The borough has yet to recover from the relocation of its beloved Dodgers and the demolition of Ebbets Field—Brooklyn Dodgers T-shirts and hats are still worn at Cyclones games. This suggests there is a historical precedent for a team with a loyal following. The problem is Brooklyn's diversity: from the hipsters in Williamsburg, to the strollers of Park Slope and the hip-hop mecca of Bedford-Stuvesant [sic], there are a lot of constituencies to please.The wearing of historical shirts and hats is evidence more of homage than of wound. But boosters of the team's move, including Nets Sports and Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, like to make the connection.
To repeat... As I wrote in March 2009, Michael D’Antonio's revisionist biography of Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley, Baseball's Most Controversial Owner,and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, put Dodgers nostalgia in perspective, blaming it on Roger Kahn’s book The Boys of Summer.
The Dodgers left in 1957. Consider this excerpt from Forever Blue published in Sports Illustrated:
Was it true? Had O'Malley crushed Brooklyn's spirit? The answer is no. In 1963, after the Dodgers vanquished the Yankees in the World Series, a New York Times editorial titled Joy in Flatbush declared, "At last the wounds have healed." In 1969, when the New York Mets won the World Series, Brooklyn honored them with a rally at Borough Hall. The victory made the Dodgers seem like ancient history.
But then, in 1972, Kahn published one of the most romantic and moving baseball books ever written. The Boys of Summer turned the Brooklyn Dodgers into paragons of virtue, living symbols of all that was good about America before the upheavals of the 1960s: the counterculture, the shock of political assassinations and the wrenching protests over the Vietnam War.