Farewell Franchise Pins
In my book Baseball Pinback Buttons there is a section on pins welcoming new franchises to their cities. Those pins include, among others, pins welcoming the Athletics to Kansas City from Philadelphia, the Giants to San Francisco from New York, and the Braves to Milwaukee from Boston. It is understandable how fans in a city who are about to get a Major League franchise would produce pins welcoming their new team. It is less understandable how fans would be inspired to produce pins bidding farewell to their (old) team. However, a few pins have been made doing just that.
The first one isn’t really a farewell pin, but a harbinger of what was soon to happen. In 1957 there was a rally showing support for keeping the Dodgers in Brooklyn. There was speculation the Dodgers might move out of Brooklyn but remain in New York, as well as the possibility the team would move to the West Coast. A few months after the rally where this 1.5” pin was distributed, the team moved to Los Angeles.
At the same time the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, the Giants moved to San Francisco. This large 4.0” pin not only bids the Giants farewell but graciously wishes them good luck. There is glue residue on the back of the pin indicating a ribbon was once attached to it. Perhaps the ribbon identified who issued the pin.
The Braves were greeted with much fanfare when they arrived in Milwaukee in 1953. The team experienced a great run of success in Milwaukee, having a winning season in each of their thirteen seasons in the history of the franchise. There were popular expressions in Milwaukee for the fans to “Back Your Braves” and “Back The Braves.”
The franchise moved to Atlanta after the 1965 season. A 1.75” pin was made showing support for the team following their departure.
Next up: Pins of the 1941 World Series