Almost two decades before a group of pigmen from Florida tried to get their hooves on the Giants and make them play in a dome, the Giants were almost sold to Labatt Brewing Company. You might know Labatt's because of famous beers like "The one you don't drink" and "The other one you don't drink," and they were pretty close to making the Giants a Canadian team.
The year was 1976. The National League president was Chub Feeney, and the American League president was Bobby Brown. Bow ties were the greatest problem facing the nation. And a bunch of people said a bunch of things about the Giants moving to Toronto. Here are my 10 favorite quotes found after a morning of reading.
One beverage industry follower said that the only way Labatt's beer sales might benefit would be to call the (Giants) the Toronto "Blues."
"San Diego and Los Angeles draw fans, but the Bay Area doesn't."
The Giants are essentially a young team; consequently, the cost of player salaries may be a little less than the league average. The team has a couple of players earning more than $100,000, but many are paid $50,000 or less per season
Carl Hubbell, a pitching hero when the Giants were in New York and now a team official, said he was sorry he would have to be with the Giants in a third city.
"It is very sad. The (Bay) area is just not large enough for two big league teams. There would have been no problem if the American League (Oakland A's) had not moved in."
The Giants' situation is a lousy can of worms, especially for Toronto bidders who have spent a tremendous amount of time and money trying to acquire a team for the rebuilt Canadian National Exhibition Stadium.
The Giants were fifth and drew 519,987 in 1974. In 1975 they improved to fifth and drew less. They had lost the battle of consumer consumption to Charlie Finley, owner of the Oakland Athletics who inch by inch and a string of championship teams have finally reached the solvent, million-plus attendance level.
"The court can't simply order the Giants to play ball in San Francisco," argued Richard Murray in superior court before Judge John Benson.
"To do so would destroy the Giants. The Giants are broke. They have no cash.
"They are living on handouts from the National League," he said, arguing there is no alternative to the proposed sale of the club to a Canadian group which would break the lease at city-owned Candlestick.
"We do have a season to play," said Stephen V. Bomse, a lawyer for the league. "I don't know if we can make a go of it with 11 teams, and that's a real possibility."
(John) Montefusco and other Giants players showed a mixed reaction at the judge's decision keeping the Giants in town.
"I'm sure most of the fellows hope we stay here," Montefusco said. "But we've got to develop a whole new image, perhaps even change our uniforms."
Oakland owner Charles O. Finley has expressed interest in leaving the Bay Area with one report having the A's moving to Chicago, replacing the White Sox, who would be sold to Seattle interests.
2. Holy crap
Lurie was responding to Short's attempt to line up Joe DiMaggio as Giants manager once their group is approved by the National League, more than likely a week from now. DiMaggio turned down Short's offer, which is probably just as well because Lurie has his own idea about who should manage the team.
Finley would like to sell the American League A's to Denver oilman Marvin Davis, who would move the team to Denver, but the team's Oakland Coliseum lease runs 10 more years.
Oakland officials have taken the stand that they'd allow the A's to leave only if the Giants played half their games in the Coliseum and changed their name to something like Bay Area Giants.