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Old 01-07-2014, 05:10 AM   #15
thehef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromchicago View Post
Interesting thoughts, except you're forgetting one small problem: World War II. With wartime travel restrictions in place, it's just as likely that the Browns would have followed their move to LA in 1941 with a move back east in 1942. It would have been impossible for eastern teams to make two or three trips to the west coast when rail service was burdened by war traffic and private air travel was almost non-existent. Teams couldn't even travel to Florida for spring training in those days, so they certainly weren't going to travel to California during the season.

My guess, then, is that, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the American League and the Commissioner's Office would have persuaded the Browns to move back east. Since there were no empty major-league stadiums available, they probably would have moved right back into Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, at least for the duration of the war.
Of course you're right. However, the reality of what happened - the owners rejecting the proposed move after the attack on Pearl Harbor - isn't all that far removed what you say would have happened, essentially that the Browns would've been persuaded to move back. So my wondering "what if?" was more of a "what if the war hadn't kept the Browns from moving?"

Along these lines, though, another interesting "what if" would have been the following:

1) The Browns agreed to move to LA and the league approved much earlier in 1941, well before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
2) After the attack all parties agreed that the Browns playing in LA was not possible due to wartime travel restrictions.
3) The Browns had burned all bridges as far as returning to St Louis and Sportsman's Park.

What options would there have been?

Geographically, Kansas City would've made the most sense. Ruppert Stadium (Municipal Stadium) certainly could have accommodated many more than the 2000-3000 fans the Browns were drawing at Sportman's Park. But the Yankees owned the double-A Blues, and their stadium, making the Browns and KC an unlikely pairing... The Browns' top farm team, the Toledo Mud Hens, played at Swayne Field, which held about 15,000... Indianapolis might've made the most sense, as - like KC - it was about 250 miles away from St Louis, it's double-A team, the Indians, were unaffiliated with any major league team, and their field - Perry Stadium - held 13,000... If a non-major-league city couldn't be found, would temporarily relocating to another AL city and sharing a stadium, have been an option? Maybe Cleveland? Worst-case scenarios would be the Browns becoming a road team, or even suspending operations.
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