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A’s Owner Signs Contract To Move Club to Louisville — Needs A.L. Approval

Jan. 6, 1964 - Charles O. Finley (pictured) signed a contract with the state of Kentucky today to move the Athletics from Kansas City to Louisville for the 1964 and 1965 seasons, subject to approval of the American League club owners. Finley said he was confident he would receive approval and that he had signed the contract on that basis. The team would be known as the Kentucky Athletics. Asked if he expected to receive approval from the owners, Finley said: “I don’t expect it to be a bed of roses. But after I’ve had an opportunity to present all the true facts, I am sure they will be appreciative of all our problems and definitely give us approval.” Under the contract, the Athletics would play at the State Fairgrounds at Louisville. The state would receive 5% of net gate proceeds and 7½% of gross concession funds. Finley met with the State Fair Board and Governor Edward Breathitt for about 2½ hours. Breathitt said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Kentuckians will support major league baseball. We are gratified that Mr. Finley and his organization think so too.”

Chicago White Sox owner Arthur C. Allyn, when asked to comment, said: “Finley is a fool, and his action is inexcusable. He has no right whatsoever to attempt such a move. He has an obligation to the people of Kansas City, and he had better make it good. I don’t have to tell you how the White Sox will vote on the matter.”

Joe Cronin, president of the American League, said he did not believe league owners would approve of the shift to Louisville. “It is my personal opinion that the American League will not make a checkerboard of this franchise by moving it from place to place from year to year,” Cronin said. Cronin said the league’s 1964 schedule was already at the printers, and he indicated any transfer now would cause considerable difficulties.


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