Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Writing to a Distraught Fan - O'Malley's Correspondence About Trade Rumors

After what was no doubt the most frustrating year in Dodger history, fans unsurprisingly lashed out following the 1951 Brooklyn Dodger season. They complained at the dinner table, they whined to their neighbors and ultimately they wrote about their deepest concerns to the Dodgers themselves. After all, you must be heard when your team gives up a 13 game cushion to lose the pennant. And to make matters worse, they lost it on the last day of the season.

Featured above is a response to one of those irate letters to the club. It is written and signed by from Walter O'Malley to Dodger fan Robert Gray, and it is current available on auction at Hunt Auctions. In it O'Malley writes:
Dr. Mr. Gray, 
Please do not be disturbed about rumors of a trade in the papers. We have no intention of breaking up our fine team, which we regard as the best in the league, and we will make no deal unless it is a one-sided deal in our favor. 
I do hope that we can give faithful fans like yourself something to cheer about next year.
It's good to know that reporters have always wantonly thrown around baseless trade rumors.

As you know, this was the year Bobby Thompson hit his "shot heard 'round the world" that elevated the Giants over the Dodgers for the pennant. So, I imagine a rabble-rousing press corps in New York took the opportunity that winter to suggest that the Dodgers were ready to cut-bait after such a disappointing season.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. the team would instead stay the course and eventually win their only championship in the Brooklyn borough four years later.

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