Being in the baseball scene for over a century often requires a team to look for a better lineup to evolve with. Sometimes, they even migrate to cities in search of a better home to put down their roots in. Or a name by which to be better known. Change is the only constant in life, after all. A similar incident happened to the Oakland Athletics, a 122-year-old team that was here before the world of the MLB was even given a tangible shape.

MLB officials approved the team’s decision to move to Las Vegas this Thursday. It officially paves the way to changing their name from Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas Athletics, or a similar moniker. Though the A’s aren’t expected to play in Vegas until 2028, the team is on the move again after 55 years. But they are not the first team to do so.

No MLB Team for Oakland as the Athletics Move to Las Vegas


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Oakland had its first baseball team back in 1946 when the Oakland Larks were born following a racial uproar. Then, seven other temporary and long-standing clubs received the flag; it finally fell into the hands of the Kansas City Athletics, who migrated to the city back in 1968. The Athletics previously moved to Kansas from Philadelphia in 1955; however, facing an inferior form and near-empty stadiums forced them to hunt for a new home again.

Now that they are leaving that home after living in it for more than half a century, the city of Oakland is officially devoid of any Major League Baseball team. Only the empty stadium of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum stays behind as a memento. They aren’t the first team in MLB’s history to go looking for a gainful change of scenery, though.

Apart from the Oakland Athletics, which other teams have relocated in the past?

Other teams that underwent relocation include:

  1. Baltimore Orioles, which became the New York Yankees
  2. Boston Braves, transforming into the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves
  3. St. Louis Browns, transitioning into the Baltimore Orioles
  4. New York Giants, relocating to become the San Francisco Giants
  5. Brooklyn Dodgers, moving to become the Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Washington Senators (1.0), evolving into the Minnesota Twins
  7. Washington Senators (2.0), transforming into the Texas Rangers
  8. Seattle Pilots, relocating to become the Milwaukee Brewers
  9. Montreal Expos, making the move to become the Washington Nationals

The history of team relocations in the MLB leaves a question lingering behind. Why did they choose to move in the first place?

What prompted teams to look for a relocation?

Remember the 1970s boom of team relocations in the MLB? According to an old research paper authored by Alan Sager and Arthur Culbert, ten out of sixteen major league clubs had migrated out of their original locations between the years 1950 and 1970. The key factor in play behind those relocations happened to be the teams’ neighborhood racial conformation. As per Sager and Culbert, four primary factors necessitate a team’s initiative to leave its hometown.

The first of those four is Financial Prosperity. Teams with a higher flow of revenue seldom think of relocation, as they often become synonymous with their home city, becoming popular with its natives and neighboring localities. In cases of not being able to garner an attendance high enough results in a lower rate of return on invested equity, initiating the need to move bases for the same. The second most important factor is the teams’ Place in the Standings. A team’s failure in the field automatically breaches their chance of a successful income stream through consecutive or inconsecutive, albeit regular, wins, which would’ve paved the way for more sponsorship deals and prize money. Not being able to organize the same might necessitate a move as well.

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The third factor that comes into play is the Age of the Team’s Stadium. In a conservative game like baseball, the stadium of a team often plays as their unofficial symbol of caliber. A team equipped with a stadium older than most will be more willing to relocate compared to their rivals. The migration saves them a lot on impending maintenance costs while opening up a chance for the team to choose an advanced build and a location of choice. The fourth and last factor that necessitated migration is Neighborhood Demographics. Racial profiling was a major factor in the baseball scene back in the twentieth century. Thankfully, it has been seeing a decline in popularity over the past few decades.


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Is there any chance of more teams relocating, like the Oakland Athletics?

A question has been haunting the MLB world ever since the Oakland Athletics announced their decision to move bases. Are there any other teams heading into 2024 with similar aspirations in their minds? According to a report covered by the Medium, clubs such as the Tampa Bay Rays, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Miami Marlins might have a possible move etched in their foreseeable future. Whether the move will prove to be fruitful for them or not is a question that only time can answer.

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Let us wish the Athletics the best of luck before their departure and let us hope they enter 2024 in better shape and form than they have in years past. Cheers to fresh changes! Hip, hip, hurry (wink!)!

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