On October 20, 1959 — Washington Senators owner Calvin Griffith says he will not move the franchise to another city. He will move the team shortly thereafter.

Calvin sold Griffith Stadium to the city of Washington and leased it back leading to speculation that the team was planning to move as the Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Athletics had all done in the early 1950s. By 1957, after an early flirtation with San Francisco (where the New York Giants would eventually move after that season ended), Griffith began courting Minneapolis–St. Paul, a prolonged process that resulted in his rejecting the Twin Cities’ first offer before agreeing to relocate. Home attendance in Washington, D.C. steadily increased from 425,238 in 1955 to 475,288 in 1958, and then jumped to 615,372 in 1959.

However, part of the Minnesota deal guarateed a million fans a year for three years, plus the potential to double TV and radio money.

The American League opposed the move at first, but in 1960 a deal was reached: The Senators would move and would be replaced with an expansion Senators team for 1961. Thus, the old Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins.


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