Guerrieri: How Cleveland and New Orleans almost shared a team

From SABR member Vince Guerrieri at The Hardball Times on August 22, 2019:

When the Rays announced efforts earlier this summer to schedule half their games in Montreal, the most charitable reading was that it was an effort to reconnect with a fan base that had been hungry for a team since its own departed 15 years earlier. What it actually appeared to be was an effort to leverage a new stadium in Tampa; Tropicana Field is often derided as one of the worst in the majors. The idea appeared to be dead on arrival–but it’s not a completely unprecedented one.

Between the Braves’ departure from Milwaukee in 1966 and the Seattle Pilots’ relocation to become the Brewers in 1970, Milwaukee County Stadium hosted the Chicago White Sox, possibly in a prelude to relocation from the South Side. The Dodgers famously played a handful of games at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City while casting about for a replacement for Ebbets Field–a replacement they found in Los Angeles.

But the closest approximation to what the Rays are proposing came in the 1970s, when the Cleveland Indians were willing to trade an influx of cash from New Orleans-based investors for 30 home dates at the under-construction Superdome.

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Originally published: August 22, 2019. Last Updated: August 22, 2019.