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  • #16
    Friends:

    I got a treat last night!

    My Dad, who has dementia, turned 79 last week. I bought us both Brooklyn Dodgers caps to celebrate his birthday---my Dad loves ballcaps and hasn't not worn one in years.

    Living in South Florida, the cap has attracted a lot of attention. My Mom was telling me last night that she is simply AMAZED how many old neighborhood Brooklynites come up to my Dad and start talking about the Dodgers with him, congratulate him, and want to know where to get a hat like his.

    Considering they live in Retirement Central I'm surprised that she's surprised.

    I stopped off to visit them last night and my Dad launched into a wonderful reminiscence of the first ballgame he ever saw. He came from Europe after WWII, arriving here on January 1, 1947. His first ballgame was at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947---Jackie Robinson's debut.

    I was stunned as he began recounting in detail not only the game but the fact that he'd brown-bagged his own salami sandwich, and how he was shoulder-to-shoulder with all these nice people---"It was like being in my own living room. It was a baseball game in your lap."

    It was a blast to hear him talk about the first day crowd's reaction to Jackie, which, he says, was very ordinary---"Yeah, yeah, but can he play ball? is all I care about."

    My Mom contributed by giving me the names of every player on the 1955 team and their field position. "What's this? You know this?"

    "It's my team!" she snorted.

    This from people who haven't looked at a sports page since I've known them. Dementia's terrible. It's great that he remembers Number 42. I just wish he could remember where he lives when he wanders off.
    Spirit of '55:cap:

    "Let's Bring The Dodgers Home Before The Big Quake, Else The Fault Will Be Ours!"

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    • #17
      Bless yer heart, Spirit. My mom suffered from Alzheimers for four years before passing on a couple of years ago. I can relate to your journey and give you high praise for your involvement in your parents golden years.

      Two quick things:

      !. My mom would recognize my "Brooklyn" hat when I'd visit her. She could relive those days spent living there during my dad's brief stint as a catcher. I was astounded how some things like that were still remained in her memory for so long!

      2. I was on a tram-ride that was taking folks from the parking area into Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. This happened about a year ago.

      I was wearing my Brooklyn ball hat when a guy said, "Hey, that's a Brooklyn hat! Don't see those much anymore."
      I asked the man how he knew about it—if he lived in New York.
      He said, "No my dad played for 'em."
      I replied, "You're kidding? My dad did, TOO!"
      (The whole tram perked up listening to us.)
      "Who was your dad?" I asked him.
      "My dad was Mickey Owen—a catcher for Brooklyn."
      "MICKEY OWEN?" Holy cow!," I shouted. "YOUR dad jumped to the Mexican league in 1946, which gave my dad a chance to become the starting catcher for Brooklyn that same year!"
      We had a great conversation. It was amazing! And to think, we would have never met...if it weren't for that HAT! I wear that puppy all the time now! haha

      Sorry to ramble. Just thought you'd get a kick outta that.
      Best wishes,
      Todd (Anderson)
      Andy's #3 son

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      • #18
        Dear Todd:

        Thanks for the memories! Those are great stories.

        You know, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that someday the team will return to Brooklyn. After all, the salmon always swim upstream and the swallows come back to Capistrano.

        We inherit tales of Ebbets Field.

        Even today, young Brooklynites remember the Dodgers. It isn't just us and ours. Like the Sox beating out the Yanks, there's a kind of cosmic inevitability to it.

        Someday. Sooner than we think. And in anticipation, I'll keep my hat on
        Spirit of '55:cap:

        "Let's Bring The Dodgers Home Before The Big Quake, Else The Fault Will Be Ours!"

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        • #19
          I so feel that way to. battlin bake the dodger dynamo. fellas just great stuff. battlin bake, the dodger dynamo

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          • #20
            rzt he sure was a great baseball man. still you know because he was ousted before most of the championships he has been overlooked by many in baseball. the dodgers all but tried to erase him from their history along with carl furillo after o'malley took over. It's a disgrace, a sad pitiful disgrace. battlin bake, the dodger dynamo

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