Kansas City vs. Oakland: The Bitter Sports Rivalry That Defined an Era

KANSAS CITY VS OAKLAND                 MATTHEW C. EHRLICH

A driving ambition linked Oakland and Kansas City in the 1960s. Each city sought the national attention and civic glory that came with being home to professional sports teams. Their successful campaigns to lure pro franchises ignited mutual rivalries in football and baseball that thrilled hometown fans. But even Super Bowl victories and World Series triumphs proved to be no defense against urban problems in the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. Matthew C. Ehrlich tells the fascinating history of these iconic sports towns. From early American Football League battles to Oakland's deft poaching of baseball's Kansas City Athletics, the cities emerged as fierce opponents from Day One. Ehrlich weaves a saga of athletic stars and folk heroes like Len Dawson, Al Davis, George Brett, and Reggie Jackson with a chronicle of two cities forced to confront the wrenching racial turmoil, labor conflict, and economic crises that arise when soaring aspirations collide with harsh realities. Colorful and thought-provoking, Kansas City vs. Oakland breaks down who won and who lost when big-time sports came to town. 

PAT'S REVIEW


This book is for the sports fan. It covers not only the two cities but the team’s football and baseball as well. First opens with the Kanas city A’S moving to Oakland when Charlie Finley got permission to move and the city of Kanas City did not want to help build a new stadium. He then goes into the rise of the Oakland A’s which most of the players who were drafted were selected when they were in Kanas City. After a few trades by the early 70’s they would be in the playoffs and winning three World Championships. Finely would still have problems with the stadium and with low turn out even when they were winning.
The author goes into the different social problems of the times of the 60’ and 70’ and even touches on the SLA and of course the Black Panthers. Both of these were prevalent at the time of the era. He also speaks of a lack of jobs and how it would always be difficult to support the Oakland team. He also takes you to Kanas City and explains their problems with race for the same period.
He moves on to the football side with the Raiders and the Chiefs. Taking you through the early days of the AFL when they were starting out and how the rivalry really began and became heated. To when the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV, then how they would fall off until the ’80s. through the time of the Raiders winning two super Bowls one when they were in L.A.
He also goes into the injuries of the players from that generation and how Kanas City got a new stadium but Oakland has not. Now the Raiders are moving. He takes you through the different lawsuits and a look at how each city and team have faired since. A good book all around for sports. It did bring back memories of watching both football and baseball games from that time, and also some social issues as well when he spoke of the SLA that was a name organization I have not heard about in decades but remembered from the whole Patty Hearst ordeal. The author looks at the entire time frame which is good. Very much worth the read. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

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