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  • Earle Levenstein

The Brooklyn Dodgers and Me



I was born a Brooklyn Dodger fan. More than a fan; a crazed worshiper at their altar. This was before TV—yes; there was a time before TV—when it was radio and Red Barber. Live broadcast, crowd cheering, bat cracking the ball, when it was a home game at Ebbets Field. Game on the road wasn't live; no crowd; news ticker ticking as Barber read it and created the scene.

My best friend—pals from birth—was a New York Giant fan; just as dedicated; and there were times when his father—a kid at heart—would take us to the Polo Grounds; Giants vs. Dodgers; live; and that was heaven.

Never a fight; we'd commiserate with each other in the dark days when either team lost.

I also subscribed to the Sporting News so that if either one of us missed anything at all—highly unlikely—we'd have backup. I mean, you never know.

Scrapbooks; souvenirs; photos; baseball cards. The works.

I'm talking dedicated.

So, rumors became terrible reality. In one tragic year; 1957; we were abandoned; simultaneously. The New York Giants became the San Francisco Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers became the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Westward, ho.

Adults by then; accepted reality. So much for team loyalty; cheering our brains out; scrap-books; ticket stubs; so what? They don't care about fans left behind; memories; tears. The whole deal. It's all about the numbers; size of the crowd; bucks, baby, bucks.

Silence.

Years pass. Check out the Dodgers from time to time; new guys; different world—no longer my Dodgers.

Then business called and I had some traveling; here and there and of course, from time to time, the West coast. Then more frequently. Checking the scores; the rosters; the ballparks; spiffy places; big upgrades from the old-timers; better seating; much better food; couldn't argue with the climate, either, I'll tell you.

Then, one thing and another and…personal stuff; big change; whole different world.

So…bottom line: I live out here now.

Not south in Los Angeles; home of the Dodgers. Nothing like my old Dodgers; irreplaceable. Can't relive the past, right?

Where I live is up north; just outside San Francisco.

Coincidentally, home of the Giants.

Now don't get excited; I know what you're thinking: Traitor. Turn-coat. All that baloney about loving the Dodgers and the baseball cards and listening to the games and all that stuff.

Fact is; can't replay history…can't replay the game.

As they say: You play the hand your dealt.

In my defense; the Brooklyn Dodgers abandoned me, right? Wasn't my idea for them to jump ship.

Done deal.

Anyway; TV sure beats radio for watching those Giants play.

Plus, I'm not embarrassed to confess that I now watch a lot of basketball, too.

Golden State Warriors; helluva team.

Practically neighbors.

Bottom line?

Win a few, lose a few.

Is what it is.

Love the game.

Any game.

Go team, go!

Whatever.


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