Kansas City Athletics Team History
In 1954, Chicago real estate magnate Arnold Johnson bought the Philadelphia Athletics and moved them to Kansas City. Although he was initially a hero for making Kansas City a major-league town, it soon became apparent that he was motivated more by profit than any regard for the baseball fans of Kansas City. He had long been a business associate of New York Yankees owners Dan Topping, Larry MacPhail and Del Webb, and had even bought Yankee Stadium in 1953, though the league owners forced Johnson to sell the property before acquiring the Athletics. He’d also bought Blues Stadium in Kansas City, home of the Yankees’ top farm team, the Kansas City Blues of the American Association. After Johnson got permission to move the A’s to Kansas City, he sold Blues Stadium to the city, which renamed it Kansas City Municipal Stadium and leased it back to Johnson. The lease gave Johnson a three-year escape clause if the team failed to draw one million or more customers per season. The subsequent lease signed in 1960 also contained an escape clause if the team failed to draw 850,000 per season.
On December 19, 1960, Charles “Charlie” O. Finley purchased a controlling interest in the team from Johnson’s estate after losing out to Johnson six years earlier in Philadelphia. He bought out the minority owners a year later. Finley promised the fans a new day. In a highly publicized move, he purchased a bus, pointed it in the direction of New York, and burned it to symbolize the end of the “special relationship” with the Yankees. He called another press conference to burn the existing lease at Municipal Stadium which included the despised “escape clause.” He spent over $400,000 of his own money in stadium improvements though in 1962 the city reimbursed $300,000 of this. He introduced new uniforms which had “Kansas City” on the road uniforms for the first time ever and an interlocking “KC” on the cap. This was the first time the franchise had acknowledged its home city on its uniforms. He announced, “My intentions are to keep the A’s permanently in Kansas City and build a winning ball club. I have no intention of ever moving the franchise.” The fans, in turn, regarded Finley as the savior of Major League Baseball in Kansas City.
The history of the Athletics Major League Baseball franchise spans the period from 1901 to the present day, having begun in Philadelphia before moving to Kansas City in 1955 and then to its current home in Oakland, California, in 1968.
Philadelphia – Kansas City – Oakland
2000 – Present Major League Baseball
1901 – 1999 American League
Athletics – The Athletics nickname is one of the oldest in baseball, dating to the early 1860s and the “Athletics” name originated in the term “Athletic Club” for local gentlemen’s clubs in Philadelphia. The nickname was retained when the team moved to Kansas City in 1955.
1968 – Present Oakland Athletics
1955 – 1967 Kansas City Athletics
1901 – 1954 Philadelphia Athletics
World Series 0
1989, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1930, 1929, 1913, 1911, 1910
1968 – Present Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
2012 – 2015 O.co Coliseum
2011 Overstock.com Coliseum
2004 – 2008 McAfee Coliseum
1998 – 2004 Network Associates Coliseum
1955 – 1967 Municipal Stadium
1909 – 1954 Shibe Park
1953 – 1954 Connie Mack Stadium
1901 – 1908 Columbia Park
2005 – Present Lewis Wolff
1995 – 2005 Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann
1981 – 1995 Walter Haas
1960 – 1981 Charlie Finley
1954 – 1960 Arnold Johnson
1922 – 1954 Connie Mack
1901 – 1922 Ben Shibe
9 Reggie Jackson
24 Rickey Henderson
27 Catfish Hunter
34 Rollie Fingers
42 Jackie Robinson
43 Dennis Eckersley
– Walter A. Haas, Jr.
1997 – Present Stomper
*Blue is this team’s history