Outbreak of World War II Kept the Browns From Moving to L.A.
Two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the American League unanimously rejected a proposal to move the St. Louis Browns to Los Angeles.
Donald L. Barnes, a St. Louis businessman whose syndicate had bought the Browns in 1936, asked the league for approval to move, saying that unnamed Los Angeles interests had approached him about the franchise.
“I consider Los Angeles the most desirable city for a major league team,” Barnes said.
The Los Angeles Angels, a successful Pacific Coast League team owned by P.K. Wrigley of the Chicago Cubs, would have had to give its permission for the Browns to be moved.
Although the Browns would have been the only team on the West Coast had they moved, Barnes believed that air travel would have solved any problems the schedule-makers might have had.
Barnes’ timing couldn’t have been worse, though. One American League official said that he didn’t think air travel would be available for baseball teams because of war priorities.
Barnes said his group had lost money every year it owned the Browns. Barnes remained president of the team through its pennant year in 1944, then sold his interest toward the end of the next season.