Monday, January 14, 2013

"A Beautiful Fall-Away" - Bridge and the Brooklyn Dodger in a Painting

If you've read this blog for some time, then you know I like to write about works of art featuring the Dodgers.  It has nothing to do with any sort of knowledge about that finer craft.  It's just that, to borrow and mangle a phrase from former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, "I like it when I see it, so I must post about it."

With that in mind, I bring to you a pop expressionist artwork called "A Beautiful Fall-Away" by Glen Shear.  See his website here.  He has a bunch of other sports related paintings there.

I first came upon this last week due to a video I stumbled upon on YouTube- see it here.

It told a brief story about the painting above.  It pays tribute to a world champion and pioneering bridge player named Charles Henry Goren, and the scene depicts the 1948 Brooklyn Dodger's locker room, where Charles Goren is said to have experienced what he called a "beautiful fall-away". 

After watching that, I wondered to myself, "what the heck does that mean?"  Since I've never played bridge, I naturally figured it had something to do with that, but I also wondered what the Dodgers have to do with this.  So, since my curiosity piqued, I decided to do a little bit of research to see if I could satisfy my thirst for knowledge.  Thankfully, a Sports Illustrated story by Jack Olsen was able to answer my questions.  Below is an excerpt explaining the whole thing.
Another time, Goren found himself in a hot game with members of the Brooklyn Dodgers. "We played on top of a trunk in the players' dressing room—the baseball man's accustomed card table," Goren wrote later. "In the course of three rubbers manager Walt Alston kept shuffling his lineup. I played with and against Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Gino Cimoli, Ed Roebuck, the manager himself and coach Billy Herman. Duke Snider, Charlie Neal, Don Zimmer, Jake Pitler and perhaps half a dozen other knowledgeable kibitzers left no doubt that bridge is this team's favorite card game."

Nor were the Dodgers any slouches, Goren learned to his dismay. On one hand he laid out a brilliant plan of strategy, only to have Billy Herman break it up with what Goren described as "a beautiful fallaway."
Wow!  Well that's something I didn't know.  Several Brooklyn Dodgers were active bridge palyers.  Still, I don't know what a fall-away really means, and since I don't plan on learning bridge any time soon, I am likely to not find its meaning anytime in the near future.

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