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Get Over It
It's been nearly half a century since the Dodgers left Brooklyn, and some people are still bitter. Murray Chass of The New York Times has a column today where he basically says the Los Angeles Dodgers have no business celebrating the 50th anniversary of their 1955 World Series championship team. This Sunday, the Dodgers will wear Brooklyn uniforms, and will have 12 of the 13 living members of the team participate in a ceremony.
But Chass, who is normally a great writer, finds the whole thing disgusting. He writes: "The Los Angeles Dodgers have built their existence on the tombstone of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and now they are stealing their history as well."
Maybe Murray Chass hasn't paid any attention to West Coast baseball for the last 47 years, but the Dodgers have been honoring the Brooklyn portion of its history for as long as I remember. This season might be the first time they've worn throwback uniforms, but the Dodgers are an organization with a rich history. It's the franchise of Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax, Orel Hershiser, and Kirk Gibson. Its history doesn't belong to just one city.
"The Los Angeles Dodgers' history began with the kidnapping of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1958. They had no history, no existence, before that heinous act," Chass writes.
No history? No existence? The 1958 Dodgers weren't exactly an expansion team. Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres, and co. didn't drop out of the sky. And kidnapping is a gross overstatement. Sure, the Brooklyn Dodgers were a great organization that was loved by the people of the borough. And it's true that their loss was tragic to many baseball fans. But New Yorkers have Robert Moses to blame, just as much as Walter O'Malley.
Chass claims that the Dodgers 1955 championship was "Brooklyn's victory", and that only the Hall-of-Fame is "another rightful sponsor" of 50th anniversary celebrations. Not the actual organization that won the World Series. Chass also quotes one fan as saying that the ceremony this Sunday is an "insult."
Look, LAist gets it. We can sympathize with Brooklyn's pain to some extent. We remember when the Rams and Raiders were robbed from us 10 years ago. The Rams, in particular, were an indelible part of Los Angeles sports history. We are still waiting for an NFL team to return, and root against Georgia Frontiere and Al Davis whenever we can. But New York was given the Mets to move on, and this LAist writer has gotten to the point where he can move on as well, and accept that the those franchises are in different cities.
The Dodgers are a franchise with a rich 115-year history. It's a team that began in Brooklyn and is now in Los Angeles. That's two cities, and one history. LAist bleeds Dodger blue, and we honor all of the traditions that the organization has carried on from day one. And we look forward to paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of one of our teams' six World Championships.
We have no problem with the people of Brooklyn having their own celebrations, given how much the 1955 title meant to the borough. But don't get all holier-than-thou and claim that the organization that actually won the title has no right to celebrate. That's an insult. If Vin Scully, Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider, Bob Borkowski, Roger Craig, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, Johnny Podres, Ed Roebuck, George Shuba, and Don Zimmer (who will all participate in the ceremony) aren't still bitter, then why is New York?