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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On This Date In History...

 

 

Ebbets Field was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 until 1957 when the team left Brooklyn for Los Angeles. On April 5, 1913, Ebbets Field hosted its first major league baseball game, an exhibition contest between the Dodgers and the Yankees, which was won by Brooklyn in the last inning. Later that month, the Dodgers lost the first regular season game at their new home, 1-0, to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Named after Dodger President, Charles Ebbets, the facility was part of the great period of ballpark construction during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The stadium was built on an unattractive area that was referred to as “Pigtown,” however, this area had the great advantage of being in close proximity to subways and trolley car lines.

Some additional facts about this historic stadium:  

  • The rotunda was an 80-foot circle enclosed in Italian marble, with a floor tiled with a representation of the stitches of a baseball and a chandelier with 12 baseball bat arms holding 12 globes shaped like baseballs.
  • Kids could watch games through a gap under the metal gate in right center.
  • The first televised baseball game was played in this stadium by the Dodgers on August 26, 1939 against the Reds.
  • Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first black man in the 20th century to play in Major League Baseball here on April 15, 1947.
  • The only year in which the Dodgers won the World Series while tenants of Ebbets Field was 1955.
  • There was no press box until 1929.
  • Demolition began on February 23, 1960.  The same wrecking ball was used four years later to demolish the Polo Grounds.
Although Ebbets Field was sadly demolished in 1960 for an apartment complex, the memories of the ballpark and the Dodgers will live forever in the hearts and minds of baseball fans.

In the above photograph, Genevieve Ebbets, the youngest daugther of Charles Ebbets, throws the first ball at the opening game.

April 5, 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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Baseball Takes To the Airwaves

It was seventy years ago today that Major League Baseball made it's television debut.  On August 26, 1939, NBC television aired the first game on W2XBS, an experimental network broadcasting out of New York.  The game took place at Ebbets Field between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds.  It was a doubleheader, but only the first game, which the Reds won 5 - 2, was televised.

The announcer for the game was Red Barber. Barber was the play by play man for the Dodgers at the time.  He worked the game alone and handled all of the ads by holding up the products, discussing their virtues, putting them down and going back to play by play.  There were two cameras used for the game, one on the ground and one in the upper deck.

Since were only approximately 500 television sets in use at the time and because the signal only reached within a 50 mile radius, very few people actually saw the first braoadcast.

Red Barber continued on as the Dodgers broadcaster until 1953.  He moved to the Yankees and retired from broadcasting baseball in 1966.  NBC continued to air Major League Baseball games periodically from the 1940's through 2000.

 

Red Barber interviewing Leo Durocher after the game

 

August 26, 2009 | E-mail | Comments (2) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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