Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Steve Jaro » Fri, 30 Mar 2001 11:41:30


Why is there such an aura surrounding the Dodger's move to Brooklyn (i.e.,
endless lamentations, commentaries, books, etc. about it by old baseball
hands), but not about the Giants' move to San Francisco? If anything, you'd
think the Giants'  move would be the more epoch-shattering, given that it
came first...

--
***************************
...so i said, "Ok, but make 'em baggy, and gimme some Air Ones"...

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Ima Pseudony » Fri, 30 Mar 2001 13:59:03



Quote:
>Why is there such an aura surrounding the Dodger's move to Brooklyn (i.e.,
>endless lamentations, commentaries, books, etc. about it by old baseball
>hands), but not about the Giants' move to San Francisco? If anything, you'd
>think the Giants'  move would be the more epoch-shattering, given that it
>came first...

Two reasons:  

1) Nobody of any value cares about the Giants.

2) The Dodgers had decided to move first to LA, and then suckered the
Giants to move from New York to San Francisco, where they haven't won
any World Series since they moved.  Let's be real, the Dodgers moved
from the largest market divided by three to the second largest market
by themselves, and the the Giants moved from the largest market
divided by three to a small market.  Real intelligent.

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by CJM » Fri, 30 Mar 2001 15:18:41


Quote:


> >Why is there such an aura surrounding the Dodger's move to Brooklyn
(i.e.,
> >endless lamentations, commentaries, books, etc. about it by old baseball
> >hands), but not about the Giants' move to San Francisco? If anything,
you'd
> >think the Giants'  move would be the more epoch-shattering, given that it
> >came first...

> Two reasons:

> 1) Nobody of any value cares about the Giants.

> 2) The Dodgers had decided to move first to LA, and then suckered the
> Giants to move from New York to San Francisco, where they haven't won
> any World Series since they moved.  Let's be real, the Dodgers moved
> from the largest market divided by three to the second largest market
> by themselves, and the the Giants moved from the largest market
> divided by three to a small market.  Real intelligent.

Also you have to include the relatively eccentric fan base the Dodgers had
in Brooklyn which makes good copy.  The Dodgers were so bad for so long then
had a good stretch and finally won the World Series in '55.  Then in a
couple of years they're gone and go on to be arguably the best team in the
second half of the century.

Chris

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Jaybird9 » Sat, 31 Mar 2001 00:42:06

Quote:
>Subject: Re: Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

>Date: 3/29/2001 12:18 AM Central Standard Time





>> >Why is there such an aura surrounding the Dodger's move to Brooklyn
>(i.e.,
>> >endless lamentations, commentaries, books, etc. about it by old baseball
>> >hands), but not about the Giants' move to San Francisco? If anything,
>you'd
>> >think the Giants'  move would be the more epoch-shattering, given that it
>> >came first...

That's a very good question Steve.  I've had thoughts along these lines too.  
There's Peter Golenbock's classic ***history, The Bums, and on the web
there's a drowning in blue and white Brooklyn Dodgers web site with an
accompanying Gift Mall.   The LA Dodgers official web site (before MLB ruined
the design) bled blue and exuded their history with images and sound clips.
Finding Giants equivalents is an exercise in futility.

The Giants move west was first as you said, but that was only a technicality.
O'Malley was a powerful owner and things revolved around what he wanted.  

A very good book on the subject is The Dodgers Move West by Neil J. Sullivan.
I don't know if it answers your questions, but it is well researched and a good
read.  The Ball Clubs by Dewey and Acocella also might provide some answers.
Here's a quote from it.  

"Aside from feeding off signal personalities like Charlie Ebbets, Wilbert
Robinson, Larry MacPhail, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, the
club gained its fables status for its identification with the Brooklyn
community - to the point that its departure from California has been viewed
almost as much of a cause as an effect of the New York borough's economic and
social decline in mid-century.  But, their association with the blue-collar
informality and community ties not withstanding, it was also the Dodgers who
pointed the way to the megabusiness that major league baseball would become
through the wooing of the mass media of radio, television and advertising.
This, as much as historical precedents like Jackie Robinson's crashing of the
racial barriers or legendary tales of cheap owners and vain managers, has been
the team's most significant legacy."

Jay Roberts

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Steve Jaro » Sat, 31 Mar 2001 02:06:37


Quote:
> >Subject: Re: Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...
> That's a very good question Steve.

Thanks!

Quote:
> I've had thoughts along these lines too.
> There's Peter Golenbock's classic ***history, The Bums, and on the web
> there's a drowning in blue and white Brooklyn Dodgers web site with an
> accompanying Gift Mall.   The LA Dodgers official web site (before MLB
ruined
> the design) bled blue and exuded their history with images and sound

clips.

The best one i've read is Roger Kahn's classic "the boys of summer". Even
though this book is ostensibly about the great dodgers teams of the late 40s
and early 50s that he covered, and doesn't say all that much about the move,
the whole tale is of course shadowed by the move and how it affected him...

Quote:
> Finding Giants equivalents is an exercise in futility.

Yep, and of course i've wondered why? I mean, the Giants were just as
successful and established and formidable a franchise at the time of their
move as the Dodgers were, and they had the same rabid fan base. Perhaps it
is the demographics of their respective fans - it seems like more
ex-brooklynites who grew up watching the team in the 40s and 50s as kids
ended up as influential sportswriters, authors, etc - the kind of people who
get to shape publish, shape public opinion, etc. compared with ex-Giants
fans.
 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by <j.. » Sat, 31 Mar 2001 04:31:57

: Why is there such an aura surrounding the Dodger's move to Brooklyn (i.e.,
: endless lamentations, commentaries, books, etc. about it by old baseball
: hands), but not about the Giants' move to San Francisco? If anything, you'd
: think the Giants'  move would be the more epoch-shattering, given that it
: came first...

Following up to several other good comments...

The Giants by 1958 were probably analagous to the '74 Yankees.  The Giants
1900-1940 were the best team in the NL, and actually gave the Yankees
serious competition for baseball's #1 elite franchise -- if you want to
cut it off at 1937, the Yankees had only had moderate success (pennants in
1921-23, 26-28, 32, and then 36-37; that's just nine pennants compared
with seven for the Giants in the same era, plus six more earlier in the
century).  After that, however, the Giants went south, with just two
pennants and one second place finish in 1938-1957.  (The Giants missed the
first division just three times 1904-1937).  So the Giants had shed their
frontrunner fans, but didn't have anything espeically appealling, except
for Mays.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers were a lot like today's Red Sox.  A legacy of
failure, but also a recent history of coming close lots of times.  The Sox
have been to the postseason six times in the last six*** years; the
Dodgers had 7 NL pennants over 17 years.  The Dodgers, of course, finally
won, in 1955, but then lost in '56.  And then, suddenly, they were gone.  

If the Yankees had up and moved after 1974, I doubt if all that many
people would have cared all that much, as long as they were eventually
replaced.  But imagine if the Sox won in 2001, and then moved in 2003.  I
think that's what it was like.  

Except, I should add, that the Dodgers were and are hideously evil.

JHB

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Steve Jaro » Sat, 31 Mar 2001 06:28:58


Quote:
>After that, however, the Giants went south, with just two
> pennants and one second place finish in 1938-1957.  (The Giants missed the
> first division just three times 1904-1937).  So the Giants had shed their
> frontrunner fans, but didn't have anything espeically appealling, except
> for Mays.

I believe the Giants won the pennant in '51, and the World Series in '54.
If they did, then i would challenge your interpretation of this data, since
clearly in the most relevant years - the years just before the move- the
Giants would have to have been considered among the elites again...

Quote:
> If the Yankees had up and moved after 1974, I doubt if all that many
> people would have cared all that much

I think a move by the Yankees out of NY would have been considered an
epochal event at any time over the past 50 years, even during the "drought"
years of 62- 75 and then 81 to 95 ...
 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by <j.. » Sat, 31 Mar 2001 13:51:26

:>After that, however, the Giants went south, with just two
:> pennants and one second place finish in 1938-1957.  (The Giants missed the
:> first division just three times 1904-1937).  So the Giants had shed their
:> frontrunner fans, but didn't have anything espeically appealling, except
:> for Mays.

: I believe the Giants won the pennant in '51, and the World Series in '54.
: If they did, then i would challenge your interpretation of this data, since
: clearly in the most relevant years - the years just before the move- the
: Giants would have to have been considered among the elites again...

I could be wrong, but my impression is that the 1950s successes didn't
succeed in winning over a whole new fan base.  It certainly didn't put
them in the same class as the Yankees, or even the Dodgers.  

:> If the Yankees had up and moved after 1974, I doubt if all that many
:> people would have cared all that much

: I think a move by the Yankees out of NY would have been considered an
: epochal event at any time over the past 50 years, even during the "drought"
: years of 62- 75 and then 81 to 95 ...

I really wonder.  Any mid-70s New Yorkers care to comment?

JHB

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Steve Jaro » Sun, 01 Apr 2001 04:34:41


Quote:


> :>After that, however, the Giants went south, with just two
> :> pennants and one second place finish in 1938-1957.  (The Giants missed
the
> :> first division just three times 1904-1937).  So the Giants had shed
their
> :> frontrunner fans, but didn't have anything espeically appealling,
except
> :> for Mays.

> : I believe the Giants won the pennant in '51, and the World Series in
'54.
> : If they did, then i would challenge your interpretation of this data,
since
> : clearly in the most relevant years - the years just before the move- the
> : Giants would have to have been considered among the elites again...

> I could be wrong, but my impression is that the 1950s successes didn't
> succeed in winning over a whole new fan base.  It certainly didn't put
> them in the same class as the Yankees, or even the Dodgers.

I guess we'd have to look at attendance figures and the like to settle that.
My impression has always been that during that time the Giants were right up
there with the Dodgers, if not quite at the level of the peerless Yanks in
terms of fans, prestige, etc.
 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by dkei.. » Sun, 01 Apr 2001 04:47:02


Quote:

>I guess we'd have to look at attendance figures and the like to settle that.
>My impression has always been that during that time the Giants were right up
>there with the Dodgers, if not quite at the level of the peerless Yanks in
>terms of fans, prestige, etc.

I think the differences in geography and related differences in
social class and ethnicity have something to do with this as well.

The Giants were in uptown manhattan and didn't draw a noticeably
different fan base from the Yankees. I bet a lot of the Giants fans
eventually got over it by becoming fans of the hated Yankees.

The Dodgers were all the way out in Brooklyn and with the Dodgers
moved to California, a whole community was deserted. The Mets up
in Queens were never really substitutes.

--
Dave Eisen                               Sequoia Peripherals: (408) 752-1400

       You gotta love an army that never fights a war and issues
       corkscrews to its troops. ---- J.P. Toomey

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by JMcMa » Sun, 01 Apr 2001 07:06:25


Quote:

>I guess we'd have to look at attendance figures and the like to settle that.
>My impression has always been that during that time the Giants were right up
>there with the Dodgers, if not quite at the level of the peerless Yanks in
>terms of fans, prestige, etc.

I think the differences in geography and related differences in
social class and ethnicity have something to do with this as well.

The Giants were in uptown manhattan and didn't draw a noticeably
different fan base from the Yankees. I bet a lot of the Giants fans
eventually got over it by becoming fans of the hated Yankees.

The Dodgers were all the way out in Brooklyn and with the Dodgers
moved to California, a whole community was deserted. The Mets up
in Queens were never really substitutes.>>

Yes, the Mets were never a substitute for the Bums. I grew up in NYC during the
1950s and went to games at the three home parks.  Very different atmospheres in
each place.

Ebbets Field was small (like Fenway Park) and the fans were rabid .. live and
die stuff. They rooted for the "Brooklyn" Dodgers.  Musical instruments played
(badly!) during the game.  Even if it were not a full house, the reduced
seating (around 34,000 IIRC) made the place seem more alive. And on TV, there
were Red Barber and Vince Scully, who both knew how to call a BB game.

Yankee Stadium was impressive as hell, especially in October when all the prior
World Series Flags surrounded the upper decks.  On TV, there was that
irrepressible homer, Mel Allen, whose enthusiam was contagious (unless you
hated the Yankees).  Imagine if Skip Carey had talent ... you'd come closer to
getting what Mel Allen was like.

Across the Harlem River, in Manhatten, the Polo Grounds in the mid-to-late
1950s was simply depressing.  Big, empty, and dirty.  The Giants had Willie
Mays and that's about it.  When 17,000 showed up in a place that held around
55,000 (IIRC), it seemed like no one was there.  And Russ Hodges was as boring
an announcer as you can imagine (I know, I know, he wasn't boring after the
last play of the last playoff game in 1951).  The Giant fans seemed to be fans
by default and I recall nothing at all like the outcry when the Dodgers
announced they were deserting Brooklyn.
--
Jim McMartin

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Paul Bott » Sun, 01 Apr 2001 10:30:51


Quote:

> I guess we'd have to look at attendance figures and the like to
settle that.
> My impression has always been that during that time the Giants
were right up
> there with the Dodgers, if not quite at the level of the
peerless Yanks in
> terms of fans, prestige, etc.

The interesting thing is that the Dodgers and Giants attendance in
the 1950s was quite mediocre, even by the standards of the time --
and _declining_ despite all the pennant races they were both in.
Mythology notwithstanding, the "loyal Dodger fans" were by 1956
staying away in droves.

Given the longterm economic trend of the borough of Brooklyn from
around 1950 on (downward as massive white flight headed for the
suburbs), if anything O'Malley today just looks like a prescient
businessman. I mean what the hell, he'd won like 6 pennants in 10
years and was being rewarded with declining gates, and the middle
class in his home turf was fleeing for Long Island and New Jersey
tract homes as fast as they could load up the U-Hauls. I'd have
moved too, though I doubt anyone else could have pulled it off as
well as he did.

I'm less clear where the Giants fan base was based, but certainly
the above description applies for their attendance and the Bronx
and northern Manhattan just as well as Brooklyn.

The Dodgers (really their diehard fans) just got unusually good
press, is all, and happened to have an unusual number turn out to
be successful writers in various fields.

 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Steve Jaro » Sun, 01 Apr 2001 10:56:58

Quote:
> The interesting thing is that the Dodgers and Giants attendance in
> the 1950s was quite mediocre, even by the standards of the time --
> and _declining_ despite all the pennant races they were both in.
> Mythology notwithstanding, the "loyal Dodger fans" were by 1956
> staying away in droves.

Yep. In his book "the Boys of Summer", Roger Kahn mentions the declining
attendance for Brooklyn, and links it to demographic changes in the
borough - the exodus of white ethnics and the influx of blacks and hispanics
in the decade after the war. You get the idea from his book that for every
one new black fan going to the games, two white-flighters would leave...
 
 
 

Brooklyn Dodger/NY Giants Mythology ...

Post by Roger Moo » Tue, 03 Apr 2001 03:59:29

Quote:

>Given the longterm economic trend of the borough of Brooklyn from
>around 1950 on (downward as massive white flight headed for the
>suburbs), if anything O'Malley today just looks like a prescient
>businessman. I mean what the hell, he'd won like 6 pennants in 10
>years and was being rewarded with declining gates, and the middle
>class in his home turf was fleeing for Long Island and New Jersey
>tract homes as fast as they could load up the U-Hauls. I'd have
>moved too, though I doubt anyone else could have pulled it off as
>well as he did.

Hey!  No fair bringing _facts_ into an emotional discussion.  Next thing
you know, you'll start claiming that the sky isn't falling because
baseball revenues are at an all-time high, the game is very competitive,
and the teams that can't win are suffering from bad management, not
impossible circumstances.  If you keep presenting objective evidence
there's not going to be any space left for fuzzy thinking and purely
emotional gibberish, and then where will we be?

--

"While baseball remains our national game, our national tastes will be on
a higher level and our national ideals on a finer foundation."
                                      -Calvin Coolidge