From 1901 to 1954, The Philadelphia Athletics were an American League baseball team that were, bar none and make no mistake about it, Philly’s most successful baseball franchise ever. They won the world series five times, collected even more pennants and boasted a string of Hall-of-Famers that included Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Connie Mack and even the young Shoeless Joe Jackson. Then, in ’54, they were sold, moved to Kansas City, and according to local baseball fan JT Ramsay, have never quite captured the dynastic fire they had here in Philly, where they thrilled thousands at Shibe Park. “The A’s are a nomadic franchise, and they’ve been trying to get a new stadium for a while, and Oakland [where the A’s call home today] is not interested,” he says. “So they’ve been testing the waters in places like Fremont, Sacramento, and San Jose, so I figure — to borrow a phrase from the Phillies’ fans — why can’t us?” And so, after blogging about the idea a couple of times, Ramsay has begun in earnest a campaign called “Bring Your A’s Game” (currently a Facebook group, though soon to be its own website). The idea is simple — as steeped as they are in the City’s history, it’d be great to have the A’s back. Now, of course, you know the obvious question: Can Philly support two baseball teams in this fractured sporting age? Ramsay is resolute: “I do! Connie Mack Stadium [where the A’s played at the end of their time here] had a capacity of about 30K, and I think that Philadelphia doesn’t get credit for its television reach,” he says. “It’s the largest TV market that doesn’t have two teams.” Translation: If you create an advertising platform, they — the dollars, that is — will come. But will the fans? Hard to say. And finally, if we somehow did get the A’s back, does this mean that Philebrity could see its longstanding dream of the Eagles being sold off and exiled, with baseball becoming top dog in Philly sports and two teams to love/abuse? “A man can dream,” says Ramsay. Indeed. A man can dream.
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