Sunday, May 8, 2011

Giants World Series Trophy Visits Upstate, NY

While this post isn't directly Braves-related (unless you'd like to relive what the team's 2010 season could have been), it remains as an informational post for baseball fans in Upstate, NY and fans of the history of baseball, in general.

Last week, the Giants 2010 World Series trophy visited Upstate, NY, making a stop at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY. Bruno Stadium serves as the home of the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Houston Astros' short-season Single A team. For those unfamiliar with the story, you might be asking yourself why the San Francisco Giants' World Series trophy would be in Upstate, NY.

Well, the visit was prompted after a local newspaper, the Troy Record, reported in-depth on the Giants' historical connections to the area. The Troy Trojans were a major league baseball team that played for four season in the area from 1879-1882. Following multiple years of poor attendance, the National League began negotiations with the Troy franchise to sign away the team (the same conversations were going on with the franchise in Worcester, MA). The history of those conversations remain a bit murky, but the story is that Troy agreed to effectively close the franchise with the understanding that league owners agreed to make Troy an 'honorary member' of the National League. The legality of such a move is still up in the air, as the NL charter said that only teams that did not complete their regular season schedule could be removed. Both Troy and Worcester fully completed their schedule.

It was understood (at least by Troy officials) that the 'honorary member' status would mean that major league exhibition games would be played in Troy and the NL would allow the city to apply for another franchise. Neither happened. The next year, franchises promptly opened up in New York City and Philadelphia. New York's team, named the Giants, included a number of players from the former Troy franchise. Such players included Hall of Famers Roger Connor, Buck Ewing and Mickey Welch.

While the 'directness' of Troy's connection to the Giants' franchise is debatable, following San Francisco's title win in October, the Troy Record began a public petition campaign with the goal of honoring the Giants' roots in Troy by bringing the World Series trophy to the Upstate, NY city. After months of lobbying, the Giants' organization agreed to make the official visit. I had the pleasure of checking it out, but prefer to think of it as a preview of the Braves 2011 World Series trophy.

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