55 Sullivan Place
Picture From Brooklyn Spectator
100th YEAR ANNIVERSARY
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.
BROOKLYN'S STARTING NINE
C - Otto Miller
1B - Jake Daubert
2B - George Cutshaw
SS- Bob Fisher
3B - Red Smith
OF- Casey Stengel
OF - Zack Wheat
OF - Herbie Moran
SP - Pat Ragan
SP - Nap Rucker
SP - Frank Allen
SP - Cliff Curtis
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.