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View Full Version : Did Veeck want to move the White Sox in 1959 to LA????


Fenway
12-02-2006, 02:13 PM
I've been reading In the Best Interests of Baseball? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Seligby Andrew Zimbalist and in his chapter on former Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick, Zimbalist writes that Veeck had bought the White Sox in 1959 with the idea of moving them to Los Angeles. Frick had said previously that LA was an open market but when Veeck tried to move Frick then ruled that LA belonged to the Dodgers forcing Veeck to stay in Chicago.

This is news to me, I know Veeck toyed with the idea of moving the Sox in the 70's but never heard this story before.

Cuck_The_Fubs
12-02-2006, 02:19 PM
Correct me if im mistaken, but werent the sox going to move to Tampa for some reason? I thought i heard that from someone.

Fenway
12-02-2006, 02:29 PM
Correct me if im mistaken, but werent the sox going to move to Tampa for some reason? I thought i heard that from someone.

The White Sox came dangerously close to moving to St Petersburg in the late 80's.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE0D7133AF93BA15757C0A96E9482 60

But then Governor Thompson of Illinois was able at the very last second to get a bill passed that allowed for the construction of what is now US Cellular Field.

SouthSide_HitMen
12-02-2006, 02:31 PM
I've been reading In the Best Interests of Baseball? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Seligby Andrew Zimbalist and in his chapter on former Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick, Zimbalist writes that Veeck had bought the White Sox in 1959 with the idea of moving them to Los Angeles. Frick had said previously that LA was an open market but when Veeck tried to move Frick then ruled that LA belonged to the Dodgers forcing Veeck to stay in Chicago.

This is news to me, I know Veeck toyed with the idea of moving the Sox in the 70's but never heard this story before. The book also claims Veeck played a role in the White Sox not being sold to Selig in the late 60's and having the team move to Milwaukee.

Veeck saved the White Sox in the 1970s by purchasing the team despite odious conditions imposed by Bud Selig of the relocation committee.

Bill Veeck wanted to move his Browns in the early 1950s to Milwaukee (before the Braves relocated) and Los Angeles but was denied by the American League on both attempts.

This is the first I ever heard of the White Sox to Los Angeles connection. O'Malley had rights to the territory and made Gene Autry pay an enormous sum for his expansion franchise.

Ol' No. 2
12-02-2006, 02:33 PM
The White Sox came dangerously close to moving to St Petersburg in the late 80's.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE0D7133AF93BA15757C0A96E9482 60

But then Governor Thompson of Illinois was able at the very last second to get a bill passed that allowed for the construction of what is now US Cellular Field.In fact, it was about 15 minutes after the very last second, but that's another story.

Chip Z'nuff
12-02-2006, 02:36 PM
You're kidding! The Sox were planning on moving to another city?

Fenway
12-02-2006, 02:40 PM
This is the first I ever heard of the White Sox to Los Angeles connection. O'Malley had rights to the territory and made Gene Autry pay an enormous sum for his expansion franchise.

O'Malley demanded that a new AL team would have to play in Dodger Stadium and indeed that is what happened when Chavez Ravine opened in 1962. The team was finally forced to move to Anaheim 4 years later.

I have read numerous books that said MLB's game plan in the late 50's was to have a single team in each city for television reasons. The Dodgers and Giants left New York leaving Chicago as the only 2 team city. But the plan fell apart when Branch Rickey formed a third "major league" to be known as the Continental League and planned on having a team in New York. This forced MLB to expand in 1961 and 62.

Fenway
12-02-2006, 02:44 PM
In fact, it was about 15 minutes after the very last second, but that's another story.

I was living in Tampa at the time and the story that was reported at the time was Thompson in desperation put Illinois back on standard time ( turning the clock back one hour ) to give him more time to get someone to switch their vote.

I can remember bars jumping for joy at 1 AM Eastern when it was thought time had run out.

They would have been known as The Suncoast White Sox :?:

Ol' No. 2
12-02-2006, 02:50 PM
I was living in Tampa at the time and the story that was reported at the time was Thompson in desperation put Illinois back on standard time ( turning the clock back one hour ) to give him more time to get someone to switch their vote.

I can remember bars jumping for joy at 1 AM Eastern when it was thought time had run out.

They would have been known as The Suncoast White Sox :?:Not quite. They just unplugged the official clock at 11:58 pm. There it stood for another 15 minutes while they twisted a few more arms.

StatManDu
12-02-2006, 03:12 PM
Jim Thompson made time stand still and saved the White Sox.

Fenway
12-02-2006, 03:23 PM
The late Doug Pappas wrote

In the spring of 1988, with construction on the Florida Suncoast Dome well underway, Sox officials began negotiating a lease with St. Petersburg. Reinsdorf announced that the Sox were moving to Florida -- unless the Illinois legislature approved financing for a new park by the end of the legislative session on June 30. Several weeks before the deadline, the Sox upped the pressure by signing a contingent 15-year lease to play at the Suncoast Dome.

Back in Illinois, Republican Governor Jim Thompson proclaimed, "I'll bleed and die before I let the Sox leave Chicago." Many legislators were willing to hand him a straight razor. One noted that for the same money, Illinois could fund 7,500 teachers and place 2,800 more indigent elderly in nursing homes. When the state Senate passed the stadium bill at 11:40 p.m. on June 30, all eyes turned to the state House. At 11:58 p.m., the bill remained six votes shy of passage.

Then, in one of those magical moments so common to Illinois politics, time stopped. As Governor Thompson walked the floor of the legislature, buttonholing one reluctant Republican after another, the clock clicked to 11:59 -- and stayed there long enough for six Republicans to shift their votes from No to Yes. The Sox had their new park.


http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/baseball/bb00sta-1.htm

Paulwny
12-02-2006, 03:24 PM
According to "Veeck as in Wreck" , the AL was looking into expanding into LA. Hank Greenberg was a member of the expansion committee and was given an option on this new franchise. Of course, O'Malley was able to kill the AL expansion idea, no mention of Veeck wanting to move the Sox to LA.

TDog
12-02-2006, 03:28 PM
O'Malley demanded that a new AL team would have to play in Dodger Stadium and indeed that is what happened when Chavez Ravine opened in 1962. The team was finally forced to move to Anaheim 4 years later.

I have read numerous books that said MLB's game plan in the late 50's was to have a single team in each city for television reasons. The Dodgers and Giants left New York leaving Chicago as the only 2 team city. But the plan fell apart when Branch Rickey formed a third "major league" to be known as the Continental League and planned on having a team in New York. This forced MLB to expand in 1961 and 62.


I have never come across this. Of course, coming into the '50s, New York was a three-team city, and Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia were two-team cities. In the NL, only Cincinnati and Pittsburgh were in cities without competition. In the AL, only Detroit, D.C. and Cleveland were in exclusive markets.

If the Sox, Chicago's successful team at the time, only stayed in Chicago because the threat of the Continental League thwarted a move, that would mean that Branch Rickey not only integrated baseball and created the minor league farm system, but saved the Chicago White Sox as well.

MinnySoxFan
12-02-2006, 03:33 PM
Jim Thompson made time stand still and saved the White Sox.

:hawk

I loooooooooooooove Chicago Politics.

MRM
12-02-2006, 04:06 PM
I've been reading In the Best Interests of Baseball? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Seligby Andrew Zimbalist and in his chapter on former Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick, Zimbalist writes that Veeck had bought the White Sox in 1959 with the idea of moving them to Los Angeles. Frick had said previously that LA was an open market but when Veeck tried to move Frick then ruled that LA belonged to the Dodgers forcing Veeck to stay in Chicago.

This is news to me, I know Veeck toyed with the idea of moving the Sox in the 70's but never heard this story before. The book also claims Veeck played a role in the White Sox not being sold to Selig in the late 60's and having the team move to Milwaukee.

I know he tried to move the Browns to Baltimore but kept getting voted down. The year after he sold the team, they were moved to Baltimore. Veeck wasn't very well liked by the other owners at all.

I've never heard anything about him wanting to move the Sox the first time he owned them in '59, and certainly not after they appeared in the W.S. that year. Actually, as I recall, he was convinced to buy them the second time when either the Governor or Mayor, I don't recall which, talked him into it in order to KEEP the team from being moved, as was being threatened by the current owners if they couldn't find someone to buy the team.

Of course Reinsdorf pulled his threat to move the team to St. Petersburg in the late 80s if he didn't get a new ball park and almost did move them. In Hindsight, considering how poorly baseball teams have done in Florida, Jerry has to be thrilled he didn't move them.

In the end, politics have twice played a role in keeping the Sox on the south side, but I don't believe that was the case in '59. Veeck was a Chicago guy, I don't think he ever had any intention of moving them.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-02-2006, 04:16 PM
Andrew Zimbalist is an economist. I doubt he has his facts of history straight. The worst I've ever heard about Veeck was his key role in tearing the Sox franchise away from the Comiskey family (Rich Lindberg's take) and his serious attempt to sell the Sox to Denver millionaire Marvin Davis in 1979 (well-documented via several sources).

Sox to LA? Sounds like another east coast baseball fairy tale.

TornLabrum
12-02-2006, 04:51 PM
I've never heard anything like that story in my life, and you can bet that Chuck Comiskey would have had plenty to say about it in public since he still owned 49% of the stock in the franchise in 1959 and he was extremely POed at Dorothy for selling her shares to Veeck.

MRM
12-02-2006, 04:59 PM
Andrew Zimbalist is an economist. I doubt he has his facts of history straight. The worst I've ever heard about Veeck was his key role in tearing the Sox franchise away from the Comiskey family (Rich Lindberg's take) and his serious attempt to sell the Sox to Denver millionaire Marvin Davis in 1979 (well-documented via several sources).

Sox to LA? Sounds like another east coast baseball fairy tale.

I don't know anything about an attempt to sell them to Marvin Davis, but he did agree to sell them to Eddie Debartalo in 1980 until the other owners voted it down because of fast Eddies connections to gambling via his hotel/casinos. Eddie then bought the 49ers instead and brought a few lombardi trophies to San Fran. Part of the Debartalo deal was the insistence the team be kept in Chicago, so I'd imagine the same would have applied to any deal with Davis.

By the time he sold to the Reinsdorf/Einhorn group his health was in pretty bad shape.

Daver
12-02-2006, 05:07 PM
I don't know anything about an attempt to sell them to Marvin Davis, but he did agree to sell them to Eddie Debartalo in 1980 until the other owners voted it down because of fast Eddies connections to gambling via his hotel/casinos. Eddie then bought the 49ers instead and brought a few lombardi trophies to San Fran. Part of the Debartalo deal was the insistence the team be kept in Chicago, so I'd imagine the same would have applied to any deal with Davis.

By the time he sold to the Reinsdorf/Einhorn group his health was in pretty bad shape.

That was two different Debartolo's, Ed sr. tried to buy the Sox, Ed jr bought the 49ers.

areilly
12-02-2006, 05:23 PM
I thought Veeck almost moved the Sox to Seattle in 1975. I remember this coming up in the "who's the best Sox owner" thread last winter and people were quick to point out that JR wasn't the first to nearly run the Sox out of town.

TornLabrum
12-02-2006, 05:55 PM
I thought Veeck almost moved the Sox to Seattle in 1975. I remember this coming up in the "who's the best Sox owner" thread last winter and people were quick to point out that JR wasn't the first to nearly run the Sox out of town.

That would have been pretty difficult since Veeck didn't own the club.

soxinem1
12-02-2006, 06:21 PM
Jim Thompson made time stand still and saved the White Sox.

Funny how this worked out. Big Jim was really an avowed cub fan at one time. A friend of mine who worked in our Stae Senator's office told me back then that the plug was indeed pulled right around midnight.

And not to get political, but I doubt any other governor since then would have bothered to do this kind of thing. Sox fans owe Thompson a debt of gratitude for that, as some serious arm twisting and dealing was done to secure the funding for Reinsdorf Field.

The ironic thing is that I have seen on both TV and in person Thompson at tons of White Sox games since 1989. Has anyone else noticed that?

Did he convert or is he a 'Chicago Fan' now?

But in response to the thread topic, I sure never heard anything like Veeck wanting to move the White Sox. I do remember reading about him wanting to take the Browns out of St. Louis when he owned them, IIRC.

pdr
12-02-2006, 06:21 PM
IIRC, when Veeck was negotiating with Davis, the plan was to move the Sox to Denver, with Charlie Finley moving the A's to Chicago to replace the Sox! :o:

soxinem1
12-02-2006, 06:31 PM
IIRC, when Veeck was negotiating with Davis, the plan was to move the Sox to Denver, with Charlie Finley moving the A's to Chicago to replace the Sox! :o:

I always wondered that if this had happened, if the A's would have been renamed the White Sox like the situation in the 60's when the Washiington Senators who went to Minnesota, then were replaced by an expansion team that was promptly named the Wasington Senators.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-02-2006, 06:35 PM
IIRC, when Veeck was negotiating with Davis, the plan was to move the Sox to Denver, with Charlie Finley moving the A's to Chicago to replace the Sox! :o:

Not quite. John Allyn was being asked (forced?) by the other A.L. owners to sell the Sox to Seattle interests in 1975 and Charlie Finley was floating the idea of moving his A's to Chicago. Nothing came of this once Veeck arrived and bought the team from Allyn with a pledge to keep the franchise for the South Side. Four years later he nearly sold to Davis -- who certainly would have moved them to Denver.

Plenty of villians in the history of White Sox ownership. Not too many heroes.
:(:

WhiteSox5187
12-02-2006, 07:17 PM
As I recall from "Veeck As In Wreck" Bill Veeck orginally wanted to move the old St. Louis Browns to LA but was having a hard time finding a stadium location, and did not want to play in the LA Collesium (as O'Malley had the Dodgers do) and thought Wrigley Field (there was one in LA too!) was beyond repair. The deal was all set to go down but then O'Malley began to cry foul because he already had plans to move the Dodgers to LA, this was in about 1954, mind you.

I do remember him being blocked in another attempt to move another team out to LA in 1961, but it wasn't the White Sox. I forgot which team it was.

Veeck did save the team when he bought it from John Allyn, the AL wanted Allyn to sell the team to Seattle, but Allyn held out and sold it to Veeck. When Veeck had to sell the team the second time, he did look at people in Denver but htey lost intrest rather quickly and then Veeck looked to sell it to De Bortolo who had promised to stay in Chicago. Of course that move was blocked and Mr. Reisendorf bought the team and kept them in Chicago until '88 when he came within seconds of moving them to St. Petersburg. Since then of course, he had the Palace torn down in favor of his shopping mall style ball park. To be fair though, Reisendorf has brought the Sox and Chicago, more success than any other owner and for that I am eternally grateful.

A side note, when it looked like De Bortolo was about to buy the Sox, Reisendorf tried to get a group of investors ready to buy the Cubs. Had he done that, I wonder if Wrigley would still be standing or if for that matter, the Cubs would still be in Chicago.

ewokpelts
12-02-2006, 07:39 PM
As I recall from "Veeck As In Wreck" Bill Veeck orginally wanted to move the old St. Louis Browns to LA but was having a hard time finding a stadium location, and did not want to play in the LA Collesium (as O'Malley had the Dodgers do) and thought Wrigley Field (there was one in LA too!) was beyond repair. The deal was all set to go down but then O'Malley began to cry foul because he already had plans to move the Dodgers to LA, this was in about 1954, mind you.

I do remember him being blocked in another attempt to move another team out to LA in 1961, but it wasn't the White Sox. I forgot which team it was.

Veeck did save the team when he bought it from John Allyn, the AL wanted Allyn to sell the team to Seattle, but Allyn held out and sold it to Veeck. When Veeck had to sell the team the second time, he did look at people in Denver but htey lost intrest rather quickly and then Veeck looked to sell it to De Bortolo who had promised to stay in Chicago. Of course that move was blocked and Mr. Reisendorf bought the team and kept them in Chicago until '88 when he came within seconds of moving them to St. Petersburg. Since then of course, he had the Palace torn down in favor of his shopping mall style ball park. To be fair though, Reisendorf has brought the Sox and Chicago, more success than any other owner and for that I am eternally grateful.

A side note, when it looked like De Bortolo was about to buy the Sox, Reisendorf tried to get a group of investors ready to buy the Cubs. Had he done that, I wonder if Wrigley would still be standing or if for that matter, the Cubs would still be in Chicago.I didnt know that the Palace in Auburn Hills was torn down, and that the white sox played there.

TDog
12-02-2006, 08:13 PM
...

Of course Reinsdorf pulled his threat to move the team to St. Petersburg in the late 80s if he didn't get a new ball park and almost did move them. In Hindsight, considering how poorly baseball teams have done in Florida, Jerry has to be thrilled he didn't move them.

In the end, politics have twice played a role in keeping the Sox on the south side, but I don't believe that was the case in '59. Veeck was a Chicago guy, I don't think he ever had any intention of moving them.

Reinsdorf has said many times since that he was bluffing and never had any intention of moving the team. Some will never believe that. The man Veeck wanted to sell to the second time wanted to move the franchise. The sales agreement would have kept the Sox in Chicago and assessed a financial penalty if the team were moved. I never believed he had any intention of keeping the Sox in Chicago.

Aside from Bill Veeck spending his remaining years in Wrigley Field saying how he loved the Sox but couldn't stand to go to the games under the new ownership (the man who planted the ivy fueled the myth of Wrigley being baseball paradise at the end), I'm not unhappy with the way things worked out.

Fenway
12-02-2006, 08:18 PM
Reinsdorf has said many times since that he was bluffing and never had any intention of moving the team.


JR had a signed contract with the City of St Petersburg for 15 years if Illinois didn't cough up the money. That has been well documented.

slavko
12-02-2006, 08:35 PM
JR had a signed contract with the City of St Petersburg for 15 years if Illinois didn't cough up the money. That has been well documented.

So JR would have moved the team, even though he didn't "want" to, you can believe it, unless there was some legalese in the St Pete contract that he could have used his lawyerly ways to worm out of. Dunno.

Aside from Bill Veeck spending his remaining years in Wrigley Field saying how he loved the Sox but couldn't stand to go to the games under the new ownership (the man who planted the ivy fueled the myth of Wrigley being baseball paradise at the end), I'm not unhappy with the way things worked out.

When the current owners took over, they remarked that they would be running a "first class operation," which Veeck correctly took as a slap at him. Accurate, since Veeck was badly undercapitalized, but a slap nonetheless. Thus Veeck went Wrigley.

Plenty of villains is the whole truth. Maybe the Packers, whose fans own the team, have it right.

ewokpelts
12-02-2006, 10:48 PM
JR had a signed contract with the City of St Petersburg for 15 years if Illinois didn't cough up the money. That has been well documented.
15 year lease?
The Tampa Bay White Sox would be in a newer stadium by now if that happened.
Hell, they could have gone back to Chicago by now.

WhiteSox5187
12-03-2006, 05:02 AM
I didnt know that the Palace in Auburn Hills was torn down, and that the white sox played there.
I was refering of course to the Baseball Palace of the World, Old Comiskey. Sorry to confuse you.

ewokpelts
12-03-2006, 05:37 AM
I was refering of course to the Baseball Palace of the World, Old Comiskey. Sorry to confuse you.
No one I've known has ever referred to it simply as the palace. When someone says the palnace to me, I know they're referring to the dump in Auburn Hills.

WhiteSox5187
12-03-2006, 05:50 AM
Ah, well, I don't really know anyone who refers to it as the palace either, I just didn't want to type in Baseball Palace of the World, and I figured in context it would come to people. Forgive me.

eastchicagosoxfan
12-03-2006, 06:16 AM
I've been reading In the Best Interests of Baseball? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Seligby Andrew Zimbalist and in his chapter on former Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick, Zimbalist writes that Veeck had bought the White Sox in 1959 with the idea of moving them to Los Angeles. Frick had said previously that LA was an open market but when Veeck tried to move Frick then ruled that LA belonged to the Dodgers forcing Veeck to stay in Chicago.

This is news to me, I know Veeck toyed with the idea of moving the Sox in the 70's but never heard this story before. The book also claims Veeck played a role in the White Sox not being sold to Selig in the late 60's and having the team move to Milwaukee.
Does Zimbalist cite a source for this info? Otherwise, it seems that he pulled out of thin air.

Sox Blue 69-70
12-03-2006, 06:48 AM
As I recall from "Veeck As In Wreck" Bill Veeck orginally wanted to move the old St. Louis Browns to LA but was having a hard time finding a stadium location, and did not want to play in the LA Collesium (as O'Malley had the Dodgers do) and thought Wrigley Field (there was one in LA too!) was beyond repair. The deal was all set to go down but then O'Malley began to cry foul because he already had plans to move the Dodgers to LA, this was in about 1954, mind you.

I do remember him being blocked in another attempt to move another team out to LA in 1961, but it wasn't the White Sox. I forgot which team it was.

Veeck did save the team when he bought it from John Allyn, the AL wanted Allyn to sell the team to Seattle, but Allyn held out and sold it to Veeck. When Veeck had to sell the team the second time, he did look at people in Denver but htey lost intrest rather quickly and then Veeck looked to sell it to De Bortolo who had promised to stay in Chicago. Of course that move was blocked and Mr. Reisendorf bought the team and kept them in Chicago until '88 when he came within seconds of moving them to St. Petersburg. Since then of course, he had the Palace torn down in favor of his shopping mall style ball park. To be fair though, Reisendorf has brought the Sox and Chicago, more success than any other owner and for that I am eternally grateful.

A side note, when it looked like De Bortolo was about to buy the Sox, Reisendorf tried to get a group of investors ready to buy the Cubs. Had he done that, I wonder if Wrigley would still be standing or if for that matter, the Cubs would still be in Chicago.


Also, from reading "Veeck as in Wreck," according to the author - as strange as at may sound now - the Browns were close to taking over baseball in the city of St. Louis, as Cards owner Fred Saigh had run afoul of U.S. tax laws. According to the source, the franchise was surreptiously transferrered to the Busch family - and N.L. baseball was saved in St. Louis.

cubhater
12-03-2006, 07:43 AM
I was living in Tampa at the time and the story that was reported at the time was Thompson in desperation put Illinois back on standard time ( turning the clock back one hour ) to give him more time to get someone to switch their vote.

I can remember bars jumping for joy at 1 AM Eastern when it was thought time had run out.

They would have been known as The Suncoast White Sox :?:

Actually, IIRC, they would have been called the St. Pete Sailors.:puking:

I workd at a college bar Gainesville, Fl at the time and couldn't hear what the the broadcasters were saying on the late night ESPN Sportcenter when the Sox logo was in the background. I thought the Florida was all but a done deal but jumped for joy when I got to my apartment and heard the news.

I wore my Sox hat to work the following night and received comments along the lines of "Why are you wearing a Sox hat? Didn't you hear they're staying in Chicago?" All I could do was smirk and reply, "Yeah, isn't that great!":bandance:

Fenway
12-03-2006, 12:16 PM
I have sent an email to the author and sent him the link to this thread. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.

Lip Man 1
12-03-2006, 01:51 PM
I have never heard, seen or read one item, one sentence or one allegation that Veeck ever wanted to move the Sox to L.A. in 1959.

I've contacted Mike Veeck to see if he knows anything.

Lip

Fenway
12-03-2006, 01:59 PM
Well I just got a reply. He stands by what he wrote

Andrew Zimbalist to me
show details
1:33 pm (23 minutes ago)
I have records from Joe Cronin that I believe indicated this. There are probably some other sources as well but I don't have the time to look it up for now. Thanks for your comment.

***********************************************
Andrew Zimbalist
Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics
Smith College
Northampton, Ma. 01063


(http://www.smith.edu/%7Eazimbali/)

johnr1note
12-03-2006, 03:29 PM
I have done a lot of research on this topic -- I know of no concrete efforts to relocate the White Sox to another city prior to the Allyn era of ownership. But there could have been discussions among league officials.

The St. Louis Browns were due to be the very first franchise shift and had a tentative go ahead to move to Los Angeles in 1941. The league meeting that would have approved the move was scheduled for Dec. 8, 1941. Because of what happened on Dec. 7 of that year, there was no meeting, and not franchise shift.

There is some evidence that Veeck tried to have the Browns relocated to Milwaukee in the late 1940s, but that was when he was owner of the minor league AAA Brewers team, and was trying to buy the Browns, or be involved in a syndicate to purchase the Browns.

When Veeck bought the Browns in 1951, it was with the express purpose of driving the Cardinals out of business. As noted in other posts in this thread, the Cards owner at that time was in deep tax trouble, and was forced to sell. There were solid possibilities the Cardinals could have relocted to Milwaukee or Houston at that time, leaving the Browns as the only team in St. Louis. But shortly therafter, Augie Bush stepped up and saved the Cards, and Veeck, who was probably as cash strapped when he owned the Browns as when he owned the White Sox in the 1970s, was forced to quirky theme nights and publicity stunts to bring in the fans. Veeck was also way ahead of his time, as he proposed a form of revenue sharing to help the traditionsl "downtrodden" clubs of his era compete with the likes of the Yankees (some things never change, eh?). Other AL owners were so offended by Veeck's practices that they let him languish until he was forced to sell to the Baltimore interests that moved the team there.

According to the book "Lords of the Realm," the first team to successfully move to Los Angeles was very nearly the Washington Senators. Of course, O'Malley of the Dodgers was more shrewd than the Senators' owners, and supposedly, at a crucial point in the negotiation of the deal involving the construction of Chavez Ravine, Calvin Griffith took a cross country train to LA, while the O'Malley's flew in, and beat the Senators to it.

As far as an AL team in Los Angeles, that became a possibility with the threat of the new Continental League, and I'm sure O'Malley did what he could to block the Angels.

BeeBeeRichard
12-03-2006, 05:15 PM
In fact, it was about 15 minutes after the very last second, but that's another story.

YES! I was interning in Springfield that summer, and had the chance to watch the proceedings from the balcony at midnight that night as Thompson walked the floor to get the last few votes needed for passage. It was at least 12:10 before he finished his work, and when the vote was announced, it was with the time "11:59 p.m., June 30," because if the vote had been after the scheduled close of the session, it would have needed more than a simple majority to pass. It was the first and last time I have appreicated the deceitful acts of a group of politicians.

Lip Man 1
12-03-2006, 08:23 PM
It's interesting that the author replied to Fenway with this, "I have records from Joe Cronin that I believe indicated this."

In other words it's HIS interpretation of historical documents, records and so forth.

In other words he's guessing.

:rolleyes:

Lip

TheVulture
12-04-2006, 01:37 AM
When someone says the palnace to me, I know they're referring to the dump in Auburn Hills.

This is what I think of...
http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r115/subgenius88/palance.jpg

eastchicagosoxfan
12-04-2006, 06:08 AM
It's interesting that the author replied to Fenway with this, "I have records from Joe Cronin that I believe indicated this."

In other words it's HIS interpretation of historical documents, records and so forth.

In other words he's guessing.

:rolleyes:

Lip
Exactly, Mr. Zimbalist's reply doesn't sound very convincing. I'm no expert, but there are people on this board that have researched this topic. Do they have access to Joe Cronin's papers, probably not. But have Cronin's papers been researched and cited in other works? I would imagine so. In addition, Veeck was a public guy. It's doubtful he would have contemplated such a move and kept it a secret.

Fenway
12-04-2006, 09:44 AM
Exactly, Mr. Zimbalist's reply doesn't sound very convincing. I'm no expert, but there are people on this board that have researched this topic. Do they have access to Joe Cronin's papers, probably not. But have Cronin's papers been researched and cited in other works? I would imagine so. In addition, Veeck was a public guy. It's doubtful he would have contemplated such a move and kept it a secret.

None of us know what records Zimbalist has from Joe Cronin, perhaps there is a smoking gun there. What is more important right now is someone in the Chicago media needs to confront Zimbalist on this and get the facts right.

A move in 1959 simply wouldn't make sense. The White Sox were baseball kings in Chicago and enjoying record attendance in the late 50's. Zimbalist also wrote that Veeck had the support of the other 7 AL owners for the move. I really doubt that was the case as most of the other owners couldn't stand Veeck ( ESPECIALLY New York Yankee co-owners Dan Topping and Del Webb and Boston owner Tom Yawkey) Joe Cronin as AL President was based in Boston and was especially close to Yawkey and was the son-in-law of Washington owner Calvin Griffin. I just don't buy the story. The late 70's I can understand any moves he was thinking about because he simply didn't have the money to compete.

I was lucky enough early in my working career to work for Bill Veeck when he was the president of Suffolk Downs ( a race track in Boston ) I worked on the crew that provided closed circuit TV of the races and Veeck spent a lot of time with us to make the telecast better. He paid a small fortune to upgrade the equipment to color ( unheard of in 1969 ) so customers could make out the jockey silks on the screens. He always put the customer first. I treasure the nights when he would drink with all the workers after the last race and just talk about anything.

I was also very lucky to have a long night with him ( and a few others ) at Miller's Pub back in 1985. He was very sick then but it didn't slow him down.

I really want this issue cleared up because since it is now in a book the story may get legs it does not deserve.

Lip Man 1
12-04-2006, 01:17 PM
Fenway:

With the Bears issues right now and with the baseball winter meetings I think you'll have a hard time getting anyone to focus on this "ancient" history.

You may need to contact some folks directly to see if they'd follow up.

Lip

Fake Chet Lemon
12-04-2006, 01:45 PM
In fact, it was about 15 minutes after the very last second, but that's another story.

God Bless Big Jim.

TornLabrum
12-04-2006, 10:45 PM
The Cronin story doesn't make sense for two reasons:

1) Veeck bought 51% of the Sox in late 1958 or early 1959. Chuck Comiskey still owned 49% of the stock in the team, and was mad as hell at his sister Dorothy for selling the stock. If Veeck had given any kind of indication he was about to move the team, Comiskey would have screamed bloody murder.

2) Cronin became AL President on July 1, 1959. The team was in first place and in the process of drawing over a million fans (the benchmark of success in those days). He wouldn't have approached Cronin before the season started because Cronin was in no position to do anything at that time. He certainly wouldn't during the season. After the season? After they'd won the pennant? I doubt it.

Another eastern writer who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

jsinaiko
12-05-2006, 01:27 AM
In the late 70s and early 80s Bill was a neighbor of mine on Hyde Park Blvd. In 1980 when he still owned the team, and later on when he was spending a lot of time at Wrigley we spent a lot of time chatting about the Sox, Chicago sports in general, along with many other things; he was a man of catholic intertests and experience.

This was years before Rheinsdorf played the Tampa card.

Veeck had saved the Sox from being moved to Seattle after the 1975 season. A group headed by Danny Kaye of all people were the buyers. Dick Daley, along with Andy McKenna put together a group headed by Veeck to buy the team from John Allyn, saving them for Chicago.

Anyhow, at various times we talked about his first ownership of the Sox, from 59 through 61, and he never, ever mentioned anything about moving them anywhere. On the contrary, he often referenced his saving them in 1975 when pointing out that a cit the size of Chicago certainly can support two teams, and neither league could afford to not have a team here.

He also felt that teams that had moved - Boston, Philly, his old Browns, Brooklyn, and the Giants - had, with the exception of Brooklyn really lost their fan bases and were located in inner cities that were shrinking in population at that time, without a lot of hope that things would improve. He was talking about the mid and late 50s, when these moves took place. In fact, in places like Cleveland, it took till the mid-90s to revitalize their baseball franchises. But he felt strongly that the Sox had NOT lost their fan base - that's why he came out of semi-retirement on the Maryland shore - where he scouted Harold Baines in Little League - to help keep the Sox in Chicago. because he felt the market was still here and he hated to see a team with a real identity, that he loved get sold to some carpetbaggers and moved to who-knows-where. Of course he was right.

Scottzilla
12-05-2006, 04:27 AM
First off, why is an economist writing about the white sox moving to l.a.? well im not 100% but I am pretty sure that Mr. Zimbalist is the guy who Nightline calls when they want to trash a deal like reinsdorf got to keep a sports team in town. I think he is pushing an agenda and would not take this credibly. especially after seeing his reply to Fenway. Secondly, Reinsdorf very well could have been bluffing and signed a contract. Maybe he just didnt believe the city or state would let the team move.

johnr1note
12-05-2006, 07:57 AM
The Cronin story doesn't make sense for two reasons:

1) Veeck bought 51% of the Sox in late 1958 or early 1959. Chuck Comiskey still owned 49% of the stock in the team, and was mad as hell at his sister Dorothy for selling the stock. If Veeck had given any kind of indication he was about to move the team, Comiskey would have screamed bloody murder.

2) Cronin became AL President on July 1, 1959. The team was in first place and in the process of drawing over a million fans (the benchmark of success in those days). He wouldn't have approached Cronin before the season started because Cronin was in no position to do anything at that time. He certainly wouldn't during the season. After the season? After they'd won the pennant? I doubt it.

Another eastern writer who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

You can add

3) Veeck was not part of the baseball "fraternity." The other MLB owners viewed him as eccentric at best, or a buffoon at worst. He was widely derided for what were perceived as "unprofessional" antics like the midget batting for the Browns and the other crazy theme nights and promotions he used to draw fans to the park. Veeck was considered "bush league." In his latter days as owner of the Browns, the rest of the AL owners refused to allow him to move the team, let him run it in to the ground, and then, after he sold it, allowed the move to Baltimore. He was probably tolerated as owner of the Sox in 1959 because the Comiskey family was still involved, and the rumor was that Chuck intended to buy Veeck out at first chance. There is no way the rest of the MLB would have allowed Veeck to reap the benefits of being the first AL team on the west coast. There is simply no way.

jsinaiko
12-05-2006, 09:03 AM
You can add

3) Veeck was not part of the baseball "fraternity." The other MLB owners viewed him as eccentric at best, or a buffoon at worst. He was widely derided for what were perceived as "unprofessional" antics like the midget batting for the Browns and the other crazy theme nights and promotions he used to draw fans to the park. Veeck was considered "bush league." In his latter days as owner of the Browns, the rest of the AL owners refused to allow him to move the team, let him run it in to the ground, and then, after he sold it, allowed the move to Baltimore. He was probably tolerated as owner of the Sox in 1959 because the Comiskey family was still involved, and the rumor was that Chuck intended to buy Veeck out at first chance. There is no way the rest of the MLB would have allowed Veeck to reap the benefits of being the first AL team on the west coast. There is simply no way.

You are correct. They did the same thing when he tried to sell to the DeBartolo family and also made him buy the Sox using a stock structure that hampered him when looking for credit to buy Some of the early free agents in the late 70s. By 1980 he was pretty bitter about that.

His son, Mike still owns the St. Paul Saints I think. He'd be a good source to settle this.

WhiteSox5187
12-05-2006, 09:41 AM
In the late 70s and early 80s Bill was a neighbor of mine on Hyde Park Blvd. In 1980 when he still owned the team, and later on when he was spending a lot of time at Wrigley we spent a lot of time chatting about the Sox, Chicago sports in general, along with many other things; he was a man of catholic intertests and experience.

This was years before Rheinsdorf played the Tampa card.

Veeck had saved the Sox from being moved to Seattle after the 1975 season. A group headed by Danny Kaye of all people were the buyers. Dick Daley, along with Andy McKenna put together a group headed by Veeck to buy the team from John Allyn, saving them for Chicago.

Anyhow, at various times we talked about his first ownership of the Sox, from 59 through 61, and he never, ever mentioned anything about moving them anywhere. On the contrary, he often referenced his saving them in 1975 when pointing out that a cit the size of Chicago certainly can support two teams, and neither league could afford to not have a team here.

He also felt that teams that had moved - Boston, Philly, his old Browns, Brooklyn, and the Giants - had, with the exception of Brooklyn really lost their fan bases and were located in inner cities that were shrinking in population at that time, without a lot of hope that things would improve. He was talking about the mid and late 50s, when these moves took place. In fact, in places like Cleveland, it took till the mid-90s to revitalize their baseball franchises. But he felt strongly that the Sox had NOT lost their fan base - that's why he came out of semi-retirement on the Maryland shore - where he scouted Harold Baines in Little League - to help keep the Sox in Chicago. because he felt the market was still here and he hated to see a team with a real identity, that he loved get sold to some carpetbaggers and moved to who-knows-where. Of course he was right.
Bill Veeck was a great great man and my father worked with him and loved him a lot, but Veeck didn't buy the Sox to "save" them, he bought them because like any good buisness man he thought he could make a profit from them and run a succesful buisness, when it became apparent in 1980 that he couldn't he was going to sell them to whoever offered him the most money and he came close to selling to a group that was going to move them to Denver, and I don't think that Veeck or any other buisnessman would have felt bad about that. BUt that deal fell through so he was more or less forced to sell them to Reisendorf, but he didn't do that out of a sense of loyalty to the people of Chicago. BUt to be fair, I'm sure if Veeck had his say he would have prefered to keep the Sox in Chicago, but well, once you sell a team or anything you no logner have a say in the future of it.

I should point out that I'm not trying to bash Bill Veeck, I love him and I think he was one of the Sox best owners. But he was first and foremost a buisness man.

Fenway
12-05-2006, 09:59 AM
The Cronin story doesn't make sense for two reasons:



2) Cronin became AL President on July 1, 1959. The team was in first place and in the process of drawing over a million fans (the benchmark of success in those days). He wouldn't have approached Cronin before the season started because Cronin was in no position to do anything at that time. He certainly wouldn't during the season. After the season? After they'd won the pennant? I doubt it.



Cronin became AL president a little earlier in 1959. some items of note from baseball library

January 31, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959JANUARY.stm#day31): Joe Cronin, former Senators and Red Sox SS signs a 7-year pact to become head of the American League (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/A/American_League.stm).

December 8, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959DECEMBER.stm#day8): American League President Joe Cronin reports that expansion plans are indefinite. Branch Rickey (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/R/Rickey_Branch.stm) scores him for his indecisiveness.

March 10, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959MARCH.stm#day10): Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, granddaughter of the Old Roman, sells her 54 percent ownership in the White Sox to Bill Veeck's syndicate for $2.7 million. Brother Chuck fails in his attempt to match or improve the bid. Comiskey control of the franchise ends after 60 years.


January 14, 1960 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1960JANUARY.stm#day14): Charles Comiskey (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/C/Comiskey_Charlie.stm), Jr., says Bill Veeck has turned down his offer to buy the White Sox.

January 29, 1960 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1960JANUARY.stm#day29): The Illinois Appellate Court says Dorothy Rigney, sister of Charles Comiskey (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/C/Comiskey_Charlie.stm), Jr., was entitled to sell her mother's shares of White Sox stock to Bill Veeck. Her brother brought suit in an effort to gain control of the club.


I think the following is where the author has gotten confused

The Team Has an Owner
Gene Autry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Autry), former movie cowboy, singer, actor and owner of Golden West Broadcasting (including Los Angeles' KMPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KMPC) radio and KTLA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KTLA) television), attended the Major League Owners’ meeting in St. Louis in 1960 in hopes of winning broadcasting rights for the new team’s games. Hall of Famer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Hall_of_Fame)Hank Greenberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Greenberg) was initially on the fast track to be the team's first owner, with Bill Veeck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Veeck) as a partner. However, O'Malley wasn't about to compete with Veeck and threatened to scuttle the whole deal by invoking his exclusive right to operate a major league team in Southern California. After it became obvious that O'Malley would never sign off on the deal as long as Veeck was a part-owner, Greenberg was forced to bow out. After another bid by Chicago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago) insurance executive and future A's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Athletics) owner Charlie Finley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Finley) failed, Autry was persuaded to make a bid himself. Autry (who had been a minority stockholder in the Angels' PCL rival, the Hollywood Stars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Stars)) agreed, and purchased the franchise.

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

It does beg an obvious question however. If Veeck was going to be partners with Greenberg in Los Angeles, what was he going to do with the White Sox? (why do I have a funny feeling this is when Charlie Finley starting sniffing around baseball )

jsinaiko
12-05-2006, 10:43 AM
Bill Veeck was a great great man and my father worked with him and loved him a lot, but Veeck didn't buy the Sox to "save" them, he bought them because like any good buisness man he thought he could make a profit from them and run a succesful buisness, when it became apparent in 1980 that he couldn't he was going to sell them to whoever offered him the most money and he came close to selling to a group that was going to move them to Denver, and I don't think that Veeck or any other buisnessman would have felt bad about that. BUt that deal fell through so he was more or less forced to sell them to Reisendorf, but he didn't do that out of a sense of loyalty to the people of Chicago. BUt to be fair, I'm sure if Veeck had his say he would have prefered to keep the Sox in Chicago, but well, once you sell a team or anything you no logner have a say in the future of it.

I should point out that I'm not trying to bash Bill Veeck, I love him and I think he was one of the Sox best owners. But he was first and foremost a buisness man.


I agree - and he made that point over and over, although he was bitter that MLB made him structure the ownership package in a way that made it difficult to obtain credit to buy players - hence the "rent-a-player" in 1977 (Zisk and Gamble).

No - he certainly didn't see himself as a savior or martyr - he thought there was dough to be made and would not have made the move if the offer had not been one that allowed him to make a buck. Still - he was doing fine in Maryland - he owned a race track - and didn't need to come back to do it.

He never mentioned selling to a group that was going to move the team to Denver. The DeBartolos - they were from Ohio I think - were going to keep the team here. The other owners screwed him by claiming that the DeBartolos were, uh, "connected" and disallowed the sale. Didn't stop the NFL from allowing them to buy the 49ers and turn them into one of the great teams in NFL history.

Anyhow, in a recent interview, Rheinsdorf mentioned that if he had known that the Cubs would be for sale shortly thereafter he would have waited and made a bid for them. They were only a million or so more. It just proves that irony is not dead!

Fenway
12-05-2006, 10:57 AM
The other owners screwed him by claiming that the DeBartolos were, uh, "connected" and disallowed the sale

It wasn't the owners so much as Bowie Kuhn. 2 years earlier he told Jean Yawkey that Dom DiMaggio would never be approved as the new owner of the Red Sox.

He became a multi-millionaire investing in plastics after he retired in 1953 and had the highest bid after Tom Yawkey died.

jsinaiko
12-05-2006, 11:26 AM
Right - but as others pointed out, the owners hated him too.

Also , I would not be surprised if Finley was the original source of some of this "black propaganda." He always wanted to get a team here - he lived in Lake Point Towers and had a farm off the Indiana Toll Road near LaPorte - and we certainly capable of spreading lots of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). The reporters loved him because he always had some good copy to provide.

johnr1note
12-05-2006, 11:35 AM
Cronin became AL president a little earlier in 1959. some items of note from baseball library

January 31, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959JANUARY.stm#day31): Joe Cronin, former Senators and Red Sox SS signs a 7-year pact to become head of the American League (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/A/American_League.stm).

December 8, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959DECEMBER.stm#day8): American League President Joe Cronin reports that expansion plans are indefinite. Branch Rickey (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/R/Rickey_Branch.stm) scores him for his indecisiveness.

March 10, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959MARCH.stm#day10): Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, granddaughter of the Old Roman, sells her 54 percent ownership in the White Sox to Bill Veeck's syndicate for $2.7 million. Brother Chuck fails in his attempt to match or improve the bid. Comiskey control of the franchise ends after 60 years.


January 14, 1960 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1960JANUARY.stm#day14): Charles Comiskey (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/C/Comiskey_Charlie.stm), Jr., says Bill Veeck has turned down his offer to buy the White Sox.

January 29, 1960 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1960JANUARY.stm#day29): The Illinois Appellate Court says Dorothy Rigney, sister of Charles Comiskey (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/C/Comiskey_Charlie.stm), Jr., was entitled to sell her mother's shares of White Sox stock to Bill Veeck. Her brother brought suit in an effort to gain control of the club.


I think the following is where the author has gotten confused

The Team Has an Owner
Gene Autry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Autry), former movie cowboy, singer, actor and owner of Golden West Broadcasting (including Los Angeles' KMPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KMPC) radio and KTLA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KTLA) television), attended the Major League Owners’ meeting in St. Louis in 1960 in hopes of winning broadcasting rights for the new team’s games. Hall of Famer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Hall_of_Fame)Hank Greenberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Greenberg) was initially on the fast track to be the team's first owner, with Bill Veeck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Veeck) as a partner. However, O'Malley wasn't about to compete with Veeck and threatened to scuttle the whole deal by invoking his exclusive right to operate a major league team in Southern California. After it became obvious that O'Malley would never sign off on the deal as long as Veeck was a part-owner, Greenberg was forced to bow out. After another bid by Chicago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago) insurance executive and future A's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Athletics) owner Charlie Finley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Finley) failed, Autry was persuaded to make a bid himself. Autry (who had been a minority stockholder in the Angels' PCL rival, the Hollywood Stars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Stars)) agreed, and purchased the franchise.

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

It does beg an obvious question however. If Veeck was going to be partners with Greenberg in Los Angeles, what was he going to do with the White Sox? (why do I have a funny feeling this is when Charlie Finley starting sniffing around baseball )

What is odd, to me, about all this was that Greenberg was already Veeck's partner in ownership of the White Sox. Greenberg had been GM of the Indians until late 1958, and I believe had a minority stock interest in the Indians at that time. He was persuaded to become part of the synidcate Veeck had assembled to buy out Dorothy Comiskey in early 1959. Greenberg and Veeck did not sell thier ownership in the Sox to the Allyns until June of 1961, and then Greenberg stayed on as Sox GM at the time.

It appears that Greenberg was the impetus for trying to get one of the AL expansion franchises being proposed in 1960, and to base it in LA. Several news sources from various internet baseball archives have the same quote from Nov. of 1960 that the Wiki article cited by Fenway has -- Greenberg trying to get dates at the LA Colusium so the expansion team could play there, and share it with the Dodgers. I guess it was presumed that Veeck would be his partner, and , I guess we can also add up that with Chuck Comiskey angling to get majority control of the Sox, Veeck could have viewed his tenure with the Sox as a caretaker type position, before he moved west. Of course, that never happened, and Veeck's supposed reason for selling the Sox in 1961 was his poor health.

It would be nice to get verification of this from first hand sources. But I don't think one could assume from these stories that Veeck and Greenburg were planning on relocating the White Sox. When you look at the news stories, many MLB teams in the 50s were owned by syndicates (that is, groups of individuals forming partnerships to own stock in a team), and the politics that went into who controlled what was very "soap opera-ish." Not just the White Sox (with Chuck Comiskey and his sister Dorothy), but the Indians, Cardinals, Browns/Orioles, Athletics, and perhaps other teams were involved in internal power struggles. Greenberg was involved in the Indians when he was negotiating with Veeck for the Sox, so it wouldn't be out of the question for him to try and buy an expansion franchise while still owning an interest in another team. Heck, the former owner of the Expos did this very same thing when he got the Marlins. But I see no evidence of a threatened relocation of the White Sox in the late 50s or early 60s.

slavko
12-05-2006, 11:50 AM
He never mentioned selling to a group that was going to move the team to Denver. The DeBartolos - they were from Ohio I think - were going to keep the team here. The other owners screwed him by claiming that the DeBartolos were, uh, "connected" and disallowed the sale. Didn't stop the NFL from allowing them to buy the 49ers and turn them into one of the great teams in NFL history.

Anyhow, in a recent interview, Rheinsdorf mentioned that if he had known that the Cubs would be for sale shortly thereafter he would have waited and made a bid for them. They were only a million or so more. It just proves that irony is not dead!

All one can conclude from the first paragraph is that Veeck never mentioned Denver to you. He wasn't that dumb. I firmly believe it happened.

As far as a Reinsdorf group making an offer for the Cubs, it's been discussed in these pages that a similar local group did make such an offer, but the Wrigley family accepted the Tribune's offer for less money, rather than sell to "a group like the one that bought the White Sox." I can't recall the group organizer's name; I believe he was a Northbrook businessman.

jsinaiko
12-05-2006, 12:22 PM
All one can conclude from the first paragraph is that Veeck never mentioned Denver to you. He wasn't that dumb. I firmly believe it happened.

As far as a Reinsdorf group making an offer for the Cubs, it's been discussed in these pages that a similar local group did make such an offer, but the Wrigley family accepted the Tribune's offer for less money, rather than sell to "a group like the one that bought the White Sox." I can't recall the group organizer's name; I believe he was a Northbrook businessman.

Rheinsdorf never said he made an offer for the Cubs - he said he would have if he had known they would be up for sale. Obviously the Sox deal was signed, sealed, and delivered before the Cubs were put on the market.
So, given that this would have been before he bought the Sox, Wrigley would not have been able to make that statement because the "one that bought the White Sox" would have been the one bidding the Cubs and never would have bid for the Sox - nothing that actually occurred is relevant - Rheinsdorf was making a "what if" statement.

As for Denver - my conversations with Veeck occurred in 78, 79, 80, and up through 82 or so. He moved to a different part of the neighborhood after that so I didn't see him as much. Obviously he wasn't going around discussing the sale negotiations while chatting on the front lawn. But he did say after the fact that his strong preference was the DeBartolo family. He felt they were going to invest in the team - and they made him and his partners a very good offer. The Rheinsdorf group came in after the DeBartolo deal was quashed. There was never any serious mention anywhere of a Denver group. That said, there were lots of rumors and gossip.

It isn't a matter of whether Veeck "was that dumb," he just never mentioned it - and a lot of the conversation was well after the sale to the Rheinsdorf group - so if it had been the case it wouldn't have mattered.

He did make it clear that his first choice would always be to sell to a group that was going to keep the team in Chicago - the two Jerry's made that clear when they bought the team.

Fenway
12-05-2006, 12:45 PM
Without seeing the Cronin papers I just wonder if the AL owners were indeed plotting to get a team into California WITHOUT expanding. That is one possible explaination as from most accounts of that era expansion was something the "Gang of Eight" was against. In fact the AL owners sat on their hands until the NL announced it would expand in 1962 to finally get William Shea of New York off their backs ( and to crush the Continental League )

Then suddenly the AL also announced expansion and would do it a year earlier in 1961. This allowed Calvin Griffith to make his "demographic" move to Minnesota and new teams in Los Angeles and Washington. Griffith had made a deal with Tom Yawkey who owned the Minneapolis rights ( and was thinking of his own move if Boston would not build him a stadium )

johnr1note
12-05-2006, 01:13 PM
Without seeing the Cronin papers I just wonder if the AL owners were indeed plotting to get a team into California WITHOUT expanding. That is one possible explaination as from most accounts of that era expansion was something the "Gang of Eight" was against. In fact the AL owners sat on their hands until the NL announced it would expand in 1962 to finally get William Shea of New York off their backs ( and to crush the Continental League )

Then suddenly the AL also announced expansion and would do it a year earlier in 1961. This allowed Calvin Griffith to make his "demographic" move to Minnesota and new teams in Los Angeles and Washington. Griffith had made a deal with Tom Yawkey who owned the Minneapolis rights ( and was thinking of his own move if Boston would not build him a stadium )

There were lots of rumors about various AL teams looking at the LA market -- most of these being prior to the Dodgers beating them to the punch. Griffith nearly got the Senators there ahead of the Dodgers, and there was a rumor that the A's would leave KC and go to LA. There was an earlier post that the "Lords of Baseball" were trying to follow the trend and eliminate "two team" cities, but I don't put much stock in that. There is no way the NL wanted to leave NY permanently vacant, and it didn't take long to figure out that after the honeymoon was over, several of the mid market cities like Milwaukee and Kansas City struggled to support a franchise, or, at least, were not the baseball mecca that LA proved to be. The AL would not have allowed the Chicago market to be abandoned on a whim. And if any team would have been forced out of town at that time, it would have been the Cubs.

But I reiterate that there never has been any story about Veeck thinking about relocating the White Sox in 1959, and unless research in the Cronin papers or elsewhere shows otherwise, I cannot believe it ever happened.

Fenway
12-05-2006, 01:22 PM
Talking about moves what a disaster this would have been

. In 1964 (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/1964) Finley signed a contract to move the A's from Kansas City to Louisville, Kentucky (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Louisville%2C_Kentucky) to play at Cardinal Stadium (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Cardinal_Stadium), but the other American League owners voted down the move.

http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Charles_O._Finley

All the cities that were granted admission to the Continental League finally got MLB franchises except one...Buffalo.

TornLabrum
12-05-2006, 09:27 PM
Cronin became AL president a little earlier in 1959. some items of note from baseball library

January 31, 1959 (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1959JANUARY.stm#day31): Joe Cronin, former Senators and Red Sox SS signs a 7-year pact to become head of the American League (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/A/American_League.stm).

When contracts are signed and when terms of office begin are two different things. Cronin assumed the presidency on July 1, at the expiration of Will Harridge's contract.

jsinaiko
12-05-2006, 10:21 PM
Talking about moves what a disaster this would have been

. In 1964 (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/1964) Finley signed a contract to move the A's from Kansas City to Louisville, Kentucky (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Louisville%2C_Kentucky) to play at Cardinal Stadium (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Cardinal_Stadium), but the other American League owners voted down the move.

http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Charles_O._Finley

All the cities that were granted admission to the Continental League finally got MLB franchises except one...Buffalo.

That was at a time when Charlie O was in a fight with the folks who ran KC Municipal Stadium. Charlie didn't want to pay the rent increase. At one point he threatened to "play in a cow pasture."

Jimmy Piersol's description of Finley, when Jimmy worked for him for a short time in Oakland is priceless.