April 25, 2012 — Next year, readers will once again see the name of Brooklyn in the sports pages. It has been 55 years since that last took place. The Brooklyn team that appears will be with the National Basketball Association. The New Jersey Nets will move across the river to Brooklyn and a new sports arena to become the Brooklyn Nets. The franchise originally started as the New York Nets in the old ABA. The club joined the NBA in 1976 and promptly moved the next season to New Jersey where they have been every since.
Now, the Nets will be back in the big city and with the passion fans in that region have for basketball I expect that club to become a powerhouse in the NBA. Of course when you think passion, you think Brooklyn, you think winning it all revolves back to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The club was an institution for the New York City borough for almost six decades. The National League club is filled with historical moments. The club was first named the Brooklyn Robins. The team struggled, but did make the World Series twice in 1916 and 1920. Both times the Robins fell in the fall classic. The nickname
was changed to the Dodgers in reference to people dodging the numerous street cars in the borough. The Dodgers moved into Ebbetts Field, but their success was still limited. All that changed in 1941 when Leo Durocher lead the Bums of Brooklyn to their first World Series in 21 years. The Dodgers fell to the Yankees in the World Series. Six years
later, in 1947, Branch Rickey one of the owners of the Dodgers made a bold move bringing an African American, Jackie Robinson, up to the big league club. The move by Rickey drew many critics who never wanted baseball integrated, but it also brought praise by many for social justice. The Dodgers became a team everyone in the nation paid attention to because of Robinson. It only helped that Robinson would be named the
National League Rookie of the Year that season as the Dodgers made it to the World Series. Once again the Dodgers played the Yankees in the fall classic and once again they got beat. The same thing happened in 1949, 1952 and 1953. The Bums could do everything right except beat The Yankees. All that changed in 1955. This time it was the Dodgers who won Game 7 of the World Series over the Yankees thanks to a 2-0 shutout
pitched by Johnny Podres. For the first and only time Brooklyn was on top of the sports world. Yet, even during the celebration there were problems resting just below the surface. Dodgers’ owner, Walter O’Malley, wanted to build a new stadium and replace the old dilapidated Ebbetts Field. O’Malley wanted to build a indoor stadium. This
was years ahead of its time. His efforts for a new ballpark never gained approval by city fathers. Thus, O’Malley started looking beyond Brooklyn for a new home. He found one in the city of the Angels, Los Angeles, California. Yet, that was way west of St. Louis, Missouri, the farthest western out point of major league baseball. O’Malley talked New York Giants owner, Horace Stoneham, into moving his club to San Francisco. Thus, following the 1957 season, O’Malley and Stoneham did the unthinkable, by moving their clubs out of the biggest market in the country, New York City. The loyal fans in Brooklyn were in shock. They went into further depression when Ebbetts
Field was torn down to make way for an apartment complex. Since the fall of 1957, the
fans of Brooklyn have been craving to have another professional team in their borough
that they can call their own. Finally, 55 years after the Dodgers left them all crying Brooklyn will be back in professional sports. If the Nets have even a remote the amount of success as the Dodgers had it will be great for sports fans everywhere.