Originally Posted by SeaverGooden
The Shapiro book is very biased in favour of O'Malley and against Robert Moses; understandable since the O'Malley family provided most of the information.
It takes the position that poor Walter O'Malley was forced to move the franchise because Bob Moses did very little to appease him. It passes over the fact that O'Malley wanted Moses to condemn the property at Atlantic/Flatbush despite the fact New York State law clearly prohibited it.
It passes over the fact that Moses was willing to give O'Malley a very sweetheart deal at Shea Stadium (or more accurately what was to become Shea Stadium) but O'Malley refused to consider it obstensibly because he would find it difficult to call the team the Brooklyn Dodgers if it played in Queens....O'Malley lied throughout 1957 that he was trying to keep the team in Brooklyn despite the fact he had made a verbal agreement with LA city officials in November 1956 to steal the franchise from Brooklyn.
The book is very inaccurate in its views that O'Malley was not an evil person and was forced to leave Brooklyn because of the refusal of Robert Moses to break the law.....
The Way Home Is Longer
This is a 1997 novel by Christopher Renino, telling the story of the '47 team. It has Jackie's picture on the cover.
It has been excerpted on baseballlibrary.com, and there's talk there of a reprint:
I'm not going to give this forthcoming release its own thread:
FOREVER BLUE: The True Story of Walter O’Malley, Baseball’s Most Controversial Owner, and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles (Riverhead Books; March 19, 2009)
The author, Michael D'Antonio, apparently got access to O'Malley archives. Judging by this story, though, he's in the "Blame It on Bob [Moses]" camp.
Philip Roth and the Brooklyn Dodgers
Time magazine's story about the noted author on January 19, 1987 includes this passage:
The distraction from his work Roth most willingly tolerates is baseball. "My fandom," he says, without a trace of irony, "is the most interesting fact of my life." He talks eagerly about going to games as a boy and watching the old Newark Bears of the International League along with his older brother Sanford and his father, now a retired insurance-company executive. His boyhood passion was the Brooklyn Dodgers. "I went off to college, and then the Dodgers went off to L.A.," he says, shaking his head. Eventually, he transferred his allegiance to the New York Mets.
Apparently he has a photo of the '47 team at home. Al Gionfriddo is name-checked in Portnoy's Complaint, as is Ebbets Field.
Pafko at the Wall/Underworld
This is a work by another noted novelist, Don DeLillo. Subtitled "The Shot Heard Round the World", it was originally published in Harper's Magazine in October 1992. It then became the prologue to DeLillo's 1997 novel Underworld, with minor changes, such as a new opening line. In 2001, it was re-released as a novella.
Here's an excerpt from the Boston Review describing it. I am intrigued.
Underworld opens with a magnificent prologue of some 60 pages. The scene is the Polo Grounds on October 3, 1951, during the one-game playoff between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants won by the Giants on Bobby Thomson's fabled ninth-inning homer. An 11-year-old Harlem boy crashes the gate and eludes the guards before finding a seat in left field. Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, and the saloonkeeper Toots Shor share a field-level box with J. Edgar Hoover. A messenger brings Hoover news that the Soviet Union has just completed its second successful test of an atomic bomb. Willie Mays takes a knee in the on-deck circle, unable to get a commercial jingle for razor blades out of his mind ("push-pull-click-click"). Paper and garbage start to fall from the stands. Gleason stuffs one hot dog too many into his mouth and throws up on Sinatra's shoes. Upon the head of Hoover there descends, from somewhere in the upper deck, a color reproduction torn from a copy of Life magazine of Pieter Bruegel's The Triumph of Death. The Giants win the pennant, and the kid who sneaked into the stadium ends up winning the scuffle in the stands for Bobby Thomson's home run ball. This section, like the entire novel, is remarkable for its sense of whirring simultaneity and for the way the winds of dread ripple across the madcap surface.
Lester Rodney: Press Box Red
Here's something I was not aware of previously. This man's name has been mentioned just once in passing on this forum.
Lester Rodney covered sports for the Daily Worker -- a Communist newspaper published in New York. He was an active voice in favor of erasing the color line, and in addition to Jackie Robinson, his path crossed with many Dodger figures of the era.
This book about him by Irwin Silber came out in 2003. Here's a link to a thumbnail sketch, reviews, and an excerpt.
Lester Rodney, age 98, is still with us today and still goes out to the ballpark. See the end of this story.
I stumbled across a little paperback called "A Fan's Memoir" by Bill Borst (Krank Press 1982). It covers the Bums from 1953-1957. All about Pee Wee, Jackie, and the Duke. Nice little book. I found it a Amazon for $5.95 (used).
Last edited by penncentralpete; 07-15-2009 at 09:32 AM.
Has anybody read "The Jackie Robinson Reader", I never knew there was such a book until today?
I don't believe this one's been mentioned here yet. It is The Brooklyn Dodgers: An Informal History (1945) by Frank Graham, Jr. Looking back at old posts here, I see that Graham became the Dodgers' PR director in 1952.
That was one of the first books I read while doing research for my book on Ebbets Field. It was before the Jackie Robinson era but is essential for lovers of Dodger history.
Being an avid baseball history fan, I recently purchased and currently reading, 'The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers' written by Bob McGee.
Wonderful book. It starts out early on before Ebbits Field was built, continues on with Charley Ebbets buying the land, building Ebbets Field, and continuing right through it's history. Some great pictures of Ebbets Field as well. The book also talks about the fans quire a bit, including some of the better known ones like Hilda Chester.
Some great stories on Ebbets, his co-owners, Durocher, Uncle Robbie, Branch Rickey, Jackie, the Boys of Summer, the Daffiness Boys, the whole bit.
I strongly recco this book for those of you on this board or anyone else interested in Ebbets Field history. Well researched and well written
Yankees Fan Since 1957
John Leonard's essay on the Dodgers in Daniel Okrent's Ultimate Baseball Book , which bitter fan drew to our attention, deserves a link here too:
Recently my small son got another entry in the mail from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library series. These are free books aimed at helping young children develop a love of reading. This latest one (originally published in 2005) is called Luke Goes to Bat, and it's about a little African-American boy in Brooklyn who wants to play stickball with the bigger kids. He gets a chance to go to Ebbets Field with his grandma and is inspired by Jackie Robinson. It was charming.
I finally got around to reading something I'd had on my list for a long time: the classic magazine article "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" by Gay Talese, originally published in Esquire in April 1966. The reason I mention it here is that Leo Durocher is mentioned in it at a couple of points as a crony of Ol' Blue Eyes. The story opens in a Beverly Hills club, and Leo the pool shark is at the table. Then later, The Chairman of the Board is attending a championship boxing match in Vegas, but Leo has to settle for tickets that are not in the front row.
If I recall correctly, Leo's associations with Hollywood went back as far as the late '30s or early '40s. I believe he was pals with tough-guy actor George Raft. It seemed like he was an auxiliary Rat Pack member, because Dean Martin was another Durocher pal. From descriptions of what Leo liked to wear, he could have fit in with the original Ocean's 11.
The new bio of Gil Hodges is out tomorrow:
Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, the Miracle Mets, and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend
I don't know anything about the first author listed, Tom Clavin...but I like Danny Peary's work a great deal.
They teamed up on a Roger Maris bio that came out last year, but I have not read that one.