Brooklyn's Dodgers: The Bums, the Borough, and the Best of Baseball, 1947-1957 by Carl E. PrinceBrooklyn's Dodgers: The Bums, the Borough, and the Best of Baseball, 1947-1957 by Carl E. Prince

Brooklyn's Dodgers: The Bums, the Borough, and the Best of Baseball, 1947-1957

byCarl E. Prince

Paperback | April 1, 1997

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During the 1952 World Series, a Yankee fan trying to watch the game in a Brooklyn bar was told, "Why don't you go back where you belong, Yankee lover?" "I got a right to cheer my team," the intruder responded, "this is a free country." "This ain't no free country, chum," countered the Dodgerfan, "this is Brooklyn." Brooklynites loved their "Bums"--Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, and all the murderous parade of regulars who, after years of struggle, finally won the World Series in 1955. One could not live in Brooklyn and not catch its spirit of devotion toits baseball club. In Brooklyn's Dodgers, Carl E. Prince captures the intensity and depth of the team's relationship to the community and its people in the 1950s. Ethnic and racial tensions were part and parcel of a working class borough; the Dodgers' presence smoothed the rough edges of the ghetto conflict alwayspresent in the life of Brooklyn. The Dodger-inspired baseball program at the fabled Parade Grounds provided a path for boys that occasionally led to the prestigious "Dodger Rookie Team," and sometimes, via minor league contracts, to Ebbets Field itself. There were the boys who lined Bedford Avenueon game days hoping to retrieve home run balls and the men in the many bars who were not only devoted fans but collectively the keepers of the Dodger past--as were Brooklyn women, and in numbers. Indeed, women were tied to the Dodgers no less than their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons; theywere only less visible. A few, like Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Marianne Moore and working class stiff Hilda Chester were regulars at Ebbets Field and far from invisible. Prince also explores the underside of the Dodgers--the "baseball Annies," and the paternity suits that went with the territory.The Dodgers' male culture was played out as well in the team's politics, in the owners' manipulation of Dodger male egos, opponents' race-baiting, and the macho bravado of the team (how Jackie Robinson, for instance, would prod Giants' catcher Sal Yvars to impotent rage by signaling him when he wasgoing to steal second base, then taunting him from second after the steal). The day in 1957 when Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, announced that the team would be leaving for Los Angeles was one of the worst moments in baseball history, and a sad day in Brooklyn's history as well. The Dodger team was, to a degree unmatched in other major league cities,deeply enmeshed in the life and psyche of Brooklyn and its people. In this superb volume, Carl Prince illuminates this "Brooklyn" in the golden years after the Second World War.
Carl E. Prince is Professor of History at New York University, and a past chair of the department. A specialist in early American history, he has written several books and many essays on early American political culture. With this book he picks up professionally a subject in which he has had a life-long interest.
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Title:Brooklyn's Dodgers: The Bums, the Borough, and the Best of Baseball, 1947-1957Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.99 × 5.31 × 0.43 inPublished:April 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195115783

ISBN - 13:9780195115789

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Reviews

From Our Editors

In this superb volume, Prince captures the intensity and depth of the Brooklyn Dodgers' relationship to the community and its people in the 1950s, showing how the team's influence extended well beyond the sports arena. He also covers the underside of the Dodger experience: the paternity suits, routine baseball-related sexism, and the ethnic conflicts that went with the Brooklyn territory. 13 illustrations

Editorial Reviews

"How the Dodgers affected both men and women, kids growing up and Brooklyn's relation to the outlying boroughs is studied in a scholarly but not stuffy manner."--USA Today Baseball Weekly