in the winter of 1954 1955 the Philadelphia Athletics stunned the city of brotherly love when they announced they were leaving for Kansas City the A's had a loyal following in Philadelphia and to this day many say that the better baseball team left the city leaving Philadelphia with hapless Phillies so why is it that such a beloved franchise welled up leaving the city of Philadelphia part of the answer lies unfortunately with the very man who made the Philadelphia Athletics such a successful franchise and that is Connie Mack the man known as mr. baseball Connie Mack was responsible for bringing numerous talented baseball players to Philadelphia and he won five World Championships in the process but as well as being the manager of the Philadelphia's Connie Mack was also a part owner from the beginning of the franchise the largest owner of the Philadelphia Athletics was Benjamin shine and even after shiebz death Mac remained close with the Scheib family and because of Mac's legendary success with the A's no one within the Athletics organization was willing to tell Connie that it was time to step down the result was a baseball team that lingered in the American League second division for most of the 1940s Mac himself began losing his memory often calling out players who had long departed the Athletics in the middle of games when he was trying to call for a pinch-hitter or a defensive replacement but other coaches would correct Mac's mistakes and Mac remained as the head of the Philadelphia's franchise the result of lingering below 500 for so long was that fewer fans came to the ballpark which that the A's made less and less money the problem was compounded by a division among max children Mac had two sons with his first wife Margaret Earl and Ray after Margaret died Mac married his second wife Katherine with Katherine he had four daughters and his son Cornelius jr. despite Katherine's protests Mac only involved his three sons in the management of the baseball team Earl and Ray however were not fond of Connie Mack jr. when the A's were not doing well financially Earl and Ray preferred to cut costs while Connie Mack jr. insisted on investing on younger players to build a new team this difference of opinion led to Earl and Ray mortgaging the Philadelphia is in 1950 in order to buy out the shares of Connie Mack jr. as well as the Scheib family but taking out a loan when the A's attendance was down proved to be a financial disaster by the end of the 1954 season Earl and Ray had realized they can no longer afford to operate the Athletics the Mack family's first choice was to find a buyer who would keep the team in Philadelphia behind the scenes however the New York Yankees wanted to move the team to Kansas City the main reason was shy Park which had been renamed connie mack stadium when shy Park first opened 1908 it had been hailed as a wonderful architectural achievement but by 1954 the park had become dilapidated because it was located in the middle of North Philadelphia opposing teams found it difficult to get to this led the Yankees to want to move the Athletics out of Philadelphia and to Kansas City after the 1954 season had ended the Mac family initially had a deal with a group of investors who had promised to keep the team in Philadelphia unknown to the rest of the Mac family however was that Ray Mac was negotiating in the background with another group in effort to secure a position in the front office for himself and for his own son that group was going to take the team to Kansas City on October 28th 1954 the ax Flett expres nted the sale to the rest of the American League in a meeting of the American League owners the owners had to approve the sale by a majority vote the result of the vote however was a dead split four owners were for the sale and four owners were against the sale what had become clear was that Ray Mack voted against the very deal that his Philadelphia Athletics had put on the table for the American League owners to consider this annoyed the likes of Charles Comiskey of Chicago but at the same time it forced the rest of the Mack family to consider alternative offers to buy the team later that winter ray Mack presented to the American League owners a new proposal for a new group of owners which was approved by the league in a separate vote which required a 3/4 majority the American League owners approved the move of the Philadelphia Athletics to Kansas City in the end Connie Mac's ability to put together a winning team for the Athletics combined with the infighting among his children caused the city of Philadelphia to lose in 1954 the team which had been the only one that had brought World Championships to the city

Why Philadelphia Lost the Athletics
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31 thoughts on “Why Philadelphia Lost the Athletics

  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Wait a minute then if they were going to Kansas City then how did the Athletics Leave to California

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Baseball is still messed up financially when small market teams can not sustain winning . It's too expensive/ trying keep players / raising ticket prices. Kansas City , Milwaukee and Tampa Bay are examples. I'm not a businessman but many fans think all baseball is making money. Well add up every thing a team must pay , all employees. , farm team , their personal , scouting
    !!!!

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    The A's will always belong to Philadelphia.
    I predict that one day in the future, the A;s will return to Philadelphia and leave the green and gold in California.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Nobody ever seems to question the apparent unwillingness of either Connie Mack or his sons to desegregate the Athletics.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Why did the Yankees care what city the Athletics played in?

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Mack once said it was better for The A's to compete well but fail to make the playoffs. Thus he would get the fans to the games but would not have to higher salarys. Of course he would have just traded them off anyway. Imagine if you could have combined Mack and McGraw into one single manager.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Is there a follow up video to this one? Great story to share on Youtube!

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    I'm intrigued by this information and the Yankees connection. The KC A's became known as a feeder team for the Yanks. Is there more history to this Yankees-A's relationship?

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Connie mack?? Wow i use to live across connie mack playground on 22nd and lehigh . never know who he was ! Learn something new everyday

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    The A;s are still the winningist franchise in Philadelphia history, and they left town in 1954.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    I live in east brookfield Massachusetts, the birth place if Connie Mack!

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    North philly still wants our A's back i wish it would happen

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Interesting baseball history.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Always wondered about this.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    I still think Philadelphia could support 2 teams . And Detroit should be losing teams . Their economy , population has bottom down .

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    I grew up a die hard phillies and A's fans because of my grandfather i wish they never moved away we deserve our A's and warriors back…

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    I always find it interesting that the Athletics despite with financial problems still managed 9 titles

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    It just made no sense to have 2 teams in a single city anymore other then the big 3 of NY, Chicago and LA(which didn't happen for a decade after this). Why only have so many MLB teams but only be able to take advantage of having teams in a handful of cities? Same reason that the Braves and Browns moved.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Connie's son's name was Roy, not Ray.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    His sons by his first marriage were DIMWITS.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Wait, so the Yankees said it was too difficult to get to the location in Philadelphia and their solution was to move them to Kansas City? That's the easier commute from New York? I am confused.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Very interesting…the video and the comments. My Dad, Lou Brissie, pitched for Mr. Mack from '48-'50, after returning from WW2 with his left leg injured, shin bone broken into 30 pieces, before he went to pitch at Cleveland. Despite having to wear a shin guard, he was one of only a few pitchers to strike Ted Williams out twice in one game – 2 different times. He always told me that Mr. Mack took a nap every afternoon like clockwork. I was never aware of the strife in the Mack family (which is sad) but it does make sense….with all of the children they were bound to have different ideas. I will say regarding Mr. Mack that from my Dad's mouth, he was an upstanding man who really cared about his players. The stories my Dad has told me are amazing. There are so many 'baseball historians' out there but many only know of what they've read, which will typically be biased in some form as it is journalism. My Grandfather's dream was for my Dad to play for Mr. Mack, so my Dad gave up a $20k bonus to play for the Dodgers as well as the Yankees in order to play with the Athletics.
    Rest in Peace, Dad.
    Anyways, just going down memory lane this evening and wanted to leave a comment. Thanks for the upload!
    PS – I sure do wish the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society hadn't closed!! A very sad day, especially for the hardcore fans and the families of the players.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    The A's once drew 100,000 fans for a season in 77 home games. That's all you need to know about Mack's money problems.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    And they lost the warriors

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    This was a very interesting video. One minor correction is needed: Shibe Park first opened in 1909, not 1908.

    The A's were a burden on the American League by 1954. Attendance was awful (less than 305,000 people attended games that year). Visiting teams complained about their low shares of the gate receipts. Shibe Park was situated in a rough neighborhood too, which also dissuaded fans from attending games. Urban decay is seldom mentioned, but it is also a major reason why the Dodgers left Brooklyn and the Giants left New York City.

    I am the author of several baseball history books. One was on the 1916 Philadelphia A's titled A's Bad as it Gets. Another one is The Games that Changed Baseball. (Each has gotten very good reviews. Please check them out!)

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    You had the 2 selloffs, the "Connie Mack Spite Fence" even though it was a Shibe that ordered the fence built, years of futility and Connie Mack basically being senile for the last decade. He would fall asleep in the dugout, give weird orders and call for pinch hitters he sold off decades before, "Baker, Foxx".

    After the 2nd selloff it took 40 years and 2 cities before the A's became relevant again.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    My Dad was a tremendous A's fan , so am I !

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    This is not quite equivalent to "The Dodgers" leaving Brooklyn New York. Remember Mr. Moses , A new York City Politician , flatly refused to have the Dodgers acquired land in Downtown Brooklyn New York at the corner of Flatbush Avenue & Atlantic Avenue in October 1957. The Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Is the narrator the same person as Redline Reviews?

    I enjoyed seeing the vintage photos of the Philadelphia A's. The A's (all three cities) have a fascinating history.

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  • May 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    After the 2nd selloff the A's made bad decision after bad decision after bad decision and it became a perfect storm for the Phillies to become the city's favorite team.

    By 1954 it was over. The last A's game at Connie Mack Stadium didn't even draw 2,000 fans. It was time to go.

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