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Sunday, December 26, 2021

How the Padres nearly moved to D.C.

With what was, at the time, a record purchase price of $12 million—$2 million more than a group headed by George Steinbrenner had paid to buy the Yankees just a few months earlier—the deal was in place. And though Padres employees were instructed to keep the deal a secret at that May 27 meeting, the news was everywhere by that evening, meaning the final 53 home games on the season schedule (if the Padres even remained in San Diego that long) would be funereal affairs.

“I know it will kill interest and attendance here,” Smith told reporters.

Just like that, the Padres were baseball’s lame ducks. But the Danzansky deal was contingent upon the resolution of legal issues. The team was in the fifth season of a 20-year stadium lease with the City of San Diego and had other commitments to various vendors. Quickly, it became clear that those issues would prevent an in-season move, at the very least.

“Any potential buyer seeking to own the Padres realized that moving the club out of San Diego would be very difficult legally, financially and practically,” Bavasi writes. “The city was gearing up for a massive breach of contract lawsuit against the club and the National League.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2021 at 12:30 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: padres

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   1. alilisd Posted: December 26, 2021 at 01:26 PM (#6058675)
I love this story!
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2021 at 02:14 PM (#6058680)
still have a half-dozen of the 1974 Topps "WASHINGTON NAT'L LEA." cards.

the silly abbreviations add to the allure, lol

highlights are the Willie McCovey and Randy Jones cards.

I also have the 1974 Dave Winfield rookie card, but that was in the latter half of cards that reverted to SAN DIEGO/PADRES," alas. (this was the last year that the cards came out "one series at a time," typically 132 or so. every few days, a kid in the neighborhood would buy one 10-cent pack to see if the new series was out yet.

once it was, a stampede ensued.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 26, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6058683)
I think 1973 was the last year Topps issued the set in series. There is a different explanation for why Winfield and others don't have the Washington versions.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 26, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6058684)
This post on the Net54 vintage card board (credit "toppcat") seems logical:

"I think the answer is they were still composing the uncut sheets in rough numerical order and the first three (which would go no higher than #396) were composed and printed first. The change was then ordered at the end of the first run of these sheets. The error above those numbers on the #599 rookie card was likely just overlooked the first time around. Based upon the two "correct" versions of #599 at least three print runs came off the presses. It seems likely to me that each sheet's run was completed before the next run or new sheet batch was started. There had to be some order to the process just from knowing how Topps went about their proofing process.

I seem to recall the Washington cards were not available in all parts of the country, possibly from a newspaper article at the time. Again, going from memory, Topps had three main distribution centers in the US around this time, so I wonder if one run was meant for each distribution center. As kid collectors in 1974, we were very aware of the errors on Long Island so they have always been popular."
   5. AndrewJ Posted: December 26, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6058686)
What was up with deciding who got the 1969 expansion teams? The Seattle Pilots were undercapitalized, too.
   6. alilisd Posted: December 26, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6058687)
2. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2021 at 02:14 PM (#6058680)
still have a half-dozen of the 1974 Topps "WASHINGTON NAT'L LEA." cards.

the silly abbreviations add to the allure, lol

highlights are the Willie McCovey and Randy Jones cards.


Sweet!
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6058689)
I think 1973 was the last year Topps issued the set in series.

have confirmed.

those responsible will be sacked.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6058690)

What was up with deciding who got the 1969 expansion teams? The Seattle Pilots were undercapitalized, too.


IIRC, they were in a hurry. US Sen. Stuart Symington (MO) was pissed the AL allowed the A's to move to Oakland even after KC approved a new stadium and threatened anti-trust hearings. The AL tried to placate him by saying KC would get a team by 1971, but he did not want KC to be without baseball that long and insisted on 1969. KC found a potential owner rather quickly, but other potential ownership groups had to scramble to bid on the second AL club - coincedentally Lamar Hunt (who owned the KC Chiefs) made the presentation for Dallas. But Dallas couldn't get a park MLB ready in time. Sick's Stadium in Seattle could theoretically be MLB-ready, but in reality it was not, and of course they moved to Milwaukee one year later.

The NL had to scramble to catch up with the AL, and they moved up their expansion timetable. I believe the Montreal group was pretty undercapitalized as well and nearly moved to Buffalo before ever playing a game in Canada.

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