Teams on The Move

Once upon a time there were the Philadelphia Athletics, Minneapolis Lakers, Baltimore Colts and Quebec Nordiques. Pro franchises have moved around so relentlessly, always in search of greener pastures, that it's easy to forget where they all began
December 27, 2004

Baseball Goes West

Like the Westward expansion that preceded it by a century, the migration of franchises has observed the logic of Manifest Destiny: Baseball is America's pastime, and where the land is open, the soil fertile and the sky wide, the game must take root. (In the only eastward relocation in the last 35 years, the Seattle Pilots, 64-98 during their lone season, in 1969, fled only to be reborn as the not-much-better Milwaukee Brewers.) We saw the California transplantation of the Dodgers, Giants and Athletics, and the creation of new clubs in Texas, in the Rocky Mountains and in the Arizona desert, the last in 1998 when Jerry Colangelo unwrapped the expansion Diamondbacks in Phoenix and opened a ballpark that featured a swimming pool. At the end of Arizona's fourth season, the fledgling franchise won the World Series, dethroning the East Coast, old-guard New York Yankees. Meanwhile, Chicago remained home to the team that has stayed in the same place the longest: the Cubs, who were founded as the White Stockings in 1871 and were also known as the Colts and the Orphans before changing their name to the Cubs in 1903.

The NHL

A wave of expansion in the early 1990s added nine franchises in areas such as Florida, Atlanta and Nashville. In the last 11 years four teams (the North Stars, Nordiques, Jets and Whalers) relocated to nontraditional hockey cities Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Raleigh, respectively. Hockey may be Canada's game, but just six of the 30 franchises are in Canadian cities.

The NBA

Before 1985 the league had not gone more than five years without a team switching cities. Since David Stern became commissioner in '84 he has preferred expansion to relocation, adding seven teams since '88. From '85 to 2001 there were no franchise shifts. In '94 he blocked a proposal to move the Timberwolves from Minnesota to New Orleans, and in '99 the Grizzlies from Vancouver to St. Louis.

The NFL

No team had relocated in 19 years when Al Davis took the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982. That opened the door for other moves, and six teams have switched cities since, including the Raiders, who went back to Oakland in 1995. L.A. has gone nine years without a team, but that could change soon, as the Chargers, Saints and Vikings have expressed interest in moving there.

COLOR MAPInternational Mapping KEY The height of the bars represents the number of years in a location. Mariners 1977
Pilots 1969
Athletics 1968
Giants 1958
Angels 1961
Dodgers 1958
Padres 1969
Diamondbacks 1998
Astros 1965
Colt .45's 1962
Rangers 1972
Devil Rays 1998
Marlins 1993
Cardinals 1900
Perfectos 1899
Browns 1883
Brown Stockings 1882
Rockies 1993
Royals 1969
Athletics 1955
Browns 1902
Braves 1966
White Sox 1901
White Stockings 1900
Millers 1894
Twins 1961
Cubs 1903
Orphans 1898
Colts 1890
White Stockings 1871
Brewers 1970
Brewers 1901
Braves 1953
Tigers 1901
Pirates 1891
Innocents 1890
Alleghenies 1882
Indians 1915
Naps 1903
Broncos 1902
Blues 1901
Reds 1960
Red Legs 1954
Reds 1890
Red Stockings 1882
Nationals 2005
Senators 1961
Senators 1956
Nationals 1905
Senators 1901
Blue Jays 1977
Phillies 1945
Blue Jays 1943
Phillies 1890
Quakers 1883
Orioles 1901
Orioles 1954
Athletics 1901
Yankees 1913
Highlanders 1903
Mets 1962
Giants 1885
Gothams 1883
Dodgers 1932
Robins 1914
Dodgers 1911
Superbas 1899
Grooms 1891
Bridegrooms 1888
Grays 1885
Atlantics 1884
Expos 1969
Red Sox 1907
Pilgrims 1903
Somersets 1902
Americans 1901
Braves 1941
Bees 1936
Braves 1912
Doves 1907
Beaneaters 1883
Red Caps 1876
Red Stockings 1871

 
B/W PHOTOSI LIBRARY (GERNERT)   DICK GERNERT
COLT .45'S
1962
B/W PHOTOTRANSCENDENTAL GRAPHICS   JIM BOUTON
SEATTLE PILOTS
1969
B/W PHOTOTRANSCENDENTAL GRAPHICS   NAP LAJOIE
CLEVELAND BRONCOS
1902
B/W PHOTOTRANSCENDENTAL GRAPHICS BOSTON PILGRIMS 1903 B/W PHOTOFRED KAPLAN (WILLIAMS)   TED WILLIAMS
WASHINGTON SENATORS
1969
COLOR MAPInternational Mapping the NHL Oilers 1972
Flames 1980
Canucks 1970
Seals 1974
Sharks 1991
Kings 1967
Mighty Ducks 1993
Coyotes 1996
Avalance 1995
Rockies 1976
Jets 1972
Stars 1993
Scouts 1974
North Stars 1967
Wild 2000
Blues 1967
Blackhawks 1926
Red Wings 1932
Falcons 1930
Cougars 1926
Blue Jackets 2000
Predators 1998
Flames 1972
Barons 1976
Maple Leafs 1926
St. Patricks 1919
Arenas 1917
Senators 1992
Rangers 1926
Sabres 1970
Penguins 1967
Hurricanes 1997
Thrashers 1999
Lightning 1992
Panthers 1993
Canadiens 1910
Nordiques 1972
Bruins 1924
Whalers 1972
Islanders 1972
Devils 1982
Flyers 1967
Capitals 1974
COLOR MAPInternational Mapping the NBA Grizzlies 1995
SuperSonics 1967
Trail Blazers 1970
Kings 1985
Warriors 1971
Warriors 1962
Lakers 1960
Clippers 1984
Rockets 1967
Clippers 1978
Jazz 1979
Suns 1968
Nuggets 1976
Timberwolves 1989
Lakers 1948
Kings 1972
Mavericks 1980
Spurs 1976
Rockets 1971
Bulls 1966
Bucks 1968
Hawks 1951
Blackhawks 1949
Hawks 1955
Grizzlies 2001
Hornets 2002
Pacers1976
Zephyrs 1962
Packers 1961
Pistons 1948
Zollner Pistons 1941
Pistons 1957
Royals 1957
Hawks 1968
Raptors 1995
Cavaliers 1970
Wizards 1997
Bullets 1973
Hornets 1988
Braves 1970
Royals 1945
Nationals 1949
Celtics 1946
Knickerbockers 1946
Nets 1976
76ers 1963
Warriors 1946
Bullets 1963
Bobcats 2004
Magic 1989
Heat 1989
Jazz 1974
COLOR MAPInternational Mapping the NFL Seahawks 1976
49ers 1946
Raiders 1960
Raiders 1995
Rams 1946
Raiders 1982
Chargers 1960
Chargers 1961
Cardinals 1988
Broncos 1960
Cowboys 1960
Texans 1960
Oilers 1960
Texans 2002
Chiefs 1963
Vikings 1961
Saints 1967
Packers 1921
Staleys 1920
Cardinals 1960
Rams 1995
Oilers 1997
Bears 1922
Staleys 1921
Cardinals 1920
Colts 1984
Bengals1968
Titans 1999
Oilers 1998
Lions 1934
Rams 1937
Spartans 1930
Falcons 1966
Browns 1946
Steelers 1940
Pirates 1933
Bills 1960
Giants 1925
Patriots 1960
Redskins 1933
Braves 1932
Jets 1963
Titans 1960
Eagles 1933
Colts 1948
Ravens 1996
Redskins 1937
Panthers 1995
Jaguars 1995
Buccaneers 1976
Seahawks 1947
Dolphins 1966 The Browns organization moved to Baltimore in 1996, but Cleveland retained the team name and history.        

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)