136: Kansas City vs. Oakland With Matt Ehrlich

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The games with the raiders were not games. Games are fun out. These were wars. This gentleman has been working for seven years over in candlestick park. And that's only seven miles of water away from that House of Hers Coliseum. We have guys that. Hey we're only eight raiders. And then a few touched the raiders football team. We hate the Kansas City chiefs. It's only a game right. not this one. This is not only a game this is raider. We rivalries no matter what sport are built on Big Games. If you don't play big games that matter to each team it's not gonNA be Chicago and Green Bay that's geography that's why they can't stand each other but she's the raiders have geography but they had those games in the sixties that created this this feeling the great storied rivalries in the NFL are rivalries as much for fans as as they are for the players with this. There is genuine animosity there's genuine ill-will and that's one of the things that makes football great is in the face face of all that your team prevails Kansas City and Oakland at night it was always a big game it was always always the NBC game late on Sunday afternoons and this is the NFL game. That all of America was saying we gotTa Watch this. Because it's really fun. They played competitive important games. That meant something. Even before the chiefs were the chiefs. The rivalry began. They were the Dallas Texans. So the rivalry goes way back. Welcome to good seats still available. A curious areas little podcast devoted to exploring what used to be in professional sports. Here's your host. Tim Hanley you. You Bet that rival we started way back when how you doing everybody my name is Tim Hanlin and yes you have stumbled into the wild and wacky world of good seats still available available. What is it? Well it's our journey each and every week into what used to be in professional sports. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and the heart of my bottom autumn or whatever that is Who for finding us this week? We know you've got a gazillion choices out there in podcast land and we're just honored that you would give us a little bit of your time and download download or stream or wherever you're getting into your into your ear buds and giving us a listen we appreciate it. We have a pretty interesting little topic for you this weekend. We can't wait to get into it. Our our guest. This week is a guy named Matt. Erlich he's a professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Illinois and he has a new book out. That is a really I think a fun and interesting. Little twist twist on a little bit of what you just heard in that clip just a few moments ago. The book is called Kansas City Versus Oakland. The bitter sports rivalry that defined an era breath. And as we get into this sort of conversation of a tale of two cities shall we say perhaps not the most obvious cities you would choose on the American map to be sort of denoted as rivals in any way shape or form. Certainly not geographically Kansas City obviously in the heart of the Midwest and Oakland a scrappy and working class city Sort of in the shadows of its Sort of richer or at at least historically so city across the Bay San Francisco. What are these two cities they're having commoner? What do they have against each other? Well certainly sports is at the root of a lot of it and certainly certainly one of the bitterest rivalries in pro sports emanated from the old. AFL The nineteen sixties between the Kansas City chiefs. Yes previously you see. Domicile is the Dallas Texans in the earliest days which we talked about by the way with one of those voices that you just heard Michael mccambridge in our episode number three. You Might WanNa dial that one up and listen to that if you've not enjoyed that one already because there's a fascinating story about how the Texans even got to Kansas City and thank God. They changed their name because they were. If Lamar on his name is his way they would have actually been called the Kansas City texts. But I digress but the Kansas City chiefs of course and the Oakland Raiders Peter's soon to be the Las Vegas readers relatively soon. They were the fiercest rivals in the American football league and that rivalry certainly carried over near the NFL and it really kind of helps sort of shape very interesting narrative about how these two cities through the eyes and the ears and the play. I guess of their sports teams these two football franchises that For whatever reason didn't like each other and and pretty early on they were obviously very good. They're probably the two if not the chew consistently best teams in the AFL. A certainly that spilled over in those transitory years between You know those early super bowls when the AFL and the NFL theoretically coexisted. And obviously you know the the. The rivalry has kind of leaned in waxed over the years. But but as you heard of that clip and Len Dawson one of the voices there he capsulated they call it Raider Week Right. It's not just a game it's an entire week of preparation and a reminder of all the kinds of ill will and bad blood frankly just just amazing competitive games that have happened over the ears and if you really want to treat go back in a youtube and some of these. NFL films things and check out some of these amazing games especially AFL championship games and things are on on the line These two teams not only did not like each other but they played the hell out of each other year in and year out. Obviously we mentioned Lamar Hunt Voice in that clip. That you just I heard a guy named Bob. Gretz who's the author of hailed of the chiefs. He kinda sets the tone a little bit. And of course you heard Michael mccambridge and of course Peter King a A sports illustrated longtime pro football writer. All of those gentlemen in that clip kind of sort of underlined that sort of rivalry that very a bitter rivalry that the chiefs and the raiders Sort of brought to bear and it becomes kind of a backdrop on this sort of broader theme about these two cities and how so This that sports rivalry and frankly another one a little bit more a little less obvious. But there's also a baseball component to this and we're going to get into that too with Matt Erlich and a few moments and it's it's it's not necessarily directly competitive one although the royals and the The as over the years the Oakland A.'s. Of course on the Kansas City royals of course have had their moments. There's no doubt but for those of you who are of a certain age you may actually not remember the fact that the the as were in Kansas City for a bunch of years before they moved to Oakland they were the Kansas City as they moved from Philadelphia in the Nineteen Nineties Nineteen late nineteen fifties fifties early nineteen sixties. I'm sorry date escape so you at the moment but A guy by the name of Charles Finley if you remember that name Sir. Most people do baseball. Authoritarians authoritarians will remember the purchaser of Said Franchise and then bolted from Kansas City to Oakland and that that is an amazing story in and of itself but the the the interesting intrigue between the Kansas City as Bolting for Oakland The replacement very shortly thereafter of a brand new franchise in the American league called the royals a new stadium. Which is obviously we still today? Known as Kauffman Stadium. All of that is also very much part of this. Not only rivalry but sort of friction between these two cities that again. If if you if you open up the map you would not have guessed in a million years that Kansas City Missouri and Oakland California would be such interesting at least on the sporting landscape rivals and we get into that very interesting Topic again with our guest Matt. Erlich coming up in just a few moments this is a really intriguing discussion and Not only by reading the book. Will you be entertained by it. But hopefully in our conversation coming up in just a couple moments that we We urge you to stick around because there's some really interesting stories and things that I didn't even know about around baseball and football and these two cities and I think you're going to really enjoy it and I really do you think you're also enjoy one of our sponsors this week and that's audible of course our friends at audible. Who offer you a free month of the audible service and a free audiobook down though when you go to audible trial dot com slash good seats and and sign up? You can cancel at any time. It's basically no risk obligation and the book that you download even but if you if you cancelled the service is yours to keep as long as you keep your device and it's really cool because of some really interesting audio books that you could get that very much fit the theme some of this week's episode for example you fancy yourself as a Kansas City chiefs fan. Well how about listening to the Rick Calendar Book. He of sports illustrated fame and other sports writings. Things called like a rose life lessons from a training camp with Hank Schram and the Kansas City chiefs. It's a fascinating read. And it's a great sort of little history about the Kansas City chiefs. Sort of as as seen through the eyes of one of the legend tear their legendary coaches hang extreme. Okay maybe you're not a chief's Fan. Perhaps you're an Oakland raiders. Fan will okay. There's an audio book that you can download and use your credit for there to it's called bad asses the legend of Snake Fu. Dr Death and John Madden's Oakland Raiders. It's written by Peter Richmond. It's narrated by Barry Adams you can listen to all twelve plus hours of that book for your with your free credit. Why don't you at audible? Trial Dot com slash good seats. And maybe maybe you're just not a football fan at all but you really want to understand. This sort of dynamic between the as the Kansas City version That moved from Philadelphia and then the Oakland version once they move from Kansas City. Well the person in the midst of all of that and responsible for all of that is of course Charlie Finley and his cousin's daughter who was part part of the mix at when they moved to Oakland as part of the front office. Nancy Finley has written a fascinating book. And you can listen to it in audio form narrated by Pam Ward. It's called Finley Ball how to outsiders turn the Oakland A.'s into a dynasty and change the game forever. So there you go you got no excuse is not to go to audible trial dot com slash good seats to get your free one month subscription to the audible service and including of course one free audiobook audiobook download for you to keep to listen to to enjoy and again you can cancel an these high. You don't have to pay for the book and you can keep it as long as your device exists. Why not not after listening to this episode sign up audible trial dot com slash? Good seats get a free audiobook and one of those that I just suggested. It's a great way to complete your education Asian kids and we'll you'll be glad you did and we certainly will be to all right. Let's move on from our promotional stuff there and let's get into work interesting and fascinating in in a conversation with Matt. Erlich we talk about this friction this this rivalry between Kansas City in Oakland on the football gridiron on the baseball diamond. It's a fascinating living chat. Please implore you to enjoy. I hope you liked. Let's dive have right into it. Because the the the juxtaposition I guess between the Metropolitan Areas Kansas City and Oakland to the cursory. I isn't necessarily one where I don't know I don't know if this is an obvious sort of linkage ripe but perhaps the sports rivalries maybe unintended. Frankly frankly as things have played out right I don't think anybody in the old. AFL right if we would have guessed. How much of a rivalry the chiefs chiefs in the raiders would have not only in the AFL but spilling over to many many years even arguably still today in the NFL right? And then you throw that into the frankly bizarre relationship between Kansas City and Oakland in baseball right which was a direct lineage. And or a taking of if you will or or a a bold move of a team that What are the seeds of this of this theme is it is that the AFL is that kind of the beginnings of it door I would say it's actually a little bit before the AFL days Because you know the thing I think that links the two cities which are very very different in many ways and of course they're geographically separated. The thing that I think links them is is this idea of A civic inferiority complex and the AFL being formed in part for cities that not really had an overlooked as major league cities that a lot of the city's literally had no big league sports sports and so even before the AFL was formed in Nineteen fifty-nine started play nineteen sixty both. Kansas Intercity in Oakland wanted to become big league. They wanted to be seen in the eyes of the nation as being major league cities and these for like most cities west of the Mississippi River city's that had long crowd histories in Minor League sports especially Minor League baseball but had never had that majorly presence that So many of the older cities east of the Mississippi had and so both of them looked to major league baseball. I in the nineteen fifties when finally based all started to expand expand out of the original sixteen teams. And so that's how Kansas City ended up getting the Philadelphia Athletics The ill Adelphia Athletics Once upon a time a wonderful baseball team in the last few years Connie Mack's ownership and last years of. Connie Mack's light. They fallen on hard times and his sons. Connie Mack sons were terrible owners and low each other. which didn't help anything? And so so They were able to poaching in Kansas City. was able to step in and poached the as from Philadelphia and so Oakland Oakland saw that they saw how Baltimore at gotten the St Louis Browns. They saw how Milwaukee had gotten a Boston braves and they were thinking well. You know We should be a major league city ourselves in one sport or another preferably baseball In the late nineteen fifties of course the dodgers and the giants both moved from New York to the West Coast to San Francisco to Los Angeles and so Oakland also is seeking to be bigly informed getting into the AFL It's worth noting that both both cities had this civic inferiority complex Natalie from not having Major League sports but just they were very self conscious about out their image Generally with Oakland. That's a blue collar city an industrial city. That has always been in the shadow of San Francisco this very very glamorous cosmopolitan hub at the nation and so they were very resentful toward San Francisco and Wanted to raise they're standing. Oakland IRS In relation to San Francisco Kansas City is smack DAB in the middle of the country a longtime extra cultural hub and midst concern was was allow a seen as just a cow town. There's that very famous song or infamous song long up from the Musical Oklahoma. Everything's updating Kansas. City they went to build a skyscraper seven stories high about as far as they can go in so Kansas City also had a chip on their shoulder So that was the backdrop and then it coincided with the move mm for baseball franchises to other parts of the country in the nineteen fifties and so when the AFL came along again the AFL was sort of an accidental dental league. Lamar Hunt founded the American football league. Because he wanted an NFL team zone in Dallas and the NFL said we're not going to Expand it. We're not going to give you a team. So Lamar Hunt. Being rich and ambitious decided well just form a League of my own with my my own team the Dallas Texans and that immediately prompted the NFL to decide. Well we will have a team in Dallas our own Dallas cowboys that that was put into competition with the Dallas Texans and eventually forced the Dallas Texans to find a new home so they Kansas City chiefs were an accidental franchise. It wasn't intended to be until Lamar Hunt was forced by the NFL and the its moved into Dallas to find a a new home. The Oakland raiders were exposed to ever exist either that was going to be a an AFL franchise in Minnesota but just as the NFL expanded into Dallas when they heard that the AFL was planning to have a team in state of Minnesota they decided they would ever franchise in Minnesota the Vikings things and sell AFL to find a new home. And the Oakland raiders came into being and so this Civic can periodic complex this chip on the shoulder the fact that it was an accident elite the afl not taken seriously by the NFL. The fact that East two teams in their early years do not have much success. Especially the raiders. Before Al Davis took over in nineteen sixty three. We're just a trainwreck. Trek approach is and So the fact that this eventually developed into a very heated rivalry between two wonderful wonderful professional franchises two teams that had multiple hall of famers in that are remembered with the great respect. act in even all by a lot of professional football. Historians is really extraordinary. Just never should have happened that way but it did well. So it's interesting because you say sort of chip on their shoulder right. I mean Oakland. Obviously in the shadow of San Francisco I was with the now the San Francisco. Oh Bay area which is more of a megalopolis than than even it was back in the early nineteen sixties. But still. You know it's across the bay. It's blue collar versus you. Know more of the white collar and Maybe more elitist Sort of rooting for the San Francisco and the forty niners at that for for that matter and Kansas City right I'll be go across state kind of shadow if you will from. Its bigger sister. Saint Lowest Right. Which of course you know Saint Louis has been you know a part part of the baseball landscape almost since the earliest days of the sport in this country professionally right so it it is an interesting sort of unloved? I loved under recognized. I guess Metro power or potentially on the com- kind of metropolitan area kind of wanting to achieve Professional Status I. It's just very interesting. How both Kansas City received the as like why Kansas the city right so clearly in the in the late mid to late fifties right? There was sort of this arguably overdue. I guess Wanderlust of Major League Baseball and this recognition there were other growing metropolitan areas outside of the northeast in the Mid West right and in the AFL. Obviously Lamar Hunt as we've talked about an numerous episodes right. The you know the opportunities extent there for professional football which arguably even even less worldly I I guess or were expansionary in its mindset. I you look at how Oakland right got that. AFL Franchise. I mean I think by all accounts it was really I guess guests. Because at Barron Hilton's chargers franchise. I guess he wanted another franchise on the West Coast. There was a real scramble to find a place on the west coast. To put a franchise. I mean I don't think Oakland was even looking for sort of pro football in nineteen sixty. Were they know. Not so much that I can tell l. and again if you think nineteen sixty the AFL who knows what nobody really has an idea what the AFL is or was and So getting an AFL charter franchise as kind of like you can look back in an ink. Well is that really a big -til uh-huh so yeah a one a debt Barron Hilton of the chargers which were originally in Los Angeles. Of course they now are back in Los Angeles for many many years here in San Francisco. He wanted a second team in California. He want bet natural riot oriented with travel arrangements easier and so the thought was well in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams in the San Francisco Forty niners have a good rivalry will just replicate it in the NFL. Between the chargers and this new team in the bay area of Oakland Problem Is there was no stadium in Oakland Coliseum. wasn't even in the planning stages yet except the very very earliest planning stages so for the first Several several years the LISA. Two or three seasons. The raiders had Glenn in the city of San Francisco so you know the fact that they were trying to get it out from under the shadow of San Francisco and the end up having to share facilities with The forty niners at itself was atop kelder swallow. Nobody in San Francisco wanted to see the afl to begin with let alone a team representing Oakland so nobody went to the Games The team was as we mentioned. Just absolutely terrible it went to And then the next year they went one thirteen in one one of my favorite stories about that which is related in the book as during their first season of existence. The the raiders were in the city of Boston the Boston Patriots. Let's and they couldn't find anywhere to practice except a little league baseball field and then had to leave the field before their practice was over because the little league teams showed up and a little league teams in Boston. Took precedence over the AFL raiders. So that's just about that's as good an example as any just how sad tax team was. And there's also the story of course. The Oakland raiders original name. There was supposed to be called the Oakland senors and even Siniora's just senors entailed people realize what a ridiculous name was and fortunately for them. They picked AH raiders instead. I'm really sort of curious as to sort of how these two. AFL teams Well you know. Kansas City obviously didn't come into play as you mentioned earlier because Dallas wasn't sort of working out. I don't think he Kansas City was an obvious choice. Even Lamar Hunt's mind I I mean and how does Kansas City. Well look I think we remember our one of our earlier conversations about Lamar's life and times. I I think if I'm not mistaken. He actually wanted to call. He actually wanted to bring the name Texans to Kansas City as well. We're going to call the Kansas City. Texans and I guess he was immersive talked out of keeping the keeping the nickname when he brought him in Kansas City. But but I explained to me Kansas City getting this afl franchise you even though the afl was still relatively news. What about two years in this was I guess? Perceived as a nice addition to what was nicely percolating as as a few years into their their ownership of a baseball franchise to and arguably maybe cemented itself a bit into the world of Big League sports. Sports Yeah so Lamar Hunt. It's worthwhile remembering Lamar. Hunt was a Dallas Guy He was raised there there. He went to college there he would live as entire lives. They're basically for the entire time that he owned against the city chiefs He was an absentee absentee owner of which very pejorative label. But essentially. That's what he was. He was all about Dallas and again the whole reason he founded the AFL L. was to have his own team in the city of Dallas. So it had to be very difficult. Bram decide that to be able to compete and to keep his team afloat because in nineteen sixty two which last year that the Texans were in the city of Dallas That was also the New New York. Titans nearly went under the AFL franchise at eventually became the jets so the prospects for the AFL were really murky. A purse two or three years. The raiders in Oakland were doing very poorly never rumors about Albay might move even to the city of Kansas City before the Texans moves air. So Lamar Hunt Really had to swallow his pride and to keep that legal floating needed to find a new home. Kansas City was not as first choice. You wanted to move. The team ended New Orleans and the only reason he didn't was because there is no stadium. There I wanted to go into two lane stadium But apparently the city or the Tulane University wouldn't allow that so he just kind of cast his lot elsewhere and the mayor of Kansas City at that time a mandate and h rope. Arnold helped Talk Lamar Hunt to moving the team to Kansas City in exchange in part for an extremely generous stadium lease only a dollar a year for think it was two years Basically giving him the use of Kansas. The city's all municipal stadium or the city as played for free so That's how the chiefs came into being and how they he ended up going to Kansas City. That's also how they got the name cheeks because each row bottles nickname was the chief until Lamar Hunt Partly in tribute to portal name the team the chiefs after as you mentioned getting talked out calling them the Kansas City Texans percents He really did his heart set on that originally but it it just would have been to It's also worth noting that in nineteen sixty three by then Charlie Finley at already taken over the Kansas City as the as came to Kansas City. You know if if the American league had been on on the ball they would have moved the orioles to the west coast. Instead of two Baltimore they would have moved to St Louis browns rather to the West Coast instead of the Baltimore. Doc mortar become the orioles and they would have also moved the as to the West Coast and basically staked claim there before the National League ever got got around to it. They had that opportunity but instead they ended up going to a smaller cities in the east with old Morton in the mid west with Kansas City. And this was despite considerable skepticism by a lot of people in the American League. They were really wondering Kansas City was big enough to support baseball. There was even a line of somebody in the American League. One of the honors saying Kansas City has to be exaggerating their population claims. It must be counting. Oh No corn stalks and heifers in their population claim. It's the only way can justify having enough people to support the team and we're able able also to draw on the sport of the New York Yankees who basically had a stranglehold and our co owner del Webb over the American League at that time. So that's how the as ended up there by nineteen sixty three when the chiefs arrived he as had just had Europe to Europe utility their original owner in Kansas City. Arnold Johnson edged sold off most of their best players to the New York Yankees which really annoyed Kansas City. Ends who already felt again kind of in the shadow of New York City and resentment New York City the Yankees especially having been a longtime New York extent Yankees. Farm Club Roger Marris had been sold from the Arab traded rather as to the New York Yankees right before Ori became back to back in the key for the Yankees Bruce Homerun record and then Charlie Finley immediately wanted to start trying to move moved the team as soon as he bought it in nineteen sixty one so When the city of Kansas City went after the cheese they were really leery about maybe losing the as and maybe losing big league status altogether so there are willing to cast their lot with Lamar Hunt and with the AFL L. and That franchise even though the AFL still was on shaky ground. And they're willing to go to great lengths to get. He had that team even to the point. Basically saying here's the stadium for free man. Good luck with well. That's okay that lots of unpack there and that's that's very interesting so on the as front right so I I got the sense. That Johnson was even thinking perhaps Based on some of the things that I've read and that his alternate goal was almost like to sort of do a stopover in Kansas City and ultimately moved to the West Coast Los Angeles in particular maybe even before the dodgers even got there later in the decade too much truth to that rumor that was legit in terms of his true motivation and the Yankees collusion. That's even more interesting. Yeah that's what bill back. They'll back without her. The White Sox in those days He always believed that. That was the the Mission all along that Arnold Johnson with openly or not openly certainly covertly colluding with the New York Yankees and their ownership the Arnold Johnson Got Drawn into the ownership of the as in part because Arnold Johnson also owned Yankee Stadium back in the early nineteen fifties and leased it. Back to The owner says the Yankees so there were already ties business ties between the eighties ownership in Kansas City as ownership owner Arnold Johnson and That was built X-terry and other people have seen a lot of evidence to support it Certainly circumstantial evidence have nothing else That the whole idea was that they would be as in Kansas City just a short time and then they eventually would be moved to either San Francisco or Los Angeles and the real control of the teams would rest with the Yankees went rests with the city of New York and with Dell Webb. Ed especially And if that in fact was the case Dan ECORSE total Collusion conflict of interest in so for four. But even without that the fact that you have a team and and support remember that when the as I arrived in Kansas City Eddie Mair were very enthusiastically. Received by the people of Kansas City. Ownership are route rather attendance in their first season. Nineteen fifty eight five was second in the American League only to the Yankees even though the as were not that good a team and to see that civic support rewarded by seeing an owner continually Plucking away the very best players on your team shipping them to the New York. Eric Yankees getting a lot of washed up players and return and seeing this repeated season after season after season was in itself very demoralizing to the city of Kansas City and to the baseball fans of Kansas City. said he so it was after several years of that and then Arnold Johnson family Dropping dead during Spring Spring Training Nineteen Sixty And then being replaced after a season where Kansas City scrambled to try to find local ownership and run unable to do so Charlie Finley to be the owner who then took over that team and immediately started trying to move it out of Oh Kansas City and sell Well you can imagine how that makes Kansas City and spell already with that proverbial chip on their shoulders. There's and again looking for any Um Straw they could grasp to try to keep some semblance of big league. Status Atis Whether by trying to placate Finley with baseball or by trying to get An AFL team was the knowledge sat fan. The national. Football League would never looked twice at a city like Kansas City. While some real irony there right so Finley Finley coming in and sort of acting as I guess sort of answer uh and duplicity to. Let's be honest about him. Basically winding up with the franchise after Johnson's demise and buying it I guess from From the estate But I guess Finley was the guy that The Johnson had beaten out Originally when the as were were rattling around Philadelphia in the first first-place yeah family Can even looking to move into baseball for a long time and So he did the deal in mind to Propose to the as ownership in Philadelphia there were also of course People in Philadelphia. Who really wanted to keep the team in that city in failed to do so and It's I it seems that one of the main factors is that Worked in Arnold Johnson's baby was again. He had the business ties with the Yankees ownership and it was really the Yankees who are crucial in saying. WE'RE NOT GONNA sell to new owners in Philadelphia and we're not going to sell the team Charlie family or anybody else. We're going to sell it to Arnold. Johnson Johnson moved to Kansas City but family is a fascinating person He's seen as a savior initially now. Yeah I you knows how's four telestrator This great big profile of him in June nineteen sixty one right after he bought the team. They called him the kindly toner in baseball. which has to be the most ironic comment ever in a sports magazine considering the reputation that Finley would when have in a very short timeframe Mayor Bartle we already mentioned in Kansas City. was very concerned with Kansas City. Having big league status he he said the Charlie family has the heart of the city in his palm. It was really felt that family. What be the guy? He would keep the team in the city and even as he was saying you know by. Golly I never gonNA leave the city of Kansas City even though he was burning a bus literally. Earning a bus at east side represented the shuttle between Kansas City. New York the shuttle that a takeaway Roger Romeros in all the other as players that eventually ended up in Yankees uniforms burning. The Lisa escape clause that he said would allow him to get out of this lease it turned out that was all sham and almost immediately he began trying to move. The team is first. I target was Dallas Ironically. Enough that eventually can't city would be able to get the Dallas Texans from but for years he you know he was an insurance salesman. Postman he at no ties. Debase all I think he played it a little bit when he was very very young but he just decided it would be fun to run a baseball team team. The irony is that he turned out to be really really really good at it. He was kind of baseball savant But but that did not become apparent until several years later and along with being such a baseball genius he was also a very very petty very vain very narcissistic guy a very addictive and The of wonderful players that he signed by opening up his wallet Never came to their full potential in the city of Kansas City. It would only leap be Several years later after Oakland poached the team from Kansas City and move the as from Kansas City to Oakland Quinn in nineteen sixty seven and That coincidentally happened at about the same. Time that raiders achieves finally got past their early Troubles in got good. So on the late sixties that all of this came to a head of the rivalry between the raiders and the chiefs and then The rivalry between the as who immediately got good immediately began to win after leaving. Can't city Pearl Oakland and the rivalry between nineteen and the expansion team that Kansas City God in compensation for losing the as now. It'd be the royals before we sort of jumped back into the football side of it because that's obviously subtexts to sort of what we discussing sort of in the foreground with baseball. Why was friendly so irascible I guess and just so so fitful trying to move the team from Kansas City because it seems like there was a period of time those couple years right where Louisville was voted on and it was voted down and and then there was a there was a move towards Oakland? It looks like there's a whole bunch of other cities that were sort of in the mix and I think even threatened moving them out into some excerpts of of Kansas City out in Missouri somewhere with temporary bleachers stuff. What what was his problem with Kansas City I mean arguably the early years prior to his ownership right? There was an outpouring of interest in this team. I it almost seems like all he had to do was kind of put some effort into the team and the and the metropolitan. Mary might have actually had something going. Wilda quote Joe McGaw. Who was the longtime sportswriter for the Kansas City Star? He looked back on Finley years and years later and said I think there was just something wrong with Charlie. That's as good an explanation as I can. Come come up with I mean that whole scenario repeated itself in Oakland He. He was kind of person who when when he moved to a new city. This is the way he seemed to be when he first moved. Got Hold of the as and was in. Kansas City was like a kid with a new toy and it was just wonderful. Everything was wonderful and then he got bored and immediately it was like well. There aren't enough fans here not getting a good enough deal here. Actually one of the things that really got is go to early on. Was this Really sweet weet sweetheart kind of deal at the city. Kansas City offered Lamar Hunt and against city chiefs charging only one euro per stadium rent and so family. He said well by. Golly I've been here longer than the chiefs have and I cut a lot of my own money into trying to improve this old stadium while I should get a dollar a a year ranch to and in fact the City Council of Kansas City approved that Before a new mayor and a New City Council took office and then immediately negated the deal saying it was illegal and so he just got very angry. Very vindictive and Yeah he tried. It moved to the city of lable. He said well we can move to Louisville will become the Kentucky colonels that way we can keep the KC in our caps He said well. I'm not gonNA play in Municipal Stadium in Kansas City. I'm not going to give them the satisfaction of playing playing in a stadium. That's you know charging me an unfair Rant so I'M GONNA move the team to a cow pasture and he. He took reporters and photographers with them to this cow. Pasture was near a town. Missouri called Julia so joke van become com became. Well they're going to be peculiar as in so Finlay was just like that. It could be incredibly charming. He he was very very bright he was incredibly art working yet. Great Promotional Sense. Sometimes it was a really cheesy kind of promotional sense but you know he was one of the people who pushed for night baseball in the world series who pushed for the designated hitter and WHO's the innovations in that regard for better or worse finally did come to pass but the same thing happened when he moved the team to Oakland? At first it was really really happy. Happy with Oakland. He was talking about how he was going to draw a million aspect caters per year. And when that did not happen then immediately immediately the rumors began about how he's GonNa pull the team out of the city of Oakland and go to Washington or go to Dallas or go to Who who knows where so? It just seemed to be the way that Charlie was wired all right a brief pause and the proceedings just for a second to pay a couple the bills and We appreciate your giving our sponsors some consideration as always in the one of our earliest ones that continues to be with us and we love is our our friends at audible and audible is as you know the King of audio books. If you've never tried an audio book for yourself well here's a great opportunity to do so and support the show at the same same time and that's when you go audible trial dot com slash. Good seats that's the place to go. And you'RE GONNA get a free audiobook download for yourself to try for free free gratis on us. You can cancel the audible service at any time and once you do. Download that book and if you do decide to cancel it it's yours to keep so that's our little free gift and even if you don't continue with the audible service going forward you'll at least get a free audiobook out of the deal and look if you consider yourself. Alf Somebody who's interested in Orton sports history and that kind of stuff like we try to pursue on this podcast. You're gonNA find a whole bunch of titles in the vast array of cheese. What is so one hundred ninety thousand counting titles the choose from and in particular if you like the if you like the hoops like the hoops the basketball while sure we got a couple of those books including of course? Probably the quintessential tone oral history if you will of the Aba the American Basketball Association. That's called loose balls. And Terry Cluedo is the writer and I believe the narrator of that book as well That you can use your credit for that and it's a it's a wonderful that book and a great aural history of Perhaps the most a colorful Basketball League of all time the APA or if you're really interested let's say in the National Basketball Association's history you could check out the audio book from our previous guest David Sudan who We had a great chat about about the history of the NFL but This book it's called. Call the rise of the National Basketball Association and David wrote in its narrative by Tom Todd ours ness touch fast And a lot outta the interesting stuff in this book talks about The NBA in the context of a congressional hearings around antitrust and that kind of stuff in the forties and nineteen fifties fascinating stuff. And you can use your credit for that book to among like I said one hundred ninety plus thousand other titles to choose from at audible and again again it's audible trial dot com slash. Good seats and you're going to get your free audiobook. Download courtesy of US can cancel at any time is yours to keep keep and we appreciate your giving him a tried and we certainly appreciate you rejoining our conversation. So the raiders finally mm-hmm. I guess they spent the first couple of years somewhat in a vagabond. Stay right trying to find decent places to play on a on a on on a standardized and regular basis in the region including a few games. That looks like in San Francisco in in places other than Oakland proper. But it's also pretty clear are that the. AFL thing was really taking off during the middle part of the sixties and and the two teams that wound up being arguably the most successful. We're both the Kansas City chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. So I guess a question around maybe Oakland's early and middle years in as a team because because I think it's also the Lynch pin of this is ultimately what's going to now become the Oakland Alameda Coliseum right because without that I don't think Finley even has a real l.. Move to go to Oakland. Does he yeah Alice and again. This was something bet People in Oakland Oakland for many years ears had a very a stolid conservative leadership as miss leadership in political leadership chip. Especially with William Noland. WHO's the former senator? US Senator from California and a longtime publisher editor of the Oakland Tribune and and With the Oakland Tribune really leading the way The city Fathers City parents. If you will open decided added that to professional sports was going to be a path to civic greatness and a key element of that would be the construction of the Oakland Coliseum. And so the planning for that started in the early nineteen sixties The ground broke in nineteen sixty four and finally opened in nineteen sixty six knicks and years. In which the Coliseum was being planned and built were the also the years that the raiders transform themselves cells from a joke into a viable franchise and the key factor. There was a very simply. Al Davis Davis coming from the chargers and and Assuming the management of team it was also the first coach of the team and he was the one who gave the the raiders sober in black uniforms and the pirates threats insignia on the helmets in sixty two and nineteen sixty three. The team finally started playing and and the city of Oakland on a temporary field. Trent you'll feel basically a high school stadium But it took create a good atmosphere within in the city of Oakland for the raiders gave us was a very good promoter. he did a very savvy job kind of playing into that chip on the shoulder Feeling that people in Oakland had an raiders fans had and in Kansas City. Eddie The chief Scott good in part because Lamar Hunt was rich and this was the time frame in which the AFL in the NFL were open warfare was performed. The merger was announced in nineteen sixty six and Lamar very deep pocket. Books that he was able to shell out a big bucks for people like Mike Garrett. Who is the heisman trophy winner? Everyone expected him to go with the Los Angeles. Rams people like Otis Taylor Several other blue-chip college athletes so by nineteen sixty six when the coliseum opens Yeah that's the time that Kansas into city finally wins first division title and goes to the first super bowl and the following year nineteen sixty seven. Oakland would win the AFL title and go to the Second Super Bowl so those two teams by the end of the sixties and the final years of the AFL really were the class of the League. Along with the Joe. Nemeth within the New York jets and It was the coliseum as well that gave Charlie Finley at potential home to move to so if that stadium had not been there He likely would not have been as interested if they would have been as interested at all and city of Oakland And it was also a key factor in persuading the American League actually approved the move of the as to Oakland. I got the sense though. He wanted to move them to to Oakland even before the that stadium was done right. And if that's the case where would they have played temporarily. Certainly not frank you'll feel which is arguably arguably just a a rectangle with some you know very broadly spread seats. Yeah basically I feel with looks to look exactly like I feel a little sets of bleachers on either side line yet nineteen sixty four at the same time that the family was talking about playing a cow pasture in talking about playing in Louisville Louisville Kentucky he also for a time was Trying to move the team to Oakland even for the Coliseum was built groundbreaking breaking had occurred. So there was the Feral there was the certitude that eventually that stadium would exist within a couple of seasons seasons but the idea was that for the first two seasons. Either they would've played in candlestick park across the bay in San Francisco. Which Horace Stoneham the owner of the giants quickly Next he said there's no way we're GONNA let An American League team play in in San Francisco in the bay area to himself with good reason and You mentioned frank. You'll feel the city of Oakland was so eager to try to land in a a major league baseball team by that point that they actually offered to rebuild drank. You'll feel for just two years Expanded enough enough that it could pass for Major League Baseball team interesting. Yeah but It ended up being a moot point because the Miracle League said you're not gonNA leave leave. Kansas City you're going to sign a new lease and that's what Charlie Finley over vocal protests on his part in up doing a signing lease kept there until nineteen sixty seven but by that point. He was sufficiently embittered man sufficiently eagerly Kansas City that. Ah There's just no way to city was going to hold him all right well so before we get into both teams domiciled in Oakland because then I think it sort of almost argues for a next generation of of of this story in this dynamic what the explain may be a bit of sort of how how the in the afl the Kansas City chiefs and the raiders became. I guess almost sort of you know unwitting rivals right I it. It's it's it doesn't seem on paper that these would have been natural rivals when the AFL being set up nor even going into the NFL but it did seem there was. Maybe you can sort of speak to it or maybe it was just kind of random. Lock that the Games were really good and competitive or maybe there was something more to it but but what was it between these two arguably not Obviously rivaled cities that maybe kind of became kind of a rivalry Anna and maybe a must watch the AFL it seemed. Yeah definitely a- Yeah you know. Usually when sports rivals you think teams that have geographic proximity. So he's got to go cup. Saint Louis Cardinals the in Chicago bears. Green Bay packers. You think of the San Francisco giants in Los Angeles dodgers. That of course was already arrived already. A A terrific rivalry in the city of New York between the Brooklyn dodgers and New York giants and then got exported to the state of California but those two teams were still still in the same state in Kansas City and Oakland are thousands of miles apart. One is a midwest city the other one is a coastal city. So you wouldn't think that they would have that kind of rivalry and I think it was big in Simply how a product of accident They were both in the Western division of the AFL NFL and so the way the AFL schedule worth. That meant that they were going to play them each other two times every season and when the two teams got good at about the same time a typically meant that those two teams every time they played or just about every time. We're playing with first place. Clayson steak so the rivalry developed that way and then You had all these great players. You had Len Dawson Otis Taylor Mike Garrett Willie Lanier Buck Buchanan. Curley culp those guys on the cheese and guys like I General Lamonica quarterback of the raiders and then later Ken Stabler Guys like Ben Davidson. George Blanda art shell gene upshaw Glencoe all these names that That football aficionados or so familiar with when all of those guys around the same field at the same time and so much is at stake in terms of This place in the standings. That's what really gave birth to the Ryan Ryan worry and as I mentioned the civic rivalry and this is about the time that I first became aware of it The civic rivalry. You really helped fuel it after. He as left the city of Kansas City for the city of Oakland then the rivalry became more than just about approach. These two football teams playing each other at least twice each season and it was two cities fighting for a big league leak prominence to cities with reason to resent each other to cities with the reason to really dislike each other both on on and off the field and this also the time that the AFL stature rose in the eyes of the country after they signed a really lucrative But ball deal with the television deal rather with NBC. Starting I think in nineteen sixty four The Games Scott Nationally televised and so You know I've seen a quote from one. Football historian who was saying that it really became came must watch television back in the days when there was still such a thing as much much watch television it was always the late game on NBC. We see the game that would air in the late afternoons that would be beamed to the old countries. The whole country became aware of the the rivalry and then the teams started fighting each other on feel full-scale brawls so it was good television in addition to being being just a good sports so all of that Built this rivalry this Rivalry that you never never would have thought What happened? That never really was planned. You could argue that. There should have been a really big rivalry between the raiders. And the chargers they were both in California in the bay area southern California rivalry yes. Conrad Hilton Wanted Right. He thought that would be the natural rival and San Diego chargers. Were actually really good early on in the AFL but that did not correspond with Really quality years for the most part for the raiders or the chiefs so by the time the raiders. The chiefs were in their ascendancy. The chargers they were still a good team. Were not really in the class of those two other teams. So that's really how the rivalry existed got it. And that's one of the things that I just found so interesting about. It is Kansas City and Oakland or not to cities. You think have a whole lot in common but in fact they did have a lot in common during this time period and they were bound together through this rivalry that nobody planned. Yeah and then. And then. Maybe sort of Accented by the as absconding to Oakland and dome asylum themselves ultimately in the same stadium as those dreaded hated rival raiders in the football side of things maybe we can sort of also sort of maybe Backfill than what happened when the as left Kansas City because really quickly for some obvious reasons that maybe not so obvious reasons. Kansas City was not bereft of Major League baseball for for too long after the as departure. Yeah so the deal. Was that the American League owners got together in October. Nineteen sixty seven. The main thing that they were meeting to discuss whether the as as would be allowed to move from Kansas City to Oakland. And you know the other owners did not like Charlie Finley. They're not naturally predisposed to give him whatever he wanted. In fact had captain removing the team before and basically forced him to sign a new lease with the city of Kansas City so so It was not clear that the move would be allowed. But he made a good case and the The city leaders. Here's in Oakland. People like William Nolan again of the publisher of the Tribune Made a case that we have this brand new stadium. They're going to be a really good home over Major League baseball it will help with scheduling in the American League because the California Angels had already started play and Anaheim so again there would be two teams American League teams in the State of California which would E. L. Travel and help with rivalries and so forth so the case was made that the team should move but Kansas City ends. Were having nothing of it. And they sent her own delegation allegation to this meeting and said look this guy has been trying to sabotage baseball at this guy. Charlie Finley has been trying to sabotage baseball in Kansas City. Basically ever since he it got old the team in nineteen sixty one. And we've done everything we can detri- to To try to pacify him a man it just hasn't worked and now you're letting him take this team away from us with all this young talent about to blossom and it was pretty obvious even then that the team was about to get really really good and so how can you help at this happen. And it was really Stewart Simonson who was a the United States senator from Missouri who issued a not so veiled threat. Needy said if you take Major League baseball fall away from Kansas City for a prolonged period of time or take it away from Kansas City forever. I'm just going to have to start a little antitrust investigation. Gatien Congress about Major League Baseball and the Big League honors. Were already very leery about such action because Um on the Milwaukee braves had just lactic early thirteen seasons Matt Lana and the big stink was raised about that over in the National League. Antitrust suits threatened back then so he said okay. We'll give Kansas City I'm a new major league team. Expansion team will start playing nineteen sixty nine. So Kansas City ended up being without big league baseball for only one year when luckless. They would be without baseball for at least three years. If you're ever ever were able to get another team again and the royals ended up being sort of consolation prize but it turned out to be a a nice consolation prize because that team got to be pretty good pretty quickly quickly and then their chief rivals and the American League West Division. The new American League West Division turned out to be the Oakland A.'s. The same team that had let Kansas City and we have people are so. That's how the rivalry bled over baseball into a new decade. Or maybe we can sort of round round the corner with that sort of that new decade because obviously the seventy s were interesting. I guess is is just a potentially mundane word to kind of describe it right but the rivalries between these two cities now with firmly established teams in both football and in baseball. Seems like that They just became in deeper and more entrenched and and almost sort of go to in terms of expectation that That fireworks were going to fly and competitiveness ruinous would sort of be at a at a heightened level when these two teams were taking the field. And I'M GONNA I'M GONNA make a sort of random sort of statement here. It feels else to me that maybe on the football gridiron. It was a little more heated than on the baseball diamond. Or would you argue that. They were similar in terms of peak. Will certainly the chiefs chiefs raiders. Rivalry has the raiders. Rivalry exists to this very day and will likely persist. Even after the raiders moved to Las Vegas I mean. It was a heated rivalry when the raiders friend Los Angeles reform before moving back to Oakland so when people think of a Kansas City when rivalry. That's what they think of. They don't think of a riot or really between the royals and the as having said that For a a brief period especially agitate between about nineteen seventy three in one thousand nine hundred seventy six which coincided with very colorful time in baseball generally The royals in the as were very very heated rivals and I mentioned it coincided with the whole time in baseball I just remembered as a time when fights broke out routinely Uh Beginnings pitchers plunking players and other teams Better than charging the mound. Sometimes these fights sir spilling over into the spectators And the royals and the as were two teams that did not like teach other and I grew up with this rivalry as I mentioned. I just remembered it at whenever a Kansas City professional team whether it was either the chiefs of the raiders whenever they would venture into the Oakland Coliseum. Bad things would happen Really Awful things would happen to the chiefs. They would get crushed. Their players would be the subject of cheap hits and so forth and then the same things seem to happen with baseball. Because he mid nineteen seventies. Where the time that the Kansas City royals became contenders a little bit? Ebbs schedule people didn't expect an expansion team. You get that good that quickly but they did and unfortunately for the Kansas City royals coast correspondent with the time that the Oakland A.'s were the best team in baseball and won three consecutive world series. And so it was a time that just says on the football deal Mu saw roles between the two teams Bean ball wars or words. Nasty things being said about vowed each other in the press With locker room copy Posting things in the locker room to try to get motivated at the other teams James Players had supposedly said Anna culminated in nineteen sixty six in a game in the coliseum where the coliseum fans started throwing beer on the Kansas City royal's bowl in the royals bullpen started fighting back. One of the royals players grabbed as spectators. Umbrella started swinging and and and so for at least a brief period. The baseball rivalry was every bit as heated as the football rivalry. Well it's also interesting too because as the seventy four Ronald Jonathan Finley kind of I mean obviously. There was some some championship seasons there in the early part of the decade but by the end of the decade. It's clear that the royals were. We're certainly more ascendant. And the as maybe self inflicted from Finley's shall we call them curious ways. I think it's seventy nine talking about like hundreds of people showing up at the as game so the latter part of the decade. Yeah there's a famous story. I think there was a game in April. Seventy seventy eight or seventy nine in the coliseum a night game and of course night games in the colosseum can be very cold especially in April early in the season it and there was something like a paid attendance of six hundred eighty nine except at the people. Were there saying. That was a grows over statement that it wasn't nearly as taking the tendency. Is that one player. Started counting literally each person in the stands of forty finally gave up but yeah it was Finley's But also just his cheapness. He decided he couldn't compete anymore because by the late nineteen seventies was the age of Free Agency Z.. And so just decided. Well I'm going to get out and get out of the game and in the meantime I'm GONNA run. This operation on the cheapest strummed shoestring that I can possibly do it But even then you know Finley Still was able to get some really league players. The most famous would been Ricky Henderson Who made his debut Right at the end of the seventies and the beginning of the nineteen eighties and I and After apparently sold the team by the early eighties and especially toward the end of that decade yeas were powers again but Certainly by the end of the decade the royals were the main team in the American league. West the as had pretty much collapsed their dynasty and the real rivalry that the right experience became with the New York Yankees by the late seventies also described to me then and obviously. There's a lot more rich detail L. in this book and I it's really very well researched I will I give you Kudos for that especially because it does Unearth a few sort of lesser lesser-known. Or maybe not even known real facts when you look at it and you juxtapose these two cities and the way they grew up if you will and became sort of part of modern modern metropolitan areas and how sports was either directly or indirectly sort of part of that sort of that maturation. I guess. You're probably probably the best person asked this sort of baby. Wrap Up. Question is sort of where you know. Where do we see Oakland and Kansas City with its relationships relationships plural sports and themselves as metropolitan areas going forward? I mean you look at things like the explosion of growth within the bay area and how Oakland is becoming gentrified but maybe that's the the the proper word for it. Kansas City certainly You know how has with the wizards for example and and the district downtown and and the Sprint Center. I'll be now without a still without an NHL or an NBA be a franchise. But it's a major metropolitan area now almost to the point of rivalling that of Saint Louis in terms of population and influence. What of these two Metropolitan Altun areas? And how much would you say that sports is still part of their lives going forward. I it seems to me like they're still pretty inextricably extricably entwined Oakland is an interesting case. Study Right now. Because they are about to lose the raiders. Probably after this season it not and yeah. After next season it release seems to depend on whether the new stadium in Las Vegas will be ready by Twenty twenty season warriors to now go into across across the bay to their new their brand new center right in this talk about the as probably staying though and that might be interesting if If the right stadium environment can be done economically economically and that's the real key question The city of Oakland seems to Have decided that it simply is not worth trying to shell out enormous sums of public dollars. You try to keep a team like the raiders especially or to try to compete with the taste center in San Francisco so it really comes down to do they really want to do whatever it takes to keep the as in the city of Oakland and and So the real question will be Will there be a new ballpark for the as and if so where will be located in outlet be paid for and and to an outsider. And I'm definitely an outsider. When it comes to the city of Oakland it sounds to me as though the as are saying the right sorts of things they are saying that you know we will find the pay for the stadium ourselves with certain conditions? But they're not expecting the city of Oakland or the bay area at a shell out all the funding for it. But it's very controversial because of gentrification because of an affordable housing crisis in the bay area and in the city of Oakland and because of the same sorts of a racial divisions in class divisions that have long been terroristic the bay area Question will really come to the fore in the very near future. They haven't come to the already. What will the city of Oakland really be willing to do to try to keep the age or will they eventually decide? You know what we don't feel as though Given all the other priorities that we have to the deal with that having that Major League Baseball identity or that majorly entity generally is all that important anymore so that makes Oakland real will an interesting case study going forward in the city of Kansas City in the immediate future teams. So the city doesn't really have have anything to worry about that. The royals and the chiefs are there. mess with the leases signed at the Truman Sports Complex. At least until until the year twenty thirty one but then you realize that the year twenty thirty one is really not that far away If you are thinking at all about a new sports facility by the year twenty thirty won the Truman Sports Complex will be almost sixty years. Old and new ownership is about to take over the Kansas City city royals And there's a lot of talk about maybe. There should be a downtown ballpark in Kansas City. There hasn't been a downtown ballpark in Kansas City. Basically ever despoil stadium was located A fair distance away from the city centre so the city of Kansas City is going to have to deal with the same sorts of questions that Oakland has been dealing with. Should there be a new stadium if so where should it be WHO's GonNa pay for it with everything else that urban areas have to deal with? Is it really that important to keep the chiefs and the raiders. I and so. That's really the key question. That this whole sports rivalry in the whole history behind it raises. I will go on record that I think Professional Shnell sports Can do a fair amount to bring together a cities people. I think it does engender. Civic Pride cried it's important not to place too much weight on it to the expense of everything else especially when it comes to public spending on sports sports facilities in sports teams because sports teams have Delta have resorted to virtual extortion when it comes to playing MM cities against one another Detroit Hall Teams but still I would like it to the as remained in the city of Oakland. A.'s have a great history history in the city of Oakland and certainly both achieve Sunday. Royals have established the great history the city of Kansas City. So so it would be nice to see a fruitful compromise reached but We live in really interesting times and the years eh promised to be even more interesting. Well I think that's right and I know we certainly didn't talk about soccer in this conversation. But you look at major league soccer almost sort of as Even a shorter microcosm of Jekyll and Hyde Co locating within a NFL arenas and building soccer specific stadiums. I sort of suburban areas like in in Kansas City's case out almost near Kansas City Kansas and the border there but then actually now a renaissance just just within a few years of seeing how downtown might be a more authentic quote unquote soccer experience especially if a brand. New Stadium is built in Saint Louis evidence of that but Kansas the city having a created frankly a transformation of their original major league soccer franchise with a very successful one. Not this year on the field performance with Sporting Kansas City and the beautiful park a state of the art park near Kansas City. Kansas I it's just very interesting. How real estate has become Almost sort of issue one perhaps more so than in any other era professional sports in this country and I guess to your point point how cities quote Unquote Metropolitan Areas. Civic Pride almost seems to kind of bow or cower to the the sort of real estate issues related even before the team and its play and and maybe what it means for civic pride in terms of playing lying and the actual sport itself which is really weird really interesting if you're a longtime sports fan but perhaps a sign of the times economically and this is not a new concept except we've seen this at the earliest days of baseball back in the eighteen hundreds right. It's a business but it seems like the business has is an all capital letters. Now you know. It's a very interesting dynamic that we're kind of boomerang into and I you know the money's getting bigger and the stakes are getting higher. And the how tax payers and municipalities. Deal with that. And some having the gumption to say no some recognizing that they desperately desperately or think they desperately needed to to keep their status amongst other cities and metropolitan areas. It's a really interesting time isn't it is and I think cities have started to wise up. I think The city of Oakland has wised up. When it came to the raiders? You know it's ironic onic that the city of Oakland rebuilt the Coliseum to get the raiders back from the city of Los Angeles after the raiders lost at left once before and eh that enormous Centerfield deck called Sardonically. Mount Davis after Al Davis. The owner of the raiders. At that time the Davis family still owns the team gene and so they built that Centerfield deck for expanded football seating and apparently that deck is even being used or football seating anymore for the city of Oakland. I think has learned a hard and bitter lesson when it comes to Football at least other cities are also looking more critically seems at Just the price. That really is worth pain to try to keep or attract a major league team Man They are balancing against other kinds of priorities. One of which is trying to make the central business district's or the urban hub. Really vital. Interesting place you know if they new stadium whether it's football or soccer baseball or whatever is a means toward Really rejuvenating downtown area and it can be done in a relatively cost efficient sort of way eight then they can be a good thing but then there are cities like Las Vegas. And I don't want to harp too much on Las Vegas because I haven't researched it enough but you know it it does make you wonder When a city decides it's going to shell out seven hundred fifty million dollars in public money to try to land a football team? Um with all the burden needs at the Las Vegas area has and whether that's really gonNA pay off for that community Maybe it will. It does show that there are still cities in the waning months at the Second Decade of the twentieth century. That are still really eager to be big-league. He can still eager just as Kansas City in Oakland. We're back in the nineteen fifty to nineteen sixty s to really pay a price. They think it's a worthwhile price to be able to say. We had bigly hockey. We had big league football. Maybe we'll have big league baseball other sports And this will really put us on the map as a metropolitan area to be reckoned with so in some respects Cities are repeating history and another respects are making new history by breaking away from this pattern. Ah Basically paying whatever prize may think needs to be paid for Being basically all right you consider yourself a fan of the Oakland raiders for the Kansas City chiefs. Well as they battle it out for supremacy in the AFC west this season. Maybe you're a A fan of of the soon to be Las Vegas Raider. She got your season tickets in your personal seat license for the new stadium there We'll hell maybe even you're a UH football fan but perhaps a baseball fan and you enjoy the as in Oakland and hope they stay there. I'm maybe even as Kansas City royals fan. If you're a fan of any of those franchises you have absolute entree into this story. That is the bitter sports rivalry that is that of Kansas City and Oakland and again the book. The definitive book on that theory that topic written by our guest Matt Erlich it's called Kansas City versus Oakland. The bitter sports rivalry that defined an era it is published by the University of Illinois Press. It is available wherever you find good books and one of those places of course is on our website and through our website at good seats still available eligible dot com. Just search up this episode. It's a number one hundred thirty six my goodness with our POW Matt. Erlich and you'll find it convenient link link to that book and of course all of the other great books and items that we've got Through the years now on our website whether the books or movies or other forms of media and by doing so not only will you help out by buying a copy or two of that book but we would appreciate if you did it that way too because you'll give us a few shekels in the process and of course we appreciate that and while you're there at good seats still available dot com. Why don't you stick around? and find some other cool stuff to do like looking at and finding linings subscribing and following us on all of our social media feeds say on twitter. We're at good seats. Still and on instagram. You'll find us at good seats still available. You'll find us on facebook. Sure you will is a page devoted to us there. Let's see you could also send this email from the site are directly if you want. Go ahead do it. I don't don't care hello at good seats. Still available DOT com. That's how you get to me via email if you also want to sign up for our weekly email newsletter. We can do that to visit giving being linked. They're just search around. You'll find it and that will give you a little bit of inside scoop a couple of days earlier than the Pulawy and find out what's coming up for next week and all the other doings on this little show. Let's see we thank not only Matt and you for listening but also our PAL Jerry. Jerry pain his name is and indepth. Course he's the chief Cook and bottle washer amongst the merry band of Of goods there at pod fly productions. Now they're actually really good and in particular. Jerry is really good at production thing and he helps and has been helping

Coming up next