The years 1950 and 1951 do not stimulate wonderful, nostalgic memories for former Brooklyn Dodger fans. Each of those two seasons ended unhappily on the last day of the regular season. Each ended with the old Flatbush cry of "Wait till next year."
I have lost all feeling for the name "Dodgers." I do not support and have no empathy for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They seem too refined and have Hollywood values. Only the glorious, lovable, gritty Boys of Summer Brooklyn Dodgers mean anything to me. They won my heart and even now I slip back into glorious and graceful memories of Jackie, Pee Wee, Gil, the two Carls, Campy and the Duke. It is wonderful daydreaming.
I was jolted on November 23 when I saw the obituary of Dick Sisler. He came from a renowned baseball family. His father was Hall of Famer George Sisler of the long forgotten St. Louis Browns.
On the last day of the 1950 season in a game played at Ebbets Field on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, USA, Sisler, with the score tied 1-1, hit a 10th inning home run to sink the Dodgers and give the Philadelphia Phillies Whiz Kids the pennant. In the last of the ninth inning, Cal Abrams was thrown out at home plate by Richie Ashburn on a line drive single from the bat of Duke Snyder. It would have forced a playoff game. The Phillies went on to lose the World Series to the Yanks in four games.
It is an interesting comment on American life and values that this deed, this home run, occupied the entire two-column obituary in the New York Times, on the life of Dick Sisler.
The 1951 season was not any better. I will not dwell on the pennant playoff game when Bobby Thomson hit a looping fly ball that caught the cantilevered press box and gave the New York Giants the 1951 National League Pennant. They lost to the New York Yankees in six games.
Everybody lost to the Yanks until 1955. That year, the Brooklyn Dodgers, behind the pitching of Johnny Podres and a great catch in left field by Sandy Amoros, the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first World Series. Four years later, they were gone!
My beloved Bums were gone.
They were shanghaied by Walter O'Malley to the West Coast.
As a 64-year-old, I scan the obits and occasionally I come across a familiar name.
The name Dick Sisler opened a flood of memories.