PDA

View Full Version : 50 years ago September 24, 1957


Fenway
09-24-2007, 12:20 PM
50 years ago tonight the last MLB game was played in Brooklyn

Only 6,702 fans attended the final game
http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1957/B09240BRO1957.htm (http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1957/B09240BRO1957.htm)

The last link with Brooklyn is Vin Scully who started broadcasting the Dodgers in 1950

So White Sox fans when you think about how the team has fallen in only 2 years after winning it all...just remember the fans of the 1955 World Champion Dodgers...as 23 months after winning it all...the team left for LA


http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/past/ebbets5.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/zh/thumb/e/e0/1955_next_year.jpg/180px-1955_next_year.jpg

WhiteSox5187
09-24-2007, 12:37 PM
When my grandfather came over from Ireland he lived in Brooklyn before he moved to the southside and he lived and died with the Dodgers...when the Dodgers left, so did he...that part of Brooklyn really never recovered economically from the Dodgers leaving (though one could argue that it was in economic decline before the Dodgers left)...when I lived in NYC I met a couple of people (older folks) who STILL identified themselves with the Brooklyn Dodgers or the New York Giants...it made sense to leave economically, but I wish it didn't have to happen to the most loyal fans in baseball. Why couldn't the Cubs have moved?? Or why didn't the Browns and A's try to head out to LA when they were still in St. Louis and Philly? Why did the western expansion stop in Milwaulkee until two of the most successful teams (and most profitable) moved out to California? LA doesn't deserve a team anyways.

skottyj242
09-24-2007, 12:56 PM
I'm pretty sure there was something that happened that was way more important 50 years ago today.

Fenway
09-24-2007, 01:09 PM
I'm pretty sure there was something that happened that was way more important 50 years ago today.

Well there was this story about blacks being allowed to intergrate a high school in Little Rock

http://www.ardemgaz.com/prev/central/092457.html (http://www.ardemgaz.com/prev/central/092457.html)

MisterB
09-24-2007, 01:28 PM
Or why didn't the Browns and A's try to head out to LA when they were still in St. Louis and Philly? Why did the western expansion stop in Milwaulkee until two of the most successful teams (and most profitable) moved out to California? LA doesn't deserve a team anyways.

Two words: Air Travel

It wasn't until the late 50's that air travel to the west coast became economical enough (in both time and money) for Major League teams to fit it into their budgets and the schedule. Prior to that, teams still traveled by train, and the 3 days it would take to get to L.A. or S.F. was just too much to squeeze into the 154 game schedule.

Fenway
09-24-2007, 01:33 PM
Two words: Air Travel

It wasn't until the late 50's that air travel to the west coast became economical enough (in both time and money) for Major League teams to fit it into their budgets and the schedule. Prior to that, teams still traveled by train, and the 3 days it would take to get to L.A. or S.F. was just too much to squeeze into the 154 game schedule.

Veeck wanted to move the Browns to LA but was blocked by the AL for that reason. Then he tried Baltimore and the AL said yes...if he sold the club

The idiot in this was Horace Stoneham who thought San Francisco would be better than being the only NL team in New York. He would have gotten Shea Stadium that O'Malley turned down.

O'Malley famously said "How can the Brooklyn Dodgers play in Queens?" I might as well move to California."

Fenway
09-24-2007, 01:57 PM
MLB.com just posted a story about it

Now here is something I never heard before. The Indians were looking to move to LA ( don't forget Cleveland had lost the Rams to California )



There were previous attempts to cultivate Los Angeles. Potential moves by the St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Indians were rejected by the AL for the same reason that almost thwarted O'Malley's efforts -- the belief that only one team on the West Coast would not be economically viable.

"The league turned us down at first, unless we could get another team to go with us," Bavasi said. "Even when our move was passed, there was still some resentment. The other owners thought it would be too expensive for their teams to travel to the West Coast."
Stoneham's decision to forego a planned move to Minneapolis where the Giants' Triple-A affiliate was then located and follow O'Malley to California was critical to the plan's acceptance. The Giants were committed to leaving New York. As Stoneham commented, "I feel sorry for the kids, but I haven't seen many of their fathers lately."


http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070924&content_id=2227235&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

DSpivack
09-24-2007, 02:20 PM
Veeck wanted to move the Browns to LA but was blocked by the AL for that reason. Then he tried Baltimore and the AL said yes...if he sold the club

The idiot in this was Horace Stoneham who thought San Francisco would be better than being the only NL team in New York. He would have gotten Shea Stadium that O'Malley turned down.

O'Malley famously said "How can the Brooklyn Dodgers play in Queens?" I might as well move to California."

I would have blamed Robert Moses as much as the two teams' owners.

Fenway
09-24-2007, 02:49 PM
I would have blamed Robert Moses as much as the two teams' owners.

New York is still paying for Moses arrogance 50 years later.

Where O'Malley wanted to build at the Long Island RR terminal in Brooklyn would have been perfect but Moses said no. That land is only now being developed for the Nets new arena.

He stopped subway construction in Queens which compared to the Bronx and Brooklyn is very underserved. The car was the wave of the future and subways would only bring trouble to the area of Queens that didn't have it.
(trouble meaning riders from Harlem )

He did build bridges and tunnels but he controlled the tolls.

johnr1note
09-24-2007, 05:31 PM
MLB.com just posted a story about it

Now here is something I never heard before. The Indians were looking to move to LA ( don't forget Cleveland had lost the Rams to California )



http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070924&content_id=2227235&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


I think this concept that rail travel and a lack of a league opponent in the same time zone was not the original reason for turning down a move to LA. In 1941 when Don Barnes, owner of the St. Louis Browns, requested that he be allowed to relocate his team to L.A. He believed that he had all the bases covered, including scheduling and claimed to have the necessary votes from the owners. Indeed, there is evidence that a preliminary schedule listing "Los Angeles" in place of "St. Louis" had been widely circulated. It was, by most accounts, a done deal.


His request was on the agenda at the major league meetings and was to be addressed at 9 a.m. on Monday, December 8, 1941. Events of December 7 made the move a moot point, since baseball was not even sure of playing at all in the coming season.


Pacific Coast League (PCL) officials had been petitioning the majors for consideration as a third major league and in 1945 they voted to become a full major league. The major league owners initially turned them down, but in 1947, Commissioner Chandler presented a proposal that would allow the coast cities to become a part of the two existing major leagues. The intent was to increase both the National and American Leagues from eight to 10 teams — 15 years before it really happened -- with the additions being four PCL cities; Los Angeles and Hollywood, and San Francisco and Oakland. The National League passed the resolution, but the American League turned it down.


In the July 7, 1948 issue of The Sporting News, it was reported that Los Angeles County Supervisor Leonard Roach led a contingent of LA officials on a hunt for a big league ball club. Because of the perceived need for two teams on the West Coast, the LA officials sought the St. Louis Browns and the Chicago Cubs. (Imagine if THAT deal had worked out!!)



In the early 1950s, many established clubs were looking to shift their base of operations. I don't know where author Jack O'Connell got his info, but my research shows no efforts to move the Indians to LA. Veeck made attempts to move the Browns to Milwaukee (he had owned the AAA team there at one time), and even to Houston, but the other owners wouldn't back him. Of course, the Braves moved from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953, opening the way for Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley to make his plans.



In 1953, the rumors ran so rampant about teams moving to Los Angeles that presidents Warren Giles of the National League and Will Harridge had to issue a series of denials involving such concepts as the American League promoting a move of the St. Louis Browns and Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics moving to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The National League appeared to want the Reds and Phils to relocate. Thus, it had now become a dispute over which league would get the rights to the West Coast cities first.


According to St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck, George Weiss professed to have a syndicate ready and waiting on the West Coast to buy the Browns and relocate them to L.A. The league turned down Veeck’s request for a transfer; one executive chastising him for even suggesting such a move so close to the start of the season. Two days after the denial, permission was granted to Lou Perini to relocate his Boston Braves to Milwaukee. Bill Veeck was ultimately forced to sell the Browns, the new owners immediately getting the okay to go to Baltimore, a move that Veeck had earlier asked but was denied. Following the Browns move to Baltimore, a column in The Sporting News written by Frank Finch said that while the third major league talk was now “childish prattle”, in view of current attendance figures, “Los Angeles is ripe for the plucking ala Milwaukee.”

Walter O'Malley wanted his own ball park, and wanted to increase his already incredible revenues. As an example, in 1956 the Dodgers showed a net profit of $487,000; the Braves now in the promised land of Milwaukee netted $362,000. The Dodgers were recording a million-plus in attendance every season, a profitable number in that era, and were raking in $800,000 in television revenue. But O'Malley feared his crumbling old ballpark in a neighborhood with changing demographics and his ball club getting old, that the revenues would not be able to be maintained.


In 1955, O’Malley asked the city of Brooklyn to condemn a piece of land and sell it to him, and he would build his own ballpark. The authority being cited was Title I of the Federal Housing Act of 1949, allowing the city to condemn a parcel of land to be replaced by a public project or to be sold to a private developer whose construction would conform to a “public purpose.” O’Malley wanted a site at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues in Downtown Brooklyn, but Robert Moses, New York's powerful parks commissioner, refused to allow the building of a ball park, as he considered it not to be in accord with the intent of the Act. The entire question of blame hinges on whether the Dodgers’ boss was sincere in his desire to obtain this piece of property.


Some thought not. Bill Veeck has written that “They couldn’t have met his demands, of course, because if they had given him what he wanted, he’d probably have kept changing them.” O’Malley was then offered a site at Flushing Meadows in Queens, where the current Mets reside. He refused it, saying that Dodgers fans would know that it wasn’t in Brooklyn. Presumably, they wouldn’t notice that Los Angeles was not in Brooklyn either.
Following the Braves, shift to Milwaukee, Veeck maintains, he made an offer to O’Malley to purchase the Dodgers with the idea of taking the club to Los Angeles. Veeck was refused, of course, but came away with an interesting supposition. “When I left his office, it was with the distinct impression that O’Malley wasn’t going to sell the club to me because he had already mapped out Los Angeles for himself. And that was four years before he moved.”



There were two primary reasons for O’Malley to want to build and own his own ballpark. One was parking, for which all proceeds would be his. At the Flatbush and Atlantic site, projections ranged from 2,500 parking spaces to 5,000; in L.A. he got 16,000. Another reason was television. Nobody can call the Dodgers boss a fool, and he was decidedly ahead of his time when he zeroed in on pay TV. With free television, he believed that the best approach was to air away games and black out all home games, thus buttering up the fans’ appetite when the team came home. This, he believed would increase home attendance. Brooklyn fans were already being treated to 100 televised games, all home games and the remaining, select road games. With two other teams in NYC televising games, O’Malley would not have exclusive control of the airways. His plan could not effectively be implicated in Brooklyn.



And the introduction of air travel might have sealed O'Malley's deal with LA. Senators owner Cal Griffith was supposedly ready to make a deal to move Washington's AL franchise to LA. O'Malley got wind of it, and flew to LA to get in ahead of Griffith. Griffith didn't like to fly, and took a week to get there by train.

Johnny Mostil
09-24-2007, 06:26 PM
In the July 7, 1948 issue of The Sporting News, it was reported that Los Angeles County Supervisor Leonard Roach led a contingent of LA officials on a hunt for a big league ball club. Because of the perceived need for two teams on the West Coast, the LA officials sought the St. Louis Browns and the Chicago Cubs. (Imagine if THAT deal had worked out!!)



Interesting stuff; thanks for posting. Did the Wrigleys themselves ever have any interest in moving the Cubs to L.A.? As I recall, the family owned a large part (all?) of Catalina Island, and the team trained there for 20+ years.

Viva Medias B's
09-24-2007, 07:08 PM
As several posts mentioned earlier, Robert Moses had more to do with the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn than Walter O'Malley.

PKalltheway
09-24-2007, 07:16 PM
I watched a really good show on this last month on HBO. I think it was called "Ghosts of Flatbush." It really got into detail on how and why the Dodgers moved. If it's available on DVD, I may consider geting it.

Railsplitter
09-24-2007, 08:31 PM
Dodgers fans were moving to Levittown and all those communities popping up on Long Island. Commuting to a park a be a bit of journey.

WhiteSox5187
09-24-2007, 11:17 PM
Interesting stuff; thanks for posting. Did the Wrigleys themselves ever have any interest in moving the Cubs to L.A.? As I recall, the family owned a large part (all?) of Catalina Island, and the team trained there for 20+ years.
When the Angels first came into exsitence I believe that they played at Wrigley Field in LA for awhile...O'Malley had a grip on LA and never wanted to go, it was odd cuz when it was mentioned how much money he was making he'd always say "Yes but i left even more of it by leaving Brooklyn." The man made a killing and was a buisness genius, but he left millions of fans back in Brooklyn and New York broken hearted (and race WAS a part in his descion, if you watch that "Ghosts of Flatbush" it talks about it a lot, especially how the Dodgers fan base had relocated to Long Island, kinda like the Sox fans relocating to the south suburbs, but an exit ramp off the Dan Ryan made that commute easier), plus my grandfather is STILL bitter about O'Malley...so I probably carry that chip around.

TommyJohn
09-25-2007, 08:03 AM
Interesting stuff; thanks for posting. Did the Wrigleys themselves ever have any interest in moving the Cubs to L.A.? As I recall, the family owned a large part (all?) of Catalina Island, and the team trained there for 20+ years.





And the introduction of air travel might have sealed O'Malley's deal with LA. Senators owner Cal Griffith was supposedly ready to make a deal to move Washington's AL franchise to LA. O'Malley got wind of it, and flew to LA to get in ahead of Griffith. Griffith didn't like to fly, and took a week to get there by train.

"Lords of the Realm" by John Heylar details a scenario in which a syndicate
of Los Angeles people were wooing Calvin Griffith of the Washington
Senators to move to L.A. Griffith was all for it, but then O'Malley found out
about it and stepped in himself.

The same book also says that Wrigley owned the territorial rights to Los
Angeles. The PCL Angels played in "Wrigley Field" in L.A. and were the
Cubs farm team. (I think.) This may be a reason why the city tried to
court the Cubs in 1948. Wrigley basically let O'Malley have the territorial
rights for a song, just as he let WGN have the team's broadcasting rights
for the same. A shrewd businessman, he was not.

Fenway
09-25-2007, 08:42 AM
"Lords of the Realm" by John Heylar details a scenario in which a syndicate
of Los Angeles people were wooing Calvin Griffith of the Washington
Senators to move to L.A. Griffith was all for it, but then O'Malley found out
about it and stepped in himself.

The same book also says that Wrigley owned the territorial rights to Los
Angeles. The PCL Angels played in "Wrigley Field" in L.A. and were the
Cubs farm team. (I think.) This may be a reason why the city tried to
court the Cubs in 1948. Wrigley basically let O'Malley have the territorial
rights for a song, just as he let WGN have the team's broadcasting rights
for the same. A shrewd businessman, he was not.

Wrigley didn't own the Cubs to make money as proven by his refusal to install lights.

O'Malley was given Chavez Ravine for nothing by the City of LA. I was always under the impression it was in the middle of nowhere until I went to a game there. It turns out to be very close to downtown LA.

The Giants wound up with a city owned stadium in the worst part of the city (Hunter's Point )

What the Giants didn't know was it was also the windest part of the city during the afternoon and the coldest part at night. I went to a game there in July and the game time temp was 52

While one can make a case that the moves of the Braves, Browns and A's were the best options for the owners because they were all the poor sister to another team ( and include the Giants as well ) the Dodgers were very profitable.

Still the most unforgivable franchise move belongs to the Cleveland Browns. Drawing 75,000 a game wasn't enough for Model. The Colts move to Indy was somewhat justified because Colts attendance was terrible in the early 80's.

Hitmen77
09-25-2007, 12:48 PM
50 years ago tonight the last MLB game was played in Brooklyn

Only 6,702 fans attended the final game
http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1957/B09240BRO1957.htm (http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1957/B09240BRO1957.htm)

The last link with Brooklyn is Vin Scully who started broadcasting the Dodgers in 1950

So White Sox fans when you think about how the team has fallen in only 2 years after winning it all...just remember the fans of the 1955 World Champion Dodgers...and 23 months after winning it all...the team left for LA



:o:

I never thought about how short of a time it was from their World Series title to them moving. Wow! That would be like if - after winning it all in '05 - the Sox were gone forever after this Sunday. Yikes.

If that wasn't bad enough for Brooklyn fans, the team who only won 1 World Series in all their time in Brooklyn then went on to give L.A. a world championship in only its 2nd season on the west coast and won 3 World Series in their first eight years in LA.

As an indication of how much time has passed, I believe that at this point, the Dodgers have played in Dodger Stadium for longer than they played in Ebbets Field.

Fenway
09-25-2007, 12:58 PM
:o:

I never thought about how short of a time it was from their World Series title to them moving. Wow! That would be like if - after winning it all in '05 - the Sox were gone forever after this Sunday. Yikes.

If that wasn't bad enough for Brooklyn fans, the team who only won 1 World Series in all their time in Brooklyn then went on to give L.A. a world championship in only its 2nd season on the west coast and won 3 World Series in their first eight years in LA.

As an indication of how much time has passed, I believe that at this point, the Dodgers have played in Dodger Stadium for longer than they played in Ebbets Field.

That is what made the move so shocking.....Brooklyn was the power in the NL for the previous 10 years.

LA would have been thrilled to get Washington. Scully didn't want to go but O'Malley had him under contract for 1958. Since O'Malley did not televise any games except 11 from San Francisco Scully became huge in LA.

The afternoon that Brooklyn won the NY Daily News put out a rush hour edition for the subway crowd

A classic
http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu/servlet/pluto?state=30303470616765303037576562506167653030 32696430303433353139]

Johnny Mostil
09-25-2007, 06:38 PM
When the Angels first came into exsitence I believe that they played at Wrigley Field in LA for awhile...O'Malley had a grip on LA and never wanted to go, it was odd cuz when it was mentioned how much money he was making he'd always say "Yes but i left even more of it by leaving Brooklyn." The man made a killing and was a buisness genius, but he left millions of fans back in Brooklyn and New York broken hearted (and race WAS a part in his descion, if you watch that "Ghosts of Flatbush" it talks about it a lot, especially how the Dodgers fan base had relocated to Long Island, kinda like the Sox fans relocating to the south suburbs, but an exit ramp off the Dan Ryan made that commute easier), plus my grandfather is STILL bitter about O'Malley...so I probably carry that chip around.

I'd forgotten about the MLB Angels in Wrigley Field; wikipedia indicates they were there for their inaugural season.

One of my favorite lines about O'Malley's wealth is in Kahn's Boys of Summer, in which Buzzy Bavasi, upon being told O'Malley said he was worth about twenty-four million, said, "That's honest. All Walter left out were three hundred acres of downtown Los Angeles."

My father was a Brooklyn fan while his mother was a Giants fan and his dad was a Yankee fan. Dad switched to the Yanks, but Grandma held out for the Mets . . .