Seventy Years Ago, Philadelphia Lost Two Franchises in Eight Years. 

On Friday in South Philadelphia, in front of nearly 43,000 and after the game had already been rescheduled once— the oldest continuously running sports franchise in America — The Phillies opened the season. The long-awaited excitement of another emotion-filled, thrilling baseball season — from the team with a huge international fanbase and who appeared in the 2023 NL Championship and played in the 2022 World Series — was evident.

One Hundred and twenty-three years ago (the other great Philadelphia baseball team) played its first game on April 26, 1901. They opened a play in a brand-new Columbia Park (Columbia Avenue Grounds).

Columbia Park didn’t have TVs around the stadium, automatically flushing urinals in the restrooms, concession stands to satisfy everyone’s palette in Ashburn Alley, or a Hatfield Hotdog Launcher.

And the maximum stadium capacity was only 9,500 people.

Over the next thirty years, the Philadelphia Athletics won five world championships and nine AL pennants (including one the following year in 1902.)

Photo: —

The original Philadelphia Warriors were an ABL Team that played in Philadelphia between 1926 and 1929 and folded in 1929. Act #2 of the Philadelphia Warriors was founded in 1946 in Philadelphia. The team won NBA Championships in 1947 and 1956 behind the play of Joe Fulks and Paul Arizin.

In 1954, despite several Philadelphia businesses attempting to launch campaigns to save the team, Connie Mack sold the team after 54 years in Philadelphia, and the Athletics were moved to Kansas City. Eight years later, in 1962, and despite the incredible play of Wilt Chamberlain, Franklin Mieuli acquired majority shares in the Warriors and moved them to San Francisco.

Both professional franchises still operate today.

The former home of Philadelphia Arena is now a vacant lot at the corner of 45th and Market Street. Along Cecil B. Moore Avenue in Northwest Philadelphia, the former site of Columbia Park is now a residential area.

Like the Phillies on Friday night, who lost opening night 9–3 to the Atlanta Braves, the Athletics lost their first game to the Washington Senators on April 26, 1901.

The loss of both franchises, however, is perhaps its greatest loss ever.

Photo: Wiki Commons

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