Monday, March 31, 2008
We followed the Dodgers...
...from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
It's strange for someone so wrapped up in Brooklyn baseball to see this from the other side. Here were 115,300 people gathered to celebrate the beginning of the major leagues in LA, not mourn the end in Brooklyn. In that spirit, it was a fun occasion. The incomparable Vin Scully was honored with a Coliseum plaque and a seemingly endless ovation. The bizarre field configuration of 1958 to 1961 was emulated, with an even shorter left field since the running track has been replaced with extra seats - 201 feet to the foul pole. The Red Sox came within inches of turning a triple play, making the force at third and first but missing at second. Pop flies became home runs. Balls smashed down the line became singles. The Dodgers played an extra infielder. Kareem Abdul Jabbar threw a skyhook from the mound. There was no warning track. Duke Snider, Tommy Davis, Carl Erskine, Wally Moon, Rick Monday, and Steve Garvey were all there.
So we had a bunch of fun. And when else will we ever see baseball at the Coliseum?
But when we got home to Brooklyn, I looked around at the brownstones, and the cab took us past this block and that block that used to have ballfields on them. And I thought about all that history. Fifty years in LA, a hundred years in LA, whatever.
They will always be the Brooklyns to me.