For many New Yorkers, the removal of the Brooklyn Dodgers--perhaps the most popular baseball team of all time--to Los Angeles in 1957 remains one of the most traumatic events since World War II. Neil J. Sullivan's controversial reassessment of a story that has reached almost mythic proportions in its many retellings 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. Situated in an increasingly unsafe neighborhood and without parking facilities, Ebbets Field had become obsolete. Yet an uncooperative New York City administration, led by Robert Moses, 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.
Set against a backdrop of sporting passion and rivalry, and appearing over thirty years after the Dodgers' last season in Brooklyn, this engrossing book offers new insights into the power struggles existing in the nation's two largest cities.
"This is an excellent presentation that merges urban politics with the impact of sports in urban culture."--Daniel R. Smedley, Temple Univ.
"This is a very interesting book. It does an excellent job of presenting its story."--Robert K. Whelan, Univ. 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
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 8th June 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 14.0
Weight (kg): 0.35