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Monday, July 21, 2014

Sports Reference Blog: 1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History

Baseball-Reference has made the move to dissociate the New York Yankees franchise from the 1901 & 1902 Baltimore Orioles (not connected to the current Baltimore Orioles franchise). [...] This move was precipitated by the BAL/NYY joint record approaching the milestone of 10,000 wins, which caused a reassessment of how we approach this move.

bobm Posted: July 21, 2014 at 08:33 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, yankees

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   1. NattyBoh Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:59 AM (#4755569)
I'm sure the Orioles would love to be free of their Browns heritage. The Oakland A's could forget about KC. Etc.

Many of my friends and associated who are Yankee fans don't know this historical fact. I have to educate them that they were driven out of the Land of Pleasant Living. It was akin to Lucifer being cast out of heaven.
   2. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: July 22, 2014 at 07:05 AM (#4755573)
Sports-Reference quoting Gary Gillette of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia-

"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."


...seems a perfectly reasonable decision.
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4755581)
The last player to play in the majors from that franchise, Roger Bresnahan, retired in 1915.
The last player alive from that Baltimore franchise, Andy Oyler, died in 1970.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4755583)
This breaks up my favorite name chain:
The Seattle Pilots became the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Milwaukee Brewers became the St. Louis Browns.
The St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles.
The Baltimore Orioles became the New York Highlanders who are now called the Yankees.

RIP Oriole Yankees.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4755613)
Dear Commissioner Selig,

There are too many historical franchise relationships nowadays. Please eliminate three two.

P.S. I am not a crackpot.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4755615)
There are too many historical franchise relationships nowadays.

If Montreal ever did get a new franchise, it would make sense to do some "historical realignment".

The new Montreal team gets the Expos history, Washington gets both Senators,
   7. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4755618)
Washington gets both Senators


I might actually find some interest in the Nats were that to be the case.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4755624)
I might actually find some interest in the Nats were that to be the case.

:-)

It's one of the few NFL decisions that makes sense (i.e. franchise moved to Baltimore, but Cleveland kept the Browns name and history).
   9. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4755632)
If Montreal ever did get a new franchise, it would make sense to do some "historical realignment".

The new Montreal team gets the Expos history, Washington gets both Senators,


And Wilpon gets the Brooklyn Dodgers? (You know he's dying to claim that legacy)
   10. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4755667)
If you included the 1901-02 Orioles in the NY Yankees history, that means they would have hit exactly 15,000 HR (the most by any franchise).
If they are removed, then the Yankees are 57 HR away from the 15,000 mark.
   11. BDC Posted: July 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4755672)
The hell, did they hire Winston Smith as an intern or something?
   12. Lassus Posted: July 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4755675)
If they are removed, then the Yankees are 57 HR away from the 15,000 mark.

I sense a YR appearance forthcoming.
   13. John Northey Posted: July 22, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4755676)
Generally I like 'city history' more than 'franchise history' with situations like the Senators v1 and v2 being merged with the Nats and the like. Have the original Orioles mixed with the current ones for stats. Some cases can't really be merged (Mets with Giants and Dodgers for example) and when a name goes with a team it gets messy (A's, Dodgers, Giants) but I'd still prefer to see the KC A's mixed with Royals and Milwaukee Braves with the multiple Brewers. Some 'floaters' would exist like the AL St Louis Browns but ideally the NL team in that case would honour the old club in some way at the park (a display for history of MLB in the area for example).

Hopefully if/when Montreal gets a new team they'll be called the Expos and some form of honours for Carter/Dawson/Raines (plus any old Expo retired numbers) will be set up.

I know in hockey it was exciting for a bit when it looked like the old Winnipeg Jets would return to Winnipeg (moved to Phoenix) but in the end they took Atlanta's team instead (NHL likes to lose money in the desert I guess).
   14. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4755688)
The full article links to a John Thorn article that, to me, certainly makes it look more like a franchise move than a new franchise:

Thorn article

They paid $18,000 for the Baltimore franchise, selected coal dealer Joseph Gordon to act as their president, and built a ramshackle ballpark in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, in time for the home opener on April 30, 1903.


The 1902 Orioles actually played more games than any other AL team. If their insolvency and forfeiture to the league is an issue, it has to be distinguished from the case of the 1942/43 Phillies.

This brings up a question I don't have the answer to: is there such a thing as The Baseball Encyclopedia anymore? Does Total Baseball still have the stamp of approval?

   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4755693)
I know in hockey it was exciting for a bit when it looked like the old Winnipeg Jets would return to Winnipeg (moved to Phoenix) but in the end they took Atlanta's team instead (NHL likes to lose money in the desert I guess).

First the Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary, then the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg. In 2035 the Atlanta DevilDawgzzz will move to Saskatoon.
   16. BDC Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4755699)
I guess the last edition of The Sports Encyclopedia Baseball (Neft/Cohen) was in 2007. A shame, because it had some information (injuries in particular) that B-Ref still doesn't have, and the print format (just ingeniously compact) let you see a lot of stuff at once that you can't take in on line. Not suggesting it was ever better than B-Ref, just that it's still complementary in some ways.
   17. Ron J2 Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4755706)
#16 Yup. Really liked the format that Neft/Cohen used.
   18. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4755727)
It seems the main reason they're doing this is because the Yankees consider their franchise to have begun in 1903 in New York, not 1901 in Baltimore. To which I say, "Who gives a good g@ddamn what the Yankees want...?!"
   19. WSPanic Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4755749)
but I'd still prefer to see the KC A's mixed with Royals and Milwaukee Braves with the multiple Brewers.


As a Royals fan, I think we have enough historical futility without tying the '55-'67 A's around our neck. Yes, they're a part of KC baseball history - but have no ties to the Royals.
   20. KJOK Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4755763)
"Franchise" is a bit of a misnomer, as a Franchise is a property right - the privilege of a spot in the league granted by the league.

A better name would probably be 'team continuity'. What constituted team continuity? Perhaps things such as:

1. Did the team remain in the same city, or change city? How far did it move?
2. Did the team move to a new park?
3. Did the team change its name?
4. Did the team changes leagues?
5. Did the team have any roster continuity (same players)
6. Did the team change ownership?

There are probably others, but these will usually get you an answer for most cases, except maybe a few 19th century ones, where teams moved mid-season, were sold, had new players, but picked up the W/L record of the former team....

   21. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4755765)
And how do we deal with the computers that Jeff Loria brought from Montreal to Miami?
   22. villageidiom Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4755834)
It seems the main reason they're doing this is because the Yankees consider their franchise to have begun in 1903 in New York, not 1901 in Baltimore.
It seems the main reason they're doing this is to be more accurate. The main reason they're doing it now is because the inaccuracy was about to get publicized widely with the not-10,000th HR.
   23. boteman Posted: July 22, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4756069)
I've come around to eschewing the whole idea of "franchise" legacy. Beyond a certain point you're truly rooting for the laundry. I mean, the players, management, and ownership of the original 1901 Washington Senators are dead and gone so I don't feel any association with them had they remained in D.C. or now in Minneapolis. It's the history of baseball in a given city that resonates with the fans, and the Nats still hearken back to great (all 2 of them) moments in D.C. baseball.

As to Sports Reference, eh, I'm kind of irritated at their recent ham-handed attempt at bashing visitors over the head to donate money so how they classify it doesn't concern me.
   24. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4756110)
To me the only one I care about on KJOKs list is #5. If the players moved that's where the franchise/history should be. But I also think the nickname should follow with moves. I like the Lakers, Giants, Dodgers, Braves method much more than the Nats, Ravens, Titans (pick the Titans of your choice), etc.

I could care less about the cities. In my head Walter Johnson and Kirby Puckett played for the same team.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4756111)
Granted, I have a Bryce Harper Expos jersey, so I at least put my money where my mouth is :-)
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:00 AM (#4756112)
And, as an Expos fan who isn't from Montreal, would it really have killed Washington to call them the Expos, flip the logo upside down and keep the uniforms the same? You stole the team, at least throw the old fans a bone and let them follow from afar if they want (which is pretty easy with TV and interwebs), and build on the history, like the Giants and Dodgers did.
   27. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:22 AM (#4756117)
Nowadays,with database querying at its advanced state of precision and speed, it really wouldn't be much trouble to have both city records and franchise records. Why do we have to choose one or the other?
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4756119)

And, as an Expos fan who isn't from Montreal, would it really have killed Washington to call them the Expos, flip the logo upside down and keep the uniforms the same? You stole the team, at least throw the old fans a bone and let them follow from afar if they want (which is pretty easy with TV and interwebs), and build on the history, like the Giants and Dodgers did.


I think because there are just as many people, from both the former and future cities, who think the exact opposite.
   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:23 AM (#4756151)
Nowadays,with database querying at its advanced state of precision and speed, it really wouldn't be much trouble to have both city records and franchise records. Why do we have to choose one or the other?

Good question, especially in cases like the original Nats/Senators franchise and Minnesota, with roster continuity and yet separate traditions and history. You can have franchise records to highlight (for example) the complete career of Harmon Killebrew, while also having city records that acknowledge the fact that most of his feats took place in Minnesota. There's no reason why one set of records should exclude the other.
   30. DFA Posted: July 24, 2014 at 02:39 AM (#4756747)
I really don't like the notion that a franchise can keep the records achieved in a different city. As a Seattle resident, I have a hard time with OKC even thinking about claiming the Sonics's title run in the last '70s. Samesies with the Yankees...
   31. Jeltzandini Posted: July 24, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4756765)
I like the continuity of baseball, and the concept of 1901 (now 1903) as the point where all 16 teams at the time are still in MLB today. I'd prefer that relocated teams embrace and honor their history rather than ignore it.
   32. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: July 24, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4756780)
I agree with 14.'s reading of the Thorn article, and I'm perplexed why Thorn and others would take those facts to mean that they were two different teams. Far better to start your life as one of the original 8 than as an expansion team.
   33. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4756805)
As a Seattle resident, I have a hard time with OKC even thinking about claiming the Sonics's title run in the last '70s.

Well, as you know, OKC has rejected the history - which seems best for all concerned from my distant vantage point.

That said, as a Braves fan, the Boston-Milwaukee years count.
   34. DavidFoss Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4756868)
@32
Far better to start your life as one of the original 8 than as an expansion team.

Is it really "expansion" if the league size does not change? Although, with all of he jumping going on between 1901 and 1903, one could argue that the AL was an expansion league. The NL had a lot more flux than the AL did in its early years and nobody considers everyone but the Braves and Cubs to be expansion teams.

The Highlanders certainly replaced the Orioles in the AL. Its just a question about whether or not they *were* the Orioles.
   35. DavidFoss Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4756880)
You can have franchise records to highlight (for example) the complete career of Harmon Killebrew, while also having city records that acknowledge the fact that most of his feats took place in Minnesota. There's no reason why one set of records should exclude the other.

This ends up being a common source of confusion when citing Twins records. The 1959-1960 Senators had a lot of Twins stars (Killebrew, Allison, Battey, Kaat, Pascual). Before he left, Justin Morneau passed Bob Allison for 3rd place on the "Twins" HR list, but he never got to passing Allison on the franchise list.

Mentally, I 'grandfather' Senators numbers from 1961 Twins into their team totals, though I don't consider Roy Sievers and Eddie Yost to be Twins because they were gone before the team moved (though Sievers was traded for Battey and Mincher).
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4756884)
You can have franchise records to highlight (for example) the complete career of Harmon Killebrew, while also having city records that acknowledge the fact that most of his feats took place in Minnesota. There's no reason why one set of records should exclude the other.

This ends up being a common source of confusion when citing Twins records. The 1959-1960 Senators had a lot of Twins stars (Killebrew, Allison, Battey, Kaat, Pascual). Before he left, Justin Morneau passed Bob Allison for 3rd place on the "Twins" HR list, but he never got to passing Allison on the franchise list.


Right, which is why I think the best, if imperfect, solution is to keep two distinct sets of records, one for the city and one for the franchise.
   37. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4756916)
Is it really "expansion" if the league size does not change?


The argument seems to be that the Orioles had died and were gone, so the AL only had seven teams, to which New York was added. It seems to me that if they pursue that line, then the Orioles had to die somewhere in mid-1902, to be replaced by the league-owned Orioles for the balance of the season, and that franchise was moved to New York.

Edit: I really don't get the problem with just waiting for the team to win 10,000 in New York, and ignoring the franchise status.
   38. StHendu Posted: July 24, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4756965)
Sports-Reference quoting Gary Gillette of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia-

"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."



...seems a perfectly reasonable decision.


1. Only 5 players remained with the team because the team was raided by the owners of the Giants and Reds for players prior to the move. The roster was replenished by the league with players on loan. Of the top 16 most used players on Bal in 1902: 5 were on the Giants in 1903, 4 on the NY Highlanders, 2 on the Reds, 3 out of baseball, and 1 traded before the end of 1902. The other 1 signed with Wash after refusing to leave Baltimore for NY.

2. The talk about moving the team from Baltimore to NY began early in 1902. The year delay occurred because of the time it took to find a suitable location. The talk included the league officers, who thought Baltimore would not be a suitable location in a 16 team ML. The league wanted to transfer the team to NY.


No doubt the Baltimore team was transferred to NY.
   39. boteman Posted: July 24, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4757004)
What's in a name??

Fundamentally, the records accrue to each player. Beyond that is just grouping together player records into sets. One set can be called the "franchise" record, another set can be called the "team" or "city" record. Each set can be populated with the players applicable to it, assuming the foundational data for each player is accurate and available. Move the goal posts where they make sense and declare it "the franchise record" if that makes peeps happy.

If you want to know about the career of Jim Kaat, you look up Jim Kaat. You can see how he did when he wore a Senators uniform, and how he did wearing a Twins uniform. If you want totals, then add them up.

If this did not involve the Yankees, this would not be so much as a bad pixel on a tiny blip on anybody's RADAR screen.
   40. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: July 24, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4757008)
Right, which is why I think the best, if imperfect, solution is to keep two distinct sets of records, one for the city and one for the franchise.


The Dodgers kind of take that a step further. They have franchise records, Brooklyn records, and LA records.
   41. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4757018)
The practical criterion for franchise continuity seems to be whether or not the name changed. Change the name and people mentally consider you a 'new' franchise. Keep the name and you are staking a claim to continuity. Of course this gets tricky before c. 1915 as team names changed frequently and arbitrarily.

   42. SOLockwood Posted: July 24, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4757189)
The Dodgers kind of take that a step further. They have franchise records, Brooklyn records, and LA records.


The Giants do the same with New York and San Francisco.
   43. bobm Posted: August 16, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4772463)
WSJ: The Yankees' Missing Chapter

"We consider our franchise's first season to be 1903," wrote Michael Margolis, the Yankees' assistant director of baseball information, via email. "We date our origin from there."

The schism effectively excises 118 wins from the Yankees' record, meaning that the Bombers didn't reach the five-figure landmark on July 25, but rather will do so at some point in the 2015 or 2016 season. When that occurs, the Yankees will officially become the first American League franchise with 10,000 wins.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, seven National League clubs have reached the 10,000-wins mark, but some clubs, such as the St. Louis Cardinals, don't count victories picked up in the American Association in the late 19th century in their franchise total. [...]

[John] Thorn said that he considers the Baltimore franchise to have ended on July 17, 1902, and that the subsequent cobbled-together roster was a "walking-dead shell-operation." [...]

According to Thorn, three factors must be present in order to maintain the continuity of a franchise. "You must have either the same ownership or the sale by one set of owners to another set of owners," he said.

The second element he calls the "preponderance of players," or that in the sale, things of value were exchanged—principally player contracts—and "that the roster one year more or less resembles the roster of the next."

The third factor is that the franchise itself must not have been expelled, killed or taken over by the league.

"None of these things," said Thorn, "characterizes Baltimore."
   44. BDC Posted: August 16, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4772513)
We consider our franchise's first season to be 1903," wrote Michael Margolis, the Yankees' assistant director of baseball information, via email. "We date our origin from there."

The schism effectively excises 118 wins from the Yankees' record


Somewhere out there is a 120-year-old man whose family moved from Baltimore to New York in 1903 so that he could keep following his beloved Orioles in their new home. The only thing that has been keeping him alive is the certainty that they would soon reach the magical 10,000-win mark. And now this.
   45. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 16, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4772613)
[John] Thorn said that he considers the Baltimore franchise to have ended on July 17, 1902, and that the subsequent cobbled-together roster was a "walking-dead shell-operation." [...]


I'm curious: has Thorn explicitly stated what the second half of 1902 Orioles were? Completely separate franchise? Non-franchise?
   46. bobm Posted: August 16, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4772633)
I'm curious: has Thorn explicitly stated what the second half of 1902 Orioles were? Completely separate franchise? Non-franchise?

From http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2012/02/29/the-house-that-mcgraw-built/

If revenge is a dish best served cold, McGraw’s next steps were absolutely frigid. On July 8 [1902] his four-year deal with the Giants was officially revealed. Next he set about to wreck the team and the league he was leaving, combining with Brush, on behalf of Freedman, to buy 201 shares of Orioles stock from team president John J. Mahon for $50,000. McGraw also swapped his half interest in the Diamond Café for Wilbert Robinson’s stock. On July 16, the announcement went to the press that Brush and Freedman—with McGraw’s clandestine assistance—now owned a majority interest in the Orioles and were free to send the club’s players to either the Reds or the Giants. McGraw secured for the Giants pitchers McGinnity and Jack Cronin as well as rising stars Dan McGann and Roger Bresnahan. Brush claimed Cy Seymour, Kelley, and Donlin for the Reds (though Donlin was still in jail after being sentenced to six months time for assaulting an actress and her escort).

On July 17, the day after this spectacular climax to the era of syndicate ball, the Orioles, left with only five players, forfeited a game to the St. Louis Browns and their franchise to the league, which was forced to borrow players from other teams so that Baltimore could complete its schedule. [ETA: Emphasis added]


See also https://twitter.com/thorn_john/status/491285414352019457

By your logic, Worcester and Philly are one franchise; Troy and NYG too. Not so.
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: August 16, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4772637)

Ok, I didn't want to concede this point, but in fairness I concede this point. The Yankees weren't born in Baltimore.

   48. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:13 AM (#4772695)
While we're at it, can we strike the 2014 season from Rangers franchise history?

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