Baseball's New Frontier


Baseball's New Frontier

A History of Expansion, 1961-1998

Fran Zimniuch
Foreword by Branch Rickey III

232 pages
8 tables


June 2013


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eBook (EPUB)
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August 2018


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eBook (PDF)
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June 2013


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About the Book

When Major League Baseball first expanded in 1961 with the addition of the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, it started a trend that saw the number of franchises almost double, from sixteen to thirty, while baseball attendance grew by 44 percent. The story behind this staggering growth, told for the first time in Baseball’s New Frontier, is full of twists and unexpected turns, intrigue, and, in some instances, treachery. From the desertion of New York by the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants to the ever-present threat of antitrust legislation, from the backroom deals and the political posturing to the impact of the upstart Continental League, the book takes readers behind the scenes and into baseball’s decision-making process.

Fran Zimniuch gives a lively team-by-team chronicle of how the franchises were awarded, how existing teams protected their players, and what the new teams’ winning (or losing) strategies were. With its account of great players, notable characters, and the changing fortunes of teams over the years, the book supplies a vital chapter in the history of Major League Baseball. 

Author Bio

Fran Zimniuch’s many books include Fireman: The Evolution of the Closer in Baseball; Going, Going, Gone! The Art of the Trade in Major League Baseball; and Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports.


“The expansion of baseball—with a wrong turn here and there—raised the prosperity and popularity of the industry to record heights, and Fran Zimniuch captures it all in this comprehensive book. Can Tokyo, Havana, or Mexico City be next?”—Ross Newhan, recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000

“The expansion of baseball has been a barometer of the sport’s cultural impact. Fran Zimniuch provides his readers with an understanding of the circumstances affecting baseball’s growth. He relates how the game’s expansion impacted its popularity and influence. Once this dispersal was accepted, baseball evolved into a truly national sport.”—Jerrold Casway, baseball historian and author of Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball

“Fran Zimniuch is a wonderful baseball historian. This account of the expansion of Major League Baseball over the years will be of interest to all baseball fans.”—Mike Schmidt, Hall of Fame third baseman who hit 548 home runs during his eighteen-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies

"[Baseball's New Frontier] serves its purpose well. . . . From the Angels having just eight days (!) to stock their team, to the Mets and Astros getting a siginificantly less talented and promising pool from which to draw, to the huge franchise fees collected from the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays in 1998, viewing those waves in one narrative gives an interesting refection of each era and just how much that side of the game has changed, and how expansion both caused and reflected."—Jerry Milani, Going 9 Baseball

Table of Contents




1. Go West Young Men

2. The Continental League

3. The First Expansion--1961: The Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators

4. The First Expansion Part Deux--1962: The Houston Colt .45s and the New York Mets

5. The Second Wave--1969: The Kansas City Royals, Seattle Pilots, San Diego Padres, and Montreal Expos

6. The Pendulum of Power Swings to the Players

7. North by Northwest--1977: The Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners

8. Thin Air and Immediate Success--1993: The Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins

9. Baseball's Final Expansion?--1998: The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays

10. Expanding on Expansion

11. Bottom Feeding: Taking Advantage of the New Kids in Town

12. The Characters of Expansion Who Have Brightened the Game

13. Baseball's Brave New World: Where We've Been and What the Future Holds


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