The Brooklyn Dodgers left Ebbets Field over 60 years ago, in 1958. At this time, the bright lights of Los Angeles were too alluring and the downfall of Brooklyn and New York City as a whole was looming. Owner Walter O’Malley was ready and willing to move the Dodgers anywhere, as long as it wasn’t Brooklyn. This move then, and even to some now, was a heartbreaking one, losing a beloved team for a trendy new city would not fly over well. The fact that two teams in New York were replaced by the Mets did not make matters that much better either. Leaving Brooklyn took a lot, most of which can be owed to the controversial figure, Robert Moses who pioneered the downfall of New York and in the process, struck down a stadium in the area where Barclays Center is located today, at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Downtown Brooklyn. It was an innovative stadium, especially for the time, with a dome and a movie theater which was very innovative move, especially for the time.
But, since the proposal was struck down by Robert Moses, there was nothing left the people of Brooklyn could’ve done to keep Dem Bums in their area. So, they watched them leave and watched the historical Ebbets Field get demolished in the following years. Some fans remained Dodgers fans, many were so upset by the team leaving that they still foster resentment to this day. Even notable figures like Senator Bernie Sanders have anger towards their favorite team leaving their home.
We’re here to bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/V5Zrqir9cw— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 11, 2018
The name Walter O’Malley still stings many of the Brooklynites who remember what he did to the boro. People saw him as a greedy man who cared nothing about baseball and only about making the most money possible. He left a die-hard fan base without their boys, it is not difficult to hate him–especially considering the successes that came after leaving Brooklyn. The team was immediately successful in LA, winning the World Series in 1959, further enraging the fans back in Brooklyn.
The part that is the scariest is how much in we can see the shift in baseball now. At that point, owners were looking west, and now, owners are looking at new emerging cities as well as possibly emerging nations. Major League Baseball wants to be on the cusp of a new expansion, there has been speculation about teams moving to Las Vegas, Mexico City, Charlotte, Montreal (again) and various other cities. There are teams that could face the same fate the Brooklyn Dodgers were, the most obvious ones being the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, and Oakland Athletics. The Rays, in particular, have been stagnant in terms of growth, coupled with the lack of progress in moving out of the awful Tropicana Field in a decent time frame are the perfect example of a team that can be relocated. Not only that, the product on the field is not bad, with more reinforcements on the way as well the team could use a change of scenery.
There may not be as dedicated as a fan base in Tampa Bay was there was in Brooklyn, there was more history in Brooklyn than there ever can be in Tampa Bay but, we see Major League Baseball heading in that same direction, expansion is due to come soon.
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