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Lip Man 1
06-29-2007, 01:04 PM
June 30, 1988 - After years of saying that the original Comiskey Park is outdated, Sox owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn come very close to moving the team to the Tampa Bay / St. Petersburg, Florida area. At the 'stroke of midnight' (nudge, nudge...wink,wink, say no more!) the Illinois General Assembly passes a bill allowing the construction of a new stadium, thus saving the Sox. Meanwhile Florida baseball fans are stunned as they realize they have been used as a pawn to get a new facility by the power brokers and politicians of Chicago.

Lip

my5thbench
06-29-2007, 01:16 PM
Imagine if they had moved they'd be playing in that mess they have now in front of nearly no fans.......how soon would they have been back to Chicago?


Reinsdorf & company must be thrilled that they didn't go...& we're still glad to have our Soxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

go go

Lip Man 1
06-29-2007, 01:26 PM
5th:

Hard to say. According to the book, "The Lords Of The Realm" by John Helyar, the Sox would have been guaranteed the second richest TV contract / broadcasting revenue in all of MLB, playing in virgin territory. (Since there were no other teams in the state).

Things might have turned out much differently then what Tampa Bay's situation was.

Lip

tebman
06-29-2007, 01:38 PM
5th:

Hard to say. According to the book, "The Lords Of The Realm" by John Helyar, the Sox would have been guaranteed the second richest TV contract / broadcasting revenue in all of MLB, playing in virgin territory. (Since there were no other teams in the state).

Things might have turned out much differently then what Tampa Bay's situation was.

Lip
Fortunately we'll never know. I remember that period all too well -- I called my state senator's and state representative's offices when this was going down to ask for information. Both told me that they were voting against it because the state couldn't afford it and they didn't want to set a precedent. At the time the Bears were casting around for a new stadium to replace Soldier Field and the senator and rep I talked with said the Bears would be next in line if the White Sox got what they wanted.

I stayed up watching the news that night assuming the Sox were going to Florida. A bunch of legislators on the state house floor sarcastically sang "Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye" as the hour got late. Jim Thompson was a guy who liked to be associated with high-profile deals, and if this hadn't passed he knew he'd be cast in a bad light. So he literally stopped the clock so that midnight never came and was on the house floor jawboning and making deals to get votes.

We know how the story ended, and my understanding is that the state has actually made money on the lease with the Sox for the last 17 years. A win-win situation, I would say. Especially after 2005 :gulp:

DSpivack
06-29-2007, 01:43 PM
So he literally stopped the clock so that midnight never came and was on the house floor jawboning and making deals to get votes.

One of my favorite tales of Illinois politics.

The Sox weren't the last team to use "Tampa" as leverage...Giants, Mariners.

PKalltheway
06-29-2007, 04:13 PM
One of my favorite tales of Illinois politics.

The Sox weren't the last team to use "Tampa" as leverage...Giants, Mariners.
Exactly how close were the Giants to moving to Florida? I've heard that they were about as close as the Sox during the early 1990's, but I was wayyy to young to remember that.

Lip Man 1
06-29-2007, 05:04 PM
They were practically in Tampa, that's how close the Giants were. Close enough to the point that they started printing schedules for the season with the Giamts in Tampa.

Lip

PKalltheway
06-29-2007, 05:05 PM
They were practically in Tampa, that's how close the Giants were. Close enough to the point that they started printing schedules for the season with the Giamts in Tampa.

Lip
:o::o::o:

WhiteSoxJunkie
06-29-2007, 05:38 PM
According to wikipedia, there was an agreement to sell the Giants and move them to St. Petersburg but MLB blocked the move. The group of investors that almost bought the Giants eventually got the Devil Rays.

BeeBeeRichard
06-29-2007, 06:36 PM
In the summer of '88 on a school ground basketball court in Springfield, I met a lobbyist who was wearing a Florida White Sox T-shirt. He received it from another lobbyist who was working the legislature on behalf of Florida interests. What a weird piece of memorabilia that would be.

my5thbench
06-30-2007, 01:24 PM
Well I'm a Hoosier & I recall our governor at the time offering to build a stadium for the Sox just over the state line... I know it would have tee'd off alot of you Chicago guys but it was alright with me for the shorter drive & our state was rolling in dough at that time...it was said that Chicago would refuse to allow the name Chicago for the club.....but local uniform manufacturers could have forgotten to put the word East on the jerseys....


it all worked out well, the ballpark is magnificent & attendance is pretty daggummmed good..........

go go SOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

TommyJohn
06-30-2007, 02:13 PM
They were practically in Tampa, that's how close the Giants were. Close enough to the point that they started printing schedules for the season with the Giamts in Tampa.

Lip

I recall reading from a Sox writer (can't remember if it was Helpingstine,
Lindberg or Vanderberg) that the 1976 White Sox played a schedule that
had been designed for the move to Seattle that never took place.

WhiteSoxJunkie
06-30-2007, 10:31 PM
Well I'm a Hoosier & I recall our governor at the time offering to build a stadium for the Sox just over the state line...

Where was that stadium supposed to be?