I was in Northeast Philadelphia on Wednesday, which gave me an opportunity to make a baseball-related pilgrimage even as the All Star Break cleared the schedule with no MLB games happening anywhere. The quick drive was out to Hatboro, PA, home of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society. I parked on the busy main drag and walked up to the building that housed PAHS, only to be greeted by this.
Of course, if I had simply checked the website instead of driving out there like an idiot, I would’ve found out that the Society had lost their lease in April. Apparently they’re in the process of moving some of the items to Spike’s, a trophy manufacturer also located in NE Philly. I briefly spoke with a handyman at the site who was unaware of where PAHS was moving, and was doing repairs to get the space ready for the next tenant. I’ve also reached out via e-mail to the Society and will update this post as soon as I hear back. Until then, immense disappointment.
It’s ironic given the territorial issues that the A’s presently face with the Giants over their shared Bay Area market. The historic fact was that during all the years that the A’s had played in Philadelphia and had shared their city with the Phillies, the teams coexisted quite well. So much so that between the years 1938 and 1954(A’s last year in Phila.), they had shared playing in Shibe Park(Connie Mack Stadium). Prior to 1938, the Phillies played in the Baker Bowl which was also located in the Same North Philadelphia neighborhood as Shibe Park. I believe the Baker Bowl was the last of the pre- concrete and steel ballparks in use, while Shibe Park was the first of the so called modern era concrete and Steel ballparks to be built, in 1909.
During baseball’s golden age it was quite common for the teams that played in the same city to either share the same ballpark, or to at least to be playing in or near the same neighborhood of one another. In New York, the Polo Grounds and Yankee stadium where located right across the Harlem River from one another, while in Boston both Fenway Park and Braves Field were located in the same general neiborhood of one another. Lastly, for many years in St. Louis both the Cardinals and the Browns shared Sportsman’s Park. All these teams generally coexisted on relatively good terms, despite the competitive rivalry for fan support between them.
Maybe they’re moving to Kansas City 😉
Hey ml two questions..
-Have you had a philly cheesestake yet there?
-What is the philly ballpark like compared to the coliseum. 😉
@A’s fan good one, perhaps they will stay in KC for about 10 years then they will move to Oakland. I guess the big question, is where they will be headed after that A. stay in Oakland, B. to San Jose, C. Fremont. or D. who gives a sh_t
There is still nostalgia for the old A’s team in Philly. I went to the A’s museum back in 2008 when I did my MLB stadium tour that year. Made it to 23 /30 stadiums.
I think one of the heads of the society passed recently and that has led to the recent troubles they’ve been having
I took the Dodger Stadium tour yesterday and saw their player tunnel with all their Cy Young, MVP, WS, etc awards displayed for their players The suite level was lined with blown up posters of their greatest moments. Good for them, even though their last WS victory was in 1988 compared to our 1989.
Do the A’s even have an official archivist? The Brooklyn Dodgers were well represented. My wife and I drove to Angels Stadium later that afternoon and saw their history well represented. It’s a damn sham no spends $5,000 to print out some A’s history for the Coliseum. I would gladly drop the money if anyone at the JPA would hear me out. I’ve ailed with no response.
It would be nice if the A’s did have some sort of museum or hall of fame honoring all their teams from Philly to Oakland. Maybe ML can ask LW the next time he interviews him.
@ ML Yeah ML could you put a bug in Lew’s ear(if you have not as of yet), it would be nice if they built a HOF, or somthing like that (if they ever get the chance to build a new park), which would put this teams long rich history from Philly, to KC, to the Bay Area (Oakland, and or San Jose) I recall you bringing up this idea, I think two-three years back or so, man that would be cool.
One would expect that once the A’s move to San Jose, an A’s HOF will be included at Cisco Field, Wolff must obviously consider the Coli a temporary situtation only. Also, now there is even more incentive for the A’s moving to SJ (look at the gnats phone booth park problem with the birds – and the birds are showing good judgment by defecating on phone booth park – the A’s ballpark in San Jose will avoid that messy problem)
I wonder if ML had wanted the A’s to move to San Jose pre Lew Wolff… i guess that is a fair question to ask…but then i remember back in 2002 … ML had suggested to the city of Oakland to build a ballpark near 580 right in the small piedmont east oakland valley…. oakland didnt listen… sometime i wonder if ML looks back and smiles at how Oakland never really “cared” properly (money) about the A’s… maybe chicken coming home to roost…
Either way here is my final take on what Oakland might do….
I for one VOTE YES on any new creative taxes to get the Raiders New Stadium up and running… i would make sure that Mark Davis signs a hard lease that will keep him in Oakland for good.
Also if or when Oakland does drop the 300 mil, i would suggest that Oakland find a way they can make money off the new stadium… now question is do they build the new stadium away from the Coliseum??? if so where???? right near the south east end would be the only room enough for a 50,000 stadium… it would be nice because the Raiders/A’s can play at the coliseum while the new stadium is built…
San jose you can have the A’s… will keep the Raiders.
A history as long and as rich as the Athletics history definitely deserves a museum of some sorts. The Athletics are an interesting and unique franchise because they are one of baseball’s great franchises and yet they’ve undergone so many changes; not just in location or venue, but in personality (from Connie Mack to Charlie O to the Bash Bros to Moneyball), and stature. They’ve been one of the game’s great behemoths and also one of its biggest underdogs. Most great franchises in any sport have a consistency in its legacy, personality, or aura. The Athletics are so unique. It should be well documented and represented. Fans should know the history of this great franchise. Perhaps they’ll be appreciated much more than they are.
@aaron I cant believe you just said let San Jose have the A’s, WHAT???, I will support the Oakland, or San Jose A’s, but I will not give up on the idea of Oakland till a way is made for SJ, hell at this point, it may be a better chance they leave the Bay all togather, then get to SJ (I hope not), but are you giving up the fight? Say what!!
@Aaron – You have an overactive imagination. In 2002 the blog had not yet started. While I had followed the Oakland study and Steve Schott’s efforts in Santa Clara, it wasn’t a concern of mine the way it is now. I didn’t suggest or recommend any ballpark sites.
@all – I asked Wolff about the potential for an A’s museum in 2011. He didn’t think there would be enough room in the small Diridon footprint for a museum. There are other ways to acknowledge the team’s history inside the ballpark. He also said that Fisher was interested in developing a sports art museum, a sort of companion to the expansion work being done at SFMOMA. The A’s museum idea first came up with the Fremont/Pacific Commons concept in 2006. Presumably there would’ve been enough room to build a museum on those vast tracts.
I’ve suggested repurposing the old San Jose Water Company headquarters as a museum. The building is controlled by Adobe and is a landmark, so there would have to be some approval of the use. I would imagine that Fisher’s sports art museum would go well with the Adobe’s wishes.
Sports museum: That was one of the ideas I was brainstorming around that could be one of the features in a possible Raiders’ stadium. Needing every little way to get visitors to that place on non game days – if ever built – I was thinking some kinds of sports museum, whether related to the team or not, could be one of a few ways.
Point being, I think honoring the past is a great idea. People love nostalgia. I’m sure Adobe would sign on with using the old Water Company. It would remain a landmark, but in a different fashion.
The art museum sounds interesting, but it’s no replacement for an A’s history museum. If space is limited within the stadium footprint (whether it be Diridon, JLS or anywhere else), lease a space across the street or something. This is not a “nice to have” feature; it is critical, IMO. This team’s history is too long and too storied not to have its story told in a permanent fashion. Along with the new stadium of course, it also helps the franchise really set down roots – something you can argue it hasn’t truly done since leaving Philadelphia.
U had the post on the old newballpark.org a couple yeara ago before u did the webpage makeover..
Anyway ml I for one would vote yes to any new taxes for a Raider Stadium. Would u ml
@Aaron – No I didn’t. You are pulling this out of your ass.
I’ve never supported any new taxes for any new stadia for any teams in the Bay Area/NorCal and I don’t expect that to change. Ever. Good thing for you that I’m a taxpayer in Santa Clara County.
Wow ML that is messed up. You and everyone actions will resilt in all the teams leaving.. including ur beloved A’s. Because for Damn sure mlb will delay this court case and play hardball with any san jose “settlement”. So I guess
San antonio A’s
San antonio or l.a chargers….
Fine no money no teams…goos job ml
Lets just have a San Francisci represent bay area sports….49ers, Giants, Warriors and Kings….how many of u guys would agree with this….anybody mind jumping up and being 49er and Giant fans?????
@Aaron – I bet you’re a really bad poker player. These are all negotiations, not do-or-die situations.
Not when it comes to strip poker with the ladies 😉 eeghh ML???
Hey ML…how u see the A’s going forward this season??? Can we go further this year and get past Detroit??? Cause I think we might have a rematch on our hands…..hit ya boi back. ..
Aaron: Why is it ML’s fault the teams will leave because he doesn’t want to be taxed? If the A’s go to SJ, they don’t need tax money to build. Besides, Oakland is not wealthy, you may be willing to tax yourself but your fellow citizens have shot down most tax proposals over the last few years.
Aaron, don’t you live in Concord? If so, you don’t have a vote on anything to do with Alameda County or Oakland funding a stadium for any team.
LOL, the talk is easy when someone else pays