Monday, April 23, 2012

On franchises and cities

Today the Cincinnati Reds franchise won its 10,000th game. That only dates back to 1882 when the team was in the American Association, having been expelled from the National League in 1880 for selling beer and playing games on Sundays. Technically, the Cincinnati Reds team of 10,000 wins is not the same as the Cincinnati Red Stockings team that was expelled after being an original member of the National League, nor is it the same as the first professional baseball team that was founded in 1869. But fans don't care about ownership groups or franchises.

A baseball team belongs to its city.

The Reds - the current franchise - joined only the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Braves as 10,000 game winners. But the city had other teams with more wins. The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings won 137 games in two seasons. The Cincinnati Red Stockings of the original National League won 125 games over five seasons. (Those were some BAD teams.) They belonged to the city, regardless of the owners. They became a part of the culture of the city.

So annoying when hipster wannabes wear Expos jerseys to Nats games. Senators? Fine. But Washington inhabitants gave not a thought to the Expos when they were in Montreal.

No comments: