Comments on: Orioles to Highlanders: One Francise or Two? This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nate Little Sun, 28 Feb 2010 07:57:09 +0000 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.

By: Andrew S. Sat, 27 Feb 2010 00:16:30 +0000 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.

By: Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Fri, 26 Feb 2010 22:58:31 +0000 @ #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...

By: Tomepp Thu, 25 Feb 2010 17:55:02 +0000 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)?

By: Andrew S. Thu, 25 Feb 2010 16:35:53 +0000 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.

By: Cliff Blau Wed, 24 Feb 2010 22:01:13 +0000 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.

By: Pete Ridges Wed, 24 Feb 2010 15:12:35 +0000 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.

By: Phil Wed, 24 Feb 2010 12:44:50 +0000 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.

By: DoubleDiamond Wed, 24 Feb 2010 00:55:35 +0000 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.

By: Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Tue, 23 Feb 2010 22:56:38 +0000 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.