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View Full Version : Walter O'Malley must be spinning in his grave...


Fenway
08-16-2010, 07:55 AM
I have one personal Jamie story.

When the 406 Club was built at Fenway it also became the press box elevator. One afternoon I was in the elevator with 2 women and the older one was smoking a cigarette. Jamie orders the woman to put it out at once, and the older woman stared at her and then blew smoke in her face. Jamie starts screaming "Do you know who I am?"

I really don't think Jean Yawkey did or cared. :tongue:

Seriously Selig has a big headache with this and no one to blame but himself. Murdoch/Fox wanted to unload the team and Bud did not want to upset the only network willing to pay MLB for TV rights.

http://bit.ly/b5osxv

ewokpelts
08-16-2010, 09:33 AM
i doubt he would have cared.

LITTLE NELL
08-16-2010, 09:36 AM
Walter O'Malley was no saint, ask the people in Brooklyn.

DSpivack
08-16-2010, 11:53 AM
Sounds like an interesting article, don't have time now but will read later.

ewokpelts
08-16-2010, 12:00 PM
wow. the mccourts truly deserve each other.

Ex-Chicagoan
08-16-2010, 01:44 PM
Who smokes in an elevator?

LITTLE NELL
08-16-2010, 02:31 PM
Who smokes in an elevator?

Jean Yawkey at Fenway Park, she was grandmothered in.

Fenway
08-16-2010, 03:05 PM
Jean Yawkey at Fenway Park, she's grandmothered in.

Jean was a lot like Marge Shott except she NEVER talked to the press.

To this day nobody knows what Haywood Sullivan did to her but she turned on him and finally drove him out.

John Harrington somehow got on her good side. He was a NIGHT school accounting teacher at Boston College who also worked part time for the American League when it was based in Boston. When Joe Cronin retired from the AL he got Harrington a similar job with the Red Sox.

Harrington hasn't been seen at Fenway since he sold the club.

Frank McCourt is a decent guy. But people who know her said she is a top flight lawyer and she MUST have Ace Trump over Frank.

Frank should have held on to the Seaport land as it has exploded similar to the West Loop.

Fenway
08-16-2010, 03:25 PM
Walter O'Malley was no saint, ask the people in Brooklyn.

O'Malley was NOT the villain - Robert Moses drove him out of New York

Moses was the champion of the car. Another thing he stopped was the NY subway being built out in Queens which is vastly underserved compared to the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Where O'Malley wanted to build is today exactly where the New Jersey Nets are going - a main transit hub that connects the Long Island RR with the subway. Moses wanted the stadium in Queens where Shea was built and O'Malley said famously if we have to leave Brooklyn we might as well move 3000 miles.

From books I have read there was a master plan in place that because of TV there would be ONE team per market.

Free TV had been a disaster in NY for ticket sales. All home games were televised - Yankees on 11, Dodgers on 9 and Giants on 5 so there was always a game on. Chicago only had one available station which the Sox and Cubs shared but because the Cubs were also on WGN radio - channel 9 was more friendly to the Cubs.

All the teams that had relocated were from 2 team towns - Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia. The Cubs were looking at LA (which Wrigley controlled) but he couldn't find anyone for SF which Yawkey controlled in the mid 50's.

The Giants were all set for Minneapolis until Brooklyn decided to move and Yawkey and Stoneham traded AAA franchises opening up the west.

The Cubs according to the late Dick Young because they were second fiddle to the White Sox in the 50's and the AL wanted to be alone in what was then the #2 market were looking at Minneapolis, Houston, Buffalo or Toronto to complete the one team per market mandate when Branch Rickey dropped the bomb - a third major league (Continental League)

To stop it the NL decided to expand to Houston and Queens - and the AL decided to move into LA and Minneapolis.

The Washington owner then said ' I like the demographics in Minnesota better than DC and he was allowed to move the Senators and DC which FINALLY was getting a decent team got the new expansion Senators (now Rangers).

The other great WHAT IF

What if Yawkey had agreed to let the Braves move to Fenway so they could raise needed cash by selling the park to BU? A Braves team with Aaron and Matthews at Fenway might have become #1 in Boston and the Red Sox might have left. Yawkey as late as 1967 was hinting he would move the team.

Yawkey was on board to move to Norwood, MA and share a stadium with a relocated NFL team (Chicago Cardinals) but at the last minute pulled out.

Yawkey still wanted a new park and again signed on to play in a dome at South Station that would have been shared with the new Patriots and a relocated Wonderland Dog Track but that fell apart as well.

Yawkey was so fed up with Boston politics he told Will McDonough in May of 1967 he needed a new park or he would move.

Then came The Impossible Dream....

LITTLE NELL
08-16-2010, 03:42 PM
O'Malley was NOT the villain - Robert Moses drove him out of New York

Moses was the champion of the car. Another thing he stopped was the NY subway being built out in Queens which is vastly underserved compared to the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Where O'Malley wanted to build is today exactly where the New Jersey Nets are going - a main transit hub that connects the Long Island RR with the subway. Moses wanted the stadium in Queens where Shea was built and O'Malley said famously if we have to leave Brooklyn we might as well move 3000 miles.

From books I have read there was a master plan in place that because of TV there would be ONE team per market.

Free TV had been a disaster in NY for ticket sales. All home games were televised - Yankees on 11, Dodgers on 9 and Giants on 5 so there was always a game on. Chicago only had one available station which the Sox and Cubs shared but because the Cubs were also on WGN radio - channel 9 was more friendly to the Cubs.

All the teams that had relocated were from 2 team towns - Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia. The Cubs were looking at LA (which Wrigley controlled) but he couldn't find anyone for SF which Yawkey controlled in the mid 50's.

The Giants were all set for Minneapolis until Brooklyn decided to move and Yawkey and Stoneham traded AAA franchises opening up the west.

The Cubs according to the late Dick Young because they were second fiddle to the White Sox in the 50's and the AL wanted to be alone in what was then the #2 market were looking at Minneapolis, Houston, Buffalo or Toronto to complete the one team per market mandate when Branch Rickey dropped the bomb - a third major league (Continental League)

To stop it the NL decided to expand to Houston and Queens - and the AL decided to move into LA and Minneapolis.

The Washington owner then said ' I like the demographics in Minnesota better than DC and he was allowed to move the Senators and DC which FINALLY was getting a decent team got the new expansion Senators (now Rangers).

The other great WHAT IF

What if Yawkey had agreed to let the Braves move to Fenway so they could raise needed cash by selling the park to BU? A Braves team with Aaron and Matthews at Fenway might have become #1 in Boston and the Red Sox might have left. Yawkey as late as 1967 was hinting he would move the team.

Yawkey was on board to move to Norwood, MA and share a stadium with a relocated NFL team (Chicago Cardinals) but at the last minute pulled out.

Yawkey still wanted a new park and again signed on to play in a dome at South Station that would have been shared with the new Patriots and a relocated Wonderland Dog Track but that fell apart as well.

Yawkey was so fed up with Boston politics he told Will McDonough in May of 1967 he needed a new park or he would move.

Then came The Impossible Dream....

I knew most of that including Wrigley thinking of moving the Cubs to LA.
As far as WGN being more friendly to the Cubs, I think Jack Brickhouse had a lot to do with that. He pulled pretty hard for the Sox but pulled a lot harder for the Cubs. Also WGN only televised Sox and Cubs day games and the Sox played at least half their games at night and naturally the Cubs with no lights had all their home games on TV.
Another thing Wrigley never wanted lights at Clark and Addison but he was thinking of having some night games at Soldier Field in a configuration much like the LA Coloseum. The lights at Soldier Field were not bright enough for a Major League game and Wrigley though he could afford it did not want to spend the money.

PS. I still don't think O'Malley would had ever won any elections in Brooklyn

WhiteSox5187
08-16-2010, 04:24 PM
O'Malley was NOT the villain - Robert Moses drove him out of New York

Moses was the champion of the car. Another thing he stopped was the NY subway being built out in Queens which is vastly underserved compared to the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Where O'Malley wanted to build is today exactly where the New Jersey Nets are going - a main transit hub that connects the Long Island RR with the subway. Moses wanted the stadium in Queens where Shea was built and O'Malley said famously if we have to leave Brooklyn we might as well move 3000 miles.

From books I have read there was a master plan in place that because of TV there would be ONE team per market.

Free TV had been a disaster in NY for ticket sales. All home games were televised - Yankees on 11, Dodgers on 9 and Giants on 5 so there was always a game on. Chicago only had one available station which the Sox and Cubs shared but because the Cubs were also on WGN radio - channel 9 was more friendly to the Cubs.

All the teams that had relocated were from 2 team towns - Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia. The Cubs were looking at LA (which Wrigley controlled) but he couldn't find anyone for SF which Yawkey controlled in the mid 50's.

The Giants were all set for Minneapolis until Brooklyn decided to move and Yawkey and Stoneham traded AAA franchises opening up the west.

The Cubs according to the late Dick Young because they were second fiddle to the White Sox in the 50's and the AL wanted to be alone in what was then the #2 market were looking at Minneapolis, Houston, Buffalo or Toronto to complete the one team per market mandate when Branch Rickey dropped the bomb - a third major league (Continental League)

To stop it the NL decided to expand to Houston and Queens - and the AL decided to move into LA and Minneapolis.

The Washington owner then said ' I like the demographics in Minnesota better than DC and he was allowed to move the Senators and DC which FINALLY was getting a decent team got the new expansion Senators (now Rangers).

The other great WHAT IF

What if Yawkey had agreed to let the Braves move to Fenway so they could raise needed cash by selling the park to BU? A Braves team with Aaron and Matthews at Fenway might have become #1 in Boston and the Red Sox might have left. Yawkey as late as 1967 was hinting he would move the team.

Yawkey was on board to move to Norwood, MA and share a stadium with a relocated NFL team (Chicago Cardinals) but at the last minute pulled out.

Yawkey still wanted a new park and again signed on to play in a dome at South Station that would have been shared with the new Patriots and a relocated Wonderland Dog Track but that fell apart as well.

Yawkey was so fed up with Boston politics he told Will McDonough in May of 1967 he needed a new park or he would move.

Then came The Impossible Dream....

Moses was a big factor in the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, but O'Malley played a very large supporting role too. Roger Khan said that O'Malley was always jealous of Branch Rickey who would forever be in the history books for integrating baseball and O'Malley wanted to find a way to get his own name in the history books so what better way than to bring Major League baseball to the west coast? He was scouting spots in LA to build his stadium as early as 1955 and raised all kinds of hell to prevent Veeck from moving the Browns to LA which he briefly considered before ruling out Wrigley Field in LA and then looking at Milwaukee. Also, O'Malley was unnerved and a bit disgusted with the change in demographics of Brooklyn following the rise of the suburbs and Long Island and quickly wanted out of Flatbush if not Brooklyn outright. The Dodgers were still the most profitable NL team in 1957 in Brooklyn and O'Malley could have stayed and fought it out (kind of like Reisendorf did with the Sox in the '80s) but he had no problem leaving Brooklyn for LA. Moses certainly didn't help matters, but it's not like O'Malley was dying to stay in Brooklyn.

Hitmen77
08-16-2010, 09:19 PM
All the teams that had relocated were from 2 team towns - Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia. The Cubs were looking at LA (which Wrigley controlled) but he couldn't find anyone for SF which Yawkey controlled in the mid 50's.

The Giants were all set for Minneapolis until Brooklyn decided to move and Yawkey and Stoneham traded AAA franchises opening up the west.

The Cubs according to the late Dick Young because they were second fiddle to the White Sox in the 50's and the AL wanted to be alone in what was then the #2 market were looking at Minneapolis, Houston, Buffalo or Toronto to complete the one team per market mandate when Branch Rickey dropped the bomb - a third major league (Continental League)



♪ ....and I think to myself, what a wonderful world! ♪

TommyJohn
08-16-2010, 09:35 PM
Are there any contemporaneous accounts of the Cubs considering a move? Or did this all come out much later?

GoSox2K3
08-16-2010, 10:13 PM
♪ ....and I think to myself, what a wonderful world! ♪

A world without the Chicago Cubs? It would be just like Lionel Hutz imagined (without the shudder):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9JAt6gFqM

Fenway
08-17-2010, 12:28 AM
Are there any contemporaneous accounts of the Cubs considering a move? Or did this all come out much later?

Got to remember the leagues actually were bitter rivals back then but they did embrace the one team per market concept.

The AL owners were lukewarm over California because of the 3 hour time difference would hurt radio and TV and travel. The Red Sox were still taking trains as late as 1958.

It is mind boggling that the NL would walk away from New York but they did so with little debate. In Chicago the Sox were the more popular team and also had a big fan who lived at 35th and Lowe in Bridgeport. The Cubs were pretty much invisible back then.

WhiteSox5187
08-17-2010, 12:31 AM
Got to remember the leagues actually were bitter rivals back then but they did embrace the one team per market concept.

The AL owners were lukewarm over California because of the 3 hour time difference would hurt radio and TV and travel. The Red Sox were still taking trains as late as 1958.

It is mind boggling that the NL would walk away from New York but they did so with little debate. In Chicago the Sox were the more popular team and also had a big fan who lived at 35th and Lowe in Bridgeport. The Cubs were pretty much invisible back then.

Why, I live there! And I am a big fan! :redneck

Nellie_Fox
08-17-2010, 01:10 AM
In Chicago the Sox were the more popular team and also had a big fan who lived at 35th and Lowe in Bridgeport.Just to pick a nit, there is and was a police station at 35th and Lowe. "Da Mare" lived much closer to 36th.

Fenway
08-17-2010, 09:03 AM
Just to pick a nit, there is and was a police station at 35th and Lowe. "Da Mare" lived much closer to 36th.

My recollection is he lived right next to the station ( in any event it was a very modest bungalow )

One thing we will never know - if Branch Hickey and Bill Shea hadn't forced the issue with the Continental League who knows when the leagues would have expanded.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_League

The Continental League cities were NY, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Toronto and Buffalo. The Mets were formed in 1962 to give Bill Shea what he wanted, Houston and Minneapolis got teams and the AL decided to go to LA without another west coast team.

Gene Autry became the owner of the Angels by accident. He went to the league meetings just trying to get radio-tv rights and wound up being given the franchise.

Ford Frick was such a weak commissioner he read about the expansion in the paper.

The AL-NL hated each other and for years trades were not allowed between leagues. O'Malley said in 1972 he could only think of 3 AL franchises the NL would accept - NYY, Boston and Detroit.

In the end who could blame O'Malley given what the City of LA gave him. Until I went to Dodger Stadium I had no idea it was as close to downtown as it is. I thought Chavez Ravine was some isolated spot in the valley.

LITTLE NELL
08-17-2010, 09:19 AM
Just to pick a nit, there is and was a police station at 35th and Lowe. "Da Mare" lived much closer to 36th.

Exact address was 3536 S. Lowe. The Police station is at 35th and Lowe.
If you go to Google Earth, the house is right in the middle of the block.

soxinem1
08-17-2010, 02:52 PM
Moses was a big factor in the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, but O'Malley played a very large supporting role too. Roger Khan said that O'Malley was always jealous of Branch Rickey who would forever be in the history books for integrating baseball and O'Malley wanted to find a way to get his own name in the history books so what better way than to bring Major League baseball to the west coast? He was scouting spots in LA to build his stadium as early as 1955 and raised all kinds of hell to prevent Veeck from moving the Browns to LA which he briefly considered before ruling out Wrigley Field in LA and then looking at Milwaukee. Also, O'Malley was unnerved and a bit disgusted with the change in demographics of Brooklyn following the rise of the suburbs and Long Island and quickly wanted out of Flatbush if not Brooklyn outright. The Dodgers were still the most profitable NL team in 1957 in Brooklyn and O'Malley could have stayed and fought it out (kind of like Reisendorf did with the Sox in the '80s) but he had no problem leaving Brooklyn for LA. Moses certainly didn't help matters, but it's not like O'Malley was dying to stay in Brooklyn.

Bob Moses was the MAIN reason NY has the Mets instead of the Dodgers. What a lot of people do not know is that as building commissioner he was even more powerful than the mayor in many respects.

O'Malley offered to buy the land, condemn it, demolish it, and build the new stadium out of his pocket. He attempted to do this for over five years.

However Moses turned him down cold, never wavered, and even had the ear of Robert Wagner, the Mayor of NYC to resist this area becoming the sight of a MLB stadium.

True, he saw the changing demographics and the westward movement of the population as a whole, but he also felt the sight he wanted was very close to the trains and highways, and offered much, much more parking. This would draw fans from all over the NYC metropolitan area that were not NYY or NYG fans.

Plus, the Flushing sight would take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, so it would seem obvious that Moses was the one who could care less where the team wound up.

Additionally, Ebbetts Field had very small seating capacity even for 1950's standards, and only had around 900 parking spaces. As a civil engineer, O'Malley knew what he was designing for the long term, as Dodger Stadium is pretty much the same configuration as it was when it opened nearly 50 years ago.

O'Malley used LA to get what he wanted out of NY, but it never materialized. Kenneth Hahn, the father of the recent former Mayor James Hahn, was on the board of county supervisors in the 1950's at that time, made it very clear during O'Malley's initial visits (which were at the behest of LA, not O'Malley) that he felt he was using them to get what he wanted from NYC, that the Brooklyn Dodgers would NEVER leave.

And the rest, as we know now, is history.