Baseball Moves West
During the mid-1950s ﬁve major league teams moved to diﬀerent cities. Each of the ﬁrst three—the Boston Braves, the St. Louis Browns, and the Philadelphia Athletics—was overshadowed by another team in its own city and had been losing money (and games) for years. When the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants announced plans to relocate to California for the 1958 season, the rationale for their decision, in spite of the uproar it generated, was substantially similar to that of their predecessors. In each case, the new city promised the club it would build (or provide the land for) a modern ballpark with ample parking space located near major highways but away from the central cities, whose population consisted of growing numbers of minorities seen as undesirable by baseball owners. In addition, the new markets provided a willing audience for expanded television coverage, which in turn inspired visionaries like Brooklyn's (and Los Angeles's) Walter O'Malley to consider the possibilities of pay television.
Fans enjoying major league baseball for the ﬁrst time thanks to television were fortunate to witness the blossoming of extraordinary new stars like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, and to see historic achievements like Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. They could not watch the frustration of their heroes as their newly won pension plan was threatened and as they responded by forming a new union, since baseball executives were more interested in highlighting its stars with new prizes like the Cy Young Award than in encouraging objective reporting on the sport's weaknesses. As traditions like the geographic conﬁguration of the major leagues,