Corcoran: Something from nothing: How the Royals, Padres, Expos and Brewers sprung to life 50 years ago

From Cliff Corcoran at The Athletic on May 3, 2019:

Fifty​ years ago,​ Major League Baseball implemented the most​ radical​ expansion in its​ history, adding​ four teams to​ what​ had​​ been a 20-team league, a 20 percent increase. That expansion included what were then the northern- and southernmost teams in the majors (the Seattle Pilots and San Diego Padres, respectively),  the first team located outside of the continental United States (the Montréal Expos) and split the leagues into divisions for the first time, prompting playoff in each league prior to the World Series.

It was also arguably the least successful expansion in the league’s history. Of the four new teams, two have since relocated, one of them, the Pilots, lasting just a single season in its original city before going bankrupt, prompting a hasty relocation and a breach-of-contract lawsuit from Seattle. A third nearly relocated after just five seasons, with the Padres coming so close to a move to Washington, D.C., in 1974 that the initial release of that year’s official National League schedule had the Padres playing their home games in Washington’s RFK Stadium. After 50 seasons of play, the Kansas City Royals remain the only one of the four teams to have won a World Series. The other three have combined for just three pennants, yet none by the Expos, who did move to D.C. to become the Nationals in 2005.

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Originally published: May 3, 2019. Last Updated: May 3, 2019.