The Brooklyn Dodgers: An Informal History

Overview

First published in 1945 as part of the acclaimed Putnam series of team histories, Frank Graham’s colorful chronicle presents the Brooklyn Dodgers in "all their glory and all their daffiness” from the team’s beginnings as the Atlantics in 1883 through 1943, with a short summary of the 1944 season.

            

In his foreword, Hall of Fame sports writer Jack Lang writes that "in an era that produced for New York sports ...

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Overview

First published in 1945 as part of the acclaimed Putnam series of team histories, Frank Graham’s colorful chronicle presents the Brooklyn Dodgers in "all their glory and all their daffiness” from the team’s beginnings as the Atlantics in 1883 through 1943, with a short summary of the 1944 season.

            

In his foreword, Hall of Fame sports writer Jack Lang writes that "in an era that produced for New York sports fans such outstanding sportswriters as Grantland Rice, Sid Mercer, Bill Slocum, Bob Considine, and Tommy Holmes, one of the very best was Frank Graham, whose columns appeared in the New York Sun and later the Journal-American.”

            

Graham covers every aspect of the Dodgers—games, fans, players, managers, executives. And these Dodgers produced their share of legends: Wee Willie Keeler, Mickey Owen, Dazzy Vance, Babe Herman, Charles H. Ebbets, Wilbert Robinson, Charles Byrne, Casey Stengel, Leo Durocher, Zack Wheat, Burleigh Grimes, Steve McKeever, Ed McKeever, Larry MacPhail, Max Carey, Dixie Walker, Branch Rickey, Dolph Camilli, Hugh Casey, Nap Rucker, Van Lingle Mungo, and the voice of the Dodgers, Red Barber.

            

Dealing with the various executives, Graham notes that in the beginning, Charles Ebbets did everything from selling tickets and scorecards to helping out in the front office. In the 1930s, the inept Dodgers provoked laughter until Larry MacPhail moved from Cincinnati to Brooklyn in 1938; one year later, the Dodgers were contenders. When MacPhail departed for the Army after the 1942 season, Branch Rickey succeeded him. Rickey’s scouts signed every youngster who could hit, run, or throw, even though many of them were headed for the war. "When they came back in 1946,” Lang explains, "Rickey had cornered the market on the nation’s young talent—more than six hundred ballplayers.”

            

This history of the Brooklyn Dodgers contains eighteen black-and-white illustrations.

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809324132
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Writing Baseball Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Beginning his career in 1946, Jack Lang covered baseball for the Long Island Press and the New York Daily News for six decades. He covered the Brooklyn Dodgers until they left for Los Angeles in the late 1950s, when his beat switched to the Yankees and the Mets. He witnessed Jackie Robinson’s major-league debut and covered the careers of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Lang received the prestigious J. G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writers of America in 1986, which placed him in the writers’ wing of the Hall of Fame.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Foreword xi
1. Professional Baseball Comes to Brooklyn 3
2. The Great Ned Hanlon Arrives 10
3. Ginney Flats and Growlers of Beer 18
4. A Vision of a New Park 22
5. The McKeevers to the Rescue 33
6. Uncle Robbie Takes Command 39
7. The Federal League Digs In 48
8. A Pennant Is Won in Flatbush 53
9. Ebbets and the Holdouts 62
10. Pfeffer Takes a Scouting Trip 73
11. Another Pennant--Out of Nowhere 77
12. A Wanderer of the Trail 86
13. So Near and Yet So Far 91
14. Death Strikes the Dodgers Twice 95
15. A Break Between Robbie and Steve 100
16. The Daffiness Boys 109
17. The Fight on Robbie 118
18. The New Manager: Max Carey 125
19. "Is Brooklyn Still in the League?" 132
20. The Return of Grimes 140
21. Enter Larry MacPhail 149
22. "Full and Complete Authority" 157
23. Larry Picks His Man 169
24. The Snatching of Kirby Higbe 189
25. Everybody Could See It Coming 193
26. Two Bad Breaks in a Series 208
27. The End of an Era 214
28. The Coming of Rickey 231
29. The Future Seems Bright 244
Index 249
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