Neil Sullivan The Dodgers Move West

ISBN 13: 9780195043662

The Dodgers Move West

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9780195043662: The Dodgers Move West
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For many New Yorkers one of the most traumatic events since World War II was the removal of the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the most popular baseball teams of all time, to Los Angeles in 1958. In this controversial new look at a story that has reached almost mythic proportions in its many retellings, Neil Sullivan shifts responsibility for the move onto the local government manueverings that occurred on both sides of the continent.
Conventional wisdom has it that Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley cold-heartedly abandoned the devoted Brooklyn fans for the easy money of Los Angeles. The truth was actually more complicated. O'Malley had, in fact, wanted to stay in Brooklyn and build a new stadium. Ebbetts Field was obsolete, situated in an increasingly unsafe neighborhood and without parking facilities (it had been built in the days of the streetcar, hence the name "Dodgers"). But he was stymied by an uncooperative New York City administration spearheaded by Robert Moses who blocked O'Malley's use of an ideal site at the Atlantic Avenue Long Island Railroad terminal.
A political battle over the Dodgers' move erupted in Los Angeles too. The new stadium site at Chavez Ravine, suggested by Mayor Poulson, had been designated for public housing and a bitter fight broke out over the issue. But a telethon campaign that enlisted the help of celebrities like Groucho Marx, George Burns and Ronald Reagan helped to win the referendum in favor of the deal. Despite playing until 1962 in the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the right field looked directly into the sun, the Dodgers soon bounced back winning the 1959 World Series and went on to become one of the most successful franchises in the country.
Set against a backdrop of sporting passion and rivalry, and coming thirty years after the Dodgers' last season in Brooklyn, this engrossing book offers new insights into the workings of power in the nation's two largest cities. It ends by drawing important conclusions about the proper relationship between sports franchises and the public purse.

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About the Author:


Neil J. Sullivan is Professor of Public Administration at Baruch College, City University of New York.

Review:


"This is an excellent presentation that merges urban politics with the impact of sports in urban culture."--Daniel R. Smedley, Temple University


"This is a very interesting book. It does an excellent job of presenting its story."--Robert K. Whelan, University of New Orleans


"A scholarly work that analyzes in dispassionate detail the real reasons why the Brooklyn Dodgers were uprooted in 1957 and moved three thousand miles to Los Angeles."--Sports Illustrated


"A well-told tale of two cities and one professional sports franchise....Engrossing, persuasively documented."--Kirkus Reviews


"Sullivan's examination of the details of [the Brooklyn Dodgers' move West] is outstanding."--The Sporting News


"Clearly expands our understanding of this significant sporting development, and Sullivan should be praised for his courageous attempt to swim against the currents of popular sentiment."--Journal of Sport History


"[An] exciting study....[Sullivan] has a sure grasp of city politics and a lucid understanding of power struggles."--The Book Reader


"Sullivan has performed a marvelous job of research....The Dodgers Move West is an excellent book about a black day in baseball. For those not old enough to remember 1957 this volume will tell you the entire story. Others like myself who recall those machinations all too well will find the work very interesting and informative."--Tom Knight, The Brooklyn Spectator


"An extraordinary study of sports and cities--detailed, iconoclastic, put into superb historical and political context--this book is a study of changing urban fortunes as well as the makeover of spectator sports in the last several decades."--Charles C. Euchner, St. Mary's College of Maryland


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9780195059229: The Dodgers Move West

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ISBN 10:  0195059220 ISBN 13:  9780195059229
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1989
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