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The Kansas City A's and the Wrong Half of the Yankees: How the Yankees Controlled Two of the Eight American League Franchises During the 1950s

Overview

During the second half of the 1950s, folks derisively referred to the Kansas City A’s as a “farm team” of the New York Yankees. Trades between the two—often lopsided—were commonplace, and it seemed every time the Yankees needed that one final piece for yet another pennant run, the A’s filled the gap.

While most knew that A’s owner Arnold Johnson was somewhat affiliated with Yankee owners Dan Topping and Del Webb through his joint ownership of Yankee Stadium, The Kansas City A’s ...

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2007 Hard cover Very good in very good dust jacket. hardly used, very clean and tight Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 213 p. Contains: Illustrations. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

During the second half of the 1950s, folks derisively referred to the Kansas City A’s as a “farm team” of the New York Yankees. Trades between the two—often lopsided—were commonplace, and it seemed every time the Yankees needed that one final piece for yet another pennant run, the A’s filled the gap.

While most knew that A’s owner Arnold Johnson was somewhat affiliated with Yankee owners Dan Topping and Del Webb through his joint ownership of Yankee Stadium, The Kansas City A’s and the Wrong Half of the Yankees digs into the deeper business entanglements among the three. In addition to the questionable trades and his earlier purchase of “The House that Ruth Built,” Johnson’s purchase of the then–Philadelphia A’s shows signs of Yankees clout.

Through periodicals,letters, conversations with contemporary players and executives, and an analysis of player records, author Jeff Katz has compiled a chronological account of how, through the hands of a friend and business partner, the Yankees controlled two of the eight American League teams during the second half of the 1950s.

A publication of Maple Street Press, distributed by Potomac Books, Inc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977743650
  • Publisher: Maple Street Press LLC
  • Publication date: 4/30/2007
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Katz is a baseball writer and member of the Society for American Baseball Research. He has written baseball articles for such websites as The Baseball Page and contributed a short story to the baseball compilation Play It Again:
Baseball Experts on What Might Have Been
, edited by Jim Bresnahan. He lives in Cooperstown, New York.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     viii
Foreword   Jeff Horrigan     ix
Preface     xiii
Stadium Sales     1
Timeline     2
Dramatis Personae     3
The Deal     4
The City     13
Finding a Team     43
Timeline     44
Dramatis Personae     45
A Brief History of the A's     46
Save the A's     55
The First Meeting     70
Turnabout     84
Counterattack     91
Final Sale     98
The Last Vote     104
The Trades     113
Timeline     114
A Major League Farm Team     115
The Devil's in the Details     120
Congress Calls     153
The Devil's in the Details, Part 2     162
Epilogue     195
American League Standings     198
Bibliography     200
Index     207
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    Has there ever been a city so ill used by a baseball owner as Kansas City was from 1955 to 1960 by Arnold Johnson? As a child I remember hearing, ¿¿if only Arnold Johnson had lived, we wouldn¿t be in this fix.¿ After reading this book, all I can say is¿.let us just say he makes Charlie Finley into a saint. This book lays bare the thinking of baseball management and ownership in the 1950¿s. It is not hard to see how baseball fell from it¿s pinnacle of popularity to poor second place once the author takes you inside the machinations of the owner meetings that effectively stripped Philadelphia of its most successful sports franchise and turned it a Yankee puppet. Jeff Katz shows (and proves) the incestuous Yankee ¿ Athletics relationship, from conception in the stadium deals, through incubation in the columns of Ernie Mehl, Kansas City Star sports writer and New York Yankee front man, to the birth of the Kansas City Athletics as ¿the wrong half of the Yankees.¿ The trades began almost prior to opening day. Mr. Katz shows the utter disdain Johnson had for his paying customers. Katz shows that relationship was apparent not only to the fans, but to the other owners as well. He shows Arnold lied to the fans, the press, his fellow owners, and even to Congress. The owners, in turn, showed contempt for Johnson and the A¿s in general. Their attitude is a sad testament for a once proud franchise that had fallen on tough times. A side note, I heard the author interviewed on KCUR, the NPR station in Kansas City. He was interviewed by Steve Kraske, a reporter for the Kansas City Star, during the interview Mr. Kraske kept saying ¿Isn¿t that what we have now¿all our good players go to the Yankees?¿ In my mind, this is immaterial. In the era this book covers, free agency was not in existence. The reserve clause kept rosters 'and salaries' stable. I have my doubts if the interviewer had read the book, if he did, it failed to elicit the outrage that I felt. Another note: John E. Peterson in his heroic work, The Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History, 1954-1967 does an in-depth analysis of Yankee ¿ Athletic transactions. He concludes that they were not all that one-sided. This book will challenge and demolish that conclusion.

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