The Korean “star” Psy showed up at Dodger Stadium last night and took the place over for a few minutes. Check out former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda’s reaction and facial expressions as Psy starts doing his thing on the concourse, right next to Lasorda’s VIP seat. Only in LA.
For the Brooklyn generation who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, Ebbets Field was the centerpiece of the borough. It was the baseball shrine that their fathers took them to so they could see “Dem Bums”. It was where they headed when they played hooky from school on an early summer afternoon, maybe even sneaking into the stadium to catch a game.
In 2012, Fenway Park celebrated it’s 100th birthday and this year, Wrigley Field is doing the same – the last two baseball shrines standing from that era of baseball. And if Mr. O’Malley did not move the Dodgers to Los Angeles, we may have been celebrating the same birthday for Ebetts Field in Brooklyn today.
On April 9, 1913, a cold, windy afternoon limited the attendance to about 10,000 as the Dodgers lost their season opener to the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0, the run scoring when outfielder Benny Meyer dropped a fly ball in the first inning.
Four days earlier, in the stadium’s initial game, an exhibition against the Yankees in warmer weather, about 25,000 enjoyed a 3-2 victory as Casey Stengel, a young outfielder who later managed the Dodgers and the Yankees, hit the first home run in Ebbets Field. On March 4, 1912, when Charles Ebbets dug a shovel into frosty dirt to break ground in a Flatbush neighborhood known as Pigtown, the plan was to name it Washington Park, after the team’s old wooden home closer to downtown. But a reporter for one of the Brooklyn newspapers spoke up.
“Call it Ebbets Field, Charlie” he said. “You put yourself in hock to build it, and it’s your monument.”
But alas, all we can do today is stare at a vapid apartment building on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and wonder ‘what if’?
Besides the article linked above, here is a nice gallery of pictures from Ebetts Field Then and now via the NY Times.Source: NY Times
It was announced that the Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in Delaware court today. Clearly this is a massive fall from grace for one of the signature franchises in Major League Baseball. And I won’t go into the gory details of their owner Frank McCourt. All I will say is that I am thankful the Red Sox and MLB rejected his bid to buy the team 10 years ago.
Now, if MLB had the guts, wouldn’t it be epic to relocate the Dodgers back to Coogan’s Bluff and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn? Imagine a modernized version of Ebbets Field with the Dodgers playing there. Brooklyn is hot these days – the Nets are moving there. Families are staying there. There has to be a rich former Brooklyn-ite out there who would pick up the Dodgers and their mess and think about doing this. I realize that the old “aura” of the 1950’s Brooklyn Dodgers will never be replicated. It was a different era in our society and in baseball back then, but I know a lot of former Brooklynites who speak with such reverence about the old Dodgers and Ebbets Field that I think it having the Dodgers playing in Brooklyn today could come close. What of the Mets, you say? Well, they are not doing too much better than the Dodgers thanks to Fred Wilpon and Bernie Madoff.
This will never happen, but wow, how amazing would that dream be?
How can two marquee franchises in the two biggest markets in the country be in such disarray? And why are they being handled so differently by MLB? It’s because of the Major League Baseball “Buddy” system.
Bud Selig’s golf buddy Fred Wilpon got taken to the financial cleaners by Bernie Madoff, is now getting sued by the trustee of Madoff’s victims, the Wilpon’s are begging for loans and trying to sell up to 49% of the Mets (so they can still be in control…if only by the skin of their teeth) and the Mets are in an epic state of disarray. But a discussion about MLB taking over the Mets is not on the table.
The LA Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has been dragged through the tabloids because of an ugly divorce, he has run this storied franchise into financialÂ disarray through his real estate dealings (and the hangover from the housing crisis that just won’t go away), and he’s scoring rouge loans from Fox TV (MLB’s broadcast partner) to meet payroll.
So how is it that MLB made a shotgun decision to take over operations of the Dodgers yesterday yet are letting the NY
Madoffs Mets continue to beg for funding? I admit not to knowing the gory details, but you can’t tell me that the Mets are in any better a financial or operational situation than the Dodgers. The Madoff – Wilpon situation underscored a question I always had about the Wilpon’s financial “fortune” – how exactly did they do it? Smoke and mirrors come to mind. The McCourt situation is just as big an epic #fail. To me, Selig’s taking over of the Dodgers, and not doing the same with the Mets, reeks of cronyism – a “Buddy” system.
But hey, lets go ahead and keep a painfully long 162 game schedule AND expand the playoffs so we can sit in 28 degree weather off of Lake Erie (or in Fenway or in Yankee Stadium) for the first ever 5 hour long prime time baseball game in December.