Foran: When the Chicago White Sox called Milwaukee’s County Stadium home

From Chris Foran at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on May 8, 2018, with mention of SABR member Sam Pathy:

If you can’t get a team, rent one. 

That was the idea in 1968, when Milwaukee, still smarting from the loss of the Braves to Atlanta in 1966, lured the Chicago White Sox to play at County Stadium for 10 games. 

While making an unsuccessful pitch to get one of baseball’s four expansion franchises, Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Inc., the group led by Bud Selig, talked the owners of the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins into playing an exhibition game at County Stadium in the summer of 1967. That game, on July 24, 1967, drew 51,144 fans — 3,000-plus more than County Stadium’s capacity.

A crowd that size got the White Sox’s attention.

In 1967, Chicago’s American League team was in the tightest pennant race in more than a half-century. But off the field, the White Sox were hurting, drawing fewer than 1 million fans at Comiskey Park for the second straight year.

After the 1967 season, White Sox owner Arthur Allyn announced that the team would play 10 games in 1968 — one game against each A.L. team, and a preseason exhibition game against the crosstown Cubs — at County Stadium. The games were “sponsored” by the Brewers, the Milwaukee Sentinel reported on Oct. 31, 1967.

Some saw the games as a prelude to the White Sox actually moving to Milwaukee. 

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Originally published: May 9, 2018. Last Updated: May 9, 2018.