Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Phillies rent kept A's solvent

One of the iconic aspects of the 1955 Bowman "Color TV" baseball card set is that the vast majority of player photos were taken at Philadelphia's Connie Mack Stadium (until 1953 known as Shibe Park). This holds true for National Leaguers as well as American Leaguers. 

Besides being home to teams in both leagues, Philadelphia was also the headquarters city for the Bowman gum company.

While Mack had built the majors' first concrete and steel stadium at 21st and Lehigh in Philadelphia in 1909, from mid-1938 through 1970 it was also the home field for the Philadelphia Phillies.

In many years, the Phillies' rental payments were greater than what the A's made on their own baseball operations.

The terms of the lease probably changed from year to year, but in 1950, the A's earned 10 cents from each admission to Phillies games and half of the concession income. 

That season both teams raked in a windfall on the Phillies attendance. Paid admissions to Phillies games that season were the greatest ever, 1,217,035, an increase of more than 48% over the previous season. That same year A's attendance drop by 62%, to just 309,035, part of a decline that hastened the team's removal to Kansas City for 1955.

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