White Sox Interactive Forums
Talking Baseball

Welcome
Go Back   White Sox Interactive Forums > Baseball Discussions > Talking Baseball
Home Chat Stats Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read


View Poll Results: Who is more responsible for the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn for L.A.?
Robert Moses 14 45.16%
Walter O'Malley 17 54.84%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-30-2006, 11:21 PM
Viva Medias B's Viva Medias B's is offline
WSI Prelate
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palos Park, IL
Posts: 12,913
Default Dodgers' Move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles

After the game, I caught an interesting Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... on ESPN Classic. Tonight's topic was Walter O'Malley's move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. For years, O'Malley has been reviled for the move. In case you did not see it, reasons two through five were:
  • 5) Horace Greeley, whose "Go West, young man" maxim provided the concept of moving to the West
  • 4) William Levitt, whose creation of Levittown on Long Island helped create the urban exodus into suburbia. It helped contribue to the decline of the Flatbush neighborhood where Ebbetts Field was located.
  • 3) Braves move from Boston to Milwaukee, which showed how viable a franchise could become in a new location.
  • 2) Los Angeles, which gave O'Malley an offer he could not refuse mainly because of Reason No. 1
Reason No. 1 was Robert Moses. For those of you not old enough, Robert Moses was probably the most powerful figure in New York during most of the 20th Century (please no political hijack hijinks!). He basically oversaw all major construction in New York City from about the Great Depression to the early '70s. From the Empire State Building to the Triboro Bridge to expressways (that destroyed neighborhoods) to the Guggenheim Museum to the World Trade Center, it was Robert Moses who made them all possible.

O'Malley wanted out of Flatbush because of the neighborhood it has become. Apparently, he wanted to build a privately financed stadium at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn. However, building czar Moses said no. Moses wanted to build the new stadium for the Dodgers in a place in Queens near LaGuardia International Airport. Gee, I wonder what is there today.

O'Malley refused to move the Dodgers to Queens. He felt they should be in Brooklyn instead...or Los Angeles if the right deal came. So when O'Malley could not have his first choice, he moved the team to Los Angeles.

Last edited by Viva Medias B's; 05-30-2006 at 11:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-30-2006, 11:30 PM
SouthSide_HitMen's Avatar
SouthSide_HitMen SouthSide_HitMen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,176
Default

Based on what I have read from Veeck and others, O'Malley would have knocked over his mother if she stood in the way of the millions of dollars a move to the West Coast would bring him (and his fellow partner Stoneham).

The National League was dying to beat the American League out to the Coast and get the market rights (The Angels had to bend over big time with major concessions to O'Malley when they were awarded a team in 1961).

Maybe I am wrong but Moses' decision gave him a final excuse on leaving Brooklyn for good.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-31-2006, 12:10 AM
TheKittle TheKittle is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,154
Default

O'malley is a greedy bastard. When the DUMP dodger stadium was built, he didn't put any drinking fountains in. Why? So people would have to buy soda and beer.

I ****ing hate o'malley and everything about dodger blue.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-31-2006, 07:47 AM
EdHerman12 EdHerman12 is offline
WSI Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bolingbrook, IL
Posts: 291
Post

Any yet when the Mets build their new stadium it's supposed to be very similar to good 'ol Ebbets Field....O'Malley didn'y do anything any different than anyone else would. He was just an early visionist....and yes greed played a large part, but the when doesn't it????

GO SOX1
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-31-2006, 08:54 AM
PaulDrake PaulDrake is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,040
Default

Call me naive, but I think if the city of New York had provided O'Malley the means to build that domed stadium on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn he wouldn't have moved the team. By the way, I saw the show referenced here. It was well done IMHO. Everyone always wants to play the blame game, but events like this usually are complicated and years in the making. Because of demographics it was inevitable that the West Coast was going to get MLB baseball, and that the NE was going to lose some of its teams.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-31-2006, 09:53 AM
Unregistered Unregistered is offline
WSI High Priest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,939
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viva Medias B's
Apparently, he wanted to build a privately financed stadium at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn. However, building czar Moses said no.
Ironically enough, that's basically where the new Nets stadium is going to go.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-31-2006, 11:16 AM
Irishsox1 Irishsox1 is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,527
Default

A huge reason that the ESPN show kinda hit on was the changing racial structure of Brooklyn and New York in general. After WWII New York went through a massive change and you throw in housing projects, limited jobs for minorities up from the south, the welfare program, people that didn't care about baseball or taking there family there and the writing was on the wall to head out of town. Of course the Dodgers could have stayed, but it would be almost commercial suicide to wait out the storm in Brooklyn rather than head out to Queens or L.A.

I know what people are saying, the Sox and Cubs waited out the storm and now look at them. My answer is Chicago never got as out of control with all the crap that New York went through. In Chicago there are almost NO high rise public housing left, currently in New York the housing projects are still standing and occupied. That's a mess that might not never get fixed.

I'm sorry but if LA came calling, I would have taken the offer. O'Malley was a typical cheapskate owner, but he made the right call given his limited options. Also, the numbers back this up:

Dodgers attendence

1966-- 2,617,029
1965-- 2,553,577
1964-- 2,228,751
1963-- 2,538,602

Yankees attendence

1966-- 1,124,648
1965-- 1,213,552
1964-- 1,305,638
1963-- 1,308,920

But for the most part attendence in baseball from 1965 to the last 1970's was down. It didn't really start to pick up until the early 1980's.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-31-2006, 12:18 PM
SouthSide_HitMen's Avatar
SouthSide_HitMen SouthSide_HitMen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,176
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishsox1
I'm sorry but if LA came calling, I would have taken the offer. O'Malley was a typical cheapskate owner, but he made the right call given his limited options. Also, the numbers back this up:

Dodgers attendence

1966-- 2,617,029
1965-- 2,553,577
1964-- 2,228,751
1963-- 2,538,602

Yankees attendence

1966-- 1,124,648
1965-- 1,213,552
1964-- 1,305,638
1963-- 1,308,920

But for the most part attendence in baseball from 1965 to the last 1970's was down. It didn't really start to pick up until the early 1980's.
The writing was on the wall in the early 1950s.

Brooklyn attendance -
1946 - 1949 - 1.4 mil - 1.8 mil (2 pennants)
1950 - 1957 - 1.0 mil - 1.3 mil (4 pennants, 1 World Series).

Regardless, the Disney company claiming Moses had anything to do with the Dodgers leaving is revisionist history. If you want to "blame any politician blame Ike and his Interstate Highway system that allowed working middle class people to leave the city for larger nicer homes in the suburbs.

Last edited by SouthSide_HitMen; 05-31-2006 at 01:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-31-2006, 01:03 PM
PaulDrake PaulDrake is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,040
Default

I recommend this book for great background information on not just the Dodgers, but also the Giants and Yankees of that era.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/029...lance&n=283155
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-31-2006, 01:36 PM
RedHeadPaleHoser RedHeadPaleHoser is offline
WSI High Priest
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,409
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishsox1
I know what people are saying, the Sox and Cubs waited out the storm and now look at them. My answer is Chicago never got as out of control with all the crap that New York went through. In Chicago there are almost NO high rise public housing left, currently in New York the housing projects are still standing and occupied. That's a mess that might not never get fixed.
While this is a true statement, it carries the stigma of low rent neighborhoods; when the Cell was built we all heard about the "bullet holes in the seats" stories....and during the WS run there was another article about the "neighborhood".

While Chicago did not run the parallel path NY did about supporting its baseball teams, there are polar opposites of PERCEPTION that may not stem back to the post war era, but still exist today.
__________________
"....you can never ask me why, and we're gonna hurt some people."

"Whose car are we gonna take?"
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-31-2006, 01:48 PM
Johnny Mostil Johnny Mostil is offline
WSI's 2010 PTC Champion
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSide_HitMen
The writing was on the wall in the early 1950s.

Brooklyn attendance -
1946 - 1949 - 1.4 mil - 1.8 mil (2 pennants)
1950 - 1957 - 1.0 mil - 1.3 mil (4 pennants, 1 World Series).
Interesting point, though Milwaukee attendance may have really driven the point home for O'Malley. Between '53, the Braves' first year in Milwaukee, and '57, the Dodgers last year in Brooklyn, the Braves drew more than 2 million four times (and 1.8 million their first year in County Stadium). I'm guessing Walter O'Malley concluded quickly he couldn't compete with that in Ebbets Field . . .
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-31-2006, 02:14 PM
TheKittle TheKittle is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,154
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishsox1
A huge reason that the ESPN show kinda hit on was the changing racial structure of Brooklyn and New York in general. After WWII New York went through a massive change and you throw in housing projects, limited jobs for minorities up from the south, the welfare program, people that didn't care about baseball or taking there family there and the writing was on the wall to head out of town. Of course the Dodgers could have stayed, but it would be almost commercial suicide to wait out the storm in Brooklyn rather than head out to Queens or L.A.

I know what people are saying, the Sox and Cubs waited out the storm and now look at them. My answer is Chicago never got as out of control with all the crap that New York went through. In Chicago there are almost NO high rise public housing left, currently in New York the housing projects are still standing and occupied. That's a mess that might not never get fixed.

I'm sorry but if LA came calling, I would have taken the offer. O'Malley was a typical cheapskate owner, but he made the right call given his limited options. Also, the numbers back this up:

Dodgers attendence

1966-- 2,617,029
1965-- 2,553,577
1964-- 2,228,751
1963-- 2,538,602

Yankees attendence

1966-- 1,124,648
1965-- 1,213,552
1964-- 1,305,638
1963-- 1,308,920

But for the most part attendence in baseball from 1965 to the last 1970's was down. It didn't really start to pick up until the early 1980's.
So if another city offered the Sox a new stadium, more fans, more money, then you wouldn't blame JR for moving the team? I think not.

Why couldn't MLB just expand to the West Coast? The cheap bastard o'malley would have gotten a share of the expansion fee. Oh that's right, he wanted all the money, which he got when the LA Angels came into the AL in 61.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-31-2006, 03:32 PM
Irishsox1 Irishsox1 is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,527
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKittle
So if another city offered the Sox a new stadium, more fans, more money, then you wouldn't blame JR for moving the team? I think not.

Why couldn't MLB just expand to the West Coast? The cheap bastard o'malley would have gotten a share of the expansion fee. Oh that's right, he wanted all the money, which he got when the LA Angels came into the AL in 61.
When Reisndorf almost moved the Sox to St. Pete I thought it was a bad idea because the market was a lot smaller. Brooklyn to Los Angeles is a lateral move if not a step up with less competition. But the power of Moses can not be understated. The guy had way too much power, could not be removed from office and didn't care about baseball, Brooklyn or the fans. All he knew was that people were pestering him about a baseball stadium and he wanted to built one in Queens. He couldn't have cared less who played there, as long as the fans took the expressways.

As for expansion, this of course makes sense, why not just expand and start teams in Californa? Well, the problem with this is that current MLB owners had a lot more pull than new team owners or expansion teams that didn't exist. The Giants wanted out of NY badly, and the Dodgers when pushed finally moved. Moses could have got the land in Brooklyn, but he didn't care. He had the worlds fair in Queens in 1964 and he was going to build a stadium there...take it or leave it. All I'm saying is that if I owned the Dodgers and I was faced with dealing with Robert Moses, I would have moved to LA. Of course, LA turned into the second largest TV market with almost little competition.

As for no water fountains at Dodger Stadium, that was true and that was a pimpy move.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-31-2006, 03:50 PM
SouthSide_HitMen's Avatar
SouthSide_HitMen SouthSide_HitMen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,176
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishsox1
But the power of Moses can not be understated. The guy had way too much power, could not be removed from office and didn't care about baseball, Brooklyn or the fans. All he knew was that people were pestering him about a baseball stadium and he wanted to built one in Queens. He couldn't have cared less who played there, as long as the fans took the expressways.

As for expansion, this of course makes sense, why not just expand and start teams in Californa? Well, the problem with this is that current MLB owners had a lot more pull than new team owners or expansion teams that didn't exist. The Giants wanted out of NY badly, and the Dodgers when pushed finally moved.
This is false. O'Malley ruled the NL and Stoneham came along for the ride (not the otherway around as you noted and I'm assuming Disney Co. painted it). O'Malley controlled the Commissioners Office as well. Veeck gave a full picture of what was going on behind the scenes in Veeck as in Wreck. O'Malley blocked others from moving until he was able to move his team, secure a massive land grab in Los Angeles and own the rights to the market guaranteeing a second payday a few years later when Gene Autry rode in to town.

Other sources include:

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseb...ley_Walter.stm

O'Malley saw real limits to the Dodger situation in Brooklyn. Ebbets Field was small, seating under 35,000 (three-million-attendance requires an average game attendance of nearly 37,000), without adequate parking, and in a deteriorating neighborhood. O'Malley lobbied local politicians for a new stadium in downtown Brooklyn. In the meantime, he started serious discussions with the city of Los Angeles. When he was able to strike a deal for a valuable parcel of real estate tucked in the hills above downtown called Chavez Ravine, he agreed to build his own stadium and move the team to the West Coast. In the meantime, he brokered the marriage of his rivals, the New York Giants, with the city of San Francisco. In a brilliant business stroke, O'Malley had moved baseball's greatest rivalry from New York to California. The presence of both teams made it easier for the other NL owners to support the move because the then long and novel West Coast flight would cover two road series each time. The Giants' move was officially announced first -- they were in a truly weak financial condition where economic motivation was compelling. But O'Malley had orchestrated the move.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-31-2006, 04:30 PM
Irishsox1 Irishsox1 is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,527
Default

I don't know a lot about the structure of power within the NL back in the 1950's and I'm interested in finding out a lot more, but I do know a lot about Robert Moses. I don't recommend actually sitting down and reading the entire book since it's 1,344 pages, but it's an interesting and very in depth book about Robert Moses called The Power Broker.

Also, there are a couple of baseball books that go after Moses as the real villain on why the Dodgers moved, but this one was very good:

The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, The Dodgers and their final penant race together

Last edited by Irishsox1; 05-31-2006 at 04:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



Forum Jump




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:44 PM.




Design by: Michelle

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Site-specific editorial/photos Copyright ©2001 - 2008 White Sox Interactive. All rights reserved.