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Finley Will Keep A’s in Kansas City

Feb. 23, 1964 - Charles O. Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, said last night he had agreed to accept a four-year lease proposed by the city of Kansas City. Finley said he had notified the Kansas City mayor, Ilus Davis, and Joe Cronin, the president of the American League, by telegram that he would accept the offer. Finley and Kansas City officials have been deadlocked over Finley’s demands that he sign a two-year lease. The city has insisted on at least four years.

Finley said he decided to accept the Kansas City officials’ demands after the American League owners voted last week, 9-1, that the offer was fair. “As a result of this meeting, I had no alternative but to sign up immediately or be thrown out of baseball,” he said. “Since I have such a great love for the game, my decision was easily made.” Finley declined to comment on his threats to move the A’s from Kansas City and to sue the American League if permission was not granted.  But he promised Kansas City fans he would strive to “do everything possible to earn their support.”

He promised the 1964 Athletics “will not only be one of the most colorful teams in the American League, but will also be one of the most interesting. Finley praised the leadership of the Athletics’ manager, Ed Lopat, “whose greatest asset, in addition to pitching knowledge, is the ability to make a youngster feel wanted and appreciated.” He predicted that under Lopat’s leadership “the A’s will cause more trouble for their opponents than at any time during the last 20 years.” Finley said he wanted to assure the Kansas City fans “that we will do everything within our power to provide the city with a championship team at the earliest possible date.”


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