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The Golden Age of Baseball in New York City  

saturn1019 61M
9 posts
6/6/2021 9:58 am
The Golden Age of Baseball in New York City

The most immortal baseball player in American history, George Herman "Babe" Ruth died of cancer on August , 1948. At his funeral service on August 19,
6000 friends, fans and former teammates packed St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Another 75,000 stood outside in the pouring rain, and more than
0,000 more lined the streets as his body was transported to the cemetery. When his casket was removed from St. Patrick's, former teammates served as
pallbearers. One of them, Joe Dugan, told another, Waite Hoyt, “I'd give a hundred dollars for a cold beer.” Hoyt replied, “So would the Babe."

The 1948 baseball season was winding down. Two months later, the Cleveland Indians would defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates in 6 games to claim the World
Series title. The following season, an amazing string of consecutive years began during which at least one of the three teams from New York City would participate in the Series. A team from New York would win the World Series title 8 times over the next years, and of the 20 World Series slots would be filled by the 3 franchises. The Yankees would claim the title 6 times, and the New York Giants would claim one. Even the long suffering fans of the Brooklyn
Dodgers would be rewarded with the season they had dreamed of for more than half a century. But when that year reign of glory ended for New York
teams, the Dodgers would break their fans' hearts one more time; this time, forever.

In 1949, with two games left in the season, the New York Yankees trailed the Boston Red Sox by one game, with two games remaining in the season. The two teams would face each other in the final games. Boston needed only 1 win to claim the pennant. But the Yankees won both games and won the American League pennant.

Meanwhile, the same day the Yankees defeated Boston for the second time, Brooklyn scored 2 runs in the th inning to defeat Philadelphia 9-7. Combined with
a St. Louis victory over the Cubs, the Dodgers were on their way to the World Series to face the Yankees for the second time in 3 seasons. Much like the 47
series, the rookie year for Jackie Robinson, it would not be competitive. The Yankees claimed the World Series title in 5 games.
The Yankees would claim the title again in 1950 over the Philadelphia Phillies in 4 games. The following season, a rookie joined the
Yankees that was declared the heir apparent to the Yankees aging star, Joe DiMaggio. His name was Mickey Mantle. In the month of August, the New York Giants
found themselves trailing the Brooklyn Dodgers by and a half games. But the Giants went on a tear and at one point, won consecutive games. The Giants caught
the Dodgers with 2 games left in the season, and both teams won their final two games. That forced a 2 out of 3 game playoff between the Dodgers and
the Giants. The two teams split the first two games. In the deciding game 3, the Giants found themselves down by 2 runs in the 9th inning. They had runners on
second and third when Bobby Thompson came to the plate. Thompson hit the<b> famous </font></b>"shot heard round the world" home run to clinch the pennant for the Giants.
But in the World Series, the dominant Yankees defeated them in six games.
The Yankees would continue their dominance in both the '52 and '53 seasons. The Yankees defeated the Dodgers in 7 games in 1952, then again in 6 in 1953.
The '53 victory for the Yankees marked the 4th time in 7 years that they had defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series. It also set a record for the
Yankees with 5 consecutive World Series titles, and their th overall, the most of any team in baseball.
In 1954, the Yankees would win a remarkable 3 games, but it wasn't enough to permit them to claim their 6th consecutive
American League Pennant. The Cleveland Indians won an astonishing 1 games, setting a record that would stand for 44
years. Meanwhile, the New York Giants finished 5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Dodgers to earn their spot in the World
Series. The Giants swept the heavily favored Indians in 4 games, claiming their 5th World Series title. They hadn't won
one in 21 years. They wouldn't win another for another half century, playing as the San Francisco Giants.
By 1955, Jackie Robinson's skills were beginning to fade. His batting average dropped to .256, the lowest of his career,
and well below his .3 career average. But he still terrifed pitchers and catchers with his speed on the bases, and he
helped the Brooklyn Dodgers win the National League Pennant by and a half games. The New York Yankees topped the
Cleveland Indians by 3 games in the American League, setting up the third World Series confrontation between the
two teams in 4 years. The Yankees took the first 2 games of the series, leaving the Dodger fans despairing of yet
another grave disappointment. But the Dodgers would come back and the series was eventually knotted at 3 games each.
In game 7, Johnny Podres pitched a 2-0 shutout for the Dodgers, permitting them to claim their first World Series title.
"This is one you have never heard before," typed one New York sportswriter. "The Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world"
There would be a rematch in 1956. The Yankees easily outpaced the Cleveland Indians by 9 games, while the Dodgers
edged out the Milwaukee Braves by a single game. Mickey Mantle led both leagues in batting average, .353, home runs, 52
and runs batted in, 0 despite injuries to both legs. This time the Dodgers would win the first two games. The second game
of the series became the first game in World Series history in which a team that hit a grand slam home run, the Yankees,
lost the game. It has only happened one time since. The Yankees came back to win the next two to tie the series.
Then in game 5, Yankees pitcher, Don Larsen pitched the first perfect game in World Series history to give the Yankees
a 2-0 victory and a 3-2 lead in the series. The Dodgers rebounded in game 6 with a 1-0 shut out victory despite giving
up 7 hits. But in game 7 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, the Yankees prevailed -4 to claim yet another championship.
It was the last World Series game that would ever be played in Brooklyn. At the conclusion of the season, the Dodgers
traded Jackie Robinson to the New York Giants. But the trade would never be completed. Jackie Robinson announced his
retirement prior to finalizing the deal.
By 1957, both the Giants and Dodgers were watching their attendance numbers sag. Brooklyn was having a difficult time
attracting white fans to attend games in the African-American dominated neighborhood of Flatbush. The Dodgers fell to third
place, games behind the Milwaukee Braves. The Giants finished a dismal 6th, a distant 26 games back. Across town and
in the American League, the Yankees outpaced the Chicago White Sox by 8 games to win the American League pennant. The
Yankees would lose the World Series to the Braves in 7 games, but it was just another shock to New York baseball fans.
On July 18th, the New York Giants had announced that they would play their next season in San Francisco. On September 29,
the Giants played their final game at the Polo Grounds. They lost 9-1. Then on October 8, the unthinkable happened.
Walter O'Malley, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, announced that he would move his team to Los Angeles for the 1958 season. Just one day
before, the city of Los Angeles had announced that had they approved funding for a baseball stadium to be built at Chavez
The golden age of baseball in New York had come to an end. Ebbets Field was destroyed by a wrecking ball on February 23,
1960. In 1964, the Polo Grounds met the same fate. A new expansion team would be given to New York in 1961, and the
Mets began play in 1962. Baseball has never returned to Brooklyn.

lindoboy100 58M
23884 posts
8/9/2021 10:47 am

Excellent read McTurn! I'm not much more than a passing fan of baseball, we don't see much over here, but I do enjoy a piece or two of history.......how easy it is to bulldoze recent history though......

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