121: More Milwaukee Braves Baseball With Patrick Steele

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Since moving to Milwaukee in one thousand nine hundred fifty three the blames of captured one World Championship to National League pennants and millions of fans. Let's analyze the components of Alabama braves through the lofty station at a map used and heavily Aaron comprised baseball's best one to power punch last year. Matthew set a national league record with thirty or more homers eight consecutive seasons while Aaron capture the senior circuits R._B._I.. Crown on driving across one hundred twenty six run run a product of the blames farm system is weighted by many experts as the Greatest Risk Veterans Baseball at twenty six years of age Henry has collected to national league batting adding titles and has become a fixture postseason all star team Matthews to came up through the blames organization in his nine year career muscle. Matthews is average thirty seven home runs per season and twice at he has the League Investi partner Don Newcombe has the misfortune of meeting Milwaukee might have on West covina drills a shop that sends gus bell scurrying scurrying while coming and pulls up double jolting Gillette Gok always presents a fearsome figure as he bigs on at the plate big new perils is high hard-won and adcock. Doc Connect says only got cam tape measure boys best ball is just about in orbit. Welcome to good seats still available a curious little podcast devoted to exploring exploring what used to be in professional sports. Here's your host Tim Hanlin. Hello friends welcome back to the the show Graham. We appreciate your finding us in the world of podcast land that we know it's it's a difficult to get so many different choices out there. We Are Hugely appreciative that you've given us some of your precious listening time this week and we hope you'll enjoy this week's episode here on good seats still available. Yes are curious little journey each and every week into to what used to be in professional sports. We're going to go back to baseball and we'RE GONNA go back to <hes> a story that we'll have a probably a lot more <hes> many more wrinkles to kind of investigate but it is one that we haven't touched on cheese and almost a year and a half and that's the story of the braves of baseball <hes> during their <hes> somewhat quixotic <hes> stop over the span of she's not even twenty years in Milwaukee we had a great conversation back in episode thirty two <hes> with <hes> writer and documentary and Bill Pavletic which we are of course to listen to either before or after this year episode with our guest this week Patrick Steel he the author of home of the braves the battle for Baseball in Milwaukee Lucky a book that came out <hes> Jeez after our conversation with bill <hes> happened to the book came out in what the the spring of twenty eighteen so about a year old now this book and it is a great excuse for us to go back Kindo kind of revisit some of the things that maybe we didn't get to go deeper on with bill in our previous episode and there's a lot of intrigue right frankly. The story of how Milwaukee became the destination <hes> for the arguably. Maybe not so arguably arguably number two baseball team in Boston <hes> the braves and and understanding the Milwaukee Connection <hes> the fact that the the brewers <hes> the minor league version of such was <hes> the Minor League AAA affiliate of the Boston Boston braves certainly had something to do with it of course but <hes> you know as we get into their conversation with Patrick steal you know a whole bunch of intrigue I mean there are People like Bill Vac involved that might have gotten a this franchise into Milwaukee having having had run that minor league version of what was then known as the brewers and being rebuffed <hes> and some of the sort of the aspirin that sort of came out of all that the reason why Milwaukee you know was chosen as places much seemingly seemingly sexier like San Francisco in Los Angeles beckoned obviously later in the decade as the dodgers and the giants moved three thousand miles westward from the New York Metropolitan area arguably. Maybe not so arguably the move of the braves from Boston in Milwaukee opened the door to the possibility of Nali west coast expansion but just expansion across this great land of ours beyond this sort of North East and central kind of history of Major League baseball up until that point I it just so many other sort of subtexts to all this and we also get into of course not only the demise of the team and why Atlanta Cain calling with a siren song and it we get into a little bit of stadium politics right both in Milwaukee as well as the beginnings innings of what became kind of a land rush Oria you know an incentive bizarre of cities trying to lure teams to their locales by you know committing to deficit spending you know on things like facilities in stadiums and such and then Atlanta's story on that but look we also don't want to get into just the coming and going of this <hes> this team but we also want to talk about some of the <hes> the highlights of the team they did win a world championship for God's Sakes and a couple of nationally penance while they're at it and <hes> you know they chuck Milwaukee by storm for a whole bunch ears I would argue until maybe until nineteen sixty or so when it kind of the Dean won't kind of <hes> began an ultimately into <hes> into bolting for Atlanta but <hes> you know we get into some of it I mean Eddie Mathews and Hank thank Aaron and Joe Adcock as you heard that little clip from reviewing the Nineteen fifty-nine season at Warren Spahn Lubar Dad Bob you I mean you know there's a whole host of <hes> of characters and hall of Fame Career folks that <hes> burnished and or cemented their careers and their legacies while playing in front of a very passionately rabid fan base in Milwaukee when they were known as the Milwaukee Braves. That's <hes> the period of time we're GONNA be focused on a nineteen fifty-three to nineteen sixty five in beautiful Milwaukee Wisconsin with our guest this week Patrick Steel home of the braves the battle for baseball in Milwaukee he the author of such and we encourage you to stay tuned for that in just mere moments before we get there of course that want to remind you that our friends at the great courses plus have the free month offer for you for a limited time to <hes> ah download our APP and enjoy unedited did the mortgage board of course offerings that they offer to you at the great courses plus Dot Com. What is it it's unlimited video learning with the world's greatest professors U._S._A.? Today says are you tired of binge-watching well. How about trying some binge learning the Wall Street Journal calls the great courses plus a serious force in American education and P._C.? 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You may have heard me talk about this and a couple of other episodes but it is narrated and taught by Professor Bruce Markson the manager of digital and outreach learning at the baseball hall of Fame Museum and it's wonderful careful staff at it talks about a whole host of things around the earliest days and years of baseball's history and and by the way parallels very much that of <hes> the rise and the maturation of the American experience shall we say there are or courses <hes> devoted devoted to how the fans have evolved over years and how baseball and culture in the United States have grown hand in hand. There's a course devoted to <hes> the players the owners and the reserve clause is a topic that we've <hes> skirted around on an into on a number of different episodes not just in baseball but other sports of course <hes> the impact of war on baseball. 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Don't forget that slash good seats the e great courses plus dot com slash good seats and that is the place for a limited time where you will get a free month of the great courses plus service and <hes> again we highly encourage you to check out play ball the rise of baseball as America's America's pastime and hopefully you'll also get some interesting <hes> exposure to some of their other great stuff at the great courses plus dot com slash good seats and we thank of course the great courses plus for their sponsorship of this show and hopefully this is a Kismet for the conversation that we're going to have today around baseball in particular the braves in Milwaukee that magical period of time and we're GONNA get into it with our guest and our conversation with Patrick Steele coming right now. Give our audience a sense of your sort of connection to this story was it <hes> childhood. Was it <hes> something in the <hes> the academic realm in the library library where some other White-hot comment that bumped into your head and said hey this brave story is worth going really deep into well. You know it's funny because you know the story of the braves you know in my connection to it. <hes> you know is probably almost as long as deep as the history history baseball in Milwaukee is <hes> Milwaukee's always been a great baseball town. I mean they had a long heritage of high end Minor League Baseball for years <hes> we had a Negro League team also the market bears this year's seventy fifth anniversary of the American can girls <hes> teams walkie chicks winning the pennant so you know there's this longstanding history of baseball in the walkie but there hadn't been major league baseball and what really triggered my interest was years later <hes> as a kid growing up in the nineteen eighteen seventies <hes> we go out to county stadium and people would be talking about the braves he'd have ushers out there talking about you know the glory years of the braves being in Milwaukee and <hes> four my ninth birthday <hes> I got a book for my Aunt song-chol and it had pictures favorite baseball player of all time and it Henry Aaron and in a couple of the pictures he was wearing an m. honest cap and it just again as a kid. It didn't really register so I went and asked my mom my mom kind of looked at me and she goes well. The braves used to be in Milwaukee and it was floored because again as a kid I will. I'd only known as the Atlanta Braves so <hes> in my I've found out you know they're talking with my mom. It she'd been a huge brace fan growing up because she remembers actually going out to see the Minor League burs play over at all borchert field and you know when the braves came there was a really big deal for her and she used to go out a lot and so for her it was just baseball is part of growing up you know in Milwaukee and then you know as abruptly as they came you know they left and so so you know she didn't really know why and so it just I kinda left it at that and then in Nineteen eighty-eight Biggie publishes book and Bob Did the Ford for Mine and he talked about the Milwaukee Braves in essence on the field he wrote a book called the Milwaukee Braves Baseball Eulogy and if any of your listeners can find the book should be available Amnesic Great Book. It's a great re. It really doesn't compass you know the plane aspect of the braves during their years Milwaukee but he never really answered either the questions to why they left if so I never really new <hes> and so I was like no Bob over the years I kinda told him. I said you know one of my things because I want to write a book that kind of explains why the team failed because I just don't think you know greedy owners. You know is is the sole reason and there's gotta be a reason why attendance dropped off and so really you know sitting in the back of my head since the late nineteen eighties early nineties. I thought about doing this book so I kinda let it sit. I talked about it for a while and then finally I had a chance to a presentation <hes> down at the should no museum in Milwaukee and I got done with it. I was talking about baseball and early Milwaukee and finally a couple of people sitting there just ask so when he ever GonNa Finish your braves book and it lit a fire it just lit a fire to get the story done <hes> and from that point on was probably about three years of research <hes> probably another year of writing and refining so you know it's been a long long time coming to get to this point well all right as you decide to kind of get this going and I'll get into a little bit of the process because I'm always fascinated as to you know once you have the idea and the spark how the process works and frankly some of it comes down to what you do as a day job if you have in skills or sort of you know a completely amateur expedition but maybe you can sort of put <hes> this his team a little bit into into context because you know this is a franchise circa well. I guess they early nineteen fifties right. which was the shall? We call the number two team in Boston for for many many years. Yeah wasn't the number two team him by much. I mean by certainly about fifty two it. was you know it was it was a team that that was coming off. A you know a pennant nineteen forty eight <hes> you know losing the World Series to Bill Vex Cleveland Indians. I think at six games so it's a team that it had some recent success excess no but the irony though is that we get to is that <hes> that Milwaukee back in the earliest days nineteen o one. I believe it was right was one of the original teams in the <hes> then brand new American league known as the Milwaukee Milwaukee brewers and and only last year and then was what almost more than fifty years later that Milwaukee was on the radar to become a yet another major league baseball a city. I guess a great scene Senate to me would be maybe you can kind wanna give us a little bit of a sense of why the braves in the first place and why Milwaukee Given fifty plus years of shall we say only minor league treatment for baseball well. <hes> you know it's kind of a two part story as to how the braves actually he ended up in Milwaukee and the first part obviously has to do with what happens with them in Boston and the second part has to do with what happens in Milwaukee <hes> you know within Boston you know as you suggested before you they've been kind of the second tier team and you know Boston has an overall. We're all market when you include Boston. Outlying areas is actually not bigger than Milwaukee. It's outlying areas when you look at population and you know boss or blossoms trying to hold <hes> two teams <hes> in support board coming into the age television and you know more expansive radio broadcasts and you know it there you know both teams actually did struggle. <hes> Boston was not the great baseball town then you know that is now but clearly the Red Red Sox. You know we're we're the number one team but Boston the braves like I said you know had gone to the world series and forty eight so they had a history of some success what brought them to Milwaukee was the new owners that came in and bought the braves. The three little steam shovels green brothers particular Lou <hes> they bought up a bunch of minor league franchises and they actually bought a very successful on Milwaukee Milwaukee brewers and they bought it in forty six and so they basically had the team and they'd actually come and played exhibition games in in Milwaukee part of the team coming in fifty three so by having the franchise there they had the claim to the market. <hes> the problem is because you're within technically the Chicago cubs ninety mile radius that the <hes> cubs could theoretically reject any team that wanted to come but the braves. We're not GONNA come to play in borchert field the Milwaukee County leadership at the time there were some visionaries on and they've been trying to build a new stadium. <hes> old borchert field was an old wooden ballpark <hes> dated back to the late nineteen hundreds and it was one of those parks that <hes> he'll turn the fires <hes> wind damage. Whatever it was just it was really unique looking park heart but it was smaller was minor league and so in the late forties there was really this big drive to build a new stadium and the the idea was we have a successful minor league team here? It's triple A.. Let's build it inappropriate stadium but behind the scenes in particular particular because of Fred Miller the president of Miller brewing company he really pushed aggressively to an essence make the park major league so when they put the framework in for County Stadium publicly stated while you know we're going to do this for the brewers respect actually going into the fifty three season. They've sold season tickets and everything <hes> and behind the scenes. You've got a couple of different groups from the walkie going out and searching out teams in my WanNa relocate one team that actually the walkie was in a consultation with was Saint Louis Cardinals and this is just before Bush bought the team only realized that the Miller company might actually by the cardinals out of Saint Louis Bush decided to invest in by the cardinals so that's stopped that purchase just that's interesting how the two beer barons actually were responsible for the shaping the baseball landscape. That's what the irony of that is to <hes> Bill Vac had been the former owner of the Milwaukee brewers <hes> in fact he actually when he got back back from World War Two he had sold the club the money he made from that bought into the Cleveland Indians but he had been while he was in Milwaukee close friends with Fred Miller and <hes> when Miller was actually going to buy the Saint Louis Brown's Bill Vivek undercut them and so ultimately when the braves calm there was still a lot of blad bad blood between <hes> Miller and Vac because he had always felt that a friend of his head undercut him and stopped of getting a franchise well meanwhile as pushing the stadium is a working behind the scenes to get a team in there the Boston Braves <hes> made a decision following forty season start televised games which you have to understand is. It's not like today where almost every every house has a television. You're talking the late forties early. Fifties televisions are mostly at bars taverns those types of places there are some in homes but they're not as common as they are now yet attendance at Boston Braves as Games fell down over ninety nine hundred ninety percent between nineteen forty eight nineteen fifty. Two and Luperini blamed that all on television now he also believed that he could save the braves in Boston. Now he is a Boston Guide through and through <hes> he's from Massachusetts. Whereas company is that's where he wants to be? He doesn't really want to go anywhere. What forces hand is Bill Vac who had at this point bought the Saint Louis Browns who had been the original minor league Milwaukee brewers? You were talking about before what Zach wants to do base off his experience Milwaukee is a former owner of the brewers here is he wants to move the browns back to Milwaukee and the American League would would return to Milwaukee fifty plus years after the original season. The problem is who premiums the rights to Milwaukee and he doesn't WanNa give them up so bill that goes public and he makes it very clear that the one guy that standing between Milwaukee Getting Baseball Major League baseball and not having it at all is Luperini so there's a big push to get blueprint to reconsider to to get his team down out of Boston down in Milwaukee Lucky. The biggest point was in the last season nineteen fifty two in Boston without anybody knowing the team was even thinking about moving. They drew just over two hundred eighty thousand for an entire season. It's catastrophic even by those standards so oh he knew he couldn't stay. He'd only sold four hundred twenty season tickets for the nineteen fifty-three season. He hoped to make one more year. Maybe turn it around. Put some renovations in abrasive sealed. 'cause he owned the park. Maybe they could make it work bill. Oh Vac forces hand printing decides to ask the National League for permission to move his club to Milwaukee <hes> he did get permission from Phil Wrigley to waive the territorial rights southern Wisconsin and in mid March nineteen fifty decree Milwaukee got its major league team so there are a couple of things on pack there which is really interesting so Parini. What is the thing about Milwaukee did you? I'm I'M MR is he. In Milwaukee native or was it because of the farm club that the braves raise had here with via the yeah it was the farm club. I mean like I said was he was a Boston Guy Through and through you know and and again here's a great comparison. He was a Boston guy the way but ceilings Milwaukee Guy <hes> you know had <hes> and people oh forget this when the whole debate over Miller Park <hes> to be put up was was being had the original vote to build it failed and at that moment seelig realized he was GonNa have to move his team so in theory had they not reconsidered the vote can actually got one <hes> state senator switches vote <hes> George Pitak and say Miller parks never built the brewers would have gone to Tampa. They would've gone to Arizona. They would've gone somewhere like that. If Bud seelig is the owner of the team in Tampa. If you see one of the team in Phoenix he'd be a great salesman for baseball but it's hard to milwaukee. That's where he wants to be. It's the same thing with new pre. New Parini wanted the team to be in Boston. That's where he wanted to be. It's because Bill Vac forces hand by asking for the territory that the braves owned because they own the minor league brewers he would not give it up because he realized Milwaukee was growing city at a great transportation network in the outlying areas the the population base in the area around the walkie mirrored what Boston had and you're asking to support one teams data to and <hes> it was a very shrewd move on his part okay so that's interesting so then I guess I'm also looking for the last sort of a piece of that sort of hockey story right is versus say you know what happened later in the decade right which was San Francisco in Los Angeles and maybe this is easy to say now versus you know being that Milwaukee is essentially. A quote unquote smaller market relative to some other metropolitan areas in the United States right but I guess the question really is in general why Milwaukee versus say I don't know a raft of other probably mostly more Western locales as baseball was maybe he's starting to begin to scratch the of this idea of expansion. Well these answer was they had a brand new ballpark. They had a major league stadium brand new inexpensive party and people today take parking for for granted but you're GonNa go to a Ballpark in place to park car <hes> even place like Chicago again places to park in the areas around Regal but at least have transportation get to the ballpark <hes> in Milwaukee. You don't have that you don't have to fight you know to get on a train. You get down to the ballpark you drive there. You can park and that is appealing. It's one of the main reasons why the dodgers ultimately left Brooklyn to go to Los Angeles because they were GonNa get a new ballpark and they really get all the parking lot so when you simply look if that were briefs field was in Boston and the limited parking they had around it versus what Milwaukee had with a brand brand spanking new stadium and expansive parking and the fact that was when when the interstate system comes uh-huh again it wasn't debate at this point a little bit later they actually route the interstate bypassed east West bypass <hes> to go right pass where the stadium is. It's not were originally was supposed to go. They moved it to accommodate stadium so all these things really benefited Milwaukee in Milwaukee became the blueprint for the dodgers for the giants or teams to go somewhere else and I've told <hes> many people you know one of the biggest lessons from my book isn't if you build it they will come it will ultimately be if you don't build it. They will be and so that that's kind of where you are wants to team is here. What are you going to do to keep them here? So how does the the braves departure from Boston. Go down. How does Parini quote unquote break the news to the dwindling number of fans? How does it you know is it done sort of under the cloak of darkness or how does he caught to go break into the Boston marketplace who arguably the smaller number maybe maybe sort of good riddance and then and and then maybe juxtaposed with how Milwaukee responded to their arrival well? You know it's funny because there's a lot of hatred both sides towards Luperini. Remember the teams down Florida and Spring Training so <hes> you know people in Boston are getting ready for for the season coming up and you know pretty had all intentions to bring the team back the problem he ran into was <hes> Bill Vac now some have speculated that perhaps he had been anticipating this a little bit earlier because <hes> the previous Levi's year he hired Charlie Grim. The former minor league brewer's manager was very popular in Milwaukee to become the manager of the braves and <hes> grim always believed till the day he died that that was done particularly because the expectation the team was gonNA move to Milwaukee now. How it broke in Boston was started leak out of the newspapers at the owners meetings that blueprinting was considering this the problem was they didn't have enough time to really do anything because it was really sprung on at the last minute in in my book I talked about the dichotomy between Boston in fifty two versus Milwaukee Sixty four sixty five? You Know Boston fans. The few that remained had a matter of days from the time it was first personnel that this was being considered till the actual owners voted to allow the team that moves there was no chance to mobilize civic pride to do anything else to try and keep the team there and when you look ahead to sixty four sixty five milwaukee fantastic you you know two years of rumors and full year of Elaine Duck season to know the team was going to be leading. They didn't know that Boston and there was a lot of anger. You know the governor of Massachusetts Mayor Boston. They're all very bitter at loop Iranian in he's standing there kind of looking at going. I had no other option. I had nowhere else to go. Nobody's coming out to the ballpark yeah in your investigation. Where does the consensus sort of sit in terms of how much thought he had put into into this move? Obviously it seems hasty when you look back at it right in the middle of preseason for God's sakes right doesn't seem like an as well thought out but obviously or probably maybe had been thought out and it was just a matter of taking the right time to just pull the trigger and do it yeah well you know I it's funny because I've seen some interviews with his son in a couple of people people and some of the people that were very close to him and all the reading <hes> all the research that I did and you know. He kept his decision to move the team very close to himself. He never told him he even tell his wife <hes> and in fact they actually you know during the time on walkie there were times where he would say you know. Two things are completely contradictory. <hes> and I'll get into that kind of towards the end but you know it was <hes> you know what was in his head. I don't really know <hes> logically. He had to have some idea he was going to do this. <hes> I think sooner than what he did <hes> I think what he had in mind. This is my I think what he had in mind was if the team did not do well in Boston fifty three then he would pave paved the way to move on his own in fifty four the problem was built back pushed his handed fifty three I and again the irony is this had he been able to last in fifty three that one more season the team got good the team Kim was really good and fifty three. They finished second place so you know does that. Turn around the fortunes of the Boston braves. It could've saved them. Now we know does that mean. Twenty nineteen at Boston would be a two team market. I you know I don't think so but at least it would have delayed. That's okay. That's really interesting so we're going to some what if scenarios well I gotTA think to that. It seemed like it could be executed relatively quickly given and I'm assuming that the Milwaukee brewers minor league franchise was at least in in alignment where the braves organization right. I don't know if it was fully owned or was it yeah it was fully owned and you know it's you know the one of the kind of neat ironies of it. Is You know people see the the the the braves cap with the White Emma on the front they go milwaukee. Braves kept originally that was you know minor league brewers cap so <hes> when when it came was swapped out there be hats for an m. cap and there you go with you uniform. Everything else was identical. <hes> the hardest part was actually <hes> fans back here Milwaukee because as I said before the brewers were scheduled to go into that Ballpark <hes> in the spring and fifty three so they had done all the preseason sales they had done all their <hes> ticket sales for is season-ticket ticket packages etc gone into stadium. Pick out for seats when the braves announced they were gonNA come all that got cancelled and you had to go back through the process again of course now because it's a major league team tickets run across dramatic more and so they had a shred all the original tickets at print that shred all the tickets over printing for the Boston. He's hitting me was just there was a lot of stuff behind the scenes. You get ahead to get office furniture. You had to do all this other stuff move from Boston out to Milwaukee <hes> in order to get the stadium ready for opening day that all the grounds keepers out there there was just a lot of stuff behind the scenes and then interestingly enough it again. This wasn't a parent and <hes> this is something I really kind of found in the research was some of the demands they actually that pre pre had made. He wanted all new lights. Even though it was a new ballpark you wanted to different satellites you wanted other things put in so the county had read the put in about two million dollars in this again in early nineteen fifty dollars. It was a substantial investment in stadium improvements. It's before Parini agreed to finally movies team ear. So you know immediately. The county was working to make the stadium accommodate the brakes and all this was done if you will under the sort of cloak of secrecy then I mean I know how you keep that kind of thing under wraps yeah you know and it was because once it was announced the team was gonna come and all the stadium deals are being worked behind the seats <hes>. I don't think there was a lot of attention on what was going because whatever it took to get a team here people were willing to do and it's hard for people maybe outside side the state of Wisconsin really grasp this <hes> you know in the state of Wisconsin for the last you know sixty years the Green Bay packers have been the team. It's everything you know <hes> most of the people that live in Wisconsin not all but most are packer fans. It's there now packer fans. You know there at least familiar that the packers are the big the in the state well when the braves came to packers. Were not very successful they were you know the last championship had been a decade earlier. The nineteen fifties were kind of a low point for that franchise they were terrible so incomes team from Boston and honestly between nineteen fifty three and probably nineteen fifty nine. The Milwaukee Braves were the team in Wisconsin. Packers were second place and it's only after fifty nine when Lombardi she comes that that dynamic switches and the packers become the state team yeah and it's very very having lived in Chicago twenty or so years in my life near near the Wisconsin border. Actually it is very much a we sort of alluded to the idea of regional team right but it is basically the state of Wisconsin's team the Green Bay packers and by extension. I think Milwaukee maybe the bucks now to you know are sort of perceived as kind of Wisconsin zone and and truly sort of a quasi regional play okay and maybe arguably a bit of a Vanguard Bright Cirque <hes> early fifties when maybe that idea was relatively newer novel yeah you don't be part of it was because of you know the excitement of actually having Major League baseball here. It was the first team that moved in fifty fifty years. You know prior to that only baseball games you could go sees if you went down to Chicago to see the cubs the white sox play or if you went down to Saint Louis C. The browns of the cardinals you know other than that you go around the lake to go up to Detroit you had to go across state to earn <hes> Indiana. You know getting higher either Cleveland and Cincinnati. There's nothing that was closed. Now you got baseball here and so you had a radio network that went up into the upper peninsula Michigan and went across Minnesota went out of the Dakotas when in Iowa <hes> and so it was really not just stay team. It was a regional team when it came and they documented. I think it was people from I believe it was forty two states they found forty two different states that first year at County Stadium so people came from all over to see the team there were people actually went from Boston who had been at one point braves fans had traveled to Milwaukee to see their team one more time so you know there's some really need stories kind of behind it but it really was the the story of baseball sixty three and of course the attendance numbers they put up off the chart yard so explain that first year in terms of fan enthusiasm and how the city goes Gaga for them and then maybe a little bit of the Onfield play because I got to think that they in some respects because they're moving in the middle of preseason right again impossible fathom frankly. I can't imagine that they had everything running smoothly yet. One point eight million fans which is basically then a record by the end of the year. How do they accommodate? All these people given the things you're talking about tickets the uniforms all the stuff has if you will have done on the fly no yeah yeah well I mean it wasn't a million that I was <hes>. I was around two million. I think it was like one point eight so it's like the mighty gone over to mark. I don't recall got my head but you know <hes> part of it was as they were selling tickets. They they would only sell them one series in advance because they don't have enough people they actually brought up a couple of experts from other teams including the Cincinnati reds to come up and help them streamline their season take their ticket sales and so they would sell people come from all over the place. I have a storybook in the book about these brothers that bike up from receiver Kenosha bike all the way up to Milwaukee in the parking lot of county seat and be in line to buy tickets for the upcoming series so you know the harder part was managing things like food service beer all this other stuff into the ballpark look at levels. They hadn't anticipated but on this front end while everything's going good. There's a couple of problems there already going to play the team down. The road. One was lack of television. Getting nobody understood television baseball you in the early nineteen fifties no grades Baseball Games. It'd be televised at home other than the World Series Games <hes> until nineteen sixty three so you couldn't even get away games. You know it was just <hes> radio that you could listen to them so that that'll be a problem there but the other thing is this. You need to keep this in back your mind every team then moved after the braves including the Philadelphia athletics moved to Kansas City <hes> the Saint Louis Brown's go to Baltimore and become the Orioles and there's all this movement upheaval evil every team that moved had tremendous turnout the following year the problem is there's a settling effect because every team that moved with the exception of the dodgers and the giants were kind of second to your bottom feeder teams so you didn't have a good farm club. They didn't really have a good major league team. The only reason tennis was good in the new city was because you was new the difference was with the braves when they came to Milwaukee fifty three the seeds of a really good eighteen they had worn spun. They had eighty matthew. You know they had <hes> talent. They had <hes> Billy Bruton <hes> Joe Adcock. There's just a lot of players that were really good. Del crandall behind the plate who is arguably one of the best catchers catchers been nineteen fifties at case could be made the guy should be in the hall of fame. You know he's behind the dish almost that entire time he was just an amazing group of guys they had and that really made the case different from Milwaukee versus any other team that moved again with exception of the dodgers and the giants every other team that moved again being the second team they moved they were in you know not very much more successful on the field and they had been in the previous city so attendance settled in Milwaukee. The attendance minced never settled till after fifty nine and you start to see a settling effect that had that happened earlier it would not have seen as dramatic as it did when it did <hes> and that's one of the problems that you have because in all this buildup in every year you set in attendance record and you know it just seemed like the only team that could outdraw you was dodgers when they went to <hes> you know Los Angeles outdrawing the New York Yankees for goodness sakes everything was going your way and nobody would have anticipated how quickly was GonNa go away so that dispels the the cynics view that this brand new spanking Milwaukee County Stadium which interestingly had been built with at least some capacity in mind. I find it hard to believe that the minor league brewers would have filled the stands but there's also that new stadium effect to right but you're equality team besides stadium yeah quality teams is huge part of it and again currently stating was built and ultimately expanded. I mean if you look at the footprint towards the end ended you know I I I spend as much time a steam. Almost anybody who grew up you know went to a lot of games <hes> you know I. I'm one of the few people that I liked it but I never always instilled it for me. Let's be honest. It's not fenway park. It's not really feel about Tiger Stadium. WHO's municipal stadium? <hes> you know I often joke. It looked like he was designed by Soviet engineers and built by East German construction crews. It was the <hes> the epitome of a municipal stadium. The problem was Milwaukee County thought aww the Taj Mahal thought it was the best stadium there ever was and always would be <hes> the reality was was a functioning stadium now again. Here's one of the other ironies of all this so when the braves come they look at these expanse parking lots the for the thirteen seasons they played in Milwaukee. They didn't get one dime of parking lot revenue. It all went to the county well that very interesting well but you know at some point though right I mean the county's got pay for infrastructure and all that kind of stuff right right. I mean in many respects the stadium was built on the come right in that you know minor league. How big would a minor league franchise even even it being you know somewhat regional and and whatnot you know it's still never it's not major league status so you got the county's got to figure out a way to balance the book so to speak my Gosh? What do you think they could've had that revenue right boy? Oh boy and that was the hardest part I think overall for this <hes> 'cause I get it and I talked about this. In the book. I get both sides. You know the county when he doesn't WANNA look like they're subsidising baseball. They had gone to the tax payers Milwaukee County and said Hey. We want to build a municipal stayed now again with people don't remember is it wasn't just the stadium they built been walkie. County seem that built Milwaukee Arena which hosts our first first N._B._A.. Team the Milwaukee Hawks. They built a Mitchell Park domes. They built <hes> Milwaukee County Zoo. There is a lot of things that the county was doing at this time to really elevate status of Milwaukee across the region and county stadium was just simply want part of it so on the one hand you're asking the tax payers foot the bill for a lot of these different projects that are going on on the other hand. They didn't understand the economics of it that the county did not understand that in order for the team to be successful asphalt long-term they had to have the revenue to be able to do it so <hes> the county had final San Anything sold inside the stadium from advertising anything up on the scoreboard to what was being sold at the concession stand what price I used to be so if the brave said hey you know we'd like to sell camps you know at one of the <hes> concession stands Milwaukee County actually had to approve the sale of those caps and they had to approve the price at the braves wanted to sell it at so there's a lot of dynamics behind the scenes of being in Municipal Stadium but Milwaukee County looked at look. It's brand new will make the expansions you know with <hes> they would expand eventually down. Both the first base third base line. They were tear out the original bleacher set up in new bleachers. Put a new bullpens out there so by nineteen sixty five your seating capacity has almost doubled inside the ballpark. The problem is by the time they get all the seating expanded. It's at a time when baseball's in decline not just in Milwaukee but across the country so now you've got this big cavernous stadium and you have your e average crowds come in and see games take time to pay couple of bills around here we welcome with open arms our friends at the great courses plus. How best described the great courses plus? How about this unlimited unlimited video learning with the world's greatest professors yeah? It's an amazing video streaming site available in at form you could watch it online you can stream it to any device and it is horses from some of the best professors and lecturers around the country in a whole host of topics almost like college in a box if you will you know things that want to learn about history or science food and wine hobbies everything that you might be interested in without the tests if you will <hes> <hes> there's no grading whatsoever but it's amazing coursework including their first real deep dive into the realm of sports which I think it'll be especially interesting to our listeners and here it is it's called play ball the rise of baseball as America's pastime and it's created partnership with the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum it is taught by the halls experts. 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I guess lectures into it and I can't wait to finish them all off again. That's the great courses plus dot com slash good seats. You're going to get a free month of the entire great courses service and it's only yours for a limited types of give them a try. We appreciate your doing so and we also appreciate you're listening to the rest of our conversation right now. Let's talk about their arrival in Milwaukee because I gotta think Boston fans or the small number of fans had to be kind of just peeved right at the fact that literally almost storybook fashion right the minute they show up in Milwaukee not only are they competitive but they are just everything seems to go right in in in gangbusters fashion. Despite maybe some of the odds against it yeah I it's an again like I said he was really odd because it was the only only team that had that happened to him every other team that move settled back into some level of mediocrity. It's why the athletics are never successful in Kansas City <hes> you know it's it's why the orioles were not initially successful in Baltimore. You know you were just simply simply. You know another team that movie weren't really particularly good <hes> but the the braves where they had a great farm system and he had people forget this the minor leaguers the triple eight the last spot. You went for you got to the Boston braves. Organization was Milwaukee well. They had won the little world series in fifty one and fifty two so you have a very successful farm system putting some great players into the braves organization and like I said they're competitive. Every year you know fifty three they finished second in place fifty four and fifty five. They're competitive fifty sixty finish game out of first place fifty seven they win the pennant they win the world series <hes> fifty eight they win the panic or the world series they lose and seven games and fifty nine. They force supply us here. He's <hes> with the dodgers now again. You can argue that team collapsed and <hes> it probably did they should've won the pennant probably going away <hes> but the dodgers caught him at the end of the year they had a three-game series best three the braves drop the first two game so they ended up losing to the dodgers and that was the last time they were in that upper division chance to go to the world series and the success that the fans got used to was no longer there. The team while it never had a losing records one of the most bizarre stories of the Milwaukee Braves experience thirteen seasons never had a losing record but between nineteen sixty in nineteen sixty five every a year it seemed they would be competitive. They would be sniffing around being in contention for the pennant and something would happen down the stretch team collapse and so the success the excitement of the fans when the team I got here. They're able to sustain that for a longer period period of time than any other city <hes> that another team moved to and you do feel bad for the Boston fans I have a couple of stories in the book talking about you know some of the interactions between Boston and Milwaukee and the you know there was one sports right around Boston who kind of really gave a warning and he said to Milwaukee. Oh you better be careful. You better treat him. Well because what you did US somebody may do to you and certainly that would happen. When Atlanta would call you know in sixty three saying hey we can build a new stadium? We can give you the parking the revenue we give you control concessions inside stadium and everything else seems to fall into place while the city of Milwaukee certainly must have felt like they got what the they bargained for because I mean this nineteen fifty five right the the Major League Baseball All Star game comes into town in arguably one of the more exciting. Let's all that maybe even after that the two years later basically the toast of the town and frankly the world and in being sort of not only in the world series but but winning that championship I mean I can't think of an amazing amazing amount of momentum to put Milwaukee truly on the map with a capital in Oh yeah you know and like I said you know they. They had those the sharp uniforms you know the Tomahawk on there they had fans at travel from city to city. You had a natural rivalry immediately CHICAGO CHICAGO. <hes> you had a competitive team with the cardinals <hes> I in a good rivalry between you know Miller brewing and Milwaukee and you know anheuser-busch down in Saint Louis and there's a lot of things that really made a team successful on the front end and you know the problem is like anything it doesn't stay it doesn't last you know there's that narrow window of time where everything seems to go your way <hes> and for the braves you know they came here. They were good. They got better as they went. You know they get Henry Aaron. Coming in you know this kid to come into play second base <hes> before he transitioned the outfield. <hes> you know they had the get Lubar data I mean they've just they've got every move. It seem they made was the right move and then just as quickly it was just gone. It was just gone the success that they had had on the field was not as great and certainly the attendance they had again across all of baseball <hes> was down but it seemed markedly down in Milwaukee because it had been so I called the book artificially high on the Front end because again the team move yeah look at it this way if the team moves in fifty three hundred or not successful missile right say they finished fourth or fifth points. You still have the great attendance but the team is is up in calming fifty fifty four rather. Maybe the finishing third place right maybe the following year they finish back and forth you would have had acetylene arleen effect to what the real average tenants would be somewhere between probably seven hundred thousand and probably one point two million would be a good average for that team but they're drawn two million because the team was good so that means when you get the settling lean affect it looks so much dramatically worse than it did had in any other community and it was just simply the number settled down to where average was going to be if feels to me that that Milwaukee and by extension the state of Wisconsin an almost <hes> especially in the fifty five fifty six and then obviously in fifty seven getting to the world series embraced being used determine. I'm sure it was more general used as well. It's not just your term you know as these sort of perceive Bush leaguers rights. It's a relatively market right. It's almost like an emblem a- pride it's like hey you know we can play and boy not only can we just play. We just might even win the whole darn thing yeah you don't see t to be that way and have that civic pride when your team was really good <hes> <hes> you know and they knew it you know top to bottom line if they put out almost any given day and you know eventually charlie grim gets fired because he can't get team the world series gets replaced by Fred Haney and Fred Haney turns the team around fifty six. They come within that game any of course you know wins it. All and fifty seven takes back to the world series fifty eight <hes> but he's a manager that has that disastrous nineteen fifty-nine season and at that point things start to change everywhere else. <hes> you know that's the time that professional football is really starting to come on televised sport. <hes> and people are really starting to transition love for baseball to football and by the early nineteen sixties more Americans say they'll like football and baseball. Well think about this thing of any other area. They have professional football. was there any place bigger than Wisconsin the nineteen sixties you got lombardi. You got the Lombardi packers you got the glories. You've got everything else going on and so attention in the newspapers attention on on the fans ban began transition from baseball football and there's a very clear <hes> understanding of this <hes> and I talked about this also in the book <hes> there is an understanding that is easier a year to follow a team to generate crowds. If your team goes from six place to third rather than goes from I two third so when the braves start to decline in wins wins and the packers starts take off its natural Fanta Tens Fanta tenants fan interest newspaper interest is going to transition from what had been the big story to what is now becoming story and so you know it's very I did a lot of newspaper research and it is amazing to see the difference in newspaper coverage between fifty three and fifty five for the braves versus sixty three and sixty five for the braves versus the packers I mean in those early fifty years there's some coverage of the packers particularly when their season but not a lot by the time you get in the nineteen sixties even when the braves are playing. There's a ton of packers coverage and the new owners when they come in at the end of nineteen sixty you too. They're very aware of that as well that they are in essence in a second year spot compared to the Green Bay packers who of course also played some games Milwaukee County Stadium so tell me about the process then because it's a pretty good attitude so you mentioned newspaper reporting and coverage region. I think that's a really interesting insight right that I think only you one could get by digging into sort of the daily routine of coverage and the tonality of that and and you can imagine right I mean a lot of the first couple years is is probably wrapped up in booster Zimin wrapped up in the city and it's pride and all that kind of stuff and the team doing really well. It's it's pretty pretty easy to kind of but you're I mean you're describing. I guess both a a letdown from admittedly Italy very quick and lofty heights married with the arrival of a strengthening football franchise already a statewide following. How do you sort of discern that is it columns? Is it just the way that the teams are covered is it are the fans kind of leading that is civic pride generally just waning because maybe they've been spoiled I mean or is it just sort of general on we that you know a middling team after having I've been at the loftiest heights and another passing interest in in another team that doing relatively well I mean is it just all conspiring much like perhaps their success conspired in the very beginning yeah you know I think it's kind of a combination of all all those things I mean certainly when you look at the newspapers or the amount of columns dedicated to covering the packers goes up dramatically and flip side it goes down dramatically on the brace I mean even got to the point sixty four excuse me sixty three and sixty four <hes> local papers. I didn't even send a reporter to cover the world series so you know clearly the interest in baseball was very very down. It was one of the criticisms of teams leveled at Milwaukee <hes> at the media coverage. Was You know you bailed on us. You went covered Robert Football. You did all this other stuff. You couldn't even basically is send orders down to cover spring training like us to part of it was the dynamics of coverage was changing <hes> you know and this is happening all across baseball. It wasn't just with Milwaukee but it just seem to be so dramatically worse again. You can paint out a scenario okay so what if Lombardi doesn't come what if the packers aren't successful are the braves potentially still I I don't know I don't think so but you know that dynamic certainly would have been different. I don't think he would have the dramatic a lot of interest going from the braves to the packers as quickly as it did but there's a lot of you know feed interest drives all of this. What are they going to buy the papers that cover the things at the fans want? What are the fans want? The fans wanted by the early sixties. They wanted packers coverage. They weren't as interested in baseball next generational thing and that was probably the hardest part <hes> for me going through this was to kind of see this and it and I've told everybody you you know that that's an astronaut when i read or when I wrote the book rather as I went through all the research I kinda became sympathetic to the braves position 'cause they started understand what was going on from their perspective. It wasn't just a bunch of greedy owners. This is a lot of things that seem to stack up at the end stuff. You know <hes> media coverage is starting to shift somewhere else. It's not that it was attacking which is simply was going somewhere else. <hes> they were far more critical braves organization is they were making trades. They weren't getting much return. <hes> they hired managers that we're not very popular Milwaukee or frankly very successful and of course when you get critical you know editorials get critical letters to the editor all this other stuff it starts to combine in in the minds of the ownership that the community and and the media has kind of turned on us and certainly there may have been level of truth to that you pair that up with declining attendance and you start sick well. Maybe maybe Milwaukee isn't the best place for us and certainly I think Luperini up until the time he sold not <hes> he feared what happened. After forty eight remember the forty eight the braves go to the world series in population or they see their attendance rather plummets in the aftermath. I think he feared the same thing happened in Milwaukee so when he agreed need to sell the team in sixty two to the new investors out of Chicago I think in his mind he felt he had solved the problem. <hes> you know they would get more coast. Who local ownership <hes> there were some guys from Wisconsin? We're part of the new ownership group <hes> <hes> it would give them a local face that they could associated with the team and maybe that's what they needed so he in essence after taking his company public he wrote off the biggest loss they had that you're in sixty two and that was the braves sold the team. <HES> <hes> washes hands of it. New ownership comes in and here's where one or the other big problems comes in. I believe that the new ownership group overpaid for the team. I think they were desperate to be baseball. People Forget. There's not a lot of baseball teams your your chance of being a baseball owner is much more difficult than being a U._S.. Senator so when you have a chance to buy into a team you're GONNA do whatever it takes to get that team at whatever takes to hold onto it and they bought the team mostly on credit they EXC financed it. They had bloom payments coming down the road and the only way they could make their payments down the road was if they average between one million or about one point five so in essence what they have to have happened is the interest in the team go back back to where was nearly nineteen fifties and that's just not gonNA happen in the nineteen sixties anywhere in America <hes> but particularly in Wisconsin with the packers taking off and again. It's not like fans abandoned the team. It's just they weren't coming out. In the the over height numbers ahead nearly fifty pitfall side that I talked about earlier aren't as a objectively as possible. Can you describe your opinion of the sale of the team by Parini due to the Chicago based group led by <hes> Bill Bartholomee in sixty to do you think Parini sold with the fore knowledge that Bartholomee and team would essentially be so quick to you start looking around to find another market and door another home <hes> indoor. You know maybe more cynically not stick around in Milwaukee or do you think Parini believed that Bartholomeo in team. Were very much GonNa do their best to kind of take Milwaukee back to where it was in the beginning. Well you know I think it's a multilevel questioning you know on the one hand is been rumored and there's some evidence to the case that Preen was actually one one of the first to reach out to Atlanta about the possibility moving his team there and again I talk about a lot of this baseball fluctuation in my book and the rumors had any team was going to be moving. I mean every team and then nineteen fifties remember to be moving somewhere. You know the Yankees are GonNa go to Sacramento and you know the dodgers are GonNa go to L._A.. And all every team was rumored to be moving you know there was rumors already when the attendance was taken off Milwaukee but the braves are leaving go somewhere else mantra or something like that and it was just a lot of it was ridiculous. You have to Kinda filters through that you know so I think Korea soul before he had to move the team <hes> and this is where I actually had a chance to interview Bill Bartholomee and every time I've had a chance to say this. I really try to reflect. I believe what our conversation was what I understand his his position to be. I don't believe they initially bought the team to move it. I believe they bought it with the intention that they could keep the team here. I asked pointblank. Did you buy the team to move it. His answer was no no again I he could just be saying that. I don't know I'm GONNA give the benefit of the doubt I believe for the first six months. They attempted to do everything they could. They sold stock in the team that could Vince Lombardi on the board of directors. There's all this stuff that they did to try hi and bring in local investors to help alleviate the debt load. They were carrying to get people to get their kids out to the ballpark. There's a lot of things that they did but it didn't work. The attendance fell off in fact nineteen sixty three was the worst year of attendance in Milwaukee outside of the lame duck year of sixty five so they did all of this stuff and it became very apparent that they were not even close to dry and a million remember. They need to draw probably closer certain to one point two to one point five million. Really you know break even with a little bit of a profit coming out of the year and what do you do with your profits. That's where you you're hiring scouts. You're paying for maintenance down at your minor league facilities. I mean there's a lot of stuff that you need to do with that. Money and it became apparent. They're not going to get it in Milwaukee and that's when Atlanta came calling and part of Atlanta's deal was <hes> Charlie Finley who owned the Kansas City athletics at basically gone on their one point as well and he had gone to a lot of differences. You know he goes to <hes> you know. He said it Oakland one will move out there. He said to Louisville. You cut a deal actually Louisville. Hey you know <hes> I'll move by team here. I'll come here for two years if you don't make it here I'll just go somewhere else and this it was we can always make new fans where we're going. We'll always making fans. He'd actually going to Atlanta and Kinda convince them. Look you build a stadium. I'll bring my team down here. So city of Atlanta and Fulton County agreed to put up a stadium like Milwaukee did they didn't have a team yet but they're gonNA put the stadium up so they invest they build the stadium well. When it came time to find a team to come there was only two teams that had leases up at municipal stadiums? One was Milwaukee the other ones Cleveland now again part. The frugality Milwaukee County was they didn't WanNa lock into a long-term stadium deal so the last stadium deal they had caught was very acrimonious coming after the nineteen fifty seven season and leave it was a five year window and they renewed it again sixty two or three more seasons and you know the braves wanted a ten year deal where they could renew it every two years or the phrase basically to opt out in point Milwaukee County didn't want to go with that but they could never get themselves goes to agree on a ten or fifteen year deal and had they done that. The breeze still being Milwaukee but the county was always afraid they were going to lose out on revenue. Baseball becomes really popular and all this other stuff starts apple. We're GONNA miss out on month so you never wanted to really time up to a long-term deal well that that meant that when their stadium deal was up the team would be eligible to move so they'll agree in principle to kind of move the teen down to Atlanta <hes> the ownership group believes that <hes> stadium lease was like a player contract he signed a player for you. You know <hes> four years and you can come at any given point now again obviously with baseball today all these contracts guaranteed they simply believe it. Kinda worked the same way. You know we're gonNA break our lease. We'll pay you what we owe you but we're GONNA move to the new city <hes> and this of course leads to a lawsuit between Milwaukee County the State of Wisconsin and the <hes> the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball at what point does the idea of relocation start to really go beyond just mere rumor. Have you been able to pinpoint kind of win. The speculation the rumor the waft of an idea Atlanta or just generally starts to actually get some real credence in Milwaukee. Yeah you know I I think the when it went into the sporting news until I sixty three that there was the discussion between Bartholomee and <hes> Atlanta and Bartholomee and Atlanta admitted in the after the we have discussions at that point but again. It's all preliminary. Hey would you be interested moving your team here. You know what do you have. We do know behind the scenes eventually before any deal was caught. <hes> the braves organization did send people to Atlanta in particular Dixie Sel to make sure that the seating was go to their specifications so I know that at least from sixty three on they were looking to make that move now at the time they're looking to do this. You have to understand this as well. The braves are paying more to play in Milwaukee County stadium than any other team in major league baseball. There's pain to play in their own facility. How's that happen because the county held the cart and the county believe that the braves are never going to find better stadium the Milwaukee only stadium therefore the county always believe they have a leverage by the time they realized that they are talking about going somewhere else and they start to offer all these breaks and you can determine your concessions and of course answers the big debate over the beer sales and we could talk about that but you know by the time the county realizes it's already too late <hes> and again they just they simply didn't understand the business side of what Major League Baseball is? If you build the old it they will calm if you don't build it they will leave. I it's extraordinary though and I wasn't around at the time but it's extraordinary to see just how quickly the rise and the and the embrace and the major league status of Milwaukee Hockey and not even three years later from winning a world championship all three four years later right almost a sale of the team right and some acrimony on contractual relationships relationships between the stadium at houses them and the t think that that would be the the high watermark of the relationship right. It's hard to hard to fathom how quickly it breaks down into not only flirtation with another market but essentially almost the being fed a complete come sixty three ish yeah you know and there's a lot of things that are also going on behind the scenes you know the the braves have been pushing for a long time for a ban on <hes> imported beer of you basically carrying beer into the stadium <hes> prior prior to <hes> the beer and they always talk about the beer abandoned Milwaukee because Milwaukee was brewing city. You had paps you had Miller yet flats yet gentleman yet all these different breweries and workers oftentimes is get free reduced price beer so you could carry in whatever you want it into the ballpark well by the early nineteen sixties Milwaukee County stadium was the only place a major league baseball where you do that so the fans around here frankly were spoiled. Finally any other place you could carry in beer. I mean I was storing the book of when the cardinals will come to town some enterprising <hes> gentlemen went and bought a bunch of Budweiser so lipa garbage came with ice put the Budweiser in dragged it into the stadium and was selling cheaper than what you could buy beer at the ballpark tall the cardinals fan. I mean this is what was happening so the county and the team agreed to ban <hes> curious while a hacked off a lot of people. They're just trying to screw over the little guy you know and attendance went down in part because of that there were some Fan Dan Boycotts of the team because it was getting both the county and the team or point the finger at the other person even though they both wanted to ban place the band went into effect. I think six again I'm off the top of my head right now. I think it was sixty two until so by sixty three they basically they're going to resend it and they allow carrying again and when the team announced in October of sixty four that they were going to leave <hes> that's when the county vote one lessons they did enforcing the team to stay Milwaukee. Waukesha County Stadium was <hes> it put the beer <hes> band back in place and so they were trying to do whatever they could to screw over that braves organization in that last year they were here but it's also the beginning of this <hes> this pouring writes kind of thing which is a standard procedure today right which is arguably another revenue stream right <hes> in today's modern sort of stadium and in-person experience right the idea of having the exclusive license if you will to be the exclusive poorer and you bring in things from the outside of answer classic <hes> almost seems ironic that you get the brewery heritage of the city but you also you wonder where the economics were in the in that Calculus. Oh absolutely you know and and again. The dynamic is a little bit different here for because it was county stadium it was will walk You County Stadium Municipal Ballpark. Every brewer in the city got a chance to sell their beer inside the ballpark so even as a kid when I went in there in the early nineteen seventies you know you'd have a guy can't walk walk around carrying Platz somebody else carrying paps somebody else carrying Miller you know all breweries represented. There's somebody in their selling old style you know for a while to <hes> so you know this was happening in the braves had no control over that <hes> part or this stadium deal. They're going to get what's Atlanta's pick and choose who they want. It further concessions what kind of beers they wanted that type of thing so they weren't leverage by the stadium authority like they weren't Milwaukee all right so let's as we can around third base here. Give us a sense of sort of the the Dean Walt here the how the team kind of inelegantly not only is found out to be leaving. Maybe announces its leaving and then it's somewhat inelegant actual leaving in sixty four sixty eighty five ish well you know the the hardest part was this <hes> you know there were there were a lot of diehard fans that were there and and people that even if they weren't in the Ballpark we're listening on the radio and stuff but things started to change you know <hes> degrade voice of the braves or Gillespie retires he goes. Into television <hes> they got a couple of guys. Come up and start announcing the game so there's that that dynamics a little bit different of course a ballpark experiences a little different. You don't have the raging fans out there like in the early nineteen fifty so you know new kids over just coming to Beijing early sixties a lot of them fell in love with the team but it wasn't the same dynamic at ten years earlier you know during these the peak years of attendance and then when it's not you know once rumored the team is gonNA leave. There's a big push by the county by the business leadership by civic organizations by the politicians. We're going to save the braves so they do everything they can. There powered sixty four to get the attendance up over a million to show that Milwaukee is a major league city that despite all this despite the fact he might be leaving. Hey look where a good teeth were good town. What people forget is that at the time when people are looking at sixty two and they're looking at this bad attendance they had they outdrew the Chicago cubs and they all through the Boston Red Sox at your point so let's disaster in Milwaukee Zoo? They were outdrawing cities are called. You know these classic baseball towns Milwaukee. We still better than that. smocky felt that you know if you look at it on average you know they drew on average throughout the entire thirteen seasons seasons they were there. You know about one point five million. They were the number two drawing team in all Major League baseball between nineteen fifty three and sixty five the problem is attendance is less than half of what it had been before so when they don't get over the million mark and went October comes October twenty first nineteen sixty four and a board of directors meeting in Chicago the new ownership group which had moved the teams headquarters down Chicago earlier that year <hes> made the decision to accept the terms of the agreement with Atlanta and sign at twenty five year lease. They fired all the members of the Wisconsin <hes> from Wisconsin. We're on the board of directors. They never told Vince Lombardi he just he wasn't invited to come down to this. They never really informed him that he was an ss off the board of directors and you know they agreed to move all like I said they hope to be playing nineteen sixty five down in Atlanta. What Milwaukee has is one chip in their hand? Dan They have a stadium lease their requires the braves the play all their home games exclusively Milwaukee County stadium now what the braves are going to do as offer them five hundred thousand dollars to walk out. You've five hundred thousand dollars. We're simply. WE'RE GONNA walk out Milwaukee County and refuse they get halfway through the sixty five season attendances deplorable they ask at the halfway mark okay. We'll give you fifty five hundred thousand dollars now. Let us out of our least now. WE'LL GO TO ATLANTA FINISH UP. The year in the reason that's significant is that's more money. The county had made the previous year off in the braves there but the fans really are the ones that have no voice. They see this coming. They see the team going. There's really nothing that they can do. Some fans chose to boycott what some fans tried to go and as many games they could see baseball while they still could integrate debate was between the civic community and the politicians. What is in the best interest in Milwaukee? Are you better off suing the team and forcing them. I'm just stay or letting them go knowing full well at some point baseball's GonNa go to expansion. If you've been a great baseball town up until this point they have to consider so some in the private sector is simply saying if the Braves WanNa go let them go. We have nothing to prove by trying to draw sands out to a team that's going to leave. Let's put all our interests into getting expansion now. I can't say what was the best course of action. I do know this course of action. Milwaukee County took cost them expansion in sixty seven both the American league and the nationally expanded and excluded Milwaukee Affect the American league didn't even allow Milwaukee to make presentation so here you have the number two drawing team in Major League Baseball for the time there in Milwaukee and they don't even get a seat at the table to give at least a presentation by the American league should consider expanding to Milwaukee so they hacked off by suing Major League Baseball by going after the <hes> the exemption exemption clause the angered a lot of people within baseball but that's a political response in that's what the coney felt that was only course of action they had and I you know I honestly as I sit here now. It's twenty nineteen. <hes> <hes> you know people. Ask Me what would be the best course. I don't really have a good answer. There was no good answer. No matter what should do it's going to be a disaster but they they ultimately they lost the people in Milwaukee <hes> the people in Wisconsin lost when that not laughed and for a lot of them they never came back. I mean we're sitting here now. In Twenty nineteen you know the burs came within a game of winning the pennant last year again ironically the dodgers <hes> like the braves did in fifty six and there's still people that I know in in my life that were around the breeze that were huge Bray Santa to this day are still not fans baseball in Milwaukee because they're just afraid the team's GonNa leave again so they never invested in the team that's here maybe you can enlighten a little bit about bud ceilings rolling Roland all this right because he was part of the braves ownership right on a minority status and I think he was kind of one of the guys who kind of try to put as much of a break on the move as much as he could and then obviously was instrumental in and what not even five years later getting finally <hes> if you will replacement team become in in the form of the now major league again brewers yeah you know seal Felix was was you know highlighted by the Braves Organization when they were leaving <hes> they he was part of an organization it was designed to help keep the braves here <hes> he was accused by the Organization of trying to use the money too bad mouth braves to try and get another team here. <hes> there really wasn't the case the organization was called Teams Inc Inc and they actually did not have in their charter that they could by a team so they founded in sixty five Milwaukee brewers baseball club incorporated so the Milwaukee brewers organization actually dates back to sixty five predates team <hes> which doesn't come until nineteen seventy so seelig behind the scenes trying desperately to get the team to sell what they offer the braves organization is this will pay off what you pay in an essence what you all you can walk away Scot free. Just wash your hands of debt load Cell Tina us. WE'RE GONNA KEEP IT MILWAUKEE. You Go away no PROB. The owners didn't want to 'cause they desperately wanted to be baseball owners so seelig Leagues Group behind the scenes tries to do this repeatedly. The ownership group says no now what they'll say to this day and Bartholomee said you know even in my interview. There was no credible offer well. I look at it this way. If you have an asset you have no intention of selling in somebody says I'll buy that from you is that a legitimate often depends on if you're considering selling it or not so. I don't think that in Bartholomew's my any offer of something that was you know three times what the team was worth. They would've considered selling organization so therefore there was no legitimate offering his mind by the team cecile exist behind the scene after the team leaves in works to keep Major League baseball live in Milwaukee so the Marquis Lucky burs baseball club eventually sponsors games from the Chicago White Sox <hes> to come up and playing county stadium so they did a series of exhibitions and sixty seven they played a slate of games and sixty eight and then by sixty nine they hosted every team in the American league at least one game at Coney stadium including ironically the Seattle pilots who played one of their Games in Milwaukee County stadium is so when you go into spring training in nineteen seventy the Seattle franchises <hes> in bankruptcy <hes> they got an expansion team to go into Seattle they played in a ballpark that was a minor league parks smaller Than County Stadium Worse than that and ultimately you know they failed miserably in Seattle so you're really similar to what happens with the braves in spring training as the trucks are going back from spring training they stop as a waiting. Are we driving back to Seattle or are we going to Milwaukee and ultimately <hes> ceilings group buys the pilots out of bankruptcy court the trucks go to Milwaukee they take the pilots off front of the uniforms they sold block other brewers on the front and they adopt the color balloon goal which Bruce still used to this day of course a variation of it in the navy blue they have now but in their traditional colors those were action colors in Seattle pilots and so that kind of brings it back full circle the county learned they're less than they locked the bruise into a twenty five year lease immediately although ironically the brewers never got a dime a parking lot revenue either but at least there was a long-term lease and it was Major League baseball back in Milwaukee and in one thousand nine hundred seventy what was the feeling of the Miami populists. I mean you're mentioning some still of the holdouts that kind of got burned in the first time didn't want to get burned a second time was there there is much of an embrace for the brewers when they came as the former pilots and and you know it was only five years removed from the braves leaving town the first place yeah it was too soon and they they didn't try even <hes> over a million that first year and it took him a little bit what they did however was they were they actually did better if you if you calculate it over thirteen years and it's a great comparison never turn actually in the book where I compare every team that moved for the first thirteen season because it gives you a comparison of Milwaukee and then I also breakdown <hes> the difference between your the Boston Braves to Milwaukee Milwaukee braves to Atlanta Seattle pilots to Milwaukee and the Milwaukee fans did far better in both cases in the Atlanta fans did in fact ten years out after the braves moved to Atlanta. They drew less than the lame duck year of nineteen sixty five milwaukee when everybody Milwaukee new team was we so you know everybody's pointing at this and in fact the for in the first I twenty years at the Milwaukee brewers existed they out drew the Atlanta Braves eighteen twenty years but the argument was look the braves could play in front of an empty stadium and still make more revenue than the brewers 'cause. They got seven state television network that multi-state by state radio network. They had coca cola based right in Atlanta. They're they're pumping in money that just simply the local community in Wisconsin could not match and so the the braves make more money planning empty stadium than the bruised plane in a full stadium so you're not necessarily apples to apples but I tried to dispel this idea. That Milwaukee was a bad baseball because clearly wasn't it clearly wasn't yeah I mean I do sense this because of all the teen we've doing this for two and a half years awesome and various teams leagues and stuff and to me. It's almost feels a little bit of an anomaly right because you're talking about a a relatively short period of time where this this team was in Milwaukee and you could make the argument that <hes> the success of the team both oath you mentioned in terms of on the field never had a losing season and drawing exceedingly well especially in those I say six to eight years. It almost feels to me like it was a strong concentration of success that didn't last last all that long and and strangely left. Maybe sooner against take the senators in Washington. I mean a lot of teams that just go on for decades right in averageness yeah you know <hes> he was kind of. I hate to use the the words you know perfect storm but you know it Kinda. Was You know you had I'll argue some level of mismanagement by the county. You had a braves organization that you know qualitatively for for the players was in decline. <hes> <hes> you had soaring costs baseball at a time baseball interest is going down. You have the rise of the packers in the State of Wisconsin so you have all of these dynamics starting to come together at a time when you what were you simply needed was attendance at ten and saves the team then you throw in you know the in sixty one. The twins come into Minnesota <hes>. There's all this other stuff that goes on and ten years early had the team move ten years earlier. There probably still here had the team come ten years later. They're probably still here. It's that one window in time. Were everything seemed to go against the braves being in Wisconsin and it is what it is you know hey even if they're stadium lease was two years longer sooner. Steam lease takes them to sixty thirty seven it would probably be the Atlanta Indians because it came down to Cleveland and in Milwaukee Braves ownership group is the one that cuts the deal so you know it's it's kind of that perfect storm of just everything going wrong for the braves being here in Milwaukee and you can't point your finger at just one thing 'cause it's a combination of all these things and all the things that happen for the most part are kinda logical to the era that they're in aren't last question and I'll let you promote wrote in your estimation. Given your research your knowledge of Wisconsin. You're having spent some time there of significance. Where would you sort of put the baseball legacy of Milwaukee? Would you think it resides with the braves in Atlanta now. Do you think the brewers have effectively inherited it or do you think the Milwaukee Braves was sort of a container and time that really hasn't gone anywhere. It's just sort of since they're in a in a glass box somewhere and people's memories memories. It's the ladder I think it just sits there. I mean you know the brewers have done some to embrace it. They've actually when I went in the National League <hes> they would do things on the braves came to town to Kinda remind people when the braves used to be here and but then when they moved into Miller park the kind of transitioned away from that but you know if you watch any number of burs Baseball Games Miller Park you will find people wearing braves jerseys or baseball caps <hes> wind Milwaukee or see me when the Atlanta braves come to town you will see Milwaukee fans wearing jerseys and milwaukee braves caps so they're still kinda chip on the shoulder and the community that the team left but I you know and that Kinda talked about in the book this way you may maybe the one benefit to them leaving us when you close your is you can imagine them still in those beautiful white uniforms with Tomahawk across the top you the navy caps and the and the red bills and that gorgeous white Emma on the front and it really summed up all that was good with baseball in Milwaukee you didn't have to see the ugly polyester pullover uniforms that they wore in the seventies. You have to see the pinstripe uniforms they tried and sixty nine. You know you just there's that box that they reside in in our memories where they'll always be warned spun on will always be the twenty game winner Henry earned will always be the kid and <hes> you know that they came out of nowhere and just let the world on fire Eddie matches will always be that outstanding basement and maybe that's the best place for them. You think any of its wrapped up in the just general nostalgia for the nineteen fifties. Oh I think so. I think there's a part of that <hes> certainly among among the older generation it's still remember them. <hes> and again you know they transitioned in the nineteen sixties but you know by the nineteen sixties you get into Vietnam War and the summarize protest and you know the race ride Milwaukee and sixty seven so there's a lot of things you know and easy to waxing nostalgic about when every move simply excited about baseball so that might have part of it to all right so let's talk about the book came out last year. I think it did audience the <hes> the title and a little bit of the background of it you promoting it more things to come out of it. Maybe that you think you've got <hes> in you as well other projects or anything in film documentary whatever yeah you know I'm hoping at some point maybe talk to a couple of filmmakers anchors box. I think there's a story here to be told. Of course the title of the book is home with the Braves <hes> the battle for baseball in Milwaukee and you know the natural follow up is to cover kind of the story of what happens from the Federal Court case <hes> up until until the time the brewers actually comes doing some research and decide whether or not there's enough of a story there to tell and I think there might be. I don't know <hes> but you know what I would like to do. Ultimately with the book is this to have people read it and if you have a chance to talk to me the first question I will always ask you is this who's the bad guy in the story and the reason I asked that question is because people blame everybody and it's funny because people somebody to go walk you county board so I was the fan. Stop coming almost okay well. You know it's still I think the owners overall but I get a different story from everybody and to me. That's what it what historian should do. That's when I'm trained as you know we should not be writing a narrative history. We should be writing a history tells a story. That's open into interpretation. That's based on the fact the evidence that the case and let the people themselves make the decision you know who's the good guy who's the bad guy and ultimately in this case frankly. There's no good guys in the story I think all this is very interesting and I you know I I consider myself a middling baseball fan and but it but certainly one through this as well as previous my previous lives just generally interested in history and and the confluence of that in sports and you know from the outsider's perspective not having grown up here or you know not around during the time of the Milwaukee Braves but certainly aware of it certainly through conversations like this which I think for you look at say things like an Ebay or or the the nostalgia crowd or items for sale and stuff and it is it is kind kind of amazing how much Milwaukee Braves stuff is either available or desired or frankly just alluring to look at and I don't know what it is. There's just as something that there's an aura around this team and this period of time I and I think even the memorabilia that came out of well. I think it was a combination of the players the success of the team again you're looking at a couple of you know phenomenal halters all timeliness left-handed Pitcher of all time Warren Spahn Homerun King Henry gets his started Milwaukee fact actually played more seasons in Milwaukee than ever did down in Atlanta. I think it's travesty. They got a and has kept on their rather than him but that's my own personal feelings again. He Got Eddie Mathews. You've got Joe Adcock. You've got Joe Torre got Bob Euchre playing for the team you know del Crandall. I talked about before red. Red shadings comes over for the cardinals. I mean there's all these great players. Body Thompson you know spent some time in Milwaukee. You know it was just it was a great time. They were embraced by the community. There's that level of nostalgia because things in the fifties we're still on the surface. They seemed good in comparison to what you know. The civil unrest we had the nineteen sixties and you know the the growing conflict in Vietnam and the political divide that that really kind of encompassed the nation during those years you know <hes> by that point the braves were gone you know and there's that that nostalgia for when things were good when Milwaukee may have been Bush leak but Bush feel one they wanted all in fifty seven. I and I think that's kind of a great encapsulating pointed this story well there you have it friends are our second exploration deep dive into the Milwaukee Braves of the nineteen fifties and early nineteen sixties Patrick Steel. Thank you so much for being part of our little journey the into sports history and pop culture the book that Patrick wrote is again called home of the braves the battle for baseball in Milwaukee it is published by the University of Wisconsin press came out in March of 2018. It is available course wherever books are found <hes> but if you'd like to give us a little love financially as we try to keep our lights on by all means one at you search up this episode on our website at good seats still available dot com and you'll find into lake conveniently to this book and you can buy it through Amazon via that link give us a couple of shackles of referential love and Patrick of course will enjoy the fact that yet another book has been sold to keep his <hes> lights. It's on as well although I'm sure he's doing just fine professor up in Wisconsin but <hes> you know every book sale certainly doesn't hurt the God forbid that he makes a few more shackles on his writings as well it again our thanks to Patrick and of course our thanks to you are thanks to our friends at Popeye productions while we're thanking people jerry pain in particular the good doctor who puts all of our pieces together each and every week. We don't know why he does well. He's got some financial incentive to do so. Let's be honest but you know if you could be doing other things I'm sure or he would be fun. Speidel we thank him profusely for helping US putting our our show together and you can find out more about pod fly and their services at pod fly dot net and again don't forget good Silva Dot Com. That's place to go for all of argh goodness and and updates and stuff you find all of our episodes there you'll find our social feeds on twitter. We'll find you'll find a set good seats. Still you'll find us on instagram. At good seats still available you will find a link to our facebook page devoted to us all that stuff you can sign up for our newsletter each and every week we try to tip you off on what <hes> the episodes going to be in the coming days and of course you can send us email either directly at hello at good seats still available dot com or just through the link. That's onset website all right. I'm done for this weekend. We leave you with a little ditty from nineteen sixty six. I believe it is let's double check that yes and it is by the Great Frankie Yankovic. There's debate as to whether he's related to weird. The Dow is the story of the Milwaukee Braves leaving Milwaukee. It's called there's no joy left and we wish you a sad but fond du courtesy of Frankie academic and until next week to the Milwaukee embrace I took fifty four when you first game you want to walk these heart. We rated around in nineteen fifty seven the service John Glasses. 'cause we wanted to your started in straight. Don't we weren't good more. Hey we will record. They did so much for you now refining in Atlanta here they saw from you uh-huh.

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