Man, that woulda been cool!
On Rob’s recommendation, I sought out HBO’s documentary, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush. If you haven’t seen it yet, oh, do find it! Anyone with ties to Brooklyn or baseball can’t help but enjoy. I will definitely recommend the 2-hour documentary to my grandfather, who was in Brooklyn at the time, and a die-hard Dodgers fan. He still hasn’t recovered.
I grew up in the BK with no borough baseball team to root for, but I learned from HBO that history could have been easily rewritten–if not for that annoying, power-hungry Robert Moses. Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley fought dang hard to build a new stadium only one subway stop away from my childhood home:
Look familiar? Fifty years later, the area is getting its stadium. If Robert Moses had been more flexible, it could have already been Dodgers land. O’Malley would have paid for it. Paid taxes on it. He’d have given something truly special to Brooklyn.
Even cooler? The imagined ball park would have been a testament to ’50s architecture and optimism. Today, it might have seemed quaint–an almost Jetsons-like vision of progress. But at the time, it was thought (as the documentary says), "What could be newer than a geodesic dome rising up on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue?"
You know, I bet my grandfather would have taken me to that ball park growing up. I’d have been a Dodgers fan. The Mets might never have existed. (Although, the documentary implies that the Giants would have moved anyway, to the midwest. And Robert Moses wanted a Flushing stadium, so it’s possible the Mets would have still moved in as a 3rd NY team.)
Really, though. From Brooklyn, to baseball, to race, to history, to class–every thrill and disappointment of the Dodgers from 1947 to 1957 has been captured perfectly by this film. Check it out!
Z (My mom likes to say, "You can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the girl.")