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Finley Signs 4-Year Lease on Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium

Feb. 28, 1964 - Charles O. Finley, owner of the Athletics, made peace with the baseball world today by signing a four-year lease on Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium. The city, during the two-month impasse with Finley over terms of a new lease, steadfastly insisted on a four-year agreement that was escape-proof.

“I don’t want to arouse any curiosity by declining comment on the details of the lease,” said Finley in side-stepping the issue, “so let’s forget the past. Let’s go forward. I’m eagerly awaiting the familiar cry — ‘Play ball.’”

Finley signed the lease in the face of a threat to throw him out of baseball. He, in turn, threatened to sue the league. During the two months of negotiations, Finley punctuated the proceedings by making agreements to move the Athletics to Louisville, Ky., and Oakland, Calif. The league blocked both attempts.

American League president Joe Cronin said today he was “very pleased” that Finley had signed the lease. “We are very pleased that all parties concerned in the arrangements in the lease are now in agreement for the best interests of baseball,” Cronin said. “We are especially happy for the fine American League fans of Kansas City, who can now look forward to their team’s fortunes in the 1964 season.”


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