Featured link: "I Am Buying A Pro Sports Franchise", by Sherman Dorn. Based on Tom Paxton's "I Am Changing My Name To Chrysler."

Pennies for Pohlad
...they'd put up money, even now, if Pohlad passed the hat...

(tune: Leslie Fish arrangement for Kipling's The Dane Geld)

Programs! Getchyer programs here!

The Twins organization has announced its expectation:
"You'll pay for our new stadium," they say.
"Enact new legislation with a large appropriation.
If you don't give us this - we'll go away."

So pitch in a penny for Pohlad!
We surely don't want to let him down.
We'll send it to any poor Pohlad,
Who can't afford to keep his team in town.

Let's all show our admiration for this grand collaboration.
November Thirty's coming mighty fast.
Although upon contemplation it might be hallucination,
If you think this request will be his last.

There's greenbacks galore for Carl Pohlad!
We'll help him build a place for baseball games.
A few million more for Carl Pohlad,
And they can have a roof in case it rains.

It is Arne's proclamation there'll be state participation.
A special session's starting very soon.
But taxpayer aggravation makes the case for hesitation.
So maybe they'll adjourn well before noon.

So should we be paying Carl Pohlad,
As blackmail is now the nation's game?
The Twins'll be straying from Pohlad,
And we'll remember he's the one to blame.

It is now our inclination to decline this invitation,
To give the team a quarter of a $Bil -
So lets grant emancipation - let 'em traipse across the nation,
And keep Carl's greedy hands out of our till.

We won't give one cent to Carl Pohlad!
It's a matter of principle (and cost.)
Before our money's sent to Carl Pohlad,
We'd far rather that the Twins be lost, lost, lost,
We'd far rather that the Twins be lost.

You can't tell the players without a program!

Pohlad The Minnesota Twins are one of the few remaining pro baseball teams owned by a family rather than a corporation. Carl Pohlad is the patriarch of that family. A few years ago he became a local hero by buying the team. How times change.
November Thirty One of several threatened drop-dead dates. Pohlad signed an agreement to sell the team with a provision that if the state legislature passed a stadium funding bill by November 30 the deal was off.

Update: another conditional sale agreement depended on passage of a 2 November 1999 city sales tax referendum. Voters rejected it.

a roof in case it rains One complaint about the current stadium was that it has a permanant roof. Several versions of the proposed new stadium would have had a retractable roof. Variations of those designs omitted the roof to lower the price -- at least at first. The current stadium was built without air conditioning. That was changed by the second season.
Arne Arne Carlson, sports fan and former Minnesota governor, supported building a new stadium.
special session A special session of the legislature was called by Governor Carlson. It was to pass a stadium funding bill. It didn't.
taxpayer aggrivation Legislators reported more mail and phone calls -- even the occasional unsolicited song -- on this topic than any other controversy in memory.
straying from Pohlad At first I had "straying with Pohlad" here, but that's wrong. Carl Pohlad has been trying to sell the franchise.
quarter of a $Bil The price tag for the state portion of a new stadium typically ran around $250 million.
lost, lost, lost The sale fell through. It turns out the public in their proposed new home didn't want to pay for a new stadium either.

Update: On 2 November 1999 St. Paul voters rejected, (42,976 to 31,420 out of a population of ~270,000), an initiative to add a .5% city sales tax to help pay for a new stadium. The plan also called for state funding... from a legislature burned by the issue two years ago and a governor whose election campaign included quite a bit of anti-stadium speachifying.
Update -- April 2001: Another attempt to have the state fund a new baseball stadium dies in the state House and Senate.
Update -- May 2004: The Hennepin County (a.k.a. "Minneapolis") board votes to fund a stadium with no state involvement.
lyrics: Copyright 1997, ?subject=re:%20www.freemars.org/filk/pohlad.html>Rich Brown

Related links:
Sherman Dorn's I Am Buying a Pro Sports Franchise
My The Teddy Bears' Dane Geld, Kippling's poem -- slightly recast.

Hit number: counter
Last rev: