remember the supposed move of the Timberwolves to New Orleans in the mid-90's? And the names floating around of Loup-Garou and Rhythm. 

 

I think Louisiana Sounds were floating around as well? 

 

And, if I'm not mistaken this was the last time the Jazz seriously debated selling the Jazz nickname too?

 

CORRECTION: I found this ...

 

Quote

The New Orleans group included Fred Hofheinz and John O'Quinn. They intended to have the team play games in the Super-dome until a new arena could be built. The team name was also going to be changed with Angels and Rhythm being suggested as potential new names, as well as suing the Jazz to retake that moniker.

 

I don't remember the suing part, but this was also around the time the Jazz started looking into rebranding as well.

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