Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bitter Brooklyn

With the Dodgers set to wear vintage throwback Brooklyn Dodger uniforms this season the screams, whines and catcalls from some of the old Brooklyn faithful have gotten louder. They certainly know how to hold a grudge, eh?

Of course, this is nothing new. Who can forget Neil Diamond's live performance of "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway last year while wearing a jacket with the words "Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn" emblazoned on his back.

Well, now we have a article from the NY Daily News that continues to push the meme that Brooklyn belongs to them and not the team in Los Angeles.

"Are they nuts?" asked Nick Fiore, 81, of Brooklyn, a member of the Dodgers' Sym-Phony that used play at Ebbets Field.

"So they're going to be the Los Angeles-Brooklyn Dodgers?" Fiore asked mockingly. "These days, anything will happen."

I guess I can't blame them. I'd be pissed too. Heck, I hate the Rams for leaving and have been totally turned off by football as a result. Of course, I doubt I'd still harbor a grudge after 50 years. After all, at a certain point you have to let bygones be bygones.

On the other hand, the Brooklyn situation has been described as entirely different. That the team and the borough had a special relationship, much like the love of a husband and wife, and when the team left many felt it was like a lover leaving you for another man. If you listen closely to the Brooklyn faithful you sense that kind of frustration- sounds of a jilted lover.

To emphasize that point I came across two articles that describe the very last Dodger game played at Ebbets Field. From NPR:

To celebrate his 21st birthday, Sherman decided to go to the game. He asked a few friends to come along, but they thought he was crazy.

"You're going to be the only one there," he says they told him. "They're leaving us. The heck with them. We're not interested."

So he went to the game alone.

"The lights were on, the grass was as beautiful as it was the first day of the season," he says. "The players were on the field, but there was no one in the stands. The place was vacant. It was eerie. I could have sat anyplace in the ballpark I wanted.

Gladys Goodding was the organist, and "everything she played was a blue song about losing a lover. And after the game, I remember leaving and she was playing 'Auld Lang Syne,' and then they cut her off in the middle and they put the Dodgers theme song on.

"When I walked out of the Ebbets Field, I stood a block away and just looked back. The lights were still on and I said goodbye. It was over."

Then from the LA Times:

Setting the depressing tone, Vin Scully recalls, was the song selection of organist Gladys Goodding, whose music infused the maudlin mood.

"Gladys was a very nice lady, known to take a drink or three," the longtime Dodgers announcer says. "And Gladys showed up with a paper bag -- and there wasn't any doubt what was in it. It was too late for lunch. . . .

"If I remember correctly, the very first song she played was 'My Buddy,' a pretty down song, and it went down from there. All of us in listening to the music were aware of her mental state, and I'm sure she was dipping into the brown bag, and the music kept getting more depressing every third out.

"It really did have an effect on you. If you had any idea of songs, you knew what she was playing and you also knew what she was doing."

That is some pretty depressing stuff. But, as stated by Jon Weisman the other day, this is about remembering and celebrating the past. We have no interest in bringing up those bad memories, we just want to create new ones.

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