New York, May 18 – Artful Dodger Steals Home
Across home plate in a cloud of dust comes Brooklyn Dodger second baseman Jackie Robinson as he completes one of baseball’s most daring maneuvers — the steal of home. Chicago catcher John Pramesa tries too late to put the ball on the speedy Robinson whose fourth inning larceny came with the bases full at Ebbets Field today. Cubs pitcher Willie Ramsdell was the victim of the play as Robinson beat the throw to the plate. The Dodgers beat the Cubs 7-2. (AP wirephoto)
May 11, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 11 Game Winning Streak Comes To An End
Jackie Robinson forced out at second base as Ernie Banks leaps over him May 11, 1955 photo: UPI
The New York Mets recent 10 game winning streak in 2015 may be a sign from the baseball gods that good things are in store for them. For inspiration the Mets can look back 60 years to the winning streak the Brooklyn Dodgers assembled on their way to their only World Series Championship.
The caption for this news photo says:
Chicago: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn, forced at second in 7th inning of Dodgers – Cubs game here 5/11 as shortstop Ernie Banks throws to first for double play on grounder hit to second baseman Gene Baker by Carl Furillo. Umpire Art Gore calls the play. Cubs won 10-8 halting Dodgers’ winning streak at 11. photo United Press 5/11/55
What many fans may forget is that the Dodgers opened the season on April 13 and won their first ten games. By the time their 11 game winning streak was broken by the Cubs on May 11 they were 22-3 and held on to first place for the entire season. Continue reading →
After graduating college Corman was working on the fringes of advertising and with the encouragement of a friend, Herb Gardner (A Thousand Clowns; I’m Not Rappaport; etc), he took a stab at writing a book. That effort was published as Oh God! A Novel (1971). After that hurdle Corman never looked back and he became a full-time novelist. Oh God! was eventually made into a very popular movie in 1977 starring George Burns and John Denver.
Some of Corman’s other acclaimed novels include The Bust-Out King (1977), The Old Neighborhood (1980); 50 (1987); Prized Possessions (1991); The Boyfriend from Hell (2006) and his most famous work, Kramer vs. Kramer (1977) which was adapted into a movie in 1979 and was the winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture.
Avery Corman’s success must partially stem from his middle-class upbringing in the Fordham section of the Bronx during the 1940’s and 50’s, where he admits he was not the best student when it came to math and science, but did well in the humanities and was surrounded by a loving, extended family.
My Old Neighborhood Remembered A Memoir is more a series of vignettes rather than a straight autobiography and that style comes off well. Corman shares his memories of childhood during World War II up until he becomes a successful author in the late 1960’s. He paints beautiful word pictures, sometimes tinged with sadness, of growing up in a wondrous place that no longer exists. Most of the stories offer short bursts of family life, games, food, education, sports and all the things that contributed to making the Bronx a special place to grow up in.
Corman’s stories resonate with a tender glow of friendships, family and the feeling that neighborhoods were once really neighborhoods, where the familiarity of rituals, people and places were ingrained in the surroundings.
Here are parts one and two of an exclusive interview with Avery Corman.
Part I, Avery Corman talks about what made the Bronx a special place during the war. His unique living situation and school life.
Yankees Win Game 1, But Brooklyn Wins Their Only World Series
The World Series began on September 28, 1955. Yes, they actually used to begin the “fall classic” right after fall began. Yankee first baseman Joe Collins slugged his second home run of the game, a two run shot in the bottom of the sixth, to put the Yankees up 6-3 in a game they would go on to win 6-5. The outfielder in the photograph leaping in vain for the baseball is Dodger centerfielder Duke Snider.
This was also the game where Jackie Robinson stole home, which to this day is still disputed by Yankees catcher Yogi Berra who insists Robinson was out.
As covered previously by stuffnobodycaresabout, this World Series would be the Brooklyn Dodgers moment of glory as they ended up beating the Yankees in seven games.
55 Years Later- Remembering The December 13, 1956 Trade That Shocked New York
In this January 7, 1957 photograph Jackie Robinson packs up the contents of his locker from Ebbets Field, his home for his entire ten year major league career.
After the 1956 season Jackie Robinson’s legs were gone. He was no longer the player he once was and he knew it. He batted a respectable .275 with ten homers. But rather than continue playing with eroding skills, Robinson would retire at the age of 37.
One problem: except for his family and future non-baseball employer, Robinson didn’t tell anyone of his decision.
The Dodgers shocked everyone including Robinson, with a December 13, 1956 trade to the New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 for the Dodger legend. After the trade announcement, fans of the Dodgers were outraged. Brooklynites believed that Robinson would retire rather than play for the hated crosstown rival Giants. But they did not know Robinson had already decided before the trade that he was retiring.
All Robinson would publicly say was he would “inform the Giants by January 14, if he would play in 1957.”
The reason Robinson couldn’t announce his retirement was because he had signed a contract to write an exclusive article for Look magazine, about his retirement in December which would not hit the newsstands until January 8.
Announcing his retirement on January 7, many Dodger fans were happy Robinson would not be playing for the Giants. Robinson said he had decided to take a position with Chock full O’Nuts as Vice President of personnel rather than play baseball.
Whether Robinson would have played for the Giants had he not retired is open to speculation.
click to read Robinson’s letter
Robinson’s January 14, 1957 letter to Giants owner Horace Stoneham takes the high road. Robinson says he appreciates being offered the chance to play for the Giants, but he has “decided to devote his full time to business opportunities.”
One of the most famous film highlights of a baseball game is from September 28, Game 1 of the 1955 World Series where the Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson stole home against the New York Yankees. The photograph above captures the bang-bang action. The play was incredibly close and you could look at the film 100 times and still not be sure of the outcome. Robinson was called safe by umpire Bill Summers. To this day, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra vehemently Continue reading →