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  • Brooklyn Baseball

    Back in the days when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn, there were lesser teams that also graced the borough's ballfields, including several squads populated by neighborhood celebrities who have appeared, however briefly, on these pages. If you were an avid reader here some years ago you may recall such stalwarts as Irwin Finkelstein, Fat Frank Losquadro, Phil Forelli, Red Mitgang, Dixie Fenichel, and other sandlot greats too numerous to mention. They, too, played the game, and I am both honored and proud to keep their names alive. But I digress.....

    Do you remember, circa 1950, the Empires, the Torpedoes, Flatbush Pontiac, Charles Farkas Construction, the Canarsie Bluebirds? We in East Flatbush shared the glory of them all, spread over three leagues - two hardball, one softball - and that, neighbors (as the Old Redhead used to say), is where the trouble began. Fat Frank Losquadro's checkered career has been told elsewhere on this forum, but until this moment I have never revealed that he was at one point a bonafide member of all the aforementioned teams, simultaneously and at the same time. With the Empires and Torpedoes inhabiting the same league, Fat Frank negotiated with our revered commissioner (Abe Rosenberg, if you must know) to play half the game for each team when they competed head-to-head, a notion which, after extensive debate, was unanimously rejected by our governing body (the final vote: Abe 1, opposition 0). So Fat Frank, a catcher by trade, started for the Torpedoes on that fateful day. But when he took a called third strike with two men in scoring position in the top of the fifth, and vigorously disputed the call of the home plate umpire (also Abe Rosenberg, if you must know) with a selection of choice phrases from his extensive collection of colorful profanity, thereby embarrassing the women and children in the sparse audience, he was promptly tossed by Abe.

    What followed is altogether predictable, but, I fear, must be told. Fat Frank flung his Torpedoes' cap in all directions, marched theatrically toward the opposition bench and announced to one and all that he was now playing for the Empires.

    No, Fat Frank did not hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth - or was it the top of the ninth? Well, it doesn't matter - he didn't do it. In fact, the game ended right there in the fifth when Commissioner Abe Rosenberg could not make a valid ruling regarding Fat Frank's eligibility, even with the aid of the Official Baseball Rules summoned from his hip pocket. A discussion of considerable length ensued, with Abe changing his ruling more than once, both managers officially protesting the game, until the umpire-in-chief (that's Abe, one last time) dramatically intoned "I'm ruling this game No Contest." The league's bylaws were altered soon after, and the problem never occurred again.

    By the way, did you ever hear the one about Willie Newsome being the lawyer for both sides in Judge McCoy's courtroom when Irwin Finkelstein sued Don Z Block for breaking his hand? I read about that right here. You could look it up.
    Last edited by jaykay; 05-12-2008, 09:33 AM.
    pb::

  • #2
    I seem to remember Toothbrush Terrigan shutting out the Empires in game one of the PigTown World Series in '50 for the Essex Street Haymakers. Hatrack Hines' 6th inning homer was the difference. Rumor has it Hatrack was "juiced" on German tea.
    you can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the DODGERS
    http://brooklyndodgermemories.freeforums.org/

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jaykay View Post
      Back in the days when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn, there were lesser teams that also graced the borough's ballfields, including several squads populated by neighborhood celebrities who have appeared, however briefly, on these pages. If you were an avid reader here some years ago you may recall such stalwarts as Irwin Finkelstein, Fat Frank Losquadro, Phil Forelli, Red Mitgang, Dixie Fenichel, and other sandlot greats too numerous to mention. They, too, played the game, and I am both honored and proud to keep their names alive. But I digress.....

      Do you remember, circa 1950, the Empires, the Torpedoes, Flatbush Pontiac, Charles Farkas Construction, the Canarsie Bluebirds? We in East Flatbush shared the glory of them all, spread over three leagues - two hardball, one softball - and that, neighbors (as the Old Redhead used to say), is where the trouble began. Fat Frank Losquadro's checkered career has been told elsewhere on this forum, but until this moment I have never revealed that he was at one point a bonafide member of all the aforementioned teams, simultaneously and at the same time. With the Empires and Torpedoes inhabiting the same league, Fat Frank negotiated with our revered commissioner (Abe Rosenberg, if you must know) to play half the game for each team when they competed head-to-head, a notion which, after extensive debate, was unanimously rejected by our governing body (the final vote: Abe 1, opposition 0). So Fat Frank, a catcher by trade, started for the Torpedoes on that fateful day. But when he took a called third strike with two men in scoring position in the top of the fifth, and vigorously disputed the call of the home plate umpire (also Abe Rosenberg, if you must know) with a selection of choice phrases from his extensive collection of colorful profanity, thereby embarrassing the women and children in the sparse audience, he was promptly tossed by Abe.

      What followed in altogether predictable, but, I fear, must be told. Fat Frank flung his Torpedoes' cap in all directions, marched theatrically toward the opposition bench and announced to one and all that he was now playing for the Empires.

      No, Fat Frank did not hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth - or was it the top of the ninth? Well, it doesn't matter - he didn't do it. In fact, the game ended right there in the fifth when Commissioner Abe Rosenberg could not make a valid ruling regarding Fat Frank's eligibility, even with the aid of the Official Baseball Rules summoned from his hip pocket. A discussion of considerable length ensued, with Abe changing his ruling more than once, both managers officially protesting the game, until the umpire-in-chief (that's Abe, one last time) dramatically intoned "I'm ruling this game No Contest." The league's bylaws were altered soon after, and the problem never occurred again.

      By the way, did you ever hear the one about Willie Newsome being the lawyer for both sides in Judge McCoy's courtroom when Irwin Finkelstein sued Don Z Block for breaking his hand? I read about that right here. You could look it up.


      Was this the one that eventually forced the good Professor to turn to your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist, for help? The very same one that the good Professor still owes about $65.00, or it is now more, with interest? And, did Irwin, he of the infamous Jacob Finkelstein & Son, return to Woonsocket, RI, reveling in his win, vowing never to return to Brooklyn again?

      Tell, tell.....

      c.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DODGER DEB View Post
        [/B]

        Was this the one that eventually forced the good Professor to turn to your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist, for help? The very same one that the good Professor still owes about $65.00, or it is now more, with interest? And, did Irwin, he of the infamous Jacob Finkelstein & Son, return to Woonsocket, RI, reveling in his win, vowing never to return to Brooklyn again?

        Tell, tell.....

        c.
        This brings up an even more important question ... has your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist, been able to help the good professor or is he, the good professor, still wandering aimlessly from class to class?

        BTW didn't we take up a collection (several times) to help settle that exorbitant fee charged by your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bklyn Boy since 1936 View Post
          This brings up an even more important question ... has your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist, been able to help the good professor or is he, the good professor, still wandering aimlessly from class to class?

          BTW didn't we take up a collection (several times) to help settle that exorbitant fee charged by your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist?
          I wonder if jaykay would ask his brother-in-law, the master pyschiatrist, if his rates have increased since he last rendered that treatment for $65.00? I think it is important that we start off again, on the right foot!
          m.
          Dodger Deb, too!

          Comment


          • #6
            WE must also keep in mind that all those players (that jaykay mentions) with dreams, played within eyeview of OUR Ebbets Field, on the sandlots of BROOKLYN. Of course, none of them made it to OUR Team, but in BROOKLYN the dreams of young talented boys were big.

            The disputes, of which WE speak, were real and had to be resolved.

            c.

            Comment


            • #7
              As we stroll down memory lane, I get the feeling that some of our correspondents doubt the veracity of the adventures I have posted now and again, preferring to believe that they are figments of a distorted imagination. I beg to differ. I saw what I saw when I saw it. Were you there? Did you live on the same block as Sheldon Galina and Alice D'Amico? Are you prepared to vow that Flatbush Pontiac never existed, that Charlie Campisi, the fruit and vegetable man, was an illusion, that Sidney Friedland never taught Spanish at Midwood High School? For shame, for shame. These were real people doing their level best to find love and happiness, to cheer the Dodgers on to a pennant - if not this year, then next year. My brother-in-law, the master psychologist (not psychiatrist - you weren't paying attention) , was a Brooklyn boy eventually removed to Pennsylvania, and so, you may be astonished to learn, is Professor Don Z Block. Tell me, if you dare, that there was never a poet laureate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, or a Punchball Hall of Fame, or that Judge McCoy did not become rowdy in the company of Leo Durocher and hurl insults at Claudette Colbert. You can't just make up things like that. Willie Newsome did indeed exist, and he was both a prosecuting attorney for the U.S.Navy AND the head usher at Ebbets Field (though not, I confess, at the same time).
              Rest assured, I have feelings,too, and I do not suffer abuse lightly. You may not accept that I am a proud member of of the Witness Protection Program, but that's your problem, not mine. As for the Marble Rotunda being buried beneath the Ebbets Field Apartments, don't - I repeat, DON'T - take my word for it. Dodger Deb, Professor Block and Jimmy Hoffa all claim to have been there, so take the matter up with any one of them. I've had about all I can take of this. My nerves are frazzled, and I missed my nap today. Try to understand.
              pb::

              Comment


              • #8
                I lived around the corner from Jo-Jo who was a member of the Dodger Sym-phony! He owned a grocery/donut shop there and there was always lively baseball discussions going on there! Being very young at the time, I just took it in, in awe! And, the donuts were great.
                Jaykay, you'd better keep up on your afternoon naps, and try not to get frazzled, otherwise you might have to professionally visit your brother-in-law, the master psychiatrist. Does he give you a break on his fee?
                As for the rotunda, Deb and the Professor could have been there, but maybe Hoffa is still there!
                m.
                Dodger Deb, too!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ralph Zig Tyko
                  Hoffa is in Joisey, under a goal post. :-)
                  Oh ye of little faith. You have fallen into the old myth when many of us here can and will attest to the fact that Dodger Deb, Professor Block and Jimmy Hoffa all claim to have been there. Who are we to doubt them?

                  And, FYI, It has also beem reported that the Bedford Avenue cobblestones may also be under the Ebbets Field Apartments in a seperate chamber.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bklyn Boy since 1936 View Post
                    Oh ye of little faith. You have fallen into the old myth when many of us here can and will attest to the fact that Dodger Deb, Professor Block and Jimmy Hoffa all claim to have been there. Who are we to doubt them?

                    And, FYI, It has also beem reported that the Bedford Avenue cobblestones may also be under the Ebbets Field Apartments in a seperate chamber.
                    I think that Deb and the Professor have some of those cobblestones in their attics waiting for some bank to pay them interest!
                    m.
                    Dodger Deb, too!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bklyn Boy since 1936 View Post
                      Oh ye of little faith. You have fallen into the old myth when many of us here can and will attest to the fact that Dodger Deb, Professor Block and Jimmy Hoffa all claim to have been there. Who are we to doubt them?

                      And, FYI, It has also beem reported that the Bedford Avenue cobblestones may also be under the Ebbets Field Apartments in a seperate chamber.
                      I think that Deb and the Professor have some of those cobblestones in their attics waiting for some bank to pay them interest!
                      m.
                      Dodger Deb, too!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is these moments of memories ever so slightly connected to our beloved BUMS that keep bringing us back to this forum. When we reflect on Jaykay's memories (and who are we to doubt their validity?), that we find other memories stirred in our own mind. His memories stir similar (certainly not the same) memories that we have and which have lain untapped for many years in our subconcious only to be brought to mind by his inspired remarks. For that we thank him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by strummer View Post
                          It is these moments of memories ever so slightly connected to our beloved BUMS that keep bringing us back to this forum. When we reflect on Jaykay's memories (and who are we to doubt their validity?), that we find other memories stirred in our own mind. His memories stir similar (certainly not the same) memories that we have and which have lain untapped for many years in our subconcious only to be brought to mind by his inspired remarks. For that we thank him.
                          Well said, Strummer.
                          Now, what did you do with your share of the cobblestones?
                          m.
                          Dodger Deb, too!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jaykay View Post
                            As for the Marble Rotunda being buried beneath the Ebbets Field Apartments, don't - I repeat, DON'T - take my word for it. Dodger Deb, Professor Block and Jimmy Hoffa all claim to have been there, so take the matter up with any one of them. I've had about all I can take of this. My nerves are frazzled, and I missed my nap today. Try to understand.
                            Now now jaykay, don't try and throw me off. I may not have been around when the Dodgers played at Ebbets Field, but I have been on this forum long enough to know that no one here would have allowed the Rotunda to remain under Ebbets Field Apartments, knowing what I know about how Ebbets Field Apartments were in fact a large cause of the economic decline of Brooklyn there is no way anyone would allow for those two to be connected. Also, I have read that one of you has in fact reassembled the Rotunda piece by piece in a vault somewhere. I don't know what it will take for me to get an invite there, short of showing up to Cooperstown and booing the induction of he who shall not be named.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bklyn Boy since 1936 View Post
                              Oh ye of little faith. You have fallen into the old myth when many of us here can and will attest to the fact that Dodger Deb, Professor Block and Jimmy Hoffa all claim to have been there. Who are we to doubt them?

                              And, FYI, It has also beem reported that the Bedford Avenue cobblestones may also be under the Ebbets Field Apartments in a seperate chamber.
                              You are right, BB36, about the Bedford Avenue cobblestones. They are indeed in a separate chamber off OUR Rotunda, for safe keeping and future use. No one really believes that Bedford Avenue won't eventually need to be restored to it's former magnificent glory, do they?

                              And if anyone doubts that OUR Rotunda, in all its splendor, does not still "live" beneath those ugly pieces of concrete, all you need do is take a trip and stop on the corner of Sullivan/McKeever and look at the ever widening crack in the concrete in the exact spot where the entrance to OUR Rotunda once proudly stood. That crack, as it widens, will unfold many answers. Further, that that crack has taken the shape of a OUR beloved "B" has not gone unnoticed. Does anyone need more convincing?

                              THAT piece of land holds a magic that only loyal and true BROOKLYN DODGER FANS will ever understand.

                              c.

                              Comment

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