The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I got some feedback about my previous post on franchise transfers, and after sitting down to do some figuring and remembering of sports history, I came up with some interesting facts:
- In terms of "pure" franchise existence, only 66 teams in the major leagues have not moved or otherwise transferred elsewhere (significantly) during their tenure as a franchise. 17 of those are league founding franchises (Celtics, Red Sox, Bills, White Sox, Reds, Indians, Broncos, Nuggets, Tigers, Edmonton Oilers, Pacers, Canadiens, Knicks, Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, 49ers and the Maple Leafs).
- There are six more franchises that "transferred" from their original locales, but not of a significant enough distance to justify a true franchise transfer (NY Giants to New Jersey; New York Jets to New Jersey; Cavaliers from Richfield to downtown Cleveland; Florida Panthers and Miami Dolphins from downtown Miami to Sunrise; and the Angels from LA to Anaheim). The move of the NY Giants was the shortest of the them all, only 14 miles west from the Bronx. The Angels move was 40 miles SE from downtown LA and the Chavez Ravine area.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers merged with two different NFL teams during World War II (the Cardinals and the Eagles); the franchise never stopped playing completely in Pittsburgh during that time.
- The Cleveland Browns are an expansion team, but retained a franchise name that was transferred elsewhere.
- The Chicago White Stockings (now Cubs) suspended operations in the National Association for two seasons after the Great Chicago Fire. The White Stockings' owner, William Hulbert, raided the Boston Red Stockings' club for players in 1875 to fill his team's roster in the NL's inaugural season of 1876.
- I had completely forgotten that the Phillies were a "replacement team" for the Worcester Ruby Legs of the NL.