Saturday, February 4, 2012

This day in Reds history: Crosley saves franchise

Crosley is credited with rescuing the
franchise from the likelihood of moving

February 4th, 1934 - A sense of enthusiasm sweeps over Reds fans as team ownership changes hands. Entrepreneur and Cincinnati businessman Powel Crosley heads a principal group comprised of Larry MacPahil and Ohio Lieutenant Governor Charles Sawyer to purchase the franchise.

Here's more regarding the transaction taken from Redleg Journal:

"At the age of 47, Crosley bought the club at the insistence of MacPhail, who convinced him that the Reds might have to move if a wealthy local citizen failed to step forward and buy the team. MacPhail also persuaded Crosley that owning the Reds would help publicize Crosley's business interests. Crosley made his first fortune in the automobile supply business and was a pioneer in radio. In the early 1920s, he manufactured sets for home use and became a broadcaster by establishing radio station WLW. With its 500,000 watts of power, it became known as "the Nation's Station," because its signal was the most powerful in the world. From 1939 through 1952, he manufactured a compact fuel-efficient automobile, called the Crosley, which failed to sell in large numbers, but only because it was decades ahead of its time. He also marketed the first refrigerators with built-in shelves in the door. Crosley remained as Reds owner until his death in 1961 at the age of 74. A private man, Crosley preferred to remain behind the scenes as a club owner, and gave his general managers control of personnel decision."

Upon purchasing the team MacPhail, the club's new president, insisted that Redland Field be renamed in Crosley's honor. The park was immediately renamed "Crosley Field" before the 1934 season in honor of the man who many thought had saved the franchise from moving or worse, possible extinction.

The Reds played their home games here until Riverfront Stadium opened in June of 1970.

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