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View Full Version : Has it always been Cubs then Sox?


chisox06
10-22-2003, 12:54 AM
Ive been rooting for the White Sox my whole life and one thing has always stayed a constant year after year. The Sox have always taken a back seat to the cubs, as far as media attention (national and local) attendence etc. Has it always been this way? How about when old Comiskey was in it's hayday? Have the sox always been this far behind in popularity in their own city, has it always been this bad? Just a simple question Ive always wondered and who better to ask it to than the most intelligent and biased sox fans I know! :D:

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 01:14 AM
In my youth in the 60s the annually pathetic Cubs always took a back seat to the Sox in Chicago. Poor Ernie Banks played in 14 straight losing seasons before Leo Durocher came to the Cubs in '66 and lead them out of the cellar, right to their September '69 swoon to make room for the "Joy in Mudville" Mets.

While the Sox were very competitive for theAL crown throughout the 60s with a number of near misses, their public eye downfall started with the 69 Cubs rise and the move of the Sox from WGN to WFLD channel 32 which very view people had reception for in those days. The early 70s were dismal years for the Sox, though there were some great highlights like Dick Allen and Belton Bill Melton and the South Side Hit Men of '77 got great public presence later in the decade.

In spite of Sox fans hopes that the stronger finanical base of the JR/Einhorn parntership that purchased the Sox from a financially strapped Bill Veeck would pan out as a new south side dynasty, it was only the flash in the pan of the '83 div champs and a steady 20 year PR downfall that followed ... to the point where today we hear quotes from the not so great managing partner "Chicago's always been a Cubs town" or similar BS--not only not at all true but mostly his fault and PR ineptitude to blame

TDog
10-22-2003, 01:29 AM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
...While the Sox were very competitive for theAL crown throughout the 60s with a number of near misses, their public eye downfall started with the 69 Cubs rise and the move of the Sox from WGN to WFLD channel 32 which very view people had reception for in those days. The early 70s were dismal years for the Sox, though there were some great highlights like Dick Allen and Belton Bill Melton and the South Side Hit Men of '77 got great public presence later in the decade....

The Sox only outdrew the Cubs by 8,000 in 1967, despite the ferocity of the American League pennant race and the also-ran status of the Cubs, who won two less games than the Sox. I think people were tired of the Sox as Leo Durocher captured the imagination. By 1969, WGN probably would have sent the Sox packing anyway.

michned
10-22-2003, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
...a steady 20 year PR downfall that followed ...

Agreed, the Cubs dominance in fan and media support has mainly been in the last 20 years. I think it was the combination of the success of the Cubs' '84 team, Harry Caray, and the start of the expansion of mass media (especially WGN, ESPN, and CNN) right around that time that were the main causes.

In my school years of the '70s, I remember Cubs and Sox fans loyalties were much closer to a 50/50 split.

Procol Harum
10-22-2003, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by TDog
The Sox only outdrew the Cubs by 8,000 in 1967, despite the ferocity of the American League pennant race and the also-ran status of the Cubs, who won two less games than the Sox. I think people were tired of the Sox as Leo Durocher captured the imagination. By 1969, WGN probably would have sent the Sox packing anyway.

The Cubs' resurgence actually began that year (1967) as they catapulted from last place to a respectable record and were actually threatening first place in June and July. I can remember actually being amazed as I watched channel 9 and saw a couple of near-capacity games played in Wrigley Field that summer.

Before that year one saw respectable crowds on the weekends only and sparse, sparse crowds on any given weekday. It was not at all uncommon during the spring and fall to have crowds under 3,000--I even remember one very cool day in late September--must've been '65 or '66--when they had an announced crowd in the 600s.

You're right about the Sox and the public imagination--by '67 people were getting tired of the endless parade of weak-hitting teams that could come close but didn't have the necessary bop to put themselves on top. Consider the '64 Yankees (Mantle, Maris, Howard, Pepitone), '65 Twins (Killebrew, Allison, Oliva, Mincher, Hall, Battey), '66 Orioles (the Robinsons, Boog Powell), and '67 Red Sox (Yaz, Conigliaro, Petrocelli, Scott, Reggie Smith)--everybody else had people who could hit and had power in addition to solid pitching and fielding. On top of all that, by '67 the neighborhood surrounding Comiskey was beginning to draw its bad reputation in connection with the nation's race riots and urban troubles.

But as michned points out, it's the last 20 years which have seen the real ascendancy of Cubdumb--exacerbated by Tribune marketing savvy and Reinsdorf's tin ear for public relations and lack of understanding of Sox fans.

eriqjaffe
10-22-2003, 10:22 AM
I remember those days. Almost exactly 20 years ago.

Remember Lee Elia going off on the "3000 f***in' fans"? That was back in 1983:

http://www.speakeasy.org/~bucky/elia.html

You can even download an MP3 of it. I sure got a lot of mileage out of it during the playoffs. :)

--Eriq.

poorme
10-22-2003, 10:48 AM
When did the neighborhood really go downhill? I wonder if that had anything to do with it. That was probably back in the 50s though.

ChiSox14305635
10-22-2003, 12:28 PM
I think the shift started when Harry Caray went crosstown from the South Side to the North Side. The whole 7th inning stretch, the "I'm a Cub fan, Bud man" stuff brought casual fans into the fold. I really think some people see it more as just having a good time than actually giving a crap on how the teams do.

TDog
10-22-2003, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by ChiSox14305635
I think the shift started when Harry Caray went crosstown from the South Side to the North Side. The whole 7th inning stretch, the "I'm a Cub fan, Bud man" stuff brought casual fans into the fold. I really think some people see it more as just having a good time than actually giving a crap on how the teams do.

But when the Cubs signed Harry Caray (who hadn't been fired by the Sox), Cubs fans were nearly as upset as Sox fans. They didn't realize they were getting a Harry Caray who had agreed, in return for more money, to build up the players instead of tear them down.

kittle42
10-22-2003, 01:08 PM
Harry: "Whaddya think Kmak is backwards?"

Steve: "I don't know, Harry."

[5-10 seconds dead air]

Harry: "Kamk."

Dadawg_77
10-22-2003, 01:46 PM
The mid 80's were a major turning point in this. The gentrification of Lakeview combined with the marketing savvy of Cubs led Wrigley to become the place to be. Thus increasing the gentrification and increasing the popularity of neighborhood which led to increased popularity of Cubs.


Did you know according to 2000 US Census more Irish live in Lakeview then Beverly and Bridgeport combined?

KingXerxes
10-22-2003, 01:51 PM
I think the shift started in the late 1960's when the Cubs - after two decades of pathetic baseball started to play in a mediocre fashion. The White Sox aggravated this shift by moving to UHF television. I clearly remember in the late 60's that a lot of folks didn't have UHF on their televisions, and even if they did the reception was very grainy. Bad bad move.

washington
10-22-2003, 02:23 PM
It's never been "Cubs then Sox." It's just the Sox. Cubs are just there for comic relief (see, e.g., last Tuesday). Don't let the media tell you otherwise.

Lip Man 1
10-22-2003, 02:27 PM
Where to begin...

Let me just discuss some of the points brought up on this board.

No WGN would NOT have dropped the Sox when their contract expired after 1967. See Rich Lindberg's interview with WSI. Lindberg discussed that same issue with Jack Brickhouse before he passed away. Rich talks about it.

Please see my story "SportsVision-The Legacy" here at WSI which has a detailed account about that ill fated venture as well as the history of Chicago baseball on television. As a sidebar I also get into the ramifications of the ousting of Harry Caray.

I don't think fans were tired of the Sox after 1967. How can anybody claim that, with 17 straight winning seasons and some incredible pennent races in 64 and 67? What fans were concerned about were the race riots that enveloped Chicago. The Sox drew 7,756 on opening day 1968 after the asassination of King. For a detailed account of everything that went wrong that season, please look at my column entitled "Great Expectations" here at WSI. The list is long and voluminous.

Add to the entire history since 1967 the drastic and dramatic PR and media blunders by current ownership and you can see why the Sox are where they are on the map.

It's not just one thing...many factors are involved, some outside of the control of current ownership but most caused directly by the arrogance and incompetence of the current owners.

And give the Cubs / Tribune Company credit...they took advantage of it unlike the Sox who didn't when Wrigley Field was basically empty of fans in the early 80's. (and I've got the video to prove it...)

Lip

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
....And give the Cubs / Tribune Company credit...they took advantage of it unlike the Sox who didn't when Wrigley Field was basically empty of fans in the early 80's. (and I've got the video to prove it...)

Just to piggyback on what Lip Man said (my apologies to anyone who has heard this story before)...

As late as 1983, I could finish my classes at 11:30, meet friends, and catch the "eL" for a ride to the Addison stop. We could get off the train, walk up to the Urinal's ticket window, and buy day-of-game bleacher tickets. Those seats were unreserved and we could sit practically any place we wanted because it was so empty, eating lunch, drinking beer, and getting ready to watch the Flubbies at 1:20 pm. The trendy fraternity boys didn't start showing up there and filling up the joint until the 1984 division championship year. The neighborhood was your basic dump, too, including the Cubbie Bear which was hardly more than a corner dive.

The cool image the Cubune has created for their pisshole ballpark and the formerly ****ty neighborhood is a relatively recent phenomenon. Of course try telling that to mediots and tourists who now make pilgrimages there from across the country...

:?:

A.T. Money
10-22-2003, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


As late as 1983, I could finish my classes at 11:30, meet friends, and catch the "eL" for a ride to the Addison stop.


What school did you go to?

voodoochile
10-22-2003, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Just to piggyback on what Lip Man said (my apologies to anyone who has heard this story before)...

As late as 1983, I could finish my classes at 11:30, meet friends, and catch the "eL" for a ride to the Addison stop. We could get off the train, walk up to the Urinal's ticket window, and buy day-of-game bleacher tickets. Those seats were unreserved and we could sit practically any place we wanted because it was so empty, eating lunch, drinking beer, and getting ready to watch the Flubbies at 1:20 pm. The trendy fraternity boys didn't start showing up there and filling up the joint until the 1984 division championship year. The neighborhood was your basic dump, too, including the Cubbie Bear which was hardly more than a corner dive.

George, you and I probably talked a few times back then. I could have written that post. Heck, even in the 90's you could walk up most days and buy a ticket easily. My flubbie buddies and I would go to the game, drink a bunch of beers, go to Wrigleyside tap and watch the afternoon blues show. 1998 was the year Wrigley really took off. No shock that some of the worst attendance years in recent Sox history were 1998, 1999.

woodenleg
10-22-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Did you know according to 2000 US Census more Irish live in Lakeview then Beverly and Bridgeport combined?

Yeah, lace-curtain, preppy sell-out plastic paddy potatohead Irish.

:angry:

GoSox2K3
10-22-2003, 04:25 PM
I'm not old enough to remember any Sox stuff before 1977, but I remember Bill Veeck complaining during the late 70s that the local media completely favored the Cubs.

But I think the Sox status in Chicago has really gone downhill during the Reinsdorf era. The Cubs status really took off in 1984.

Regarding Old Comiskey's heyday, I think there is a myth out there now that everyone loved Old Comiskey and the Sox were doing fine until they moved to the new park. This is revisionist history. My memory from 1977 to 1989 was that common public perception of Comiskey Park was that it was a crumbling dump in a scary neighborhood. I'm not saying this was my opinion of the old park - but that was the perception.

chuckn98229
10-22-2003, 04:36 PM
I wonder how different things would be now if MLB had allowed d'Bartolo to purchase the Sox. Instead we got JR, et.al.

cwsox
10-22-2003, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by TDog
The Sox only outdrew the Cubs by 8,000 in 1967, despite the ferocity of the American League pennant race and the also-ran status of the Cubs, who won two less games than the Sox. I think people were tired of the Sox as Leo Durocher captured the imagination. By 1969, WGN probably would have sent the Sox packing anyway.


in 1984 the Sox outdrew the cubs and we had a down year, they won a division championship.

Get that stupid video about the kid who pitches for the cubs - I forget the name. A part of the premise is that the cubs had such bad attendance that 300 people only showing up was standard. And when that movie came out, that wasn't so much of a stretch. Also, check the scenes of the roof tops around wrigley in that movie. One old couple. That was it. That's the way it was until recently with Trib marketing. None of what is there now was around 20 years ago but 14 years old think that was there forever because they have no memories. (And I think all national media have the intelligence level of 14 year olds because they never do the research, they just buy into the image they see.)

The current situation has everything to do wioth free tv vs cable over the last 30 20 years and the Tribune's very successful marketing.

JJAustin69
10-22-2003, 05:32 PM
The Cubs town perception is a phenomena of the last decade or so. The first Chicago team to draw 2 million fans in consecutive years was the White Sox in 83 and 84. The record for attendance in Chicago was 2.9 million for the White Sox in 1991 until the Cubs slightly surpassed it this year. The media would never let you know that though. The White Sox slide is exaggerated and post 1994.

ChiSox14305635
10-22-2003, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by chuckn98229
I wonder how different things would be now if MLB had allowed d'Bartolo to purchase the Sox. Instead we got JR, et.al.


You mean Eddie DeBartolo had a chance to purchase the Sox, and MLB wouldn't let him?


%@&@#^*!@#^%


We would've had a championship by now! :whiner:

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by ChiSox14305635
You mean Eddie DeBartolo had a chance to purchase the Sox, and MLB wouldn't let him?

%@&@#^*!@#^%

We would've had a championship by now! :whiner:

Commissioner Bowie Kuhn was quoted by John Helyar in his book Lords of Realm. "He's not R.P," Kuhn said about DeBartolo. He clarified what he meant to the MLB executive who he stated this to by explaining R.P. stands for "right people."

Owns racehorses (nevermind Steinbrenner or Gailbreath). Italian-American, too, don'tcha know. <wink, nudge>

Can you just imagine this like that scene from Caddyshack in Judge Smell's office....

Judge Smells: "Let's face it. Some people simply don't belong..."

:reinsy
"That's right. And now you've got me instead!"

Lip Man 1
10-22-2003, 07:31 PM
Veeck sold the team to DeBartolo after the 1980 season. DeBartolo allowed Veeck to go out and sign free agents Ron LeFlore and Jim Essian. I think there was a 3rd one as well, for two million dollars.

Then MLB owners under the prompting of then commissioner Bowie Kuhn disapproved the sale claiming that DeBartolo's horse racing / gambling interests weren't in baseball's best interest. They convienently forgot about the horse racing interests of the Galbraith family and George Steinbrenner.

At issue, in fact, was that some of DeBartolo's friends were more along the lines of some of the folks in "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos."

DeBartolo and his lawyer Vincent DeBartema threatened a lawsuit but it never came about. Meanwhile Veeck then had no choice but to sell to Reinsdorf / Einhorn. He went to his grave saying baseball "fostered" those two on him.

Lip

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Veeck sold the team to DeBartolo after the 1980 season. DeBartolo allowed Veeck to go out and sign free agents Ron LeFlore and Jim Essian. I think there was a 3rd one as well, for two million dollars.

Then MLB owners under the prompting of then commissioner Bowie Kuhn disapproved the sale claiming that DeBartolo's horse racing / gambling interests weren't in baseball's best interest. They convienently forgot about the horse racing interests of the Galbraith family and George Steinbrenner.

At issue, in fact, was that some of DeBartolo's friends were more along the lines of some of the folks in "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos."

DeBartolo and his lawyer Vincent DeBartema threatened a lawsuit but it never came about. Meanwhile Veeck then had no choice but to sell to Reinsdorf / Einhorn. He went to his grave saying baseball "foisted" those two on him.


Lip, your post reminded me of a great line from the movie Body Heat, starring a young William Hurt and an incredibly-vivacious Kathleen Turner:

"Sometimes the **** rains down on my head so much, I should wear a hat."

Kathleen Turner.... <growl noise>

DannyCaterFan
10-22-2003, 09:11 PM
As a White Sox Fan since attending opening day 1960 at the age of 8, I fondly remember what the climate around Chicago was during the 60's and beyond regarding how the Sox were perceived in Chicago. In those years, it was always the Sox and the Yankees competing for the pennant. Unfortunately, it was always the Yankees, or later the Twins or Detroit that always came out on top. The Cubs were almost an afterthought. Attendance wise, the Sox and the Cubs drew pretty much the same number of fans and I easily recall many afternoons watching the Cubs ( for laughs) when they actually closed the entire upper deck because of crowds of under 5,000.
That pretty much stayed the same during the seventies, except when the Cubs had a couple of winning seasons, they drew well.
So when did the current love affair, or yuppie affair begin? Three things happened to sway the casual fan over to the Cubs. First, almost all of their games were carried over WGN-TV, while the Sox went to UHF TV. Secondly, Harry Caray moved over to the North Side bringing his beer swilling contingent with him. he actually made it very hip to drink and be a Cubs fan. But most importantly and Third, It was the Cubs cheapness and luck that helped them. By that I mean with almost all the other teams in the majors building new stadiums during the 70,s, 80's & 90's, they are now only one of a handful of teams with an original stadium. Over the past decade the teams marketing has been built around the nostalgia of Wrigley Field. The neighborhood has grown around that concept, and now there are numerous establishments surrounding Wrigley for the hoardes of twentysomethings that live closeby. This is where a large portion of their fan base comes from, while US Cellular patrons must drive in from the suburbs.
The Sox are not actually drawing that bad. If you check the record, you will see that the last couple of years have been some of their best attended. Pure and simple the Sox need a winner to bring fans in, but it sure would help if there was some connecting entertainment nearby.

TornLabrum
10-22-2003, 09:37 PM
The Sox have made a number of stupid decisions over the years that have contributed to the Cubs ascendency. Those not around in 1967 probably have no idea of the impact of Art Allyn's decision to move the Sox to Channel 32. Those were in the days when most people didn't have TV sets with UHF dials and didn't have UHF antennas anyway. The Cubs got 150 or so games on a VHF station that had been telecasting both clubs' games since 1948 and the Sox got a station that maybe half of the population of the area could receive.

However, that wasn't the cause of the lack of attendance during the '60s, and neither was the rise of Leo Durocher's first edition of Lovable Losers (whose high point was the '69 choke). The Sox drew under a million in that storied 1967 pennant race, and it was about to get a whole lot worse, and not because of the Sox team being so bad.

The problem was, unfortunately, racial. Several racial incidents, including out and out rioting in April of '68s following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. caused the white population to stay away from Comiskey Park in droves.

The situation during the riots was so bad that Mayor Richard J. Daley issued a shoot to kill order for rioters and a shoot to maim order for looters, all of this going on just at the start of the baseball season in '68.

It took the resurgence of the Sox in '71 and the trade of Tommy John for Richie Allen in '72 to bring back the fans.

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 09:53 PM
At issue, in fact, was that some of DeBartolo's friends were more along the lines of some of the folks in "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos."

Its ironic, isn't it that DeBartolo's family went on to buy the Niners and build one of the most impressively dominating decades for any professional sports dynasty.

Ironic in that football was willing to look the other way (well they put up his son as well, not the father), while baseball in its "holier than thou attitude" put away what probably would have been stellar owners for the Sox on the grounds of "infamous mob connections".

The irony is that baseball today is closer to boxing in terms of legitimacy vs bogusness, with commissioner Bud defying anyone who asks them to open eithere one of their sets of books and parlay their local hip pocket congresspersons into continuing their absurd anti-trust exemption, all the while they threaten to trample owners and franchises like the Twins and Expos (each its own travesty due to the work of Bud and tha gang).

Nick@Nite
10-22-2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by eriqjaffe
I remember those days. Almost exactly 20 years ago.

Remember Lee Elia going off on the "3000 f***in' fans"? That was back in 1983:

http://www.speakeasy.org/~bucky/elia.html

You can even download an MP3 of it. I sure got a lot of mileage out of it during the playoffs. :)

--Eriq.

Thanks for the link.

(Listening to it right now)

Lee Elia is a great American!

Daver
10-22-2003, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
Its ironic, isn't it that DeBartolo's family went on to buy the Niners and build one of the most impressively dominating decades for any professional sports dynasty.

Ironic in that football was willing to look the other way (well they put up his son as well, not the father), while baseball in its "holier than thou attitude" put away what probably would have been stellar owners for the Sox on the grounds of "infamous mob connections".



You forgot to mention how ironic it was that Eddie Debartolo Jr. was tossed out of the NFL for concealing his ownership in gulf coast casinos,as well as his trouble with tax evasion over those same said casino interests.

The last thing a pro sport wants is an owner with ties to the gambling industry in casino form,it makes them too easy a target.


Blaming the current Sox ownership on the baseball's decision to have no part of the Debartolo family is ludicrous.

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 10:27 PM
Blaming the current Sox ownership on the baseball's decision to have no part of the Debartolo family is ludicrous

Not what I intended to say; I was pointing out the irony of Bowie Kuhn's "holier than thou" killing on the DeBartolo deal compared to baseball's crooked books and obvious anti-trust behaviors. And not the only one of Bowie's ("best interests of baseball") transgressions either.

Yeah Eddie junior finally got caught with his hands in the casino till, but only after a decade of doing a great job of turning his franchise into a perennial winner and proving ground for half the coaches in the NFL--not that that would justify his casino scam, just sayin he was a better than average owner for his tenure.

When I did intend to say was that in retrospect I think the Sox would've been better off under the Debartolos than the Riensdorks---as I don't think we realized at the time what a PR buffoon and arrogant fool JR was, nor the long term impact (read demise) of the Sox public image (in spite of JR's pathetic best efforts to the contrary, e.g. Ribbie and Rhubarb)

Daver
10-22-2003, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
Not what I intended to say; I was pointing out the irony of Bowie Kuhn's "holier than thou" killing on the DeBartolo deal compared to baseball's crooked books and obvious anti-trust behaviors. And not the only one of Bowie's ("best interests of baseball") transgressions either.

Yeah Eddie junior finally got caught with his hands in the casino till, but only after a decade of doing a great job of turning his franchise into a perennial winner and proving ground for half the coaches in the NFL--not that that would justify his casino scam, just sayin he was a better than average owner for his tenure.



Bowie Kuhn was in a different position than Pete Rozelle was in though,Kuhn already had the stigma of his sport being associated with a team throwing a championship,and could not allow any hint of this around MLB again.Rozelle was still building the NFL into what it is today,and welcomed Debartolo into the ranks because he readily agreed to back the commisioner when it came time to break the players union,the fact that Debartolo (both senior and junior) were financially involved in casinos both offshore and in the states was ignored to acheive a certain purpose,and the mess was left to Paul Taglibue to clean up after the fact.

I don't blame Bowie Kuhn for sending the Debartolos packing,he was protecting the best interest of the league,something Pete Roizelle didn't do.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-22-2003, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by Daver
I don't blame Bowie Kuhn for sending the Debartolos packing,he was protecting the best interest of the league,something Pete Roizelle didn't do.

This is the very first time I've ever heard anybody seriously suggest that anything Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ever did for baseball, was superior to something similar Commissioner Pete Rozelle did for football.

:?:

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 11:15 PM
Kuhn already had the stigma of his sport being associated with a team throwing a championship

I don't buy that, what happened more than 70 years previously was irrelevant at the time.

Cmon you can't be saying the DeBartolos would be any worse than the Bud and Jerry show!?!?! gimme a break!!

chuckn98229
10-22-2003, 11:18 PM
If anyone is interested, i have put together a spreadsheet with the attendances of the Sox and the cubs from 1950 - 1999, as well as their W-L percentage each year. Just let me know where to send it and I would be happy to share.

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 11:18 PM
and welcomed Debartolo into the ranks because he readily agreed to back the commisioner when it came time to break the players union,

and probably could've done it a lot more effectively and without a first ever cancelled World Series, had he been involved in baseball's labor bru ha ha (while Bud and Jerry nearly killed baseball in '94--the Sox certainly haven't recovered)

Daver
10-22-2003, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
I don't buy that, what happened more than 70 years previously was irrelevant at the time.

Cmon you can't be saying the DeBartolos would be any worse than the Bud and Jerry show!?!?! gimme a break!!

Imagine what the Chicago press would have done with Eddie Debartolo's connection to casino's if he was tied to the ownership of the only team that ever threw a World Series.

The Sox are still trying to live that down,having a known player in the gambling business as an owner would make it worse in multitude.

Daver
10-22-2003, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
and probably could've done it a lot more effectively and without a first ever cancelled World Series, had he been involved in baseball's labor bru ha ha (while Bud and Jerry nearly killed baseball in '94--the Sox certainly haven't recovered)

Wanna bet?

Jerry did the same thing that Debartolo promised to do for the NFL,be a hawk and hold his stance on the leagues agenda,the only difference is that the NFLPA was not nearly as strong a union as the MLBPA is,and did not have thirty years worth of court documented evidence to back them up.

voodoochile
10-22-2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Daver
Wanna bet?

Jerry did the same thing that Debartolo promised to do for the NFL,be a hawk and hold his stance on the leagues agenda,the only difference is that the NFLPA was not nearly as strong a union as the MLBPA is,and did not have thirty years worth of court documented evidence to back them up.

Yeah, but DeBartalo was circumventing the salary restraints in the NFL right and left. The 9ers got hit so hard when it all came down, I think they even lost draft picks. It was ugly.

DeBartalo was famous for under the table deals and one year even got fined for exceeding the maximum allowable cost on the Super Bowl ring he had made for the team. I think the limit was $10K and his rings came in at $100K or something equally ridiculous.

Sigh... makes you really wonder what could have been.

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 11:37 PM
Imagine what the Chicago press would have done with Eddie Debartolo's connection to casino's if he was tied to the ownership of the only team that ever threw a World Series.

they didn't make too much hay of it in the interum between when veeck sold the team up until bowie squashed it, why would they make such a big deal of it later

all of football didn't make much of it for 10+ years, why would the chcicago press (of all cities) be different (in a city ripe with graft and patronage and crooks on both sides of the bench)

ode to veeck
10-22-2003, 11:44 PM
NFLPA was not nearly as strong a union as the MLBPA is

absolutely, but I still lay a good deal of blame on JR and Bud for mishandling the strike and nearly killing baseball--given their ineptitude in everything else from mismanaging the spos to the sox PR, its hard to think that nearly anyone else couldn't have handled the labor problems with better results (again not to belittle a bad situation nor the role of the MLBPA)

Daver
10-22-2003, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
absolutely, but I still lay a good deal of blame on JR and Bud for mishandling the strike and nearly killing baseball--given their ineptitude in everything else from mismanaging the spos to the sox PR, its hard to think that nearly anyone else couldn't have handled the labor problems with better results (again not to belittle a bad situation nor the role of the MLBPA)

Did they mishandle the strike? Yes. But that has nothing to do with the current state of the Expos,Bud has simply proven himself more of a fool and a tool for bailing out Jeffery Loria in that whole situation,and placing his league in a position of being in a conflict of interest of itself,but the discussion was not about that,the discussion was about allowing allowing people with known casino interests owning pro sports franchises.People will happily talk about how great it would have been if the Debartolo's would have bought the Sox,but have no interest in the reasons why they were blocked from making the transaction.

MJL_Sox_Fan
10-22-2003, 11:59 PM
Wins Attendance
Sox Cubs Sox Cubs
2003 86 88 1,939,524 2,962,630
2002 81 67 1,676,911 2,693,096
2001 83 88 1,766,172 2,779,465
2000 95 65 1,947,799 2,789,511
1999 75 67 1,338,851 2,813,854
1998 80 90 1,391,146 2,623,194
1997 80 68 1,864,782 2,190,308
1996 85 76 1,676,403 2,219,110
1995 68 73 1,609,773 1,918,265
1994 67 49 1,697,398 1,845,208
1993 94 84 2,581,091 2,653,763
1992 86 78 2,681,156 2,126,720
1991 87 77 2,934,154 2,314,250
1990 94 77 2,002,357 2,243,791
1989 69 93 1,045,651 2,491,942
1988 71 77 1,115,749 2,089,034
1987 77 76 1,208,060 2,035,130
1986 72 70 1,424,313 1,859,102
1985 85 77 1,669,888 2,161,534
1984 74 96 2,136,988 2,107,655
1983 99 71 2,132,821 1,479,717
1982 87 73 1,567,787 1,249,278
1981 54 38 946,651 565,637
1980 70 64 1,200,365 1,206,776
1979 73 80 1,280,702 1,648,587
1978 71 79 1,491,100 1,525,311
1977 90 81 1,657,135 1,439,834
1976 64 75 914,945 1,026,217
1975 75 75 750,802 1,034,819
1974 80 66 1,149,596 1,015,378
1973 77 77 1,302,527 1,351,705
1972 87 85 1,177,318 1,299,163
1971 79 83 833,891 1,653,007
1970 56 84 495,355 1,642,705
1969 68 92 589,546 1,674,993
1968 67 84 803,775 1,043,409
1967 89 87 985,634 977,226
1966 83 59 990,016 635,891
1965 95 72 1,130,519 641,361
1964 98 76 1,250,053 751,647
1963 94 82 1,158,848 979,551
1962 85 59 1,131,562 609,802
1961 86 64 1,146,019 673,057
1960 87 60 1,644,460 809,770
1959 94 74 1,423,144 858,255
1958 82 72 797,451 979,904
1957 90 62 1,135,668 670,629
1956 85 60 1,000,090 720,118
1955 91 72 1,175,684 875,800
1954 94 64 1,231,629 748,183
1953 89 65 1,191,353 763,658
1952 81 77 1,231,675 1,024,826
1951 81 62 1,328,234 894,415
1950 60 64 781,330 1,165,944
1949 63 61 937,151 1,143,139
1948 51 64 777,844 1,237,792
1947 70 69 876,948 1,364,039
1946 74 82 983,403 1,342,970
1945 71 98 657,981 1,036,386
1944 71 75 563,539 640,110
1943 82 74 508,962 508,247
1942 66 68 425,734 590,972
1941 77 70 677,077 545,159
1940 82 75 660,336 534,878
1939 85 84 594,104 726,663
1938 65 89 338,278 951,640
1937 86 93 589,245 895,020
1936 81 87 440,810 699,370
1935 74 100 470,281 692,604
1934 53 86 236,559 707,525
1933 67 86 397,789 594,112
1932 49 90 233,198 974,688
1931 56 84 403,550 1,086,422
1930 62 90 406,123 1,463,624
1929 59 98 426,795 1,485,166
1928 72 91 494,152 1,143,740
1927 70 85 614,423 1,159,168
1926 81 82 710,339 885,063
1925 79 68 832,231 622,610
1924 66 81 606,658 716,922
1923 69 83 573,778 703,705
1922 77 80 602,860 542,283
1921 62 64 543,650 410,107
1920 96 75 833,492 480,783
1919 88 75 627,186 424,430
1918 57 84 195,081 337,256
1917 100 74 684,521 360,218
1916 89 67 679,923 453,685
1915 93 73 539,461 217,058
1914 70 78 469,290 202,516
1913 78 88 644,501 419,000
1912 78 91 602,241 514,000
1911 77 92 583,208 576,000
1910 68 104 552,084 526,152
1909 78 104 478,400 633,480
1908 88 99 636,096 665,325
1907 87 100 666,307 422,550
1906 93 116 585,202 654,300
1905 92 92 687,419 509,900
1904 89 93 557,123 439,100
1903 60 82 286,183 386,205
1902 74 68 337,898 263,700
1901 83 53 354,350 205,071
8,028 8,039 102,319,615 116,648,988

TDog
10-23-2003, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
....

Cmon you can't be saying the DeBartolos would be any worse than the Bud and Jerry show!?!?! gimme a break!!

The major concern about DeBartolo was that he was looking to move the team to Florida. Before MLB nixed him on the gambling issue, he had agreed that he would forfeit a large amount of money if he move the team. Of course, a large amount of money is what he was already throwing at Veeck to buy the franchise.

DeBartolo helped Veeck sign Essian to catch, but the new ownership went made him a backup by going out and signing Fisk.

I grew up in Northwest Indiana, which geographically should have been Sox county. But in 1968 and 1969 and beyond, I lived in Cubs country. Television was a factor, but the reason the Sox went to UHF was the clear fact that they were getting slighted by WGN. Had they stayed with WGN, there is no doubt in my mind that they would be a poor second on the station, just as they have been in recent years.

As for Harry Caray, the Sox were in a no-win situation. He ripped the players (which works with quite a few hard-core Sox fans) when he was on the South Side. Players hated him. I talked to two popular players from the 1970s teams after his death, asking them if they mourned. They were unashamed in saying no. While Harry Caray wasn't getting any love from Sox ownership, he went to the Cubs for the money and the chance to go back to the National League (which he often praised as superior when he was doing Sox games). The money was good enough that he agreed not to rip on the players. The Sox may have handed Harry Caray to the Cubs, but he was a Harry Carry that did more for his new team than he ever wanted to do for his old one.

ode to veeck
10-23-2003, 12:07 AM
People will happily talk about how great it would have been if the Debartolo's would have bought the Sox, but have no interest in the reasons why they were blocked from making the transaction.

I'd have been willing to look the other way for 10 decent years of leadership from E DeB vs 20 dismal declining ones from JR

SoxRulecubsdrool
10-23-2003, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by MJL_Sox_Fan
Wins Attendance
Sox Cubs Sox Cubs
2003 86 88 1,939,524 2,962,630
2002 81 67 1,676,911 2,693,096
2001 83 88 1,766,172 2,779,465
2000 95 65 1,947,799 2,789,511
1999 75 67 1,338,851 2,813,854
1998 80 90 1,391,146 2,623,194
1997 80 68 1,864,782 2,190,308
1996 85 76 1,676,403 2,219,110
1995 68 73 1,609,773 1,918,265
1994 67 49 1,697,398 1,845,208
1993 94 84 2,581,091 2,653,763
1992 86 78 2,681,156 2,126,720
1991 87 77 2,934,154 2,314,250
1990 94 77 2,002,357 2,243,791
1989 69 93 1,045,651 2,491,942
1988 71 77 1,115,749 2,089,034
1987 77 76 1,208,060 2,035,130
1986 72 70 1,424,313 1,859,102
1985 85 77 1,669,888 2,161,534
1984 74 96 2,136,988 2,107,655
1983 99 71 2,132,821 1,479,717
1982 87 73 1,567,787 1,249,278
1981 54 38 946,651 565,637
1980 70 64 1,200,365 1,206,776
1979 73 80 1,280,702 1,648,587
1978 71 79 1,491,100 1,525,311
1977 90 81 1,657,135 1,439,834
1976 64 75 914,945 1,026,217
1975 75 75 750,802 1,034,819
1974 80 66 1,149,596 1,015,378
1973 77 77 1,302,527 1,351,705
1972 87 85 1,177,318 1,299,163
1971 79 83 833,891 1,653,007
1970 56 84 495,355 1,642,705
1969 68 92 589,546 1,674,993
1968 67 84 803,775 1,043,409
1967 89 87 985,634 977,226
1966 83 59 990,016 635,891
1965 95 72 1,130,519 641,361
1964 98 76 1,250,053 751,647
1963 94 82 1,158,848 979,551
1962 85 59 1,131,562 609,802
1961 86 64 1,146,019 673,057
1960 87 60 1,644,460 809,770
1959 94 74 1,423,144 858,255
1958 82 72 797,451 979,904
1957 90 62 1,135,668 670,629
1956 85 60 1,000,090 720,118
1955 91 72 1,175,684 875,800
1954 94 64 1,231,629 748,183
1953 89 65 1,191,353 763,658
1952 81 77 1,231,675 1,024,826
1951 81 62 1,328,234 894,415
1950 60 64 781,330 1,165,944
1949 63 61 937,151 1,143,139
1948 51 64 777,844 1,237,792
1947 70 69 876,948 1,364,039
1946 74 82 983,403 1,342,970
1945 71 98 657,981 1,036,386
1944 71 75 563,539 640,110
1943 82 74 508,962 508,247
1942 66 68 425,734 590,972
1941 77 70 677,077 545,159
1940 82 75 660,336 534,878
1939 85 84 594,104 726,663
1938 65 89 338,278 951,640
1937 86 93 589,245 895,020
1936 81 87 440,810 699,370
1935 74 100 470,281 692,604
1934 53 86 236,559 707,525
1933 67 86 397,789 594,112
1932 49 90 233,198 974,688
1931 56 84 403,550 1,086,422
1930 62 90 406,123 1,463,624
1929 59 98 426,795 1,485,166
1928 72 91 494,152 1,143,740
1927 70 85 614,423 1,159,168
1926 81 82 710,339 885,063
1925 79 68 832,231 622,610
1924 66 81 606,658 716,922
1923 69 83 573,778 703,705
1922 77 80 602,860 542,283
1921 62 64 543,650 410,107
1920 96 75 833,492 480,783
1919 88 75 627,186 424,430
1918 57 84 195,081 337,256
1917 100 74 684,521 360,218
1916 89 67 679,923 453,685
1915 93 73 539,461 217,058
1914 70 78 469,290 202,516
1913 78 88 644,501 419,000
1912 78 91 602,241 514,000
1911 77 92 583,208 576,000
1910 68 104 552,084 526,152
1909 78 104 478,400 633,480
1908 88 99 636,096 665,325
1907 87 100 666,307 422,550
1906 93 116 585,202 654,300
1905 92 92 687,419 509,900
1904 89 93 557,123 439,100
1903 60 82 286,183 386,205
1902 74 68 337,898 263,700
1901 83 53 354,350 205,071
8,028 8,039 102,319,615 116,648,988
What is the error of margin?: +/-3
:gulp:

cwsox
10-23-2003, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by Daver
You forgot to mention how ironic it was that Eddie Debartolo Jr. was tossed out of the NFL for concealing his ownership in gulf coast casinos,as well as his trouble with tax evasion over those same said casino interests.

The last thing a pro sport wants is an owner with ties to the gambling industry in casino form,it makes them too easy a target.


Blaming the current Sox ownership on the baseball's decision to have no part of the Debartolo family is ludicrous.


Never saw a post with which I agreed more.

Daver - you are so exactly right here. I was going to post the same thing but you beat me toit and said it better than I might of.

We should thank God that debartolos were never involved in an ownership capacity with the Sox for the reason you state as well s debartolo would have probably moved the team.

cwsox
10-23-2003, 03:15 AM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
I'd have been willing to look the other way for 10 decent years of leadership from E DeB vs 20 dismal declining ones from JR

being shortsided is one flaw.


the false assumption is JR has brought us declinign years. I am no JR fan but facts are facts. Under JR we won division titles in 1983, 1993, and 2000, and one may incude 1994. The only other tme span in which we won three of anything was 1906, 1917, and 1919 (the last being the pennent alone of course). JR has hardly given us dismal and declining years. In fact, we have finished as low as 3rd only once in the past 7 seasons. That is not declining. Not what I want, but be fair and honest with the man.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-23-2003, 09:01 AM
Wow. This is some of the worse innuendo I have read in a long, long time. We're doing some genuine character assasination around here. Excuse me if I'm less than convinced by what MLB and NFL owners say about a guy who makes their lives more difficult.

22 years after Reinshorn promised Sox Fans a "first-class organization," we're having a debate whether DeBartolo wouldn't have brought the Sox more success. Top-flight free agents like Dave Winfield wouldn't sign with Veeck's Sox, and they still won't with Reinsdorf's Sox today. In fact Boras steers all his players away from the Sox, so in this respect, today it's actually worse than it was in the 1970's.
:angry:

15 years after Reinsdorf actually signed a deal to move the Sox to Florida, we're having a debate whether DeBartolo might have done the same thing?
:?:

Let me guess. DeBartolo was a labor hawk, flushed his team's championship hopes down the drain to pursue a chance at breaking the union, and called his team's fans "crazy" for believing they could win. How on earth did the 49ers not wind up in Mexico?
:o:

All the alleged "shortsighted" mismanagement by DeBartolo sure didn't stop the 49ers from beating the living **** out of McCaskey's Bears last month, and it's funny because I don't recall too many championship trophies being hoisted inside their lockerroom anytime since shuffling to one lone Super Bowl while the Niners were assembling a dynasty.

This is sad...

GoSox2K3
10-23-2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by MJL_Sox_Fan
Wins Attendance
Sox Cubs Sox Cubs
2003 86 88 1,939,524 2,962,630
2002 81 67 1,676,911 2,693,096
2001 83 88 1,766,172 2,779,465
2000 95 65 1,947,799 2,789,511
1999 75 67 1,338,851 2,813,854
1998 80 90 1,391,146 2,623,194
1997 80 68 1,864,782 2,190,308
1996 85 76 1,676,403 2,219,110
1995 68 73 1,609,773 1,918,265
1994 67 49 1,697,398 1,845,208
1993 94 84 2,581,091 2,653,763
1992 86 78 2,681,156 2,126,720
1991 87 77 2,934,154 2,314,250
1990 94 77 2,002,357 2,243,791



Interesting how the 2 big attendance dips in recent years occurred after the '94 strike and the '97 white flag trade.

:reinsy
"I have done great things for this franchise. It's not my fault that the fans won't support the team. The fans are forcing me to slash payroll."

GoSox2K3
10-23-2003, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by cwsox
the false assumption is JR has brought us declinign years. I am no JR fan but facts are facts. Under JR we won division titles in 1983, 1993, and 2000, and one may incude 1994. The only other tme span in which we won three of anything was 1906, 1917, and 1919 (the last being the pennent alone of course). JR has hardly given us dismal and declining years. In fact, we have finished as low as 3rd only once in the past 7 seasons. That is not declining. Not what I want, but be fair and honest with the man.

Here's another way to look at JR's success as an owner: The only teams that have NOT won a pennant or at least 3 division titles during the Reinsdorf years are the Expos, Rockies, and Devil Rays - and Col and TB are 90s expansion teams. So, you could say that the only team we have outperformed during JR's tenure is the Expos. Not exactly something to be proud of.

My biggest complaint about JR is that he's brought us a declining fan base. When he took over the team, there was more of an even split between Cub and Sox fans in Chicago. JR has totally marginalized the Sox and turned them into a small market team with moves such as giving Harry Caray to the Cubs, pay TV, an unpopular new park, the '94 strike, and the white flag trade. It will be difficult for our franchise to recover from the damage that JR has done to it.

Dan H
10-23-2003, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by Procol Harum
The Cubs' resurgence actually began that year (1967) as they catapulted from last place to a respectable record and were actually threatening first place in June and July. I can remember actually being amazed as I watched channel 9 and saw a couple of near-capacity games played in Wrigley Field that summer.

Before that year one saw respectable crowds on the weekends only and sparse, sparse crowds on any given weekday. It was not at all uncommon during the spring and fall to have crowds under 3,000--I even remember one very cool day in late September--must've been '65 or '66--when they had an announced crowd in the 600s.

You're right about the Sox and the public imagination--by '67 people were getting tired of the endless parade of weak-hitting teams that could come close but didn't have the necessary bop to put themselves on top. Consider the '64 Yankees (Mantle, Maris, Howard, Pepitone), '65 Twins (Killebrew, Allison, Oliva, Mincher, Hall, Battey), '66 Orioles (the Robinsons, Boog Powell), and '67 Red Sox (Yaz, Conigliaro, Petrocelli, Scott, Reggie Smith)--everybody else had people who could hit and had power in addition to solid pitching and fielding. On top of all that, by '67 the neighborhood surrounding Comiskey was beginning to draw its bad reputation in connection with the nation's race riots and urban troubles.

But as michned points out, it's the last 20 years which have seen the real ascendancy of Cubdumb--exacerbated by Tribune marketing savvy and Reinsdorf's tin ear for public relations and lack of understanding of Sox fans.

I agree with this assessment completely. For all the winning the Sox did in the '60's, they never really had every day impact players that could catch the imagination of the fans. They came oh so close in '67 but their leading home run hitter was Pete Ward with an anemic 18. Ward also led the team in RBIs with a not so great 62. The Sox were winning, but were also boring.

On Opening Day 1968, the Sox couldn't draw 8,000. This was just a few days after Martin Luther King was killed. There was more than plenty of tension out there.

To make matters worse, they lost the first 10 games of 1968. Then the team put astro turf in the infield and erected little league looking fences in front the old wall to shorten the park's dimensions. This was just an admission they still had a team that couldn't hit. In 1970 the Sox lost 106, and they drew more pidgeons than fans. I don't think the franchise has recovered since.

Now the Sox cannot afford to be inactive in this post season. Cub fever is only going to worsen. Slogans like "The Kids Can Play" won't cut it anymore. Time for some real results.

cwsox
10-23-2003, 11:05 AM
interesting points.

In April 1968, for those of us who remember those days, no one was going anywhere given the street-police-society situation. The prior weekend to the Sox opening day Chicago was essentially shut down, the mayor was saying "shoot to kill" and going to a baseball game was not in most people's minds right at that point in human history. In the period between the King assassination and the convention, Chicago was an armed and wary camp. Young people and people of color did not travel without anxiety in those days.

There also was no Dan Ryan el in 1968. Transportation was bus or car and in early April 1968 no one was taking either across the city.

It is also unfair to compare 60s attendance numbers with 90s and 00s numbers for any team. Look at every team's attendance across the boards in the 50s and 60s and you will be surprised how much lower they were then than now. It was a major deal when any team approached let alone crossed the 1,000,000 mark. It was a very different era in many ways and across the decades comparisons don't hold up.

I never heard the idea before that 1970 cost the Sox long term attendance. (And I personally made up a great deal of the 1970 attendance, making my friends go with me.) I do not believe that is so, the 1970 had an impact on the Sox future attendance. Opening Day 1971 was a sellout. Numbers in the 70s were up for the Sox consistently. The 1994 labor action and the 1997 white flag trade did have a significant impact on attendance IMHO.

ode to veeck
10-23-2003, 11:52 AM
My biggest complaint about JR is that he's brought us a declining fan base. When he took over the team, there was more of an even split between Cub and Sox fans in Chicago. JR has totally marginalized the Sox and turned them into a small market team with moves such as giving Harry Caray to the Cubs, pay TV, an unpopular new park, the '94 strike, and the white flag trade. It will be difficult for our franchise to recover from the damage that JR has done to it.

Exactly, and the list of JR's ongoing insults to the Sox fans goes on and on ... 50th all-star game and cross town series tickets screw jobs the threatened move of the team, running down comisky park maintenance to force the "new park crisis" etc etc etc

using JR's own words as an index, i.e. "1st class organization", the pale hose pale in comparison to several other teams results as (1) a competitive sports organization; see YankMes, Twins, As, Braves, even Giants, Jays, Marlins, and (2) a successful entertainment venture: decline to worst market share position vs local competitor in 70 years--in the third largest market in the country, they also totally failed to establish an expanded regional midwest base (as the Flubs & other teams have done) with the changing media/sports biz of the last 25 years, this is the key point and ribbie and rhubarb don't cut it here-they missed by a country mile

the two are not related, as (2) now relates to the Sox inability to do (1) by virtue of reduced payroll, inability to pay an experienced winner to manage the team etc , i.e. totally missing the market opportunity

in fairness to Daver's very valid points on E DeB sr. and his casino interests, I was clearly understating this key issue to make some points about JR's dismal record, Daver's actually right that this was a real issue that could not have been ignored at the time, but Bowie "best interests of baseball" Kuhn could have worked other options, e.g forcing biz divestiture or re-org etc --clearly the DeB's realized this issue themselves and set themselves up differently vis-a-vis the Niners

nonetheless, the raw (JR to E DeB) comparison stands by its results, Niners with more Super Bowls than any other franchise, and even after the casino scam and clearly in decline, this year's niners, arguably the worst team for them in ~20 years, are still light years ahead of the Bears

BTW--special thanks to MJL_Sox_Fan for the attendance stats by year, be interesting to plug them into excel and run a few simple stats extractions, interpretations ...

TDog
10-23-2003, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
...15 years after Reinsdorf actually signed a deal to move the Sox to Florida, we're having a debate whether DeBartolo might have done the same thing?
:?:

...

Reinsdorf wanted a new stadium (which many still haven't forgiven him for). DeBartolo wanted the team in a new city.

With all due respect, I am not defending JR. I just recall how I felt as a fan when Bill Veeck wanted to sell. I was happy, but I didn't want him to sell to DeBartolo. The feeling among everyone at the time was that his interest was in moving the team, and if he wasn't allowed to do it in the short term, it would remain his priority for the franchise.

Dan H
10-23-2003, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by cwsox
interesting points.

In April 1968, for those of us who remember those days, no one was going anywhere given the street-police-society situation. The prior weekend to the Sox opening day Chicago was essentially shut down, the mayor was saying "shoot to kill" and going to a baseball game was not in most people's minds right at that point in human history. In the period between the King assassination and the convention, Chicago was an armed and wary camp. Young people and people of color did not travel without anxiety in those days.

There also was no Dan Ryan el in 1968. Transportation was bus or car and in early April 1968 no one was taking either across the city.

It is also unfair to compare 60s attendance numbers with 90s and 00s numbers for any team. Look at every team's attendance across the boards in the 50s and 60s and you will be surprised how much lower they were then than now. It was a major deal when any team approached let alone crossed the 1,000,000 mark. It was a very different era in many ways and across the decades comparisons don't hold up.

I never heard the idea before that 1970 cost the Sox long term attendance. (And I personally made up a great deal of the 1970 attendance, making my friends go with me.) I do not believe that is so, the 1970 had an impact on the Sox future attendance. Opening Day 1971 was a sellout. Numbers in the 70s were up for the Sox consistently. The 1994 labor action and the 1997 white flag trade did have a significant impact on attendance IMHO.

1970 alone doesn't accont for all Sox problems today. It is just that I think the franchise has suffered from a series of events in the last 35 years. I will agree that 1994 and 1997 had a larger impact.

However, I do think the late '60's provided a major turning point for the Sox. By 1975, it looked like they were on their way out of town. Actually during the middle of the '67 pennant race, there rumors about the Sox moving to Milwaukee.

To sum it up I think a fan base is truly built from one generation to the next. By the late '60's and early '70's, the Sox were losing fans. They haven't stopped losing fans.

ode to veeck
10-23-2003, 01:36 PM
The feeling among everyone at the time was that his interest was in moving the team, and if he wasn't allowed to do it in the short term, it would remain his priority for the franchise.

Actually I wholeheartedly agree with this concern. It was certainly was high risk for a E DeB sr. owned Sox. The casino connection could have been dealt with with appropriate divesture or similar, but this was a real risk for Sox fans--that would have been disasterous if if happened ...

as far as the stadium goes, I look at that as one of the greatest screw ups on Reny's part---the Flubs have parlayed that into their greatest assest, even in the absence (mostly) of a competitive team (their only problem is its become too big a part of their venture)

while we all make fun of "the urinal" it actually has a lot of good seats, not the seats themselves but location and view of the field etc. while the great improvements in the amenities of the cell are nice (better seats, food, bathrooms etc), the Sox lost the opportunity to invest in maintaining the physical stadium and turning it into a mecca of the Sox PR mystique (as long as we don't take it as far or as exclusively as the Flubs have in some respect)

compared to wrigley, comiskey had even more excellent seats with great field view, e.g 1st few rows of upper deck were outstanding, and the 2nd deck throughout the outfield made "modern seating capacity" a non-issue (which is still a major issue for the flubs)

not to say we should do it the same way, but the yank-mes major rennovation of their stadium is a PR and commercial success--and continues to be a foundation of their biz

At this point this is all water under the bridge long ago ... as its long gone, I only point it out as a critical example of Reinsy's leadership gap in critical areas/opportunities vis-a-vis making the Sox a first class organization---after 5 years any new stadium would still pale in comparison to a properly maintained, upgraded historical landmark /franchise cornerstone

ode to veeck
10-23-2003, 01:56 PM
However, I do think the late '60's provided a major turning point for the Sox. By 1975, it looked like they were on their way out of town. Actually during the middle of the '67 pennant race, there rumors about the Sox moving to Milwaukee.

They were remote rumors as far as my recollection goes--Milwaukee really wanted a team again

the biggest single event in this timeframe, as pointed out a number of times, was the switch from WGN to WFLD. Local broadcast was nearly the whole media access and it was essentially like universally available Sox games througout the year whereas WFLD was like moving from 95% market penetration to 5-10% or similar--

I personally lost this "universal" access to the Sox games as a result of the WFLD change, until one of my neighbor's dads (lifleong Sox zealot who never wavered during the Allyn years) upgraded specifically to get the Sox games--even still I saw a lot fewer games via broadcast for many many years

PaleHoseGeorge
10-23-2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by TDog
Reinsdorf wanted a new stadium (which many still haven't forgiven him for). DeBartolo wanted the team in a new city.

With all due respect, I am not defending JR. I just recall how I felt as a fan when Bill Veeck wanted to sell. I was happy, but I didn't want him to sell to DeBartolo. The feeling among everyone at the time was that his interest was in moving the team, and if he wasn't allowed to do it in the short term, it would remain his priority for the franchise.

I feel your pain. Really, I do. I wouldn't envy anyone trying to defend JR, and I would not accuse you of anything of the sort in your comments above.

I'm not aware of any problem MLB had with DeBartolo for threats of moving the Sox, presently or in the future. To the contrary, MLB had exactly two stated reasons for blocking Veeck's sale to DeBartolo. Quoting John Helyar in Lords of the Realm:

In August 1980, Veeck agreed to sell him [DeBartolo] the club for $20 million, but American League owners, encouraged by Kuhn, refused to approve the transaction. They voted down DeBartolo twice, for two stated reasons [my emphasis]: he wasn't local and he owned racetracks. The real reason was that he was reputed to have some unsavory associates -- Italian-American don't you know. As Bowie Kuhn put it over cocktails while lobbying a baseball executive, "He's not RP." Come again" "Right people."

DeBartolo and his people screamed bloody murder about anti-Italian prejudice. But what's the use of an antitrust exemption you can't use it to control membership in the club?

Veeck wasn't just disgusted, he was discouraged...

(pp 242)

I'm not sure what "not local" exactly means, but the point is moot for the purpose of our discussion because whatever we can hypothetically claim DeBartolo would have done to move the team, can be proven beyond a doubt "local" Jerry Reinsdorf actually did! Only the 12:01 Miracle saved the Sox for Chicago.

Okay, so exactly who is Bowie Kuhn to be passing judgment on the character of anyone? Helyar has plenty to say on this subject, too.

He [Kuhn] kicked around the law firm of Wilkie, Farr and Gallagher for a time , then founded a new law firm in 1988 with a fast-lane litigator named Harvey Myerson... Myerson was eventually convicted of bilking clients. Kuhn fled to Florida, a state with generous legal protection fo property for people in bankruptcy proceedings. He bought a $1 million home near Jacksonville and dropped out of site for a time, finally emerging to become a partner in the franchise-brokering business.

(pp 551)

If Kuhn isn't guilty of fraud himself, he certainly is guilty of being a poor judge of character when choosing even his closest business associates. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of his ability to judge DeBartolo or anybody else for that matter...

GoSox2K3
10-23-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
the biggest single event in this timeframe, as pointed out a number of times, was the switch from WGN to WFLD. Local broadcast was nearly the whole media access and it was essentially like universally available Sox games througout the year whereas WFLD was like moving from 95% market penetration to 5-10% or similar-

Interesting how the Sox made this same mistake TWICE in the last 35 years. I'm too young to remember the switch from WGN to WFLD, but 15 years later the team made the same boneheaded move by moving from free TV to pay TV in 1982. For those of you who weren't here in the early 80's, I'd like to point out that SportsVision was NOT basic cable. It was a premium subscription service that cost something like $15/month.

At this point the Sox have been back on WGN for 13 years and both the Cubs and Sox share the same basic cable channel. But the damage has been done. 13 years of being back on WGN doesn't seem to have created any sort of extend following of the Sox.

KingXerxes
10-23-2003, 03:38 PM
But they also screwed up their radio coverage in the late 60's. I remember when they were broadcast on WTAQ which was something like a 5000 watt station out of La Grange Park, Illinois. If you were on the east end of Brookfield (a neighboring suburb) you couldn't pick up the game.

Then - at some point - the owners (it was the Allyn's at that point I believe) thought that Harry Caray was being too critical of the team, so first they fire his sidekick, and then proceed to put Caray's broadcasts on 7-second delay WITHOUT LETTING HIM KNOW. As I understand it, somebody at the game was listening on the radio, and walked under the broadcast booth and asked why he was on delay - and that's how he found out. And did Caray have a fit! It dominated the sports section for a while, and served as yet one more shining example of how this organization always steps in poo when the opportunity arises.

cwsox
10-23-2003, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
But they also screwed up their radio coverage in the late 60's. I remember when they were broadcast on WTAQ which was something like a 5000 watt station out of La Grange Park, Illinois.
.



That is just LaGrange - never been a park.

The year was 1971 as I recall. Nobody wanted to hear them that year anyway. They did have problems with the radio contract, lost it in 70. Harry was brought in after being fired in St Louis and Oakland with the charge of building up the radio ratings, which he did. It helped that tanner brought some good PR and Melton went for the home run title and then the Sox signed Richie Allen. That WTAQ, a polish language station, was a one year fluke thing. Harry was kind of washed up at that point too and Sox fans made Harry big again.

I bought a transisitor radio that was strong enough to pick up WTAQ. Loved that radio.

I don't recall that as being the owner's fault.

cwsox
10-23-2003, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
They were remote rumors as far as my recollection goes--Milwaukee really wanted a team again


Those were far from remote rumors. Other than Sox fans at the time dancing in the streets because the Pilots moved to Milwaukee and not us, please remember that the Sox played regular season games in Milwaukee - so we had no "remote" rumor, we had a team getting ready to move until the Pilots took our place up north.


Overlooked in all of the debate is that in the naming rights contract, JR lengthened the Sox lease at USCF for another 15 years or so, I forget the math right now, but it binds the Sox to Chicago until the 2020s at which time I shoudl be safely dead. So I thank JR - who I have not been a fan of - for doing the deal to keep the Sox in Chicago for years after his death or retirement - which will happen by actuary tables within the next 10 years or so. For those of us who remember Milwaukee games and all the times we almost lost the Sox, give JR his due. The total rips in JR are far less convincing when their is no balance or fairness. It is like reading about a player and only having a list of his bad points and none of the strengths or good points. Be fair, people, please.

TDog
10-23-2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
...
Then - at some point - the owners (it was the Allyn's at that point I believe) thought that Harry Caray was being too critical of the team, so first they fire his sidekick, and then proceed to put Caray's broadcasts on 7-second delay WITHOUT LETTING HIM KNOW. As I understand it, somebody at the game was listening on the radio, and walked under the broadcast booth and asked why he was on delay - and that's how he found out. And did Caray have a fit! It dominated the sports section for a while, and served as yet one more shining example of how this organization always steps in poo when the opportunity arises.

When Harry Caray came to the Sox, and there was no one else of his experience in the medium available, the Sox could do nothing more than let Harry be Harry. Harry not only insulted management, but he got into personal confrontations with players off the air.

Harry's radio sidekicks were replaced by management as much as they were driven out by Harry. Ralph Faucher, Gene Osborn, Bill Mercer ... Harry stated in interviews that he hated these men and joked, for example, that "Mercer was back selling girdles on Dallas radio." On television, I liked Bob Waller better than Harry, but Waller was replaced by J.C. Martin who had the ex-jock thing going for him but called baseball as if he never bothered to wear a mask behind the plate. Martin's hiring may have been an example of reining in Harry by replacing his sidekick, but his most popular sidekick was Jimmy Piersall who was not shy about being critical of Sox baseball.

I have made this point before, but I think it is important. Harry went on to be a company man with the Cubs because the Cubs, seeing the kind of crap that had gone on in Soxville, made playing nice part of his contract.

eriqjaffe
10-24-2003, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by GoSox2K3
the team made the same boneheaded move by moving from free TV to pay TV in 1982. For those of you who weren't here in the early 80's, I'd like to point out that SportsVision was NOT basic cable. It was a premium subscription service that cost something like $15/month.

And to make the SportsVision package even less enticing, the other teams it carried were the pre-Jordan Bulls and the Blackhawks, back when hockey was decidedly a fringe sport. Not a lot of incentive for people to pick up an expensive pay service. I think they also had packages that included ON-TV (a pay TV movie channel) and some adult movie channel. Nothing like bundling the Sox with porn to draw in the family market.

--Eriq.

ode to veeck
10-24-2003, 11:27 AM
And to make the SportsVision package even less enticing, the other teams it carried were the pre-Jordan Bulls and the Blackhawks, back when hockey was decidedly a fringe sport.

hockey a "fringe sport" !?!? bbzzzt wrong answer (& nearly a topic for the parking lot at this point)--in actual point, Hawks popularity at the time had just resurged and the stadium wa packed again due to a new and exciting lineup lead by the likes of Savard, Secord, & Sutter (in spite of mediocre record) after the Hawks dismal late 70s decline

good point though on the poor value of the Bulls at the time, let alone the highly annoyed public who had always gotten tons of free broadcasts of all the Chicago teams for decades

welcome to wsi by the way

GoRAYGo
10-27-2003, 11:44 AM
The Sox have not always been second fiddle in Chicago. I have been an aware Sox fan since 1977 and if you look at the attendance figures from 1977-1994 the Cubs drew only marginally more fans than the Sox. The Sox have always had a smaller fan base than the Cubs but many Cubs fans are outside the Chicago Area because of WGN. The reason that the Cubs have done well since 1994 is the fact that their neighborhood
is a tourist attraction, while Soxtown (Bridgeport and Bronzeville)
have gone into decline and are not tourist areas. Hence when you have 100,000 Yuppies outside your door that is a great base for the Cubs. What the Sox management needs to do is tap into the fan base that exists, market to the Hispanic Community, and also work with the neighborhoods. I think the renovations to Comiskey are a good thing. Getting Ozzie would be great. But the sox's problems come down to marketing, not fan intensity.

voodoochile
10-27-2003, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by GoRAYGo
The Sox have not always been second fiddle in Chicago. I have been an aware Sox fan since 1977 and if you look at the attendance figures from 1977-1994 the Cubs drew only marginally more fans than the Sox. The Sox have always had a smaller fan base than the Cubs but many Cubs fans are outside the Chicago Area because of WGN. The reason that the Cubs have done well since 1994 is the fact that their neighborhood
is a tourist attraction, while Soxtown (Bridgeport and Bronzeville)
have gone into decline and are not tourist areas. Hence when you have 100,000 Yuppies outside your door that is a great base for the Cubs. What the Sox management needs to do is tap into the fan base that exists, market to the Hispanic Community, and also work with the neighborhoods. I think the renovations to Comiskey are a good thing. Getting Ozzie would be great. But the sox's problems come down to marketing, not fan intensity.

Hey, Welcome Aboard! :D:

ewokpelts
10-28-2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck
Exactly, and the list of JR's ongoing insults to the Sox fans goes on and on ... 50th all-star game and cross town series tickets screw jobs the threatened move of the team, running down comisky park maintenance to force the "new park crisis" etc etc etc



What 83 ASG ticket screwup? People keep talking about this, but no one has explained WHAT went down?
Gene

chisox06
10-29-2003, 07:42 PM
Wow thanx for all the info guys. The idea of the sox bein #1 in town seems kinda foreign to me I guess.

wassagstdu
10-29-2003, 09:36 PM
WGN is the key. When the Sox left WGN my entire south side family switched to the Cubs (except me, I had already left Chicago so I wasn't affected by the switch). In recent years as WGN went nationwide and were picked up by lots of cable systems to get Michael Jordan and the Bulls, the Cubbies picked up a national following. Back in the 50s WGN televised every home Sox and Cubs game and the two teams were on an equal footing, with the Sox fielding better teams and the Cubs fielding Ernie Banks. After the Sox left WGN it seemed as if Chicago had one major league team (Cubs on WGN) and one minor league team (Sox on some cheesy channel).

TDog
10-29-2003, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by wassagstdu
WGN is the key. When the Sox left WGN my entire south side family switched to the Cubs (except me, I had already left Chicago so I wasn't affected by the switch). In recent years as WGN went nationwide and were picked up by lots of cable systems to get Michael Jordan and the Bulls, the Cubbies picked up a national following. Back in the 50s WGN televised every home Sox and Cubs game and the two teams were on an equal footing, with the Sox fielding better teams and the Cubs fielding Ernie Banks. After the Sox left WGN it seemed as if Chicago had one major league team (Cubs on WGN) and one minor league team (Sox on some cheesy channel).

In 1967, the last year the Sox were on WGN, the station was not televising all Sox home games and it was televising more Cubs games.

Some people seem to believe that the Sox would be the Superstation darlings if management hadn't gone to WFLD in 1968. I am certain that if the Sox not gone to UHF, WGN still would have assured them second-team status in the city.