The Lakers began a new season last night; they’re after their 17th NBA championship. The Texas Rangers begin the World Series tonight; they’re after their first championship.
A Minnesota businessman links the Lakers and the Rangers.
His name was Bob Short, his business was trucking – and he took over as the owner of the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers in 1957. Those Lakers were bad; their attendance was worse.
In February of 1960, his Lakers played back-to-back neutral site games in Los Angeles. The crowds were so big that Short decided to truck his Lakers to L.A. permanently. Elgin Baylor... Jerry West... the brand new Sports Arena!
It wasn’t all new – Short kept the Lakers name in lake-less L.A. Attendance soared; so did the team’s value. In 1965, Short sold out and made a bundle.
Move ahead three years. Bob Short buys the Washington Senators baseball team. Those Senators were bad; their attendance was worse. Sound familiar? So does Short’s solution – to boost the team’s value quick, he trucks the Senators to a new city: Dallas.
Now Short kept the Lakers name in L.A. – but he nixed the idea of the “Dallas Senators.” Instead, he tapped into Lone Star history: Texas Rangers. Oh yeah – Short later sold ‘em... and made a bundle.