NL Notebook

A Bitter 50th Anniversary in Brooklyn

Monday, September 24, 2007

Today will come and go without fanfare in Brooklyn this year, and maybe that's the way it should be. Who wants to remember the bitter end to one of the greatest stories in baseball history?

There were few enough witnesses the first time around. Only 6,673 turned out on that gloomy day in 1957 when the Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field. Those who came likened the game to a funeral.

The end wasn't official yet. That wouldn't come until an announcement on Oct. 8. But everyone knew it was coming, including organist Gladys Gooding. Her game-day playlist included "Am I Blue?" "Don't Ask Me Why I'm Leaving," and "After You're Gone."

Or, almost everyone. Remarkably, Dodgers starter Danny McDevitt had no idea anything historic was afoot. The 24-year-old rookie was mainly concerned with securing his place on the club.

"All the big guys, like Duke[ Snider], knew that we were going to Los Angeles. But not me," recalled the hurler. "I wasn't much of a thinker in those days. I was just a dumb left-hander, going to the ballpark."

The end came efficiently. McDevitt threw all nine innings, giving up only five hits to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 2-0 Dodger victory.

The move was distressing for some players, but it was a catastrophe for Brooklyn, so much so that it has loomed for 50 years as the borough's defining moment.

Ebbets Field is no longer around. In its place stand the Ebbets Field Appartments, with a small marble plaque on its brick facade that reads "This is the former site of Ebbets Field."

Neither city nor borough officials have planned a ceremony.

CAMERON INJURES HAND: Padres CF Mike Cameron left yesterday's game against the Rockies because of a bruised right thumb and index finger after he had his right hand stepped on by LF Milton Bradley.

The two fielders converged on Garrett Atkins's fly ball in left-center. Cameron made a sliding attempt to catch the ball but missed, and Bradley tried to jump over Cameron to avoid a collision. In the process Bradley stepped on Cameron's right hand with his left foot.

X-rays were negative and Cameron was listed as day-to-day.

Atkins rounded the bases for his first career inside-the-park home run.

-- From News Services

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