The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Philly memories of the A's

It was a big weekend for the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society. That’s because the American League Oakland Athletics were in town to play Phillies in an interleague three-game series.

The legendary Connie Mack owned and managed the Philadelphia A’s for many years, including in the team’s heyday of late 1920s and early 1930s. It shared Shibe Park — later renamed Connie Mack Stadium — with the Phillies until 1954, when the A’s were sold and moved to Kansas City. After 13 mostly uneventful seasons there, the ballclub moved to Oakland for the 1968 and has been there ever since.
The A’s Historical Society — I am proud to be on its board of commissioners — has operated a museum and gift shop for years at 6 York Road in Hatboro (www.philadelphiaathletics.org).
Since the Oakland A’s were in town, the Phillies invited the A’s Society to participate in Sunday’s game. Longtime Ambler resident Bobby Shantz, who was the American League Most Valuable Player in 1952 as a pitcher for the Philadelphia A’s, threw out the first pitch before Sunday’s game. Ruth Mack Clark, 97-year-old daughter of Connie Mack, also attended Sunday’s game.
Along with other volunteers, I was manning the A’s Society table in Ashburn Alley on Sunday. A lot of folks stopped by to look at the items on display and to share stories about fathers and grandfathers and their connections to the Philadelphia A’s.
I really enjoyed hearing all the wonderful stories. It’s too bad the A’s couldn’t draw enough fans back in the 1950s to remain in Philadelphia. With interleague play, I think it would be a pretty fun rivalry for the fans now.

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Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

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