Charlie Finley was the abstentee owner of the Kansas City and then Oakland A’s. His brother Carl actually ran the team, among a host of other duties. Carl’s daughter, Nancy, provides insight into this arrangement and many more behind the scenes tidbits in an exclusive interview with SCD. This is second and concluding interview of two-part series.
Charlie Finley was the abstentee owner of the Kansas City and then Oakland A’s. His brother Carl actually ran the team, among a host of other duties. Carl’s daughter, Nancy, provides insight into this arrangement and many more behind the scenes tidbits in an exclusive interview with SCD. This is part one of two parts.
OK, stadia trivia fans, here’s today’s question: Which former MLB ballpark featured a petting zoo with various barnyard animals and a rabbit which delivered baseballs to the home plate umpire? If you guessed long-gone Kansas City Municipal Stadium, give yourself a Dodger Dog and a watered-down beer in your own personal souvenir commemorative stadium cup.
Even though the final games and ultimate destruction of two New York landmarks – Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Shea Stadium in Queens – are about a month away, and because I have already done historical retrospectives on each park in past issues of SCD, it is nevertheless fascinating as a Stadia fan to chronicle their swan songs of 2008.
So much has been written about the baseball landmark we call Dodgertown that a book would probably be more appropriate. However, for the sake of brevity, I will give an overview of its rich history and then describe my two wonderful days on the grounds during this year’s Spring Training.
Though I will barely scratch the surface, I’m hoping that those who have never had the privilege of visiting Dodgertown will get a feel for the place as its time as a baseball institution winds down.
Palm trees swaying in the breeze. Baseballs thudding into catcher’s mitts. The distinctive “crack” echoing over green expanses.
These are the images that kept me going through the cold, dark months of December and January as I counted down the days to Spring Training, my first visit in three years. As in my previous two visits, I would be chronicling my travels for SCD, though my modus operandi would be different.
As the baseball world focused on Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Henry Aaron’s hallowed home run record this past summer, it came as a surprise that Fulton County Stadium, the site of Aaron’s 500th (1968), 600th (1971) and 700th (1973) home runs, as well as No. 715, had been gone for 10 years already, replaced by Turner Field. Perhaps it was time for a look back at a stadium that surely had its ups and downs, but in essence opened the Southland to major professional sports.
Below is a story on the stadium’s history, divided into three eras: The Aaron Era (1966-74), the Lost Years (1975-90) and the Return to Glory (1991-96). As you’ll see, Fulton County Stadium had more mood swings than a Hollywood diva.