Kansas City vs. Oakland: The Bitter Sports Rivalry That Defined an Era

Matthew C. Ehrlich

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


The book discusses a sports rivalry between two cities--Kansas City, Missouri and Oakland, California--during one of the most tumultuous periods in U.S. history, the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s. Kansas City and Oakland sought major league teams to show the rest of the world that they were no longer minor league in stature. Their efforts to attract big-league franchises pitted the two cities against each other. After they succeeded in landing those franchises, the cities’ football and baseball teams regularly fought each other--sometimes literally--on the field. By 1977 Kansas City and Oakland would be much changed from what they had been only a decade previously. Their sports teams had brought them widespread attention and athletic glory, just as they had craved. They also had done much to try to improve themselves by building not only new sports facilities but also new cultural, retail, and transportation centers. But those triumphs came at a cost amid wrenching clashes over race and labor relations, pitched battles over urban renewal, and heated controversies over the lot of professional athletes. The book tells parallel stories: that of the clashes between the cities’ sports teams, and that of the struggles of the cities themselves to show that they had become “big league” through sports and other major civic initiatives.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780252051500
ISBN (Print)9780252042652
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Kansas City
  • urban renewal
  • labor
  • race relations
  • professional sports
  • football
  • baseball
  • Oakland


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