From Frank Fitzpatrick at Philly.com on October 24, 2011, with mention of SABR member Norman Macht:
Accounting ledgers and films from the 53 years Connie Mack’s Athletics spent in Philadelphia – items historians had long believed were gone forever – showed up on eBay earlier this year.
The material had been salvaged from an Oakland Coliseum Dumpster decades ago by a ballpark employee who had kept it all in his garage until selling it at a flea market recently for less than $200.
The flea-market purchaser quickly auctioned the lot on eBay early in 2011 and that’s where Rob Rodriguez, a sports-memorabilia dealer in Reno, Nev., bought it all for $4,000.
After the intervention of the Philadelphia A’s Historical Society and Mack’s grandson, Connie Mack III, a former U.S. senator from Florida, the records found their way to Texas author Norman Macht, who is completing a massive, three-part biography of Mack.
According to Macht, the ledgers detail just how successful the Athletics were until 1932, when they began selling off the best players from one of the best teams in baseball history.
While the A’s were flush enough to issue $600,000 in dividends from 1921 to 1931 (with $300,000 going to Mack himself), as the Great Depression worsened they fell off a financial cliff.
Read the full article here: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/132418568.html
Originally published: October 24, 2011. Last Updated: October 24, 2011.