Despite months public outrage, the Seattle SuperSonics are on the brink of moving to Oklahoma City. Basketball fans in the Emerald City can perhaps take comfort in the fact that they are by no means the only city to be held hostage by a sports team owner. The strangest such instance may have come at the hands of Calvin Griffith, late owner of the Minnesota Twins. Despite an over-.500 record in 1974, the Twins ranked last in the American League in attendance. The off-season simmered with accusations of "fan indifference" from Griffith, and just as spring training was winding down, he finally made good on threats to move the team to the American Basketball Association.
The Twins did not fare well in the ABA, going 0-3 against the Indiana Pacers, Kentucky Colonels, and New York Nets before Griffith relented. It didn't help that Blyleven couldn't post up worth a shit, that Killebrew clanged more 3's than a typewriter, or that Tony Oliva was the Shaq of his time, if one compared free throw shooting and absolutely nothing else. But Rod Carew did manage a double-double against the Colonels, and they would have beaten the Nets had Dr. J not laid down this sweet reverse lay-up with :12 remaining.
Twins fans rejoiced at the team's return to baseball, but once again finished last in attendance. Those few who came probably noticed that the Twins were using red, white & blue baseballs.