Skillin: When the Dodgers played in Brooklyn

From Alex Skillin at The Hardball Times on December 29, 2014:

Baseball is a sport obsessed with its own history, and consequently, obsessive baseball fans frequently find themselves looking backward at past eras with a longing gaze. Remote from present limitations, the past can be viewed in a different light, enabling one’s imagination to fill in all the whimsical details.

Since I live in Brooklyn, my mind often turns to the period following World War II, when the Dodgers played in town, and New York teams ruled the baseball universe. (Yankees fans still believe this to be true today, but it was especially true in the ‘40s and ‘50s.) From 1947 to 1956, a New York team appeared in the World Series every year except for 1948. The Yankees and Dodgers faced off in the Fall Classic on six different occasions during that stretch, and the Bronx Bombers, as they tended to do, took home seven World Series titles.

The playing locations, too, were iconic, reminiscent of a different time and sports culture entirely. Ebbets Field stood on an otherwise unremarkable neighborhood corner at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Montgomery Street in Brooklyn. Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds were within half a mile of each other.

“You could walk from one to the other in 15 minutes,” famed sportswriter Roger Kahn writes in The Era: When the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers Ruled the World.

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Originally published: December 29, 2014. Last Updated: December 29, 2014.