Rookie of the Year

1947, and September 19th in particular, was a big year for Major League Baseball. In the 78 years of the league leading up to 1947, the color of your skin was a determining factor for whether or not you could play for a professional team in Major League Baseball. But just before the start of the 1947 season, the Brooklyn Dodgers broke down that color barrier and called up Jackie Robinson from their AAA affiliate (the Montreal Royals). And before a home crowd of over 26,000 fans, Robinson made his Major League debut and changed the game of baseball forever.

 

In his rookie campaign, Robinson hit .297 in 151 games for the Dodgers. He led the league with 29 stolen bases and scored 125 runs (a career high). His amazing rookie production helped lead his team to a World Series appearance against the Yankees. The storybook start to Robinson's career was slightly blemished when Yankees won the '47 World Series in seven games, however, Robinson’s production over the course of that infamous season would earn him a distinguished honor.

 

From 1940-1946, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) selected one player from each league as the Rookie of the Year. However, this award was regional and not recognized by the league. That changed in 1947. MLB decided to take this Rookie of the Year award and make it a nationally recognized honor given to just one player in the entire league. Because of his immediate impact with the Dodgers, on September 19th, 1947, MLB awarded its first Rookie of the Year award to Jackie Robinson. So over the course of just one season, Jackie Robinson managed to desegregate America’s pastime, win the Rookie of the Year award and validate his existence and his race's existence in Major League Baseball. That is an amazing rookie performance.

 

 

 

 

 

September 19, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Ebbets Field Final Game

 

Today marks a historical day in New York sports history. 53 years ago today, the Brooklyn Dodgers played its final game at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY. That Fall, the Dodgers would pack up and move across the country to Los Angeles, abandoning its home. The move came only two years after winning the World Championship.

It was on April 9th, 1913 that Ebbets Field officially opened. The stadium was named after the team’s original club owner, Charlie Ebbets. The stadium’s first game was a match between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers would open up Ebbets Field on a sour note by losing to the Phils 0-1. Over the next 44 years, the Brooklyn Dodgers would win 7 pennants (including 4 in 5 years from ’52 to ’56) and 1 World Championship at Ebbets Field. The ballpark would also host the MLB All-Star Game in 1949. However, with the team’s success in the early 50s, the Dodgers’ fan base was quickly out growing Ebbets Fields.

 

The Dodgers’ club owner, Walter O’Malley, was eager to find a new home for his club in Brooklyn. He quickly found one in Atlantic Yards on the site of an old market. This new land would have enough room for an expanded stadium and additional parking. When O’Malley approached the city about the move, he ran into some opposition. The New York Building Commissioner, Robert Moses, wanted to move the team to Queens instead of keeping it in Brooklyn. O’Malley refused and Moses followed suit. When neither man backed down, O’Malley began publicly shopping his team to other cities. Los Angeles quickly emerged as the favorite and before the end of the 1957 season, O’Malley committed to moving the franchise to Los Angeles for the start of the 1958 season. To add insult to injury, O’Malley even convinced the owner of the New York Giants to move his team to San Francisco in an effort to keep the rivalry going.

On September 24th, 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final game at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers would win 2-0 in front of 6,700 fans on a five-hitter performance from Danny McDevitt. Ebbets Field would be torn down roughly 2 years later.

September 24, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Saying Goodbye to Ebbets Field

Built by Dodger owner Charlie Ebbets, fans entered through one of twelve turnstiles to find themselves standing in a grand marble rotunda and would look up only to see a chandelier with twleve baseball bat "arms" holding twelve baseball lamps. After finding their seats fans could follow the official scorer's decision by turning to look at the Schaefer Beer sign in right centerfield where the "h" lit up for a hit and the "e" lit up for an error.

 

Ebbets was the field that not only hosted the 1949 All-Star Game and nine Fall Classics, but was also the very field that Jackie Robinson first stepped upon as the first African American Major League Baseball player.  Sadly for fans, on September 24, 1957 the Brooklyn Dodgers played their final game at Ebbets Field defeating the Pirates.

 

Ebbets Field - 1957

 

"The Fall of Ebbets"

 

Ebbets Field was a special place
From the excitement of the pennant race

To the agony of losing to the Yankees
But all of Brooklyn cried on their hankies

When the home they called heaven
Was lost in 1957

 

Before they left, it was all going well
The Dodgers were doing kind of swell

In the fall of '55
The whole city was alive

None had a clue that the home they called heaven
Would be lost in 1957

 

That year they finally got over that hump
They finally broke out of the slump

They won a championship for the very first time
They all celebrated from sunrise to bedtime

They finally beat the Yankees in a best-of-seven
Two years before 1957

 

The very next fall, Gil, Campy, and the Duke
Proved that the past year was no fluke

They tasted very little of defeat
They were thinking of repeat

It came down to another game seven
In the place they called heaven

 

They lost and heaven began to crumble
To third place the Dodgers stumble

Then, broke the sad, sad story
That Ebbets would no longer see glory

Everyone knew that the home they called heaven
Would eventually be lost in 1957

 

One final game at Ebbets Field
Even then the Dodgers refused to yield

And with that final victory
Brooklyn baseball was history

Every Brooklynite filled heaven
All knowing it would be gone after 1957

 

Now, it's time to say good-bye
No Brooklynite had a dry eye

The Dodgers had just left town
Leaving Brooklyn with a frown

Brooklyn knew that the home they called heaven
Would soon be no more after 1957

 

Time for heaven to fall
Look out here comes the wrecking ball

With mighty blows from a steel bubble
Ebbets Field became rubble

No more was the home they called heaven
To the ground it went after 1957.

 

Written By: Ridzky A. Riyadi

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/stadium/stadiume.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

September 24, 2009 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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