Wendel: Horace Stoneham and the New York Giants

From SABR member Tim Wendel at The National Pastime Museum on December 31, 2014:

With the San Francisco Giants again atop the baseball world, there is no time like the present to reconsider the man who brought the franchise west from New York. Pioneer to some, a villain to others, Sports Illustrated once described Horace Stoneham as “complicated.” Decades later, no better label exists for the longtime Giants owner.

Legend has it that the Dodgers’ Walter O’Malley was the mastermind behind the move to California. Looking for a partner in the late 1950s, O’Malley cajoled Stoneham into joining him on the West Coast. The Dodgers and Giants teamed up at a time when no Major League franchise existed west of Kansas City, changing the professional sports landscape forever.

But what if the move west was Stoneham’s idea? After all, the Giants announced that they were heading west to San Francisco in August 1957, weeks ahead of the Dodgers. The Stoneham family contends its standard bearer was the man behind the curtain, the one who was ahead of his time. And perhaps that’s how it really was. For during his time in baseball, Horace Stoneham found himself center stage when it came to many of the game’s major shifts.

“He is the link between baseball’s sentimental past,” wrote Milton Gross of the New York Post, “and its calculating present.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/horace-stoneham

Originally published: December 31, 2014. Last Updated: December 31, 2014.