It was announced this week that the Athletics had reached an agreement with a group of politicians to build a new stadium for the club, which had been abandoned for years in a dilapidated facility.
If it looks familiar, it’s because the same situation has been going on for the same reasons for over 100 years. The Athletics, originally born in Philadelphia, then moved to Kansas City, Missouri and Oakland, Calif., never seemed to be content with the status quo.
From Philadelphia’s exorbitant blue-law-restricted stadiums to Kansas City’s hastily rebuilt minor league parks to Oakland’s brutalist concrete palaces, they’ve always been on the lookout for the better. rice field. They explored Denver, surveyed San Jose and Fremont, and singled out multiple locations in Oakland. But now In a deal announced by the Governor of Nevada They still face some hurdles, but they want to build a stadium on the Las Vegas Strip that is theoretically ready for the 2027 season.
The situation will cause optimism in Las Vegas, heartbreak in Oakland, and certainly wide-eyed people elsewhere. With nine World Series wins and 17 100-loss seasons, the Athletics have looked like they’ve been on the brink of transfer for most of their existence.
Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters on Thursday when asked about the Las Vegas deal, “We could have a move vote as early as June.” However, given how far the plan could go and how much it has already changed in the past few weeks, he cited the stadium’s previous location rather than the team’s current plan to build on the Tropicana Las Vegas grounds. . .
The team has a growing reputation for its restlessness. The Athletics are tied with the Braves (Boston, Milwaukee, Atlanta) and the Orioles (Milwaukee, St. Louis, Baltimore) as the teams that have traveled the most. But oddly enough, the Athletics have only four stadiums in their 123 seasons of play, fewer than all but a handful of teams.
Unfortunately for the A-Team, none of the four parks can be confused with classic parks like Boston’s Fenway Park or modern marvels like the Rangers’ Grove Life Field. bottom.
Look at these four stadiums and you’ll see why the A-Team always had a wandering eye.
1901-1908 | World Series titles: 0
Top Player: Eddie Plank, P, 51 wins over his successor
Built for a new team in a new league where no one knew what would happen, Columbia Park soon became too small. The stadium had a capacity of 9,500, but many watched from the nearby rooftops. The team tweaked it, but even at its peak, the number of fans was less than his 14,000.
The stadium’s most notable moment, at least in terms of absurdity, was the 1905 World Series, when Connie Mack’s Athletics and John McGraw’s New York Giants called it rain to avoid a sparse crowd. It was when they conspired to disguise the
As detailed in the New York TimesThe third game was scheduled for Wednesday 11 October, but with a crowd of around 4,000 and the club’s payments being entirely dependent on ticket sales, the managers said light rain earlier in the day. I agreed to pretend that I missed the match because it rained. Unplayable. Giants utility player Sammy Strang helped pitch the ploy, The Times said. Moisture will naturally fall off. “
The bet worked. The two teams played Game 3 the following day, with a reported crowd of 10,991, nearly triple Wednesday’s attendance.
The Athletics spent three more memorable years playing in Columbia, and less than a decade after leaving the team, the stadium was demolished and replaced with housing.
1909-1954 | World Series winners: 5
Top Player: Lefty Grove, P, 68.4 WAR
Athletics principal owner Charles Shibe hopes to capitalize on the team’s popularity by building baseball’s first steel-and-concrete stadium, beating Fenway Park for three seasons and Wrigley Field for five. rice field. The decision worked and The Times reported that Philadelphia’s first game of the 1909 season had been played. A record 30,162 fans attended. The Athletics topped the American League attendance charts for the third year in a row.
Shibe Park has been home to some great teams, with the Athletics winning nine pennants and five World Series wins there, but ownership was regularly mentioned. State Restrictive Blue Laws For limiting the ability to play home games on Sunday and putting the club at a disadvantage against other teams. Desperate to raise money, the team blocked off a nearby rooftop bleacher with a 34-foot wall to keep fans away. connie mac spite fence.
The Athletics never recovered from selling the 1930 champions as Shibe Park began to wear out. They finished last or penultimate 14 times in 20 seasons from 1935 to 1954, drawing only 304,666 spectators in their final season in Philadelphia, at tiny Columbia Park. It was less than all but one season in . .
In 1971, the stadium caught fire and was largely destroyed. ‘There was a fire at Connie Mack Stadium the other day,’ said Arthur Daly. wrote in the Times, referring to Sibe by the name he used in his later years. “At least it lit up some fun memories.”
The stadium’s famous corner tower, which housed Mack’s original office, was demolished in 1976. The church built a sanctuary on the site.
1955-1967 | World Series Titles: 0
Top Player: Ed Charles, 3rd Baseman, 14.4 WAR
George E. Muhlbach deserves some credit for predicting that the stadium he built for his minor league team, the Kansas City Blues, in 1923 might one day be home to a major league team. increase. In fact, it lasted a long time. The Kansas City Monarchs of the black league were the stadium’s tenants. Muhlbach, however, looked to a National League or American League team and designed a stadium with a large foothold with expansion in mind. Unfortunately, when Arnold Johnson bought the Athletics in his 1955 and moved the team to Kansas City, it turned out that the scaffolding and nearly the entire stadium needed to be rebuilt.
As a result of cost overruns, stadium capacity was much lower than expected and the park was barely ready when the season began.
The Athletics finished their first season in Missouri in sixth place, but have failed to climb that far, finishing 13 seasons with an 829-1,224 record and no postseason appearances. Municipal Stadium attendance has been in the bottom three of the AL in all but one of the team’s seasons.
It wasn’t all bad. Charlie O. Finley bought the team in 1960 and, amidst various shenanigans, had an incredible pool of talent, including Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter starting their careers in Kansas City. oversaw.
The stadium was demolished in 1976. Surrounded by residential developments, the old site has a garden with a plaque.
1968-Present | World Series Winners: 4
Top Player: Ricky Henderson, Left Field, 72.7 WAR
Built on the 1960s multi-purpose stadium craze, the Oakland Coliseum was quirky from the start. Its circular design made the Coliseum the foulest area in baseball. It was excavated into a hill and its playing surface was placed 21 feet below sea level. stray cat, sewage is leaking and Possum The person living in one of the TV booths didn’t appear until later.
The Athletics once dominated the park many times, winning three consecutive World Series titles in the 1970s and making three straight series appearances (winning one) from 1988 to 1990. However, the number of spectators fluctuated greatly, dropping to 306,763 (3,787). It peaked at 2.9 million (35,805 per game) in 1979.
An unpopular stadium change ordered by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders has turned a boring stadium into something weird and ugly. Park maintenance had gotten out of hand, with various owners of the team consistently complaining about the lack of amenities.
Over the past few years, the aggressive shedding of promising players, coupled with the team’s apparent preference for Las Vegas, has led to a major backlash from fans. Last season, the team averaged just 9,849 spectators per game. It doesn’t help that the team is on pace to break the worst record in modern baseball, going 10-42 through Thursday.
With the Raiders already gone to Las Vegas, the Golden State Warriors moving to San Francisco and the Athletics Club’s lease expiring after the 2024 season, the Coliseum complex could soon run out of permanent tenants. This perk would then very likely suffer a similar fate to A’s previous three of his perks, none of which were left with more than a nameplate to remember them.