The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony

What if the Dodgers Stayed in Brooklyn?

The landscape of professional baseball would have differed significantly had the Dodgers stayed in the Empire State.
Inside+Dodger+Stadium+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Champo+via+deviantart.com%29
Inside Dodger Stadium (Photo Courtesy of Champo via deviantart.com)

 

Following the 1957 Major League Baseball season, the Brooklyn Dodgers officially made their move west. Finding a new home in Los Angeles, the move went on to have a major impact on the progression of baseball history.

The magnitude of this move raises the question: How would baseball history differ had the Dodgers stayed in Brooklyn? Of course, this question cannot be answered, but theories can be developed. Here is one possibility for what may have happened had the Dodgers stayed.

The Timeline

In 1952, let’s say the Dodgers got approval for the construction of a new stadium in Brooklyn. This ultimately diminished relocation talks, cementing the Dodgers’ home in Brooklyn.

The Giants still yearned to leave the aging Polo Grounds, thus they looked to relocation. In 1958, instead of moving to San Francisco, the team moved to Minneapolis — the home of their then minor-league franchise. With the Giants’ move to Minnesota, the Washington Senators would never see the light of day as the Twins. Still wanting out of Washington, the Senators looked for potential relocation options of their own.

Knowing the MLB would be eager for western expansion, the Pacific Coast League created another bid to turn major. This time, the bid saw much more success. In 1958, following a dip in the years prior, the PCL had a record year for attendance and fan support. This further built momentum and conversation for a potential merger.

After extensive negotiation, the league agreed with the PCL and the Washington Senators. The Senators moved to Houston the following season, bridging the gap between the east and west. In 1960, the Pacific Coast League was established as the “Third Major League.”

With the merger made official, Opening Day in 1960 saw play over three different major leagues. The PCL brought new franchises in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Portland.

These new franchises brought the size of the MLB to 24 teams, negating the need for expansion in the early sixties. To create balanced schedules, inter-league play is introduced nearly thirty years early.

Coming from a minor league status, the PCL found itself falling behind in its early seasons. This wouldn’t last for long though, as many star players were attracted to the big markets associated with the PCL. By the late sixties, the PCL would possess their own title-contending franchises.

With the Dodgers keeping National League baseball in New York City, the New York Mets would never come to existence. With the Giants’ departure, fans were forced to choose to root for their rivals or the Yankees.

The Braves still kicked rocks in Milwaukee, moving south to Atlanta in 1966. On the contrary, the Athletics were not able to move to Oakland in this timeline due to the presence of the PCL’s Oakland Oaks.

As a result, the Athletics moved to Dallas, helping further reduce the gap between the west and east coast franchises. To create a more even distribution across leagues, the A’s franchise moved to the PCL.

The league saw its first wave of post-merger expansion in 1969. A new franchise was placed in Montreal, expanding the international presence of the MLB. Additionally, Kansas City was awarded a new franchise, with the Royals joining the league.

Further expansion occurred in the late ’70s, with Milwaukee getting a new franchise in the Brewers and Toronto being awarded the Blue Jays. This expansion put the league at an even 28 teams, with nine teams in the Pacific Coast League, nine in the National League and 10 in the American League. The league would stay in this structure for roughly two decades.

In the mid-1990s, a final wave of expansion occurred with the purpose of evening out the three leagues. A new PCL franchise is awarded to the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The league also placed a franchise in Florida for the first time: the Florida Marlins. Coming into the new century, the MLB sat at an even 30 teams, with 10 in each of its leagues.

Whether or not this would have been the trajectory of baseball had the Dodgers stayed will never be known. Regardless, the landscape of professional baseball would have differed significantly had the Dodgers stayed in the Empire State. How do you think baseball history might have differed?

 

[email protected]

@jonahmarriott

View Comments (2)
About the Contributor
Jonah Marriott
Jonah Marriott, Sports Writer
(he/him) Jonah Marriott is sports writer from Ogden, Utah. He inherited his love for sports from his parents and is an avid fan of the major Detroit sports franchises. He joined the Chronicle in the fall of 2023 and is studying mechanical engineering.

Comments (2)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy here.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • P

    PhilJun 16, 2024 at 8:06 pm

    And one more thing: I’m watching a CFL game on TV right now (Riders-TiCats).

    Reply
  • P

    PhilJun 16, 2024 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Jonah:

    Really interesting read of an intriguing “what if” scenario. The only spot where I find myself disagreeing is your conjecture that the PCL would have experienced an upswing of attendance in 1958. That league set loads of attendance records just after the conclusion of WWII, when left-coasters were enjoying new-found wealth and leisure time; however, with the rise of television (and televised baseball, including MLB games) attendance sagged precipitously throughout the 50s. Therefore I see no reason to predict that PCL attendance would once again rise in 1958. Otherwise, I like your thinking and really enjoyed reading your post.

    Reply