What's My Line?

Season 11 Episode 2

EPISODE #481

0
Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 13, 1959 on CBS

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  • Notes

    • BASEBALL - A NOTE OF COINCIDENCE: In the early morning of August 7, 2006, as part of the Baseball Preemption Schedule, GSN reprised WML EPISODE #481 of September 13, 1959 with Branch Rickey as the baseball-related guest. Branch Rickey made his appearance to promote his expected new major league, the Continental Baseball League. In response to an inquiry of Bennett Cerf, Mr. Rickey said that the opening of the new league was "as certain as tomorrow morning." Unfortunately, he was wrong. The concept of the league terminated the next year during the summer of 1960, before a single game was played. However, because of the competitive efforts of Mr. Rickey and his failed Continental Baseball League, Gene Autry was put in a position to buy the expansion team Los Angeles Angels. That is, the competitive pressure put on Major League Baseball by Branch Rickey's Continental Baseball League, which had planned to expand to the West Coast among other "baseball deprived" areas around North America (e.g., Colorado, Toronto, Minnesota, as well as California), led to Major League Baseball executives agreeing to accelerate its own expansion plans, and, in addition, to agreeing to place a major league team in Minnesota by 1961 (the old Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961), and one in New York by 1962 (the Mets, as compensation to New Yorkers, for their double loss in 1958 of the Dodgers and the Giants to the West Coast). Major League Baseball also agreed to add a new, expansion American League franchise in Los Angeles - the L.A. Angels - and Gene Autry was given his opportunity and he didn't waste it. He acquired the franchise rights the same year as (and maybe within weeks of) the folding of Branch Rickey's Continental Baseball League idea. The opportunity given and expansion at that time was no coincidence. Branch Rickey's Continental Baseball League idea pushed Major League Baseball to expand immediately. The Continental Baseball League failed to get off the ground, so to speak, because of the resistance of Major League Baseball, which then co-opted most - if not all - of the ideas of and projected locations for the Continental Baseball League.

      Gene Autry's unattributed 1953 "Baseball Preemption" appearance in EPISODE #175 which aired on GSN on August 11, 2006, was appropriately, if not intentionally, placed within days of Branch Rickey's attributed 1959 "Baseball Preemption" appearance in EPISODE #481 which aired on August 7, 2006.

      Verification source regarding the influence of the "Continental Baseball League" (and its ultimate demise as a concept in the summer of 1960) on the timing for the expansion of the National and American Leagues of Major League Baseball (including the 1960 acquisition by Gene Autry of the expansion rights to the L.A. Angels, which would begin its inaugural season in 1961), includes Wikipedia's entry on "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." - Tom Ruja (2006)

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