Sandy Koufax 1961 Just in: Koufax was a baller of more than one kind Apparently Brooklyn Jewish baseball legend Sandy Koufax had short legs but also ups. He played basketball for Lafayette High School in Bath Beach, Brooklyn in the early 1950s, setting himself apart as an extraordinary player on the court before going on to his career as an all-star pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. As an early teenager… Read More »Sandy Koufax
When Walter O’Malley—author Pete Hamill’s choice for the third most evil man in history—pulled the Dodgers out of Brooklyn with the bibulous Horace Stoneham in tow, this baseball tycoon drove a dagger deep into our city’s heart. Our borough minus the Dodgers is like Romeo bereft of Juliet, corned beef on white bread, Abbott less Costello, and Steve Lawrence sans Edye Gorme. As the poet wrote: “After such knowledge, what… Read More »Brooklyn Dodgers, The Ghosts of Flatbush
CAL ABRAMS On November 20, 1980, Eli Wohlgelernter interviewed Cal Abrams and his wife, May. Now housed in the Jewish Division of the New York Public Library, the record of this interview goes beyond statistics, to which British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli disdained in a pungent remark, often quoted and wrongly attributed: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” With regard to Calvin Ross Abrams, whose lifetime batting average of… Read More »Cal Abrams
By Joe Dorinson
When Walter O’Malley—author Pete Hamill’s choice for the third most evil man in history—pulled the Dodgers out of Brooklyn with the bibulous Horace Stoneham in tow, this baseball tycoon drove a dagger deep into our city’s heart. Our borough minus the Dodgers is like Romeo bereft of Juliet, corned beef on white bread, Abbott less Costello, and Steve Lawrence sans Edye Gorme. As the poet wrote: “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?” Who, besides a brainless Supreme Court, argued that baseball was a sport, not a business?
Since 1957, despite the resurgence of Yankee power and the birth of the Mets, there has been a void in New York, New York. That vacuum, which Mother Nature abhors, will be filled when HBO Productions in conjunction with major league baseball airs a documentary film, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush. This wonderful voyage back in time to our “Glory Days” (the title and the subject of an excellent exhibit that once “played” at the Museum of the City of New York as well) under the aegis of executive producers, Ross Greenburg and Rich Bernstein with able assistance from Brian Hyland, Amani Martin, Ezra Edelman, and Caroline Waterlow evokes another time and a revered place in New York City, no, American history.
Narrated by Liev Schreiber, currently starring in Donovan, this engrossing film opens with a splendid view of Brooklyn’s Great Bridge, which couples art and technology in high fidelity. The camera eye fixes on Manhattan; then retreats into Brooklyn, where the film’s principal narrative charts the heroic odyssey of Jack Roosevelt Robinson and his pilgrim’s progress into mainstream America by way of Brooklyn. Fortified with “talking head” testimony from Dodger teammates Duke Snider, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, and Ralph Branca and enriched by the recollections of Rachel Robinson, his beautiful, articulate, and courageous wife, the film features amazing footage of this “American Samurai,” re: David Halberstam, in action. Before Jackie’s advent into major league baseball, black athletes projected either brute force: Jack Johnson and Joe Louis or gifted clowns like the Harlem Globetrotters. Black stereotypes pervaded film, radio, and graphic arts.
By Uriel Gottesman I lived in Borough Park (55th St.) from the middle 1940s until 1955 but in addition, lived in other sections of Brooklyn until 1966. One of my favorite memories was the opportunity my father, brother and I had to Visit with Sandy Koufax in his home on 48th Street within a couple of days of his signing his contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This was made possible… Read More »Meeting Sandy Koufax
By Hilary Danailova January 2018 A dozen years ago, I moved from a Park Slope brownstone to a rent-controlled apartment south of Kings Highway in Brooklyn. It turned out to be next door to the Ocean Avenue building where my grandmother, Shirley, had spent her first married years. “Tell me,” she demanded over the phone, her Brooklyn accent undimmed by 20 years in Florida, “is it one of those units with a sunken… Read More »Brooklyn, the Most Jewish Spot on Earth
Jackie Robinson Revisited The Jackie Robinson saga, biographer Jules Tygiel insisted before his untimely death in 2008, was comparable to an Easter/Passover service that invites public recollection every year. We must never forget what our country once represented and what it became thanks to the heroic life of Jack Roosevelt Robinson. Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway defined a hero as one who demonstrates “grace under pressure.” Our concept of heroism with… Read More »Jackie Robinson Revisited