PDA

View Full Version : The most forgotten team in baseball history?


Fenway
05-12-2007, 10:23 AM
The Boston Phoenix which is like the Reader looks back at the Boston Braves who are all but forgotten.

The St Louis Browns live forever because of a midget, the Philadelphia A's had the glory years of Connie Mack and even the Washington Senators had a play written about them.

But the Boston Braves????? nada

50 years after the Boston Braves' departure, it’s worth asking: did the wrong team leave town? (http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid39678.aspx)

By the ’40s, “it was more sort of a class division, where the Red Sox were the team of the haves, and the Braves were the team of the immigrants and the have-nots. The Braves had the Knot Hole Gang, and the Red Sox didn’t. At Fenway you had to pay full price. At Braves Field, you got in for a nickel.”

“There never was the same animosity between fans of the two franchises that exists in, say, Chicago, where you’re either a White Sox fan or a Cubs fan

The article hints at something many have suspected for years. Boston in the 1950's was not ready for black baseball players and the Braves had several. The National League was light years ahead of the AL (with the exception of Bill Veeck) in that respect.


“Jackie Robinson had been retired for two and a half seasons before they signed Pumpsie Green,” says Johnson incredulously. “The Bruins were integrated before the Red Sox!

“The Braves were very progressive,” he continues. “But I don’t think they were out to make a social statement. They were like the Celtics: trying to get the best players they could, and they weren’t letting the old conventions dictate anything.”

TomBradley72
05-12-2007, 10:44 AM
A very interesting franchise that doesn't get a lot of attention. The "Miracle Braves" of 1914 is an incredible story, didn't Braves Field have some unusual dimensions?

I'd have to rank the Kansas City Athletics as the most forgotten team (or the Seattle Pilots)...but the Braves are right there.

ewokpelts
05-12-2007, 10:47 AM
the boston braves become more of an afterthought when they morphed into the "miracle in milwaukee". there's a lot of love for those milwaukee braves teams still in the cream city. hell, the brewers have milwaukee braves night every year.

Fenway
05-12-2007, 10:53 AM
A very interesting franchise that doesn't get a lot of attention. The "Miracle Braves" of 1914 is an incredible story, didn't Braves Field have some unusual dimensions?

I'd have to rank the Kansas City Athletics as the most forgotten team (or the Seattle Pilots)...but the Braves are right there.

Even the Pilots had "Ball Four" :tongue:

The KC A's are forgotten but they were only there 12 years? (1955-67) KC had a Boston connection as the City of Kansas City bought the Braves Field scoreboard which was one of the first electric boards in MLB

Braves Field was not a hitters park
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/stadium/st_brave.shtml

One huge problem it had was the park was built next to the New York Central freight yards and smoke from the locomotives would blow into the grandstand. The bleachers still stand today.

http://www.northeastturf.com/images/installs/BU.jpg

DoItForDanPasqua
05-12-2007, 12:22 PM
How about the Chicago Whales of the Federal League? They won the last and second FL pennant and had two future hall of famers on the team (Joe Tinker and Three Finger Brown).

Perhaps the only reason they are ever mentioned today is for being the first tenants of Wrigley Field, then know as Weeghman Park, but they had the sense to move out of there 90 years ago.

I would say 10,000 times more people have heard of the Boston Braves than the Chicago Whales.

downstairs
05-12-2007, 01:40 PM
I looked through all the team moves of all current MLB teams. I'd have to agree with you other than maybe the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers. They were around for one year and then became the St. Louis Browns and finally the Orioles.

downstairs
05-12-2007, 01:41 PM
How about the Chicago Whales of the Federal League? They won the last and second FL pennant and had two future hall of famers on the team (Joe Tinker and Three Finger Brown).

Perhaps the only reason they are ever mentioned today is for being the first tenants of Wrigley Field, then know as Weeghman Park, but they had the sense to move out of there 90 years ago.

I would say 10,000 times more people have heard of the Boston Braves than the Chicago Whales.


I'll see that and raise you one Rockford Forest Citys (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ROK/)

TDog
05-12-2007, 01:45 PM
...
The article hints at something many have suspected for years. Boston in the 1950's was not ready for black baseball players and the Braves had several. The National League was light years ahead of the AL (with the exception of Bill Veeck) in that respect.

... which led to the eventual dominance of the National League, showcased every summer in the All-Star Game, and led to the American League adopting the designated hitter to provide the sort of offensive excitement offered in the senior circuit. If the Yankees and Red Sox had gone after the Monte Irvins and Ernie Banks, baseball might be very different today.

I remember the Boston Braves for being Babe Ruth's last team, but I was born in a year the Milwaukee Braves were in the World Series. I've read that Braves Field at one time had left and right field walls more than 400 feet from the plate, in contrast to the American League park that was just a mile away.

If the Braves had stayed in Boston, I wonder if any other team would have set attendance records in Milwaukee. I've read that it was those attendance records that factored into the decisions of the Giants and Dodgers to head west.

Imagine what the world would be like today with no Mets and no DH.

Fenway
05-12-2007, 01:52 PM
...
I remember the Boston Braves for being Babe Ruth's last team, but I was born in a year the Milwaukee Braves were in the World Series. I've read that Braves Field at one time had left and right field walls more than 400 feet from the plate, in contrast to the American League park that was just a mile away.

Imagine what the world would be like today with no Mets and no DH.

If the Braves had accepted Tom Yawkey's offer to move into Fenway, who knows how many homers Aaron and Mathews would have had at Fenway.

Veeck probably would have been allowed to Milwaukee which means the Orioles don't exist either.

Funny thing is when you look at old newspapers from that era the coverage was pretty even between the 2 teams.

Sadly I do think race was the reason the Braves lost their fanbase in only 4 years.

DSpivack
05-12-2007, 03:24 PM
I'm glad they eventually got down here. I wouldn't want to watch the Crackers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Atlanta_Crackers). Apparently Jack McKeon was briefly manager in 1964.

TDog
05-12-2007, 03:46 PM
If the Braves had accepted Tom Yawkey's offer to move into Fenway, who knows how many homers Aaron and Mathews would have had at Fenway.

Veeck probably would have been allowed to Milwaukee which means the Orioles don't exist either.

Funny thing is when you look at old newspapers from that era the coverage was pretty even between the 2 teams.

Sadly I do think race was the reason the Braves lost their fanbase in only 4 years.

You may be correct. I've never thought about it. But I find it ironic that while integration was key to the continued success of the Dodgers last years in Brooklyn, dropping attendance was blamed by some on fans not wanting to go to games in the racially changed area around their ballpark. I doubt that the racial makeup of the Dodgers kept fans away, though.

Fenway
05-12-2007, 04:05 PM
You may be correct. I've never thought about it. But I find it ironic that while integration was key to the continued success of the Dodgers last years in Brooklyn, dropping attendance was blamed by some on fans not wanting to go to games in the racially changed area around their ballpark. I doubt that the racial makeup of the Dodgers kept fans away, though.

The Braves attendance fell dramaticly

1948- 1,455,439
1949- 1,081,795
1950- 944,391
1951- 487,475
1952- 281,278

The Red Sox stayed about the same
1948- 1,558,798
1949- 1,596,650
1950- 1,344,080
1951- 1.312,282
1952- 1,115,750
then as a one team town the Red Sox drew less in 1953
1953- 1,026,133

So the Braves fans stop going but they didn't go to Fenway...Why?

IndianWhiteSox
05-12-2007, 04:10 PM
Even the Pilots had "Ball Four" :tongue:

The KC A's are forgotten but they were only there 12 years? (1955-67) KC had a Boston connection as the City of Kansas City bought the Braves Field scoreboard which was one of the first electric boards in MLB

Braves Field was not a hitters park
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/stadium/st_brave.shtml

One huge problem it had was the park was built next to the New York Central freight yards and smoke from the locomotives would blow into the grandstand. The bleachers still stand today.

http://www.northeastturf.com/images/installs/BU.jpg

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=5348&d=1178982408


:o:

I'm surprised that more hamstrings weren't pulled while trying to track down the outfield.

TDog
05-12-2007, 04:17 PM
The Braves attendance fell dramaticly

1948- 1,455,439
1949- 1,081,795
1950- 944,391
1951- 487,475
1952- 281,278

The Red Sox stayed about the same
1948- 1,558,798
1949- 1,596,650
1950- 1,344,080
1951- 1.312,282
1952- 1,115,750
then as a one team town the Red Sox drew less in 1953
1953- 1,026,133

So the Braves fans stop going but they didn't go to Fenway...Why?

Some would find that an economic justification no to integrate. Of course, there is no moral justification to turn down some of the greatest players of their generation because of their race.

If the Red Sox had dipped into the Negro Leagues for talent, it's entirely possible their attendance would have fallen -- considering it fell anyway with the Braves gone. With the example of the Braves drawing more than 9 times as many fans in Milwaukee, Boston now might not have a major league team or may have been granted an expansion team in the 1960s or '70s.

It's scary to think about how much race means in this country's history, even in he history of a game.

Fenway
05-12-2007, 04:24 PM
http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=5348&d=1178982408



I'm surprised that more hamstrings weren't pulled while trying to track down the outfield.

A hitters park it wasn't PLUS the wind usually blew in off the Charles.

One thing the Braves started still remains, Boston's beloved "Jimmy Fund"

During a May 22, 1948, broadcast of Truth or Consequences , Ralph Edwards interviewed a young cancer patient in Boston who loved baseball and dreamed of having a television to watch his favorite team, the Boston Braves, then the city's National League ball club. At the end of the broadcast, Edwards asked listeners from his studio in Hollywood to donate money for cancer research, as well as to buy a TV for the boy, whom he called "Jimmy" to protect his privacy. "Let's make Jimmy and thousands of other boys and girls happy who are suffering from cancer, by aiding the research to help find a cure for cancer in children," Edwards said on the show. By the end of the week, $20,000 in donations were made to "Jimmy" and the fund was born. It was the Braves' favored charity until their move in 1953 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since then, the Jimmy Fund has been adopted by the Boston Red Sox.

"Jimmy" made himself known in 1998.

The boy who launched the Jimmy Fund (http://www.jimmyfund.org/abo/who/default.html)


Jimmy 1948 Jimmy in 1999
http://www.jimmyfund.org/abo/who/images/abo_jimmyinuniform.jpghttp://boston.redsox.mlb.com/images/2002/07/06/vC3RY6BB.jpg

Fenway
05-12-2007, 08:57 PM
Some would find that an economic justification no to integrate. Of course, there is no moral justification to turn down some of the greatest players of their generation because of their race.

If the Red Sox had dipped into the Negro Leagues for talent, it's entirely possible their attendance would have fallen -- considering it fell anyway with the Braves gone. With the example of the Braves drawing more than 9 times as many fans in Milwaukee, Boston now might not have a major league team or may have been granted an expansion team in the 1960s or '70s.

It's scary to think about how much race means in this country's history, even in he history of a game.

A Red Sox had Willie Mays locked up and Yawkey said no. I suspect he was scared of losing his fanbase as well

DoItForDanPasqua
05-13-2007, 12:17 PM
I'll see that and raise you one Rockford Forest Citys (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ROK/)

I'd like to see them take on the mighty Worcester Ruby Legs, with Tricky Nichols on the mound, at the venerable Worchester Driving Park Grounds.

http://http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WOR/1880.shtml (http://http//www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WOR/1880.shtml)

Grzegorz
05-13-2007, 09:01 PM
Imagine what the world would be like today with no Mets and no DH.

Why does the Louis Armstrong version of 'What A Wonderful World' pop into my head? :D:

TDog
05-13-2007, 09:07 PM
Why does the Louis Armstrong version of 'What A Wonderful World' pop into my head? :D:

Be careful what you ask for. For all you know that alternative reality has the Cubs winning the World Series in 1969 and the White Sox moving to Milwaukee instead of the Pilots.

DumpJerry
05-13-2007, 09:20 PM
Be careful what you ask for. For all you know that alternative reality has the Cubs winning the World Series in 1969 and the White Sox moving to Milwaukee instead of the Pilots.
:o:

Actually, hard to say that about the Cubs since with one less team out there, you don't know what players they would have had as well as what players the other teams would have had. Not to mention that darn goat was still barred from The Urinal.

TDog
05-13-2007, 09:44 PM
:o:

Actually, hard to say that about the Cubs since with one less team out there, you don't know what players they would have had as well as what players the other teams would have had. Not to mention that darn goat was still barred from The Urinal.

That wasn't an arbitrary scenario. If the Giants had stayed in New York, the Mets wouldn't have been created. The Mets wouldn't have overtaken the Cubs in the NL East. The Cubs did win more games than the Giants in 1969, but the schedule was unbalanced. You really don't know what would have happened. Meanwhile, if the AL had expanded to Boston and Kansas City in 1969 to replace the departed Red Sox and A's, the Pilots would never have been born and wouldn't have moved to Milwaukee, leaving the possibility of a White Sox move.

Of course, had the Braves never moved to Milwaukee, the city may have enticed Wrigley to get out of the baseball business in the late 1950s when no one was going to games on the North Side. We might be living one of the less preferable of the alternative realities. There is no way of knowing.

But as a Sox fan, I know things could be worse.