This is our old blog. It hasn't been active since 2011. Please see the link above for our current blog or click the logo above to see all of the great data and content on this site.

Orioles to Highlanders: One Francise or Two?

Posted by Sean Forman on February 23, 2010

This is pretty far down in the weeds, but a lot of what we do when posting these numbers is far down in the weeds. At the prodding of an interested party, I've been asked whether the 1901-1902 Orioles should be part of the New York Yankees history. He argues no. We have shown them as such. I noticed that Palmer/Gillette now show them as not part of the Yankees history in their last ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Here is a response Gary sent to me when I asked him about it.

We discussed this at length when we did the first edition of our new encyclopedia in 2004. IIRC, the deciding factor was that the Baltimore franchise went bust during the season and was turned over to the league. After the season, the league then sold a new franchise to investors in New York City. We felt that wasn't really a relocation or a transfer; it was simply filling the gap in the league that was opened when the Orioles' franchise disintegrated.

Of the 39 players who appeared for Baltimore in 1902, only five appeared for New York in 1903. Jimmy Williams was the regular second baseman for both clubs. Herm McFarland, a utility player in '02, became a regular outfielder in '03. Ernie Courtney played one game for Balto. in 1902, then 25 for NY in 1903. Harry Howell was the only pitcher of consequence to make the transition. Snake Wiltse (4 G in '03) also appeared for both.

So right now, I'm probably going to switch the 1901 and 1902 Baltimore teams to their own franchise and have the Yankees start in 1903. Anyone want to convince me otherwise?

31 Responses to “Orioles to Highlanders: One Francise or Two?”

  1. Devin Clancy Says:

    If you have to do some sort of research to figure out what's a case of a relocation/sale and what's a whole new franchise, then it's harder to be consistent across the board. What about Milwaukee/St. Louis, Pilots/Brewers and other odd cases. The scenario above almost applies to the Expos/Nationals as well, since the league took control there too.

    If there was any transfer of players, history, corporate structure, old uniforms, etc., it should be maintained as the same franchise. Or, alternatively, consider all changes of cities as a new franchise and separate Brooklyn and L.A. (This is what the book "Total Ballclubs" did). Just make it consistent one way or another with every case rather than going franchise by franchise.

    Of course, I only care about it at this particular moment since I'm working on a Yankees history piece and changing it right now would make all my head-to-head numbers look wrong... 🙂

  2. Jerry Schoone Says:

    If John McGraw would have went over to NYY in '03, that would have been good evidence of continuity. But I looked, and he didn't even finish out '02 with BAL. So you're making the right decision, seeing the league was the intermediary.

  3. Where Does The Clock Start On Yankees History? | Says:

    [...] Sean Forman asks this question today. [...]

  4. Smed Says:

    The question is did the 03 Highlanders assume the assets of the 02 Orioles? The fact that 5 players played for both may say either Yes or No. If the assets were assumed by the new owners, then yes, it's a franchise move. If not, no.

  5. Whiz Says:

    This is a tough case, but I think I disagree with calling it a separate franchise.

    Using any single criteria like continuity of players, manager, or even ownership will likely not give acceptable results in all conceivable cases (although YMMV on that). After all, an owner can have a fire sale and gut the team (or change managers), but it's still the same team, even if it moves. But just because there is an ownership change doesn't mean it's a different franchise, either, especially if the players and/or manager remain basically the same (again, even if the team moves).

    A looser but still well-defined criterion for determining continuity is whether there is a clear chain of ownership between the two teams -- after all, the word franchise implies ownership, and certainly ownership can change hands. In this case, that continuity exists (Frank Ferrell and Bill Devery purchased Baltimore from the AL and then moved the team to New York with the consent of the AL). Montreal to Washington would be the same (although there it is more obvious due to the continuity of the players and manager). The only question (in my mind) in the Baltimore/New York case might be whether the new owners were buying the Baltimore franchise or just buying the rights to join the AL. What I've seen of the history indicates the former, or at least that is the way it is presented.

    Likewise for the Milwaukee Brewers to St. Louis Browns transition between 1901 and 1902, although there is one reference that mentions St. Louis "replacing" Milwaukee and refers to St. Louis as a "new team" (this from The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball by Neft, Cohen and Neft). But all other sources I could find say that the Milwaukee team moved to St. Louis, even though there were only 5 players (and no manager) on both teams.

    Of course if the ownership remains the same and the team moves, that would still be considered the same franchise (e.g., Giants, Dodgers).

    So the only cases where there would NOT be franchise continuity would be where a team folds and a new team joins the league without actually buying the folded team. I can't remember any such cases, at least after the AL started (1901+).

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    It wasn't just McGraw...I think there were more former Orioles on the '03 Giants than on the '03 Highlanders. I'm sure someone knows the details better as I don't really remember them, but there was some connection between the ownership of BAL and the NY Giants.

  7. DavidRF Says:

    What's with Steve Lombardi and the message board spam? There's never anything there when you follow his link, just a link back to here.

    Its odd enough when he does it in on his own threads, but now he does it in other threads? Can't we stick a link to his blog up top somewhere so he doesn't have to resort to these bizarre tactics to increase his Google Rank stats (if google does indeed still fall for this trick)?

  8. Steve Lombardi Says:

    DavidRF - those are "ping backs" letting this blog know that I've linked to it in other blogs. It's not spam.

  9. Steve Lombardi Says:

    One thing to consider here is that the owner of the New York (NL) Giants, Andrew Freedman, in an attempt to screw over the then A.L. President, Ban Johnson, took over control of the (AL) Orioles just before the move and released many of their good players - allowing them to be re-seeded in the N.L. That's why many of the O's players did not go north with the franchise to New York. (As I understand it, John McGraw allowed Freedman to take control of the O's in exchange for a job with the Giants.)

    I may have some of these facts twisted, but, that's the main theme on what happened...IIRC.

  10. DavidRF Says:

    OK. My mistake. It certainly looks like spam and you don't identify yourself in the post.

  11. J.R. Says:

    Another quick question along the same lines... Have you guys ever given thought of listing the team statistics seperately, or lat least right under the team that they are linked with? For instance, listing the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos batting stats as a team, with every guy who played for either/both franchinse in ABC order, like you already do, but then, linked under that franchise, you have seperate links for both JUST the Expos and JUST the Nationals stats. Make sense? Any thoughts?

  12. John Northey Says:

    I love the idea of being able to see just Expos stats or combined Expos/Nationals stats as I am/was a fan of the Expos and like to boo the Nationals now (may they enjoy last place forever - no I'm not bitter, not at all).

    Another item that would be nice is a way to see stats for a city - ie: combined for all Milwaukee teams, or for all Washington teams, or even all NY based teams. After all, fans of a team tend to be fans of the CITY team, not the FRANCHISE. A team moves out of town, rooting doesn't go with it especially if a new team comes to town. Might be fun to see who the all-time NY leader for batting average is for example. Could even add state or country options (for us Canadians to see Expos & Blue Jays combined leaders).

    This would also reduce issues such as the Baltimore/NY transfer.

  13. Alan Says:

    I second John's suggestion of being able to see statistics by city.

  14. Mike Weinstein Says:

    I think the right argument is to look at it from a legal perspective. This is the logical argument since fans, detractors and the like of the Yankees, Orioles etc. will all have their own opinions to offer on the matter based on fandom and to an extent reasonable fact.

    A case where a franchise has been considered distinct is that of the Bos/Mil/Atl Braves and the first professional team the Reds. Current Atlanta ownership considers the team continuity from that original Cincinnati team based on 4 players (brothers Harry and George Wright among the two) who were invited to join the team. The recognition of this matter however has not ever been contested legally, but if the claim is that players moving make continuity than that argument would hold for saying that the Braves date back to 1869. Outside of the sport of baseball, the Baltimore Ravens, as history should have it, are distinct from the Cleveland Browns. In fact the expansion Browns team inherited the history of a team that they never were thus creating continuity. This provided the case law that a city, not the team, is owners of the history in the event of a move.

    To this point it seems I have argued contrary to my opinion that the history of the Baltimore Orioles(1901-1902) should be included in the history of the Highlander and later Yankee franchise that moved to New York. Yet, since the history of the Cleveland Browns remains intact in the current Baltimore franchise, that of the Pilots in the current Milwaukee Franchise and mostly ad infinitum with all team moves, it is rational that the team that is currently in New York are the inheritors of the 1901-02 franchise based on not only continuity of some players and ownership but also because the history of those two seasons does not have a reclaimant in the city of Baltimore. Yankee fans have a proud sense of 26 27 World Championships. This all happened 20 years after the move from Baltimore. This period of time, let alone the two years in Baltimore should not be considered errata, of which only the latter is being considered here, but instead should no doubt be included together as a single franchise with a proud history.

  15. Mike Weinstein Says:

    My mistake the strike should have only been through the 26...

  16. Chris J. Says:

    Before doing this, I think you'd need to confirm that there were no other separate incidents of massive roster overturn occurring when a franchise changed owners. If so, you're opening a hornets nest of possible new/old franchises.

    For example, based on this logic, a case can be made that the Cards should be a separate franchise between 1898 and 1899. And without looking, I'm pretty sure there are similar problems in the 19th century. IIRC, the Baltimore Orioles of the 19th century are officially one unbroken team from 1882-1891, but in the middle of that they went belly-up in midseason once, playing only 40 games. Do they count as a separate franchise after that?

    I'd vote "no" to the Balt/NYY separation. I think it should be like overruling a play on the field in the NFL: a good or even pretty good case isn't enough - it has to be inarguable.

    Simply put, I think it would be too confusing to have it listed as two separate franchises.

  17. Tangotiger Says:

    I've discussed this kind of thing in the past. What does the end-user want to see? In some cases, they want to see Expos-only. In some cases, they want to see Expos/Nats. In some cases, they want to see all MLB Washington teams.

    You can call them whatever you want, region-continuity, name-continuity, owner-continuity. Each satisfies an objective.

    So, you have to start with the question: what is it that you want to represent?

    It would be instructive to look at NHL since they've had so many relocations, and even mergers, in the last 40 years. The fans and owners of the NJ Devils treat their entity as starting in NJ, even if they came from Colorado (Rockies), and that team came from Kansas City (Scouts). As far as everyone in NJ is concerned, they were awarded an expansion team. That's how the fans and the owners want to see their history books. The historian should reflect the perceptions and attitudes of the people. If they don't see it as a duck and they don't hear it as a duck, well, it's not a duck.

    I presume the Washington Nationals fans, and ownership, want it like the Devils (I know the Montreal fans do, having no allegiance to the Nats; certainly nothing close to the Dodgers with Brooklyn/LA). They give a few nods their way to the Expos. But, the retired numbers of the Expos actually are not honored in Washington. Indeed, those retired numbers are up in the rafters of their HOCKEY team's arena, Montreal Canadiens.

    So, ask the question as to what it is you want, and the Orioles/Yankees issue resolves itself easily.

  18. JDV Says:

    From what I've read here -- which has at least tripled my knowledge on the subject -- I lean toward BAL/NYY continuity. It may be relevant to understand whether teams back then retained any semblance of a 40-man (or any other number) roster through the off-season. Can we see if the roster discontinuity can be accounted for by tracking individual player transactions?

    I was going to bring up the Browns/Ravens issue, but with a different bent. To me, that example is simply officialized revisionist history in direct proportion to the whiny-assed tears flowing from jilted Clevelanders. The NFL consoled them by offering a land of make-believe.

  19. Whiz Says:

    To say the Nats are not the same franchise as the Expos seems excessively harsh to me -- they had continuity of ownership DURING THE MOVE (albeit it was MLB), same manager, many of the same players (25 if I counted right), etc. I haven't checked in detail, but I'm guessing many long-term player contracts spanned the move also (Jose Vidro appears to be one such case, since he made exactly the same amount in 2004 and 2005). If that's not the same franchise, I don't know what city-to-city move would be. I don't care whether they honor the retired numbers of the old team or not 🙂

    Now, if you want to have the option of doing city-only searches/totals, etc., IN ADDITION to franchise searches/totals, that's fine with me.

  20. Mitch Says:

    In regards to this specific example, the Babe Ruth Museum, which is the unofficial historian for all things Baltimore Baseball, claims these early Oriole teams as part of the professional baseball legacy that led to the city's eventual acquisition the Baltimore Orioles (as we know them today). I think it is correct to include the history ONLY with the city, and not least because Johnny Unitas did not play for the Indianapolis Colts. His statue is outside M&T Bank (Ravens) Stadium, even if Irsay stole the team from the people of Baltimore.

  21. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Let me try to summarize the background history: Before the 1901 season, Ban Johnson recruited John McGraw from the St.Louis Cardinals, to partly own/manage/play for the Baltimore Orioles, a new franchise in the American League. The AL had been a minor league in 1900, but Johnson was trying to turn it into a major league in 1901, to compete directly against the National League. One of Johnson's selling points of the AL to the public was "clean ball"; less gambling and dirty play, and more RESPECT for the umpire. Now McGraw had promised Johnson that he would control his umpire-baiting tendencies, but (Mugsy being Mugsy) by early 1902, McGraw was finding it hard not to revert to the old-style "dirty ball" and ump-harassing of the 1890s Orioles that he was comfortable with.

    McGraw was looking for a way to get out of Baltimore; in mid-1902, as Steve Lombardi wrote, Andrew Freedman bought the Orioles and released most of their best players, including McGraw, Roger Bresnahan, and Iron Man McGinnity, who ended up on the Giants. Remember, "syndicate" ownership was common in the 1890's NL, so it wasn't that unusual for an owner to own more than one franchise at a time, and transfer their best players to the stronger team. At that point the AL took over the Baltimore Orioles.

    One question I have is the "ownership timeline": if Freedman indeed owned the Orioles, how did the AL take over the Orioles for the balance of 1902?

  22. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    I just looked this up, 'cause it's a really good question. I found that Frank Farrell and William Devery bought the Baltimore Orioles from the AL (who took it away from control of the NL's Giants!) in January 1903 and then moved the franchise to NY for the '03 season. The Giants had ripped all the best players away from the team during '02. The reason Farrell & Devery moved the team to NY was because the NL & AL owners had a little peace conference & 15 of 16 owners voted to allow the AL to put a team in NYC. So really, this wasn't a whole new business, just a business move.

  23. DoubleDiamond Says:

    As someone who was a fan of the modern Baltimore Orioles for more than 35 years, during a time when they had a strong rivalry going with the Yankees because both teams were pretty good, I shudder to think that the Yankees had their roots as a team called the Baltimore Orioles.

    Regarding franchises that have moved, at least the ones that moved between 1953 and 1971:

    The three National League teams that moved, the Braves (twice), Dodgers, and Giants, all kept their team nicknames in their new cities. And to this day, their heritages in their old cities, especially those of the two teams that moved from New York to California, are still honored by the current franchises. The Giants and Dodgers also seem to still be widely loved in the New York area. I don't know how highly the Braves are currently regarded in either Boston or Milwaukee. I do recall tuning in to a Braves road game against the Brewers, possibly in the first season in which the Brewers played in the NL, one night on TBS and discovering that both teams were wearing Braves uniforms! The home team was observing a "Turn Back the Clock Night". I've also seen at least Braves-Red Sox interleague game, probably at Fenway Park, on either TBS or ESPN in which the Braves wore Boston Braves uniforms.

    In the American League, though, the old locations seem to have become forgotten. This is true even for the Athletics, who have kept their name through two moves. For a while, the Phillies were honoring the old Philadelphia A's, but since the move to the new ballpark a few years ago, this has been dropped. However, when Oakland came to town for an interleague game, I believe there was some kind of commemoration. Some people in the area do honor the A's individually. There is a Philadelphia Athletics museum in a storefront in Hatboro, PA, which is about 15-20 miles north of Philadelphia.

    As for the other AL moves, though, a lot of people are confused by the fact that both the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers were once known as the Washington Senators. And I've seen lists of records held by the Rangers franchise that include the long-ago Senators from the Walter Johnson era, while in the same publication, the Twins' history starts with 1961, like they were an expansion team.

    The Baltimore Orioles of which I was a long-time fan were at one time the St. Louis Browns, but I don't recall them ever honoring this part of their past. Ironically, both the St. Louis Browns and the Cleveland Browns moved to the same city! Although I was a Washington Redskins fan when I lived in Maryland (and still am, although they don't give me much to cheer about these days), I remember the hurt so many people in the state felt when the Colts moved out in the middle of the night. So it was easy for me to choose what team to root for in the most recent Super Bowl.

    When one Washington Senators team replaced another in 1961, it was clear at the time that the "new" Senators were going to be the expansion team, with brand new history and players stocked by an expansion draft. The "old" Senators were to become the Minnesota Twins, with the existing Senators history and all of the players, except for the couple that the "new" Senators drafted, moving to the Twin Cities with them. Of course, this included big stars like Harmon Killebrew that those of us in the DC area would have loved to have kept.

    But when the new Cleveland Browns were created a few years after the old team left, they were supposed to be a continuation, as far as history went, of the old Cleveland Browns, while the Ravens were to be considered to be the "expansion" team.

  24. Phil Says:

    It has been said by a few that the new owners in 1903 bought the Balt franchise from the AL and then moved it. If this is correct, then it seems to me like they should definitely be the same franchise.

  25. Pete Ridges Says:

    This question may be too tough to answer, but here goes: those five players that moved across, did they have contracts that went with them? Or did each of them sign a new contract with the New York team?

    I've a slight preference for treating it all as one franchise, but I'm not sure.

  26. Cliff Blau Says:

    The discontinuity in the Baltimore AA franchise didn't come in 1890. They didn't go belly up; they had left the AA after 1889 to play in the Atlantic Association but rejoined when Brooklyn went out of business. The discontinuity occurred between 1882 and 1883. The 1882 team didn't pay its dues and was ejected from the league after the season, and a brand new Baltimore team, which had recently been organized, was admitted in its place. The new team had no owners or players in common with the 1882 team and used a different home park. Those two teams shouldn't be shown as a continuous franchise. As for the 1902 Orioles/1903 Yankees, I'm not sure if it was a move of the old team or the creation of a new team. But I'd say that unless there is some pressing reason to change how they are shown now, it should be left alone.

  27. Andrew S. Says:

    I am a huge Yankees fan and very knowledgable when it comes to Yankees history. I have done a lot of research on the subject over the years, so I feel I am qualified to chime in.

    When Ban Johnson turned the American League into a major league in 1901, he did so with the intent on challenging the NL. This meant that he would ultimately need a team in NY to challenge the NL Giants because NY was the biggest market in the country at this time. However, his firstb challenges were in the cities of Boston and Chicago, where he tried to get name stars from the NL teams in those towns to play for their AL rivals. He also did this in Baltimore, where he had former NL Orioles legend John McGraw become the manager.

    In exchange for becoming manager of Baltimore and jumping leagues, Ban Johnson promised McGraw that when he finally did put a franchise in NY, McGraw would become the manager. McGraw was actually born in upstate NY.

    McGraw began to distrust Johnson during the 1902 season. By all accounts, Johnson never intended to make McGraw the manager of the new NY team. He was only using McGraw for his name value in Baltimore to draw crowds.

    In the middle of the 1902 season, the NL came up with an idea to hurt the AL. They would buy one of the franchises and raid the roster, in order to make it so the team could not complete its schedule. Thus, the pennant results would be skewed and the whole league would look minor compared to the NL. They felt this would crush the AL. This scheme was created by John McGraw and Giants owner Andrew Freedman. Freedman promised that if McGraw helped him, he would do what Johnson wouldn't and make McGraw the manager in NY of the NL Giants.

    Andrew Freedman bought the Orioles in 1902 with the help of McGraw. He transferred the Orioles best players to the Giants (like Joe McGinnity, John McGraw himself, Roger Bresnahan). However, there was a clause in the AL franchise contract that if a team could not complete the season, the league could step in take control. So Ban Johnson stepped in and stocked the team with left over players from the other teams and the season was completed. He decided then that the franchise which would move to NY would be the Baltimore one.

    After 1902, the NL and AL signed a peace agreement. In the peace agreement, Ban Johnson was allowed to have a team in NY and the NL would not try to stop him.

    His problem with NY was that it was corrupt due to Tammany Hall politics. His tsctics in other cities did not work in NY. He was eventually forced to sell the NY franchise (at a bargain price) to two Tammany Hall men named Bill Devery and Frank Farrell. They did not buy the Baaltimore franchise and move it to NY. They bought the franchise that had already been designated as being in NY. They were allowed to buy it because that is the only way Ban Johnson could get the land to build a ballpark because Andrew Freedman had blocked him at every turn.

    In reality, the Baltimore frnchise is the one that was moved to NY. However, Yankee history really started in 1903 after the franchise was moved. If the old Baltimore Orioles were given their own page, it would not do a disservice to history. The Yankees really did start in 1903. However, it was the Baltimore team that was moved to NY to become the Yankees.

  28. Tomepp Says:

    Lots of good ideas and information have been presented in the comments thus far – I’ve learned a lot from them.

    My opinion is that franchise history should follow ownership lines. If there is a continuity of ownership – as is clearly the case in more recent MLB moves – then the teams should be considered the same franchise. If, however, the ownership of the previous franchise folded and the new ownership was simply given the right to play in the League (given the previous team’s “slot”), then it should be considered a new franchise. So the relevant question is whether the Highlanders/Yankees ownership of 1903 inherited the 1902 Orioles assets and obligations (including player contracts, stadium contracts, etc.) – even if indirectly with the American League acting as intermediary – or whether they were given a “clean slate”, and simply awarded the O’s “slot” in the schedule. Additional details of the AL’s stripping Freedman of ownership of the Orioles and subsequent sale to Farrell and Devery would be helpful, but from what I’ve read here it sounds like it should be considered the same franchise. The release of McGraw, et. al. from the Orioles is irrelevant, as that occurred before the AL takeover, while Freedman was clearly the owner. The ones to examine would be any long-term obligations to players still under contract during the AL takeover and subsequent sale to Farrell and Devery.

    I think J.R.’s idea (comment #11) of adding links under the existing franchise pages for separate locations (e.g. separate N.Y. Giants and S.F. Giants totals) is great, and shouldn’t be too hard to implement. On the other hand, having links for lists of all teams playing in a particular city or state would be a bit trickier – especially considering the confusing number of similarly named franchises in the nineteenth century. (For example, the current Nats are the 11th Major League team to play in Washington, and the sixth with the nickname “Nationals” – the second one in the N.L. alone!) Also, what do you do with situations like the Los Angeles / California / Anaheim / Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels? Though they’ve played in the same stadium since 1965 (before which they really did play in L.A.), they’ve changed their “locational identity” three times. And how do you handle “metro areas” – does Brooklyn count the same was New York? What about Elizabeth (NA, 1873), Newark (FL, 1915) and New Haven, CT (NA, 1875)? And where do you list the Pittsburgh/Chicago franchise of the Union Association of 1884? If we extend this idea to the NFL, how would you classify the two “New York” teams, neither of which actually play their games in New York (city or state)?

  29. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    @ #27 Andrew S... check out the official line from the Yankees, says they purchased the Baltimore franchise and then moved it to New York. Although, I stumbled onto a highly odd thing since a couple days ago. The Pittsburgh Press quotes Ban Johnson on Dec 10, 1902 listing the players he's already signed up for a NY American League team. If the Baltimore franchise was purchased in January '03 and moved to NY... how could there be players signed to play for NY in December '02? Have to read up more on this...

  30. Andrew S. Says:

    You can never go by the Yankees official timeline because they don't have a clue about their own history. They still think Babe Ruth was sold to finance No No Nanette, which has been proven to be false. The people who would know are Ban Johnson, Bill Devery, and Frank Farrell. By the time Col. Rupert bought the team, he had no idea of the teams' origins either. When George Steinbrenner bought the team in the 1970's, he really had no idea bout their history. So you need to take the Yankees official version with a grain of salt.

    Ban Johnson made the decision to move the Baltimore team to NY when he took it over after he was betrayed by John McGraw. So somewhere in the middle to end of the 1902 season he knew he was moving the team to NY.

    The team wasn't purchased and then moved to NY. The team was designated for NY before it was sold to Devery and Farrell. The problem was that Johnson could not get a ballpark built because Freeman had all the land tied up. So Johnson needed to sell the team to other members of Tammany Hall who had the pull to get the land for a ballpark. This is why Johnson was forced to sell to Devery and Farrell. This is also why the team was designated for NY before it was sold.

    I have no idea when the sale was done officially and when the move to NY was announced. However, it is irrelevant to our discussion because the team was desiganted to be moved to NY during 1902, and was only sold to Devery and Farrell because that was the only way to get a ballpark built in NY.

    As for stocking the team with players, all the good Orioles were traded to the Giants. So Ban Johnson raided Pittsburg, who had left alone the season before. He assigned the best Pirates players to the new NY franchise. This is why you only see a few Orioles from 1902 show up in 1903 because the rest of the players were not good. Johnson wanted to build an immediate contender in NY to challenge the Giants.

  31. Nate Little Says:

    Please leave it for two reasons:

    The Hall of Fame locker room lists the Orioles before the Highlanders on the Yankees' account.

    It's still my best way of stumping a$$hat Yankee fans who start trumpeting history.