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Viva Medias B's
10-12-2007, 11:40 PM
For those who have a better memory of this episode in White Sox history, how did it go down? And please do not post any response that lands this thread in the Roadhouse.

DumpJerry
10-12-2007, 11:55 PM
The family was too successful with the San Francisco 49ers. MLB did not want the White Sox becoming the Evil Empire.

voodoochile
10-13-2007, 12:00 AM
The family was too successful with the San Francisco 49ers. MLB did not want the White Sox becoming the Evil Empire.

They bought the 9ers after they failed to land the Sox.

Off the top of my head, there were rumors that the DeBartolos were tied to organized crime and the sale was rejected. I am sure there are more sinister reasons lurking behind those rumors and the decision they led to, but I don't know more than that.

This is off the top of my head. I am sure the real historians can provide more insight.

TDog
10-13-2007, 12:01 AM
For those who have a better memory of this episode in White Sox history, how did it go down? And please do not post any response that lands this thread in the Roadhouse.

Bill Veeck agreed to sell to DeBartolo. The other owners rejected him, and Veeck sold for less to a local group of investors. I believe DeBartolo intended to move the Sox, but I'm not sure of all the factors that led to the other owners to reject his offer.

getonbckthr
10-13-2007, 12:08 AM
Didn't the friendship between Reinsdorf and Steinbrenner have an impact as well?

Viva Medias B's
10-13-2007, 12:16 AM
Didn't the friendship between Reinsdorf and Steinbrenner have an impact as well?

IIRC, one theory was that George feared DeBartolo's money (poured into the team to sign free agents) would pose a threat to the Yankees' competitiveness at that time.

DumpJerry
10-13-2007, 12:17 AM
They bought the 9ers after they failed to land the Sox.

Off the top of my head, there were rumors that the DeBartolos were tied to organized crime and the sale was rejected. I am sure there are more sinister reasons lurking behind those rumors and the decision they led to, but I don't know more than that.

This is off the top of my head. I am sure the real historians can provide more insight.
I was joking about the Niners.

Despite passing the stringent background checks to run horse racing venues, the other MLB owners had a bias about the Italian heritage of the DeBartolos. Also, they were not too happy with Veeck as an owner, so they probably wanted to to stick it him with a backup offer for less money.

soltrain21
10-13-2007, 12:27 AM
I'm disappointed to not see a very detailed explanation by Lip already.

Brian26
10-13-2007, 01:00 AM
They bought the 9ers after they failed to land the Sox.

DeBartolo Sr. bought the 49ers for his son, Ed Jr, in 1977.

Brian26
10-13-2007, 01:01 AM
Bill Veeck agreed to sell to DeBartolo. The other owners rejected him, and Veeck sold for less to a local group of investors. I believe DeBartolo intended to move the Sox, but I'm not sure of all the factors that led to the other owners to reject his offer.

There was worry that he might try to move the Sox to New Orleans to play in the Superdome, as he had tried to buy the A's a few years earlier to do the same thing.

Brian26
10-13-2007, 01:04 AM
The great thing about the DeBartolo sale was that the Sox used some of the pending money he had given in his option period to sign Jim Essian and Ron LeFlore off the free agent market that year.

Sox
10-13-2007, 01:22 AM
The great thing about the DeBartolo sale was that the Sox used some of the pending money he had given in his option period to sign Jim Essian and Ron LeFlore off the free agent market that year.

Now there's some names that I haven't heard in awhile. Boy that brings back some memories.:thumbsup:

Steelrod
10-13-2007, 02:05 AM
Bill Veeck agreed to sell to DeBartolo. The other owners rejected him, and Veeck sold for less to a local group of investors. I believe DeBartolo intended to move the Sox, but I'm not sure of all the factors that led to the other owners to reject his offer.
I believe the price was identical to DeBartolo's.

LITTLE NELL
10-13-2007, 06:23 AM
I believe the price was identical to DeBartolo's.
I remember Harry Carray interviewing DeBartolo during a game and he said he had no intention of moving the Sox and also was going to upgrade Comiskey Park.

FarWestChicago
10-13-2007, 07:59 AM
I'm disappointed to not see a very detailed explanation by Lip already.Yeah, where the hell is Lip? Does it matter what anybody else says until the human encyclopedia shows up? :D:

Railsplitter
10-13-2007, 08:25 AM
The 49ers hadn't made the playoffs since 1972, so they weren't the powerhouse the became in the 80's.

Yeah, there were charges of an anti-Ilatlian bias, made by an aide of di Bartolo, or perhaps his attorney, though that probably hurt his case more than helping it. I hadn't heard of the theory of Steinbrenner not wanting comition for free agents, but it is plausible.

Of course, the charges of an orginaized crime connection were ludicrous. After all, Bowi Kuhn didn't wake up to find a horse's head in bed with him.

TommyJohn
10-13-2007, 09:31 AM
John Heylar in Lords of the Realm writes that Kuhn did not want DeBartolo
because of suspected ties to organized crime. He quoted Kuhn as saying that
DeBartolo was "not RP" which stood for "right people."

tebman
10-13-2007, 09:33 AM
FWIW, here's what Wikipedia says about DeBartolo's attempt to buy the Sox:

DeBartolo was unsuccessful in his attempt to purchase the Chicago White Sox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_White_Sox) in 1980 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980). The baseball team owners voted against the purchase, fearing a wealthy Italian-American who spoke Italian might have ties to organized crime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organized_crime). Despite such a notion, law enforcement has never found any 'connection.'

DeBartolo owned and developed three thoroughbred racetracks -- Thistledown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thistledown_%28racecourse%29) in Cleveland, Remington Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remington_Park) in Oklahoma City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City), and Louisiana Downs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Downs) in Bossier City, Louisiana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bossier_City%2C_Louisiana).

I seem to remember a lot of mumbling about DeBartolo's "gambling" connections because of the racetracks he owned. That was probably a cover story for the owners who didn't like Veeck and didn't want any new competition from a well-financed team. That was my assumption, anyway.

Fenway
10-13-2007, 09:45 AM
You can trace this all back to one man...Bowie Kuhn

Kuhn also stopped Dominic DiMaggio from buying the Red Sox in 1977 from Jean Yawkey forcing her to buy the team from herself.

Gammons has been blunt over this for years saying that Kuhn did not want an owner whose name ended in a vowel.

WhiteSox5187
10-13-2007, 10:18 AM
I remember Harry Carray interviewing DeBartolo during a game and he said he had no intention of moving the Sox and also was going to upgrade Comiskey Park.
My dad was working for the White Sox around this time and he is also under the impression that DeBartolo wasn't going to move them...After Veeck tried to sell them to that guy from Colorado I think he was looking for an owner who would keep the team here and I think DeBartolo fit the profile. But what do I know? Lip will tell us we need to know.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-13-2007, 10:36 AM
I won't speculate on any of the reasons that were never substantiated over why DeBartolo's bid wasn't accepted.

It's a fact Commissioner Bowie Kuhn told another owner that DeBartolo was "Not R.P" which he later clarified to mean "not right people." This story was told in Lords of the Realm.

I also know the matter of DeBartolo owning a racetrack being a strike against him. However several owners at that time had major racing interests, too, including George Steinbrenner.

For what it's worth...

Brian26
10-13-2007, 10:49 AM
Another interesting tidbit I found in "Who's on 3rd" by Rich Lindberg this morning was that one of the biggest opponents of the sale at the time was none other than....Bud Selig.

Daver
10-13-2007, 10:57 AM
I won't speculate on any of the reasons that were never substantiated over why DeBartolo's bid wasn't accepted.

It's a fact Commissioner Bowie Kuhn told another owner that DeBartolo was "Not R.P" which he later clarified to mean "not right people." This story was told in Lords of the Realm.

I also know the matter of DeBartolo owning a racetrack being a strike against him. However several owners at that time had major racing interests, too, including George Steinbrenner.

For what it's worth...

At the time Debartolo also owned a stake in several offshore casinos, and at that time it was widely suspected that organized crime still had a large part in the casino industry.

Fenway
10-13-2007, 11:04 AM
At the time Debartolo also owned a stake in several offshore casinos, and at that time it was widely suspected that organized crime still had a large part in the casino industry.

Kuhn had that for an excuse to block Debartolo but stopping Dominic Dimaggio from buying the Red Sox was just flat out racism. After he retired from baseball he made mega-millions as a plastics manufacturer.

doogiec
10-13-2007, 11:32 AM
IIRC, at the time MLB owners were not allowed to own other professional sports teams (why, I have no idea, but the rule was unique to MLB).

There was a lot of speculation that DeBartolo Sr was merely a straw purchaser, and DeBartolo Jr was really going to be running the team.

DeBartolo Jr. would later be implicated and plead guilty in a case involving the La. governor and illegal bribes, and subsequent legal problems continued forcing him out of the NFL.

There were a lot of rumors about that family even back then, and its impossible to tell if they were legit or actually people being paranoid about a successful Italian businessman and assuming the worst.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-13-2007, 12:11 PM
Kuhn had that for an excuse to block Debartolo but stopping Dominic Dimaggio from buying the Red Sox was just flat out racism. After he retired from baseball he made mega-millions as a plastics manufacturer.

It's not racism; it's bigotry. But some people are sincere bigots so it's no big deal to confuse the two...

Fenway
10-13-2007, 12:21 PM
It's not racism; it's bigotry. But some people are sincere bigots so it's no big deal to confuse the two...

True...in any event thanks to Kuhn we got 26 years of Jean Yawkey, Buddy LeRoux, Haywood Sullivan and John Harrington. ( or the 4 Bozos as we call them )

DiMaggio would have replaced Fenway 25 years ago but instead we stuck with it for at least another 20 years.

kba
10-13-2007, 12:27 PM
From a Peter Gammons story in the Boston Globe, Dec. 12, 1980:

Veeck's sale to Edward DeBartolo was voted down by the AL owners for a second time. On the first vote on Oct. 23, it was 8-6 in favor of the sale, falling two votes short. Yesterday, it was 11-3 against, with only Chicago, Cleveland and Oakland voting for him. DeBartolo publicly vowed to keep trying. Privately, he talked of a massive antitrust suit.

Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn denied that it was a grudge or a test of his power. He cited four reasons: 1. Local ownership, because there is a group in Chicago that can and will buy the club; 2. DeBartolo's Louisiana racetrack ownership; 3. "He has spread himself pretty thin in his operations;" and 4. "Pressure tactics."

DeBartolo's lawsuit threats and associate Vinnie Bartimo's personal attack on Kuhn - accusing him of ethnic prejudice - did not help.
Veeck was quoted at the time saying, "Never in my life have I had to work this hard to become unemployed."

Lip Man 1
10-13-2007, 12:32 PM
Sorry gang..had to call a high school football game last night.

Here's what I know in brief.

Veeck agreed to sell to DeBartolo who allowed Bill to sign Essian and LeFlore with his (Ed's) money in order to start generating interest.

Kuhn and some other owners weren't happy over this and Kuhn launched an internal investigation on DeBartolo.

His bid was rejected. Many thought the reasons were because of DeBartolo's alledged ties to organized crime.

DeBartolo told Kuhn he would NOT move the White Sox and guaranteed that he would move part of his business holdings to Chicago and be in residence 20% of the time.

After the sale rejection DeBartolo's chief assistant told the press that the owners move smacked of prejudice against Italians and threatened legal action.

Yes DeBartolo owned Louisiana Downs among other race track holdings but Steinbrenner and the Galbreath family (Pirates) also had very close ties to the horse racing industry.

Veeck eventually then sold the Sox to the Reinsdorf / Einhorn combo who originally weren't even interested in the Sox. Reinsdorf was part of a group trying to get the Mets. Einhorn the Padres.

DeBartolo then bought the 49'ers who became the dominant team in the NFL in the 1980's.

Lip

Daver
10-13-2007, 12:41 PM
Sorry gang..had to call a high school football game last night.

Here's what I know in brief.

Veeck agreed to sell to DeBartolo who allowed Bill to sign Essian and LeFlore with his (Ed's) money in order to start generating interest.

Kuhn and some other owners weren't happy over this and Kuhn launched an internal investigation on DeBartolo.

His bid was rejected. Many thought the reasons were because of DeBartolo's alledged ties to organized crime.

DeBartolo told Kuhn he would NOT move the White Sox and guaranteed that he would move part of his business holdings to Chicago and be in residence 20% of the time.

After the sale rejection DeBartolo's chief assistant told the press that the owners move smacked of prejudice against Italians and threatened legal action.

Yes DeBartolo owned Louisiana Downs among other race track holdings but Steinbrenner and the Galbreath family (Pirates) also had very close ties to the horse racing industry.

Veeck eventually then sold the Sox to the Reinsdorf / Einhorn combo who originally weren't even interested in the Sox. Reinsdorf was part of a group trying to get the Mets. Einhorn the Padres.

DeBartolo then bought the 49'ers who became the dominant team in the NFL in the 1980's.

Lip

Eddie senior tried to buy the Sox, it was Eddie junior that bought the 49ers.

TDog
10-13-2007, 01:37 PM
I believe the price was identical to DeBartolo's.

I probably just assumed it was the Reinsdorf-Einhorn group offered less because of the whining that ensued from Bill Veeck.

I'm sure DeBartolo seemed sincere that he was not intent on moving the Sox. He had agreed to pay a monetary penalty for moving the team, but I've had seemingly sincere people lie to me and even use money to buy them out of situations they wanted out of. The fact that the prospect of moving became so financially attractive that local ownership used a threatened move to extract a new stadium out of the state of Illinois strongly suggests that DeBartolo would have bought out his commitment to Chicago and relocated the team.

I wasn't sorry when I read that Debartolo's offer was rejected by the league. I've never been sorry since.

Of course, DeBartolo's idea of a free-agent catcher was Jim Essian. The Reinsdorf-Einhorn idea of a free-agent catcher was Carlton Fisk.

MisterB
10-13-2007, 01:55 PM
Eddie senior tried to buy the Sox, it was Eddie junior that bought the 49ers.

Eddie Jr. was always considered the owner, but it was Ed Sr. who bankrolled the purchase.

Johnny Mostil
10-13-2007, 02:04 PM
I probably just assumed it was the Reinsdorf-Einhorn group offered less because of the whining that ensued from Bill Veeck.



FWIW, an old NYT story (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE1D6163FF93AA15755C0A96E9482 60&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2) on the Sox possibly moving to Florida had this to say about the money offered by DeBartolo and Reinsdorf/Einhorn:


In 1980, Bill Veeck, the owner of the White Sox, put the team up for sale. Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., the shopping-mall developer, had agreed to pay $20 million, but the league twice refused to approve the deal, noting that Mr. DeBartolo owned a race track and lived out of state. Mr. Reinsdorf quickly put together a local syndicate - including Charles Lubin, the founder of the Sara Lee Corporation; William Farley, the chairman of Farley Industries, and Lee Stern, the owner of the Chicago Sting, a professional soccer team.

He also called Mr. Einhorn in New York. ''I knew I couldn't run a baseball team without knowing about TV,'' Mr. Reinsdorf said.

Fourteen limited partners and dozens of friends and family members bought the Sox in early 1981 for $19 million and immediately began an ambitious program to improve the franchise. They replaced 5,000 seats and installed a $5 million video scoreboard in Comiskey Park, began actively wooing corporate sponsors and bolstered the team's minor-league farm system.

kevin57
10-13-2007, 02:49 PM
I too heard a lot about King George being instrumental in cutting off that sale. The rest (gambling, etc.) was the rationale used, but DeBartolo's money would have given the other owners something to cry about.

TDog
10-13-2007, 03:08 PM
I too heard a lot about King George being instrumental in cutting off that sale. The rest (gambling, etc.) was the rationale used, but DeBartolo's money would have given the other owners something to cry about.

If Steinbrenner doesn't want another owner with Steinbrenner-esque resources and willingness to spend, wouldn't other owners have more motivation to want such an owner barred from their group? Steinbrenner might not want another team competing with him for the best players, but wouldn't it be in the best business interests of all owners to keep out another Steinbrenner who could further drive up salaries?

ChiSoxLifer
10-13-2007, 04:27 PM
If Steinbrenner doesn't want another owner with Steinbrenner-esque resources and willingness to spend, wouldn't other owners have more motivation to want such an owner barred from their group? Steinbrenner might not want another team competing with him for the best players, but wouldn't it be in the best business interests of all owners to keep out another Steinbrenner who could further drive up salaries?

The irony in all this is this is the exacty reason why Mark Cuban's bid for the cubs will be rejected. Reinsdorf benefited from this thirty years ago. DeBartolo's bid was rejected and Reinsdorf's accepted. For a cubs fan, it would great if MC were allowed to buy their team. I'm going to admit my bias and vote a resounding "hello no" (if my vote meant anything). I know too many obnoxious cubs fans and wouldn't want them to feel what I felt in 2005. Screw them.

dickallen15
10-13-2007, 05:31 PM
Steinbrenner didn't think much of Reinsdorf and Einhorn in the beginning. He referred to them as "the sunshine boys". The relationship did improve.

Lip Man 1
10-14-2007, 01:54 AM
Dick:

That's incorrect.

After the Sox signed Floyd Bannister to a then 'unheard' of five year deal worth over a million in December 1982, Steinbrenner called Einhorn and Reinsdorf the "Katzenjammer Kids" after the comic strip characters.

He then said he "regreted" voting against Ed DeBartolo Senior buying the franchise.

Steinbrenner wanted Bannister very badly and I think he was shocked that he could actually lose a free agent he coveted, to of all people the White Sox.

The "Sunshine Boys" was the name the Chicago media gave to the dynamic duo of Chuck Tanner and Roland Hemond in the early 1970's.

Lip

Brian26
10-14-2007, 01:58 AM
Lip-

I've heard and seen the "Sunshine Boys" reference to Einhorn and Reinsdorf too. I'll have to look through some of Lindberg's books to figure out who said it.

HerzogVon
10-14-2007, 09:59 AM
Bill Veeck agreed to sell to DeBartolo. The other owners rejected him, and Veeck sold for less to a local group of investors. I believe DeBartolo intended to move the Sox, but I'm not sure of all the factors that led to the other owners to reject his offer.

Yes, and therein lies the problem. I remember trying to find the MLB owner's point of view on this, but all that was available were amplifications of Bill Veeck's whining; which not-so-subtly implied anti-Italian American bias by the owners. This theme was picked up by the local scribes - led, if, I recall - by Dave Condon. The whole cigar chewing pack of parasitic Veeck worshippers followed by repeating the cry of "prejudice" - over and over again - so that it became impossible to learn a thing about the other side of the argument.

Veeck polished off this disgraceful display with a tearful speech bemoaning the slurring of DeBartolo's good name, and went on to stick the knife in the new owner's back's, and twist it at every opportunity. This culminated in his boycott of Comiskey, while prominently displaying himself at the leafy confines.

VEECK as in REEK!!!

voodoochile
10-14-2007, 10:16 AM
Yes, and therein lies the problem. I remember trying to find the MLB owner's point of view on this, but all that was available were amplifications of Bill Veeck's whining; which not-so-subtly implied anti-Italian American bias by the owners. This theme was picked up by the local scribes - led, if, I recall - by Dave Condon. The whole cigar chewing pack of parasitic Veeck worshippers followed by repeating the cry of "prejudice" - over and over again - so that it became impossible to learn a thing about the other side of the argument.

Veeck polished off this disgraceful display with a tearful speech bemoaning the slurring of DeBartolo's good name, and went on to stick the knife in the new owner's back's, and twist it at every opportunity. This culminated in his boycott of Comiskey, while prominently displaying himself at the leafy confines.

VEECK as in REEK!!!

I remember sitting near Bill a few times back in the early 80's. Back when you could walk up and buy a bleacher seat at Wrigley easily in the last summer. Back when there was room in the bleachers for Bill to put his wooden leg up on the bench beside him and for the whole group of 20 people or so to comfortably take up a single section spread out over several rows without being crowded. He was a good guy to watch baseball with.

HerzogVon
10-14-2007, 11:17 AM
I remember sitting near Bill a few times back in the early 80's. Back when you could walk up and buy a bleacher seat at Wrigley easily in the last summer. Back when there was room in the bleachers for Bill to put his wooden leg up on the bench beside him and for the whole group of 20 people or so to comfortably take up a single section spread out over several rows without being crowded. He was a good guy to watch baseball with.

I can believe that. Wish I'd run into the guy once or twice at Miller's Pub when I used to visit there. Still, the fact remains that he did a real hoodoo job on the media. They never seemed to question anything he did. So, when the DeBartolo thing came up, all we got was DeBartolo's and Veeck's take on the controversy. The MLB owner's side must have been accessable somewhere, but not in the Chicago papers. ( No internet back then, don't you know. ) :rolleyes:

slavko
10-14-2007, 12:17 PM
Am I wrong in thinking that King George owns a piece of the Bulls? Is there anything anyone in this sordid affair did or said or didn't do or say in all the above posts that wasn't self-serving? If things that took place 20 years ago right in our back yard are so unclear and getting unclearer, is it any wonder that things that happened in WWII 60 years ago can be denied?

Lip Man 1
10-14-2007, 01:02 PM
Slavko:

Steinbrenned DID own, I think, 5% of the Bulls in the 1970's and early 80's. He sold his stake out shortly before MJ came on board, which he admitted was one of the worst decisions he ever made.

Herzog:

I also had the pleasure of sitting with Bill in the right field stands at Comiskey Park when he was the owner. I was with some friends sitting and talking and I looked to my left and there he was sitting in the seat next to me. He signed a dollar bill which I still have....amazing.

And as stated earlier in this thread, DeBartolo's chief assistant (DeBartimo / sorry about the spelling) was the one that went public a lot with the threats of a lawsuit.

T-Dog:

For the record Jerry Reinsdorf himself said the idea to go after Fisk was Einhorn's not his. Roland Hemond confirmed that for me. Reinsdorf made this comment on the matter:

"Eddie Einhorn saw the public relations value in getting Carlton immediately." Jerry Reinsdorf quoted on the "official" White Sox web site, www.whitesox.com, December 23, 1998.

It may be splitting hairs I grant you but my sense after talking with Roland was that given his druthers JR wouldn't have made the offer to Fisk. Roland and Eddie talked him into it and to his credit, he went along with things.

Lip

johnr1note
10-15-2007, 10:46 AM
This is all very interesting, and I appreciate the information. I've done a little research too, and its verified the story that has been presented here -- Lip's summary being the most complete and accurate.

I have often been suspicious that in the early 1970s, there was a cabal of MLB, and in particular, AL owners who were trying to ensure that the White Sox would remain doormats. Stienbrenner from the Yankees, and Bennet from the Orioles, along with some others always had an excuse for what they did, but it always seemed to have (behind the scenes weak ownership for the White Sox as part of the plan.

For example, after Milwaukee lost the Braves, and Bud Selig was unable to obtain an expansion franchise for Milwaukee in 1969, Selig had a proposed deal to buy the White Sox and move them to Milwaukee. The AL owners voted this down, with the excuse that they could not leave Chicago without an AL team.

OK. But a year or so later, in 1972, when the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers, there was a concern that the AL was now going to have an awkward geographical imbalance with the Dallas-Fort Worth franchise in the Eastern Division. (Never mind that the NL never had a problem with this, with Chicago and St. Louis in the East, and Atlanta and Cincinnati in the West). Texas was to be shifted to the West Division, and one of the West teams transfered to the East. The White Sox seemed a natural choice to move east. They would be renewing the traditional rivalries with original AL teams such as Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Detroit. But which team got moved to the AL East? Selig's Brewers! Why? I believe at the time there was an excuse that the AL owners didn't want all the expansion teams in the West (despite that fact that all the expansion teams were all to the West of the 5 members of the Eastern Division and the Sox). I always believed that the real reason was the White Sox were a resurgent team, and the AL East moguls preferred the dormat Brewers for the competition they would offer.

When the City of Seattle sued the AL, the owners didn't show any devotion to the White Sox. The Sox were supposedly bound for Seattle, with a behind the scenes deal to bring Charlie Finley's A's to Comiskey Park so as to keep Chicago a two team city. The bad publicity of the transfer of the White Sox forced then Sox owner Allyn to find a local ownership group, and Allyn turned to Bill Veeck. I believe the only reason Veeck's purchase of the White Sox was approved was that the AL expansion was moved up several years so the AL could beat the NL to Toronto. A second team had to be added as well, and the owners felt that it would be easier to give Seattle an expansion team (apparently they really didn't like Finley that much either). Again, the idea was, keep an AL team in Chicago, but don't allow it the resources to contend.

And I firmly believe (but can't prove in any media sources) that this was what was underneath the rejection of DeBartelo's bid. We want to keep an AL franchise (it doesn't matter which one) in Chicago, but we don't want to encourage an owner who will make a big splash and compete with the "Big east."

tebman
10-15-2007, 12:34 PM
For example, after Milwaukee lost the Braves, and Bud Selig was unable to obtain an expansion franchise for Milwaukee in 1969, Selig had a proposed deal to buy the White Sox and move them to Milwaukee. The AL owners voted this down, with the excuse that they could not leave Chicago without an AL team.

OK. But a year or so later, in 1972, when the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers, there was a concern that the AL was now going to have an awkward geographical imbalance with the Dallas-Fort Worth franchise in the Eastern Division. (Never mind that the NL never had a problem with this, with Chicago and St. Louis in the East, and Atlanta and Cincinnati in the West). Texas was to be shifted to the West Division, and one of the West teams transfered to the East. The White Sox seemed a natural choice to move east. They would be renewing the traditional rivalries with original AL teams such as Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Detroit. But which team got moved to the AL East? Selig's Brewers! Why? I believe at the time there was an excuse that the AL owners didn't want all the expansion teams in the West (despite that fact that all the expansion teams were all to the West of the 5 members of the Eastern Division and the Sox). I always believed that the real reason was the White Sox were a resurgent team, and the AL East moguls preferred the dormat Brewers for the competition they would offer.

When the City of Seattle sued the AL, the owners didn't show any devotion to the White Sox. The Sox were supposedly bound for Seattle, with a behind the scenes deal to bring Charlie Finley's A's to Comiskey Park so as to keep Chicago a two team city. The bad publicity of the transfer of the White Sox forced then Sox owner Allyn to find a local ownership group, and Allyn turned to Bill Veeck. I believe the only reason Veeck's purchase of the White Sox was approved was that the AL expansion was moved up several years so the AL could beat the NL to Toronto. A second team had to be added as well, and the owners felt that it would be easier to give Seattle an expansion team (apparently they really didn't like Finley that much either). Again, the idea was, keep an AL team in Chicago, but don't allow it the resources to contend.

And I firmly believe (but can't prove in any media sources) that this was what was underneath the rejection of DeBartelo's bid. We want to keep an AL franchise (it doesn't matter which one) in Chicago, but we don't want to encourage an owner who will make a big splash and compete with the "Big east."
I have no doubt that keeping the White Sox at a disadvantage was at the heart of a lot of those moves by the owners. Veeck wrote an epilogue chapter for "Veeck As In Wreck," in which he detailed the story behind his purchase of the White Sox in late 1975. He described the owners' concern about the pending lawsuit from Seattle over the move of the Pilots to Milwaukee. The owners thought they could solve their problems by moving the nearly-bankrupt White Sox to Seattle, which would then allow Charlie Finley to move the A's to Chicago. "Voila!" they thought -- Seattle gets a team and drops their suit, the White Sox are no longer a liability, and Finley gets his wish to have a team in Chicago and stops annoying the other owners with his complaints.

Veeck got in the way of their scheme and Selig was out front trying to prevent the sale of the Sox to Veeck's group. If you get a copy of a later edition of Veeck's book with the epilogue in it, you can read the other gory details. But the bottom line is that the owners, led by Selig, wanted the White Sox out of their hair. Selig is a weasel, first class.

This same behavior played out when DeBartolo tried to buy the team from Veeck. Einhorn & Reinsdorf's investment group was simply the default.

russ99
10-15-2007, 01:13 PM
I have no doubt that keeping the White Sox at a disadvantage was at the heart of a lot of those moves by the owners. Veeck wrote an epilogue chapter for "Veeck As In Wreck," in which he detailed the story behind his purchase of the White Sox in late 1975. He described the owners' concern about the pending lawsuit from Seattle over the move of the Pilots to Milwaukee. The owners thought they could solve their problems by moving the nearly-bankrupt White Sox to Seattle, which would then allow Charlie Finley to move the A's to Chicago. "Voila!" they thought -- Seattle gets a team and drops their suit, the White Sox are no longer a liability, and Finley gets his wish to have a team in Chicago and stops annoying the other owners with his complaints.

Veeck got in the way of their scheme and Selig was out front trying to prevent the sale of the Sox to Veeck's group. If you get a copy of a later edition of Veeck's book with the epilogue in it, you can read the other gory details. But the bottom line is that the owners, led by Selig, wanted the White Sox out of their hair. Selig is a weasel, first class.

This same behavior played out when DeBartolo tried to buy the team from Veeck. Einhorn & Reinsdorf's investment group was simply the default.

Interesting stuff.

Being 12 or 13 at the time, I had no clue about the skullduggery involved in this possible sale, but I always thought it was fairly certain that DeBartolo was buying the Sox to move them, which is why most fans were against this, and were OK with Reinsdorf/Einhorn (before the purge.)

Unless of course, this is what was fed to us at the time by the press...

AZChiSoxFan
10-16-2007, 04:50 PM
skullduggery



Classic. I love that word!!

Hitmenof77
10-22-2007, 04:21 PM
This is all very interesting, and I appreciate the information. I've done a little research too, and its verified the story that has been presented here -- Lip's summary being the most complete and accurate.

I have often been suspicious that in the early 1970s, there was a cabal of MLB, and in particular, AL owners who were trying to ensure that the White Sox would remain doormats. Stienbrenner from the Yankees, and Bennet from the Orioles, along with some others always had an excuse for what they did, but it always seemed to have (behind the scenes weak ownership for the White Sox as part of the plan

Bennett didn't own the Orioles until the late 70's, early 80's. So there goes your conspiracy theory. When did Steinbrenner buy the Yankees? I thought the mid 70's.

DSpivack
10-22-2007, 04:41 PM
Bennett didn't own the Orioles until the late 70's, early 80's. So there goes your conspiracy theory. When did Steinbrenner buy the Yankees? I thought the mid 70's.

Steinbrenner's group bought the team in 1973 from CBS...for $8.7 million.