I’m laid up today with a sore back and I was sitting on my couch watching TV when I saw a banner come across the bottom of the screen advertising a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals. Suddenly I had a flashback to my youth.
I was just a kid back in the mid-fifties when my love for baseball began. And back in the mid-fifties, Kansas City’s major league baseball team was the Athletics, not the Royals. Back then there were only 16 major league baseball teams, eight in each league. Today, there are 30 MLB teams, 15 in each league.
I was curious about how many teams of the original 16 had moved to different cities, so I googled “1957 major league baseball teams” and I got a list of the final standings of the 1957 season.What I noticed was that, in addition to the Kansas City A’s now being the Oakland A’s, the Milwaukee Braves are now the Atlanta Braves, the Brooklyn Dodgers are now the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the New York Giants are now the San Francisco Giants.
In addition, my then hometown team, the Washington Senators, moved to Minneapolis and became the Minnesota Twins. A few years later, the “New” Washington Senators moved to North Texas and became the Texas Rangers. The current Washington team, the Nationals, are the relocated Montreal Expos.
And for a fascinating bit of baseball trivia, the Cincinnati Reds were known as the Redlegs back in the mid-fifties because America was going through a “red scare” at the time. In 1954, the team’s name was changed from the Reds to the Redlegs due to the word “red” having a political connotation related to Soviet communism. In 1959 the team reverted back to the Reds.
So this is what happens when an otherwise articulate and erudite person becomes housebound due to a minor back injury. You know what they say about idle minds, right?