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Yes, there are still some New York Giants fans
2008-04-13 22:32
by Bob Timmermann

While the move of the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles has been turned into a weepy saga, the move of the Giants from New York (specifically Manhattan) to San Francisco has never captured the imagination of writers in the same way.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times visited a meeting of the New York Baseball Giants Nostalgia Society, or Ottophiles as they call themselves.

Some still resent Horace Stoneham, the Giants’ owner, for following the Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley to California. Others have accepted his motives.

“Stoneham was O’Malley’s willing lackey,” said Rappaport, who is firmly in the anti-Stoneham camp.

“He was a lackey, but he was forced,” Liebowitz said.

“He saw a good business opportunity,” said George Sommerfeld, who grew up in Manhattan. “The Giants and Dodgers took over the West Coast.”

“Everything fell into Stoneham’s lap,” said Gary Brown, who was too young to remember the old Giants but has immersed himself in their history and is writing a book about the 1954 World Series-winning Giants.

The New York Giants, who were a far more successful franchise than the Brooklyn Dodgers, have lost the nostalgia war. There is a cottage industry in weepy books about the Brooklyn Dodgers: The Boys of Summer, Praying for Gil Hodges, The Greatest Ballpark Ever are examples. There are even books with parts that were made up out of whole cloth in parts, such as Wait 'Til Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

And now an organization devoted to the history of one of baseball's premier franchise has to put "Baseball" in its title so people don't think it's devoted to nostalgia for Ken Strong, Mel Hein, and Y.A. Tittle.


2008-04-13 23:44:41
1.   Martin Hoyt
I always wondered about why this was so. I think because the Dodgers were a "Brooklyn" team rather than a New York team, and Brooklyn was a distinct city from New York until the end of the 19th century, the Dodgers leaving was a reminder of the loss of that distinct identity. Thus (perhaps) there was more of an unwillingness to let go by Dodger fans than Giant fans.

Also, the Dodgers were never replaced by another team as the Giants were by the Mets.

2008-04-14 00:59:18
2.   Bob Timmermann
So if the Mets replaced the Giants, why is the new Mets stadium designed to resemble Ebbets Field?
2008-04-14 02:35:42
3.   Shaun P
2 Because Fred Wilpon, the Mets' owner, grew up in Brooklyn a Dodgers fan. Since there aren't people still pining for the Polo Grounds, why not try to capitalize on the nostalgia?
2008-04-14 06:58:21
4.   bobsbrother
I don't know, I think a ballpark shaped like the Polo Grounds would be kind of cool.
2008-04-14 06:59:25
5.   mbtn01
In the photo accompanying that article, the gentleman in the Mets hat leaning over to watch the screen is Greg Prince of the brilliant Mets blog, Faith & Fear in Flushing.

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