Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Ebbets Field ~ 100th Anniversary

55 Sullivan Place
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Picture From Brooklyn Spectator
1913  ~  2013

By 1912, Charles Ebbets entered into partnership with brothers, Stephen and Edward McKeever.  The three bought out departing partner, Henry Medicus.  Mr. Ebbets and the McKeever Brothers then entered into a 50/50 partnership and established the Brooklyn Baseball Club, Inc.  The team's nickname widely became recognized as the Dodgers (shortened from Trolley Dodgers) around this time.

On April 9, 1913, the gates opened to the newly completed Ebbets Field; the Brooklyn Dodgers new home.  Roughly 12,000  fans  endured rain to witness their Brooks lose 1-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Dodgers posted a 65-84 record in 1913, finishing  sixth in the circuit.  Inside their new park and in front of Brooklyn's faithful, they only managed to play .382 baseball, with a 29-47 mark.
3B - Red Smith
SP - Pat Ragan
Ebbets Field originally opened to accommodate 18,000 patrons, with standing room for 3,000 more.  The Dodgers drew 347,000 fans during Ebbets' inaugural season.  By the 1950's, up to 32,000 fans could fit into an increasingly undersized Ebbets Field.  Of course, the park famously opened with no flag to run up the pole.  Apparently, no one considered building a press box.  And someone forgot the keys to unlock the bleacher section.
In 1925, owner Charles Ebbets passed away.  Eleven days later, Edward McKeever passed away as well.  Both rest eternally in Brooklyn.  Charles Ebbets is buried at Greenwood Cemetery; Edward McKeever at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Pictured above, blueprint representation of Ebbets Field.  Below, seats from Ebbets.


Stephen McKeever continued running the club until his passing after the 1937 season.  With his death came the end of an era, and the beginning of another.  The regime that brought the Dodgers into a new century gave way to the Branch Rickey-Walter O'Malley era that would transform the Dodgers into baseball's World Champions.

On September 24, 1957, roughly 6,700 fans showed up to watch the last ever Brooklyn Dodgers game at Ebbets Field.  Danny McDevitt pitched a complete game, five hit shutout.  He walked one and struck out nine batters.  In the line-up playing for Brooklyn that day, was Roberto Clemente.  The 1957 team was minus the retired Jackie Robinson.  However, many of Brooklyn's favorites would go on to continue their careers in Los Angeles.  The 1957 team also had on it a young Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
In the winter of 1960, Brooklyn's beloved old ballpark arrived upon its fateful date with the same  wrecking ball that destroyed the Polo Grounds.  Ebbets was unmercifully reduced to rubble forty-eight years after hosting its first baseball game.  Within two more years, an apartment complex came to dominate the former parcels of land Charles Ebbets spent a small personal fortune amassing in an area of Brooklyn, not too kindly referred to as Pigtown.
The view down Bedford Avenue today.

The Bedford Avenue Bums may have moved three thousand miles away to Los Angeles.  The spirit of the Brooklyn Dodgers however, is still very strong throughout the Borough of Kings..
Earlier this year, the flagpole which stood atop the Ebbets Field scoreboard made a grand re-appearance in the Borough, and now resides at its new home in front of Barclays Center; Brooklyn's new arena which occupies the location Walter O'Malley wanted to build a new park for the Dodgers.  Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie and Rachel Robinson, was on hand for the flagpole dedication.



  1. Anonymous10:39 AM

    I think the so called Brooklyn/Queens "connector" is a bad idea! it's going to make the traffic and parking problems much more worst.If i was mayor I'd use that money to buy new buses for the proposed new route instead which would be cheaper than an expensive over priced light rail vehicle.

    1. Anonymous11:07 AM

      I don't have anything against light rail as i stated in the previous post. would it make more sense to just to run them on the under utilized freight railroad tracks which run throughout the city? i can give you a good example,The rail freight corridor that runs between the Brooklyn army terminal all the way up to the Bronx and beyond would be ideal since so many bus and subway lines intersect with it in which free transfers can be used
      between buses and subways it's a win win situation. a queens assembly woman is proposing that. im on board! it's a good idea and, it makes more sense than wrecking the streets for trolley tracks and disrupting the whole neighborhood.


Say what you feel. The worse comment you can make is the one you do not make.