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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mariners radio Dave Niehaus is one of my favorites

While I was looking up how to spell Dave Niehaus' name, I found 2 sources saying the Seattle Mariners began as the result of a lawsuit. In 1970 an existing baseball team in Seattle was moved to Milwaukee. By Allan H. "Bud" Selig:

The lawsuit continued until 1976. At trial, the American League offered to give Seattle an expansion baseball franchise in return for dropping the suit. The details were ironed out over the next year. To keep the league with an even number of teams, a formal expansion proceeding was held, with a second team, the Toronto Blue Jays, being awarded.

  • The Mariners played their first game on April 6,1977 to a sold-out crowd of 57,762 at the Kingdome..."
This description is from Wikipedia, 8/29/07 on the page titled "Seattle Mariners." A similar version mentioning Bowie Kuhn's involvement is from BrooklynBaseballClub.com/Baseball History:
  • "By the start of the 1970 season, the Pilots were in bankruptcy. A local group of businessmen had offered to purchase the franchise, but commissioner Bowie Kuhn would not approve the sale, stating that the prospective ownership was spread too thin. He insisted that one owner control at least 51% of the club, but no one was willing to step forward and take that risk.

Meanwhile, Bud Selig, a Milwaukee auto dealer, had been trying to get major league baseball back to his town since the Braves had left. The Comissioner forced a sale to Selig and his group, with the final papers being signed one week before Opening Day. The team literally tore the Seattle emblems off the jerseys and sewed on Milwaukee emblems while the team was enroute from Arizona (having finished spring training) to Milwaukee.

  • Plans for the new stadium were put on hold. Seattle was understandably upset that the American League would just up and let their Pilots move after only one season. The state's Attorney General filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league. The league finally settled out of court in 1975, promising to award Seattle an A.L. franchise in the next expansion."
(Baseball must be a big deal). sm

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