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NBA changes its game; bringing the Dodgers 'home'; marathoning; BASEBALL; 'Bring back de Bums'

When major league baseball next expands, the top contenders for new franchises could be Denver, New Orleans, the Tampa Bay area in Florida, and Washington. If New York State Sen. Thomas Bartosiewicz gets his way, Brooklyn would be added to that list -- right at the top.

The senator has initiated legislation to create a sports authority, which would oversee planning for a domed stadium, Ebbets Dome. If Brooklyn, one of the 10 largest population centers in the country, ever secures another franchise , Senator Bartosiewicz would like it to share the Dodger nickname with Los Angeles.

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To fans of the old Brooklyn Dodgers, who moved out of Ebbets Field to Los Angeles in 1958, the cause makes a lot of sense, if for no other reasons than sentimental ones.

The Dodgers were born in Brooklyn in 1884 and remained there until the club was lured to the West Coast -- a transfer that some think has a parallel in Al Davis's current efforts to move football's Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles.

The old Dodgers, or "Bums" as they were sometimes called by impassioned fans, crammed plenty of memories into Ebbets Field, which was leveled to make way for a housing development.

Perhaps no team ever inspired so much nostalgia. "The Boys of Summer," Roger Kahn's best-selling book, is probably the foremost example of the public's fascination with the club and curiosity about what became of such players as Don Newcombe, Carl Furillo, and Pee Wee Reese. Recently two more Dodger books have come out, one "The Brooklyn Dodgers, an Illustrated Tribute" (by Donald Honig, St. Martin's Press), and the other a novel by David Ritz with the timely title "The Man Who Brought the Do dgers Back to Brooklyn" (Simon & Schuster).

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