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This brief analyzes each of the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises in the American League, their past regular-season and postseason records and financial performances while operating as competitive, popular, and profitable or unprofitable enterprises. Using sport-specific information and relevant demographic, economic, and financial data, this brief will highlight when and how well these MLB teams performed and the financial status and significance of their organization as a member of an elite professional baseball league. The brief also investigates the success of teams in terms of wins and losses based on home attendance at their ballparks, market value, and revenue. Furthermore, it compares the history, productivity, and prosperity of the franchises among rivals in their division like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the American League East Division, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers in the Central Division, and Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the West Division. This brief will be of interest to practitioners and scholars who research the sports industry, college and university professors who teach undergraduate and graduate students majoring in sports administration, business, economics and management, and fans of the sport.



Chapter 1. Baltimore Orioles

During the early 1950s, St. Louis Browns’ majority owner Bill Veeck had financial problems. After his team finished eighth and 46.5 games behind the American League (AL) New York Yankees in the 1953 Major League Baseball (MLB) season but then denied by AL officials to relocate the Browns to the city of Baltimore, Veeck sold his club for $2.5 million to a syndicate representing an area in southeast Maryland. Then for $850,000 he also sold dilapidated Sportsman’s Park to August Busch, the wealthy owner of the National League (NL) St. Louis Cardinals.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 2. Boston Red Sox

Businessman and baseball executive Byron “Ban” Johnson, who founded and became president of the minor league Western League (WL) in the early 1890s, renamed it American League (AL) in 1900. One year later, co-owner Johnson and Charles Somers’ Boston Americans joined the AL and finished in second place to the Chicago White Sox and then third to the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns the following year. After winning the AL pennant in 1903, the Americans defeated the National League (NL) Pittsburgh Pirates in five of eight games to win professional baseball’s first World Series.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 3. New York Yankees

A syndicate led by entrepreneurs Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the defunct Baltimore Orioles of the American League (AL) in Major League Baseball (MLB) for $18,000 in 1903 and then moved the team from there to Manhattan, a large borough of New York City. After this New York baseball franchise was approved to compete as a member of the AL, the team played its home games in a hastily constructed, all-wood 15,000-seat facility between 165th and 168th Streets and Broadway named Hilltop Park. Because the site was one of the highest places in Manhattan, the club became known as the New York Highlanders.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 4. Tampa Bay Rays

Three years after San Francisco Giants owner Bo Lurie failed to sell his franchise to investors in Tampa Bay, Florida, Major League Baseball (MLB) officials met in West Palm Beach during March 1995. In a 28–0 vote, they approved the 13th and 14th expansions in major league history. A syndicate, led by former engineer and sports entrepreneur Vincent Naimoli, was awarded an American League (AL) team to be located in Tampa Bay and later nicknamed Devil Rays. For the other expansion, American businessman and sports executive Jerry Colangelo and his investment group received permission from MLB to own a National League (NL) club, place it somewhere in the Phoenix, Arizona area, and eventually name it.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 5. Toronto Blue Jays

For decades Major League Baseball (MLB) officials considered the Greater Toronto Area to be a prime site as a potential big-league city, in part, because it was home to the International League’s Toronto Maple Leafs professional baseball team from 1896 to 1967. When the National League (NL) San Francisco Giants’ Bob Lurie, who purchased the club from Horace Stoneham in 1976, expressed interest in moving his team there, the city of Toronto financed the renovation of 54,000-seat Exhibition Stadium—home of the Canadian Football League’s Argonauts—in order to lure a professional baseball franchise.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 6. Chicago White Sox

During the early 1890s the Sioux City Cornhuskers played in baseball’s minor Western League (WL), which was part of a National Agreement with the National League (NL). Then in 1894 Charles Comiskey, a former major league star with the league’s St. Louis Browns and previous manager of the Cincinnati Reds, purchased the champion Cornhuskers franchise when his contract expired with the Reds. For personal reasons he transferred his team from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Paul, Minnesota, where it became the St. Paul Apostles for 1 year and then St. Paul Saints through the league’s 1899 season.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 7. Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Forest Citys played for 2 years in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players league or simply National Association (NA). After it folded in 1872, another team named Cleveland Blues joined the 4-year-old National League (NL) in 1879 but withdrew 6 years later. Then in 1887, the Blues entered the American Association (AA) to replace a Pittsburgh team that moved to the NL. After two seasons in the AA and then nicknamed the Spiders, Cleveland returned to the NL.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 8. Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Creams joined the Western League (WL) in 1894 and played their home games at Boulevard Park. One year later the baseball club had a new nickname based on the Detroit Light Guard, which was a military unit named the “Tigers.” The Light Guard played significant roles in Civil War battles and the 1898 Spanish-American War. Upon entry into the major leagues, the ball club received permission from the Light Guard to use its trademark.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 9. Kansas City Royals

Professional baseball’s Athletics moved from Kansas City, Missouri, to Oakland, California, following the 1967 Major League Baseball (MLB) season. As a result, Kansas City did not have an American League (AL) club for the first time since 1954. Enraged about the Athletics’ decision to relocate, US Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri threatened to introduce legislation to remove baseball’s antitrust exemption unless it granted a new team to Kansas City in the next round of expansion.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 10. Minnesota Twins

An original franchise of the American League (AL), the Washington Senators played their home games as a member of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1901 to 1960. Including the league’s 1911 regular season, the club never finished higher than sixth place. Then in 1924 the Senators won an AL pennant and their only World Series. Besides winning additional pennants in 1925 and 1933, the team struggled most years causing financial problems from inadequate fan support and low attendances at its home games in 27,410-seat Griffith Stadium in the nation’s capital.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 11. Houston Astros

During the late 1950s in southeast Texas, some prominent business leaders, investors, and politicians formed the Houston Sports Association (HSA). To attract an existing or new Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the HSA promoted the approval of a $20 million bond issue for the construction of a midsized-to-large ballpark at a site in the city’s metropolitan area or somewhere in Harris County. When the city did not receive a team from MLB in 1959, the HSA tried to organize another baseball group and name it the Continental League.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 12. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

For a fee of $2.1 million, a syndicate headed by cowboy actor and movie star celebrity Gene Autry purchased an expansion franchise in 1960 from Major League Baseball (MLB) to control and operate a team in the American League (AL). Besides owning radio and television enterprises, Golden West Broadcasters, Autry was an investor in a minor Pacific Coast League (PCL) baseball team named the Hollywood Stars. With an estimated $300 million in wealth, he and his group had a business plan, financial capital, and mission to organize a new team to play in professional baseball’s AL.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 13. Oakland Athletics

An original team in the American League (AL), the Philadelphia Athletics won nine pennants and five World Series between 1902 and 1932. During the next 23 years, however, the club finished above fourth once but only seventh or eighth in 14 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular seasons. After purchasing the Athletics from the Mack family in 1954, American industrialist and sportsman Arnold Johnson moved the team from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Kansas City, Missouri.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 14. Seattle Mariners

After the city’s first Major League Baseball (MLB) team—Seattle Pilots—was unable to financially continue operations, they moved from Washington State to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, following the league’s 1969 regular season. Meanwhile, there were discussions among local businesses and civic groups to bring professional baseball back to the Pacific Northwest. These included, in part, construction of a multipurpose domed stadium to also attract a National Football League (NFL) team. While plans for the facility were being developed, Seattle filed a lawsuit against MLB. Afraid of bad publicity and other problems because of the lawsuit, in 1973 baseball’s franchise owners promised Seattle a new team in the next expansion.
Frank P. Jozsa

Chapter 15. Texas Rangers

An American League (AL) expansion franchise in 1961, the Washington Senators struggled to win their regular-season games and never finished higher than fourth in the league or as a member of its West Division. During 11 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, the club had below-average attendances at Griffith Stadium in 1961 and then at RFK Stadium from 1962 to 1971.
Frank P. Jozsa


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