If You Travel Back In Time And Stop Charles Finley From Buying The A’s…

…Being an exercise in nonsense and sheer conjecture about what COULD HAVE happened, as devised by the esteemed Mr. Joseph Shlabotnik, whose knowlege of baseball history is sufficient to label him as someone who “knows just enough to be dangerous”.

If you travel back in time and stop Charles O. Finley from buying the Athletics, the alternative buyer could’ve been someone who would keep the team in Kansas City.

If you keep the Athletics in Kansas City, then you obviously wouldn’t have the Kansas City Royals.
1971 Topps Buck Martinez

If you keep the Athletics in Kansas City, you also would not have the city of Kansas City threaten a lawsuit.

If Kansas City is not going to sue, you can take your time in expanding and wait an extra year or two to allow for better-financed expansion team ownership.

If you allow for better-financed ownership, the Padres don’t nearly leave San Diego in 1974.
1974 Willie McCovey WNL

If you allow for better-financed ownership, then the Seattle Pilots don’t leave town after one season.
1970 Topps John Gelnar

If the Seattle Pilots don’t leave town after one season, the city of Seattle doesn’t threaten to sue.

If the Seattle Pilots don’t leave town after one season and the city of Seattle doesn’t threaten to sue, you don’t need the Seattle Mariners.
1978 Hostess Bruce Bochte

If you don’t need the Mariners, you don’t need to expand in 1977.

If you don’t expand in 1977, you don’t have the Toronto Blue Jays.
1980 Topps Rick Cerone

If you don’t have a team in Toronto, you have a large market ripe for relocation.

If you have a large market ripe for relocation, the White Sox get to kiss aging Comiskey goodbye and you get the Toronto White Sox.
1979 Topps Don Kessinger

If the White Sox move to Toronto and the Cubs get the city to themselves, the Cubs then have the wherewithal to field a winning team and…………..

…Nah, let’s not get crazy here.

Other side-effects of keeping Finley away from the Athletics:

You wouldn’t have the Athletics wearing green & gold.  You wouldn’t have a team whose official name is the “A’s”.
1973 Topps Reggie Jackson

You wouldn’t have anybody to give Jim Hunter the nickname “Catfish”
1976 Hostess Jim Hunter

Topps wouldn’t spend two years taking measures to avoid showing the “KC” on players’ caps.
1968 Topps Sal Bando
1969 Topps Joe Nossek

You wouldn’t have anyone deciding to have a “Designated Pinch Runner” on his roster.
1975 Topps Herb Washington

Does anybody have any other potential ramifications?  Just make sure that when you travel back in time, you don’t step on a butterfly…

 

 

1976 SSPC: #243 Gorman Thomas (And Three Pitchers I Wish Gorman Thomas Had Faced)

1976 SSPC #243 Gorman ThomasHi, I’m Gorman Thomas!  You may remember me from… A 13-year Major League career that included twice leading the AL in homers, playing in the 1982 World Series and being named to the A.L. All-Star team in 1981.

‘Round here, folks call me:  Stormin’ Gorman.

In 1976, Gorman Thomas… played himself into spending 1977 in Spokane.  Perhaps his limited playing time kept him from getting into a groove, but in 267 plate appearances he batted .198 with 6 homers and 36 RBI.  Fortunately for him, he’d later turn it around.

So… take your time… and tell me… Is it Shea?  As cool of a portrait as this is, there’s no way to know where it was taken.
1976 SSPC #243 Gorman Thomas back

I can’t believe it never occurred to me that… had things gone a little differently, Gorman Thomas could’ve batted against Thomas Gorman. How cool would that have been?

During the 1980’s, the Mets had a pitcher named Tom Gorman… but since Tom Gorman never pitched in the A.L. and Gorman Thomas never played in the N.L., we never got that matchup. Pity… It would’ve made an excellent 1980’s Fleer combo card.

What’s even more interesting is that there have been three Major League pitchers named Thomas Gorman.

The first Tom Gorman pitched in 4 games for the 1939 New York Giants. He’d never pitch in the majors again, but would later switch to umpiring and was an N.L. Umpire from 1951 to 1977.

1984 Fifth National Convention #1 - Tom Gorman UMP - Courtesy of COMC.com

1984 Fifth National Convention #1 – Tom Gorman UMP – Courtesy of COMC.com

The second Tom Gorman pitched from 1952 to 1959, first with the Yankees and later with the Athletics. He pitched in the 1952 and 1953 World Series.

1956 Topps #246 - Tom Gorman - Courtesy of COMC.com

1956 Topps #246 – Tom Gorman – Courtesy of COMC.com

Finally, the third Tom Gorman pitched from 1981 to 1987, mainly with the Mets but also with the Expos, Phillies and Padres.

1985 Topps Tom Gorman
When I started writing this particular entry, I didn’t expect it to be more about Tom Gorman(s) than Gorman Thomas, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.