Jan 04, 1957: Dodgers buy plane
Submitted by BTGrimes on Fri, 01/04/2013 - 6:00am
There was a time
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - There was a time when baseball teams, and other professional sports organizations, traveled with the rest of us - first by train, then by air. A new age was ushered in on this date in 1957 when the Los Angeles Dodgers bought a 44-passenger twin-engine airplane for $775,000, becoming the first major league baseball team to own a plane. Teams began flying in 1934, but not for every trip. Expansion to the west coast made air travel a necessity.
Travel has always been a major consideration for professional sports. Early on it restricted major league baseball to a relatively small section of the country - the northeast - that's where most of the population was (see map below). It took too long to travel outside that area in the late 1800s (the National League was established in 1876).
It took 20 hours to travel from New York to Chicago by rail. Even New York to Buffalo was a 7 hour train ride, making travel days necessary.
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