So effective August 1, Emil Fuchs resigned as the owner and President of the Boston Braves and left Adams in control. The trouble was that Adams had no use for a baseball team; he didn’t want the club. So he looked around to find a new owner and found Boston NFL owner George Marshall. Adams and Marshall arranged to have the team run by a separate management corporation, pending the approval of Boston bankers. Unfortunately, that money never came through, and Adams continued to end up short of cash for the rest of the season, as none of the other investors in the club was moved to offer up an infusion of cash. News reports from September are rife with concerns that the Braves couldn’t pay their bills, including their payroll obligations.
"As the climax of protracted and involved financial difficulties, the Boston franchise was formally taken over tonight by the club owns of the National League. Ford C. Frick, the league president, announced unanimous approval of this drastic step after the latest conference on the Boston club’s tangled affairs.Frick, however, was keen to put a happy face on the league takeover, saying,
Frick said the action was taken ‘because of the failure of the Boston National League Baseball company to fulfill its contractual obligations over an extended period of time.’"
"This was a friendly forfeiture…. Every effort will be made to protect the stockholders as far as possible. It is now possible to sell the club with a clean bill of health, defining all the obligations which the purchaser must assume. One of the big drawbacks heretofore was the unforeseen lawsuits and other complications that might beset a purchaser.”
The effect was dramatic. Cuccinello and Lopez were huge improvements. Moore and Wally Berger formed two-thirds of a strong outfield. The defense and pitching also improved, and the club rose from 7th in the NL in runs allowed (in a pitchers’ park, no less) to 3rd. Correspondingly, the team jumped from 38 wins to 71 and a winning percentage of .248 to .461. This is the fourth biggest one-year improvement since 1900. Quinn could never get the Braves into the first division, as they finished no higher than 5th under his leadership. But they did finish above .500 twice, and after his son took over the club in 1945, the club would finish above .500 three straight times and win the NL Pennant in 1948.
There were a lot of winners in this deal. For one thing, Quinn became one of the most respected executives in the game and founded a family mini-dynasty of baseball executives. The National League stayed solvent and solved a major headache. Adams got his money back. And Ford Frick was rewarded with a contract extension, and eventually became Commissioner of Baseball. The players kept getting paychecks and the fans of Boston got to keep their team for another 20 years. Only Fuchs really didn’t make out well, as he had to forfeit his investment when he walked away. Perhaps this can help Dodgers fans feel like better days are still ahead, and that hopefully the McCourts can walk away similarly out of pocket.