Ferkovich: Baseball’s greener grass: Franchise relocations since 1953

From SABR member Scott Ferkovich at The National Pastime Museum on August 9, 2016:

For 50 years, Major League Baseball’s landscape had remained unchanged. So when Judge Emil Fuchs moved his Boston Braves a thousand miles west to Milwaukee in time for the 1953 season, he shattered the sport’s status quo, and paved the way for numerous other franchise shifts over the course of the next half-century.

The move made Fuchs look like a genius. The Braves’ attendance had plummeted ever since peaking at nearly a million and a half in 1948, when the team reached World Series. The 281,278 diehards who bothered to show up at ancient Braves Field in 1952 had little to cheer about, as Boston’s National League entry lost 89 games. The club was weary of playing the part of the ugly stepchild to the Red Sox.

But with the change of scenery in Milwaukee, things began looking up. The Braves improved to 92 wins, good for second place, a distant 13 games behind Brooklyn. Cream City fans came out to County Stadium in bunches to watch their Braves, to the tune of 1,826,397, the best in the senior circuit. With emerging stars like Eddie Mathews, Joe Adcock, Billy Bruton, and Del Crandall, and an established ace in Warren Spahn, the Braves would soon be a team to be reckoned with.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/baseball-s-greener-grass-franchise-relocations-1953

Originally published: August 9, 2016. Last Updated: August 9, 2016.