Da Giants Ain't Won At Home Yet (:>) Robert Sheridan bobsheridan firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that O'Malley's moving of the Dodgers to LA was with the eye on the dollar sign, to be sure, but the country was moving and shaking after the war, WWII, as it hadn't done before. Breaking out of a straight jacket, so to speak.
You weren't a major league town if you didn't have a major league baseball team. San Francisco, home to the minor league S.F. Seals in the Pacific Coast League, wanted a major league team in a bad way as a matter of civic pride, a sort of "Hey, look at us" attitude. George Christopher, the mayor in the 'Fifties, was interviewed on TV the other day in connection with how he lobbied Horace Stoneham, the Giants owner to bring the team to San Francisco. As he tells it, the issue was parking. The Polo Grounds had no parking. San Francisco could promise parking. Parking meant fans could drive to the park and the parking concessionaire, Stoneham, could pocket the proceeds, with a rakeoff for the City, as S.F. likes to spell itself, with a capital "C."
So now SF is a "big league" city.
At the turn of the last century, c. 1900, baseball was also known as "town ball." Every town large enough to field a competitive baseball team did so. They also brought in ringers from elsewhere. Civic pride, food and beer concessions, and gambling fueled the competition. That translates to money and pride. The Ted Turners and Donald Trumps of the day bought the teams and milked them for the dough, just as you or I would love to do if we had the brains or the wherewithal.
I don't begrudge a guy who knows how to make a buck. I just wish I was a little better at hanging on to the ones that pass through my hands. I like them to stick around a little longer while I admire the art work on them.
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