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The Dodgers Move West

Sullivan, Neil J.

38 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0195043669 / ISBN 13: 9780195043662
Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 1987
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xii, [2], 252, [6] pages. Illustrations. Notes. Index. Neil J. Sullivan is a Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College - CUNY. He has taught at Baruch since 1978 in courses ranging from introductory American Government, Public Policy and the Culture of Science, Animal Rights and Welfare, and the Capstone course. While playing golf in the summer after receiving tenure, he received a flash from above that he could now write about anything, including why the Dodgers left Brooklyn. Having attended their first game in his boyhood home of Los Angeles, this seemed to be a splendid idea, and it turned into The Dodgers Move West. Subsequent baseball books have included The Minors: The Struggles and the Triumph of Baseball's Poor Relation from 1876 to the Present; The Diamond Revolution: The Prospects for Baseball after the Collapse of Its Ruling Class; and The Diamond in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium and the Politics of New York. For many New Yorkers, the removal of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957 remains one of the most traumatic events since World War II. Sullivan's reassessment of a story shifts responsibility for the move onto the local governmental maneuverings 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. Sullivan argues that O'Malley had, in fact, wanted to stay in Brooklyn, hoping to build a new stadium with his own money. Ebbets Field had become obsolete. Yet an uncooperative New York City administration blocked O'Malley's plan to use the ideal site at the Atlantic Avenue Long Island Railroad terminal. A political battle over the Dodgers' move also erupted in Los Angeles. Mayor Poulson's suggestion to use Chavez Ravine as the new stadium site triggered opposition from residents concerned about a giveaway. Eventually a telethon campaign that enlisted the help of celebrities such as Groucho Marx, George Burns, and Ronald Reagan enabled the approval of the deal. This engrossing book offers new insights into the power struggles existing in the nation's two largest cities. Bookseller Inventory # 75198

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Dodgers Move West

Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York

Publication Date: 1987

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Edition: First Printing [Stated].

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author:


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

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