Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reading Room LEFTY FLYNN "and the Diamond Death"

Take me OUT at the ball game...
Who knew baseball could be such a violent sport?
No, you won't!
This never-reprinted story from Doc Savage Comics V1N4 (1941) was Lefty's first, last, and only appearance anywhere!
Both the writer and artist of this one-shot strip are unknown.

You may ask why I decided to post this particular tale.
My two "home towns", Chicago and New York City are holding their annual intra-city "Crosstown Classics" over the next two weeks.
Chicago's White Sox and Cubs slug it out this week and NY's Mets and Yankees duel next week.
They're the only two cities left with both National League and American League teams, but until the 1950s, it was a far more common occurrence than present-day fans realize!

Besides Chi-Town and Gotham, the following cities had both AL and NL teams...
Boston had the Braves (NL) and Red Sox (AL). Braves moved to Milwaukee, then Atlanta.

St. Louis had the Browns (AL) and Cardinals (NL). Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles!

Philadelphia had the Athletics (AL) and Phillies (NL). Athletics moved to Kansas City, then ended up in Oakland!

For a while, NY had three teams, The Giants (NL), Yankees (AL) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) who were formed before Brooklyn merged with Manhattan and the Bronx (which were considered "New York City") along with Queens and Staten Island.
The Giants and Dodgers moved at the same time to California (San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively), and for several years there was no NL team in New York.
Then both the AL and NL expanded, adding two new teams in each league.
The NL got the Mets in NY and Astros in Houston.
The AL briefly put the Angels in LA, and Washington got a new Senators team. The Angels stayed in the general area, but adopted the name "California Angels", and evntually, "Angels of Aniheim".
But, wait! Didn't Washington already have a Senators team? They did, but that team moved to Minnesota and became the Twins!
And the second Senators team moved to Texas to become the Rangers!
I'm not even going to go into the second expansion that occured only seven years later and created the divisions within the leagues that now extend baseball season well into November!
Hope I made the history lecture fairly painless...

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