While researching original articles about Brooklyn and Brooklynites in Florida we came across this “oldie” of a story from 2007 in the Tampa Tribune (TBO), when former Brooklyn Dodger second baseman Don Zimmer was working for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now the Tampa Bay Rays). Zimmer was a proud member of the Brooklyn Dodgers 1955 world championship team that finally beat the New York Yankees in the 7th game of the World Series, and the Rays were playing the Dodgers that day, that is, the Los Angeles Dodgers and so it turned out to be an opportune time to pay tribute to Zimmer and celebrate the “The Boys of Summer”.
The Rays invited a few of Zimmer’s teammates from the 1955 team and you may have heard of some of them: Duke Synder, Carl Erskine, and the Dodger pitcher who shut out the New York Yankees that memorable day, Johnny Podres.
Here are some excerpts from the article exemplifying the love the players and the fans still share when they remember one of America’s great sports icons, The Brooklyn Dodgers.
“’You should have seen the party,’ said George Stone, 70, of St. Petersburg. He was born in Brooklyn and was there when it was finally Next Year, when the Dodgers finally conquered the Yankees. ‘There were people in the streets, car horns honking, people crying. That’s always going to be Brooklyn’s day.’”
“The Brooklyn Dodgers haven’t been Brooklyn’s Dodgers for 50 years. Saturday marked only the second time the Los Angeles Dodgers, as a team, have worn B for Brooklyn on their caps and Brooklyn on their jerseys.”
“Duke wore his No. 4. Carl Erskine wore No. 17. Erskine, now 80, king of the overhand curve, ‘Oisk’ in Brooklyn diction, once set a World Series strikeout record against the Yankees.”
‘I know that when the bus came back over the Brooklyn Bridge, the streets were lined with people,’ Snider said.
“Brooklyn was a neighborhood of a borough. The Dodgers were the neighborhood team.”
“Erskine remembers his local deli owner, Abe Myerson, bringing groceries to his home the days after he pitched. Carl would protest. Abe would always have none of it.
‘No, you guys aren’t paying … You’re the team. You’re in Brooklyn.’ It was a time and a place.”
Fifty-two years later, Duke Snider can hear Podres on the team bus to Game 7.
‘Just get me one run, that’s all I’m going to need today.’
We hear from Susan R. Miller of the South Florida Business Journal that Brooklynite Joe Styles, living in Lauderhill, is 78 years old and shows no signs of slowing down.
On any given day, you can find him unloading pallets of strawberries, blueberries and other fruits and vegetables at one of his two locations in South Florida.
Stiles’ father started the farmer’s market business in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1943. His family had several stores in New York and one in Westport, Conn., before Joe Stiles decided to move to South Florida.
“My sons said ‘Dad, it’s nice down here; let’s open a store,’” Stiles said during a recent break from unloading and stocking produce.
He found a piece of property at 5920 W. Oakland Park Blvd. in Lauderhill, where he built and opened his first South Florida location a decade ago. His son-in-law plans to open a farmers market in West Palm Beach in November, and his son wants to open an Aventura location, Stiles said.
His son Steve continues to run his stores in Manhattan, and a nephew took over the Connecticut operation. His son George is working with him in South Florida. Stiles has 12 employees in Pembroke Pines and 25 in Lauderhill. Combined, his two New York stores employ 30, and he said his Connecticut store has 10 employees.
Stiles said the secret to his success is his ability to sell produce cheap. “Thirty-nine cents for a pound of bananas – you aren’t going to get that price anywhere else,” he said.
From the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville we got the sad news earlier this year (especially if you are a MLB fan) that the Los Angeles Dodgers have officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Current owner of the LA Dodgers, Frank McCourt, is taking the heat for his incredible mismanagement of one of baseball’s most beloved franchises.
“For somebody who grew up as a Dodger fan since he was six years old in Brooklyn, this makes me very, very sad,” said Bob Daley, the Dodgers’ managing partner when Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp. sold the team to McCourt in 2004.
The O’Malley family, associated with the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers for 50 years, are still criticized for allowing the team to go to “a constellation of plastic” as writer Norman Mailer called Los Angeles. But now, with Frank McCourt, the franchise itself appears to be perhaps on the brink of extinction.
From the article:
“The O’Malleys owned the Dodgers or a stake in them for more than 50 years, an old-fashioned tenure of stability and tradition. Any problems were kept in-house, and employees were treated like family.
The O’Malley family’s business was baseball. The McCourt family’s business has become everybody’s business.
Two years ago, McCourt and his wife and former team CEO Jamie McCourt decided to divorce, prompting a tawdry fight over who owns the team.
Their court filings revealed a lifestyle of excess, extreme even by the standards of LA’s super-rich: multiple lavish homes, private security, country club memberships, even a six-figure hair stylist on call for the couple.
Daley rues the day the team was sold to McCourt.”
The team, a fabled fixture of New York’s borough of Brooklyn since the 19th century, broke baseball’s color barrier when it signed Jackie Robinson as the first black major league player in 1947.
The Dodgers delighted their New York fans by winning their first World Series in 1955, then broke their hearts three years later by moving to Los Angeles, an act never entirely forgiven.
Ten years after Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson and Tom Lasorda helped the Dodgers win their last crown, the O’Malley family sold the team in 1998, when News Corp. bought the club, signaling the beginning of changing times for the franchise.
Since then, employees have churned through the club as quickly as wins and losses piled up.
“Fox, myself, and MLB made a horrible mistake in not doing the proper due diligence on Frank McCourt,” he said. “I helped get him approved and for my piece, I feel very bad about it.”
You can read about the details of the recent bankruptcy case and some exemplary emotions related to the original move from Brooklyn by the Dodgers at the links below.
Also check out another Dodger related article: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2008-04-06/news/lbard06_1_walter-omalley-ebbets-field-dodgers
Parking in Brooklyn
From comedian columnist Dave Barry’s Blog in the Miami Herald
Posted by: markhh | December 09, 2011 at 01:07 PM
Just think what the other two drivers are thinking or saying! Boxed in by this “inchworm”…I once knew somebody in one of the boroughs who blew me away with his parking skills, (not at impressive as the video) but scared the sh** outta me with his driving skills. I guess there are good points and bad points to everyone and every task…?
Posted by: Not My Usual Alias | December 09, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Brooklyn and tight… What a concept.
Posted by: clankie | December 09, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Parking lots are for the weak.
Posted by: Lairbo | December 09, 2011 at 02:45 PM
And his car has a sunroof, so theoretically he could be in a spot that tight on the sides and still exit the vehicle.
Posted by: Guin | December 09, 2011 at 03:34 PM
About what Lairbo just said. In the days (70’s, 80’s) when I drove a VW bug I did this many times, all without any leverage to push the cars on either side of me. My theory was always “if you can get in you can get out” so I never worried about that part of it.
Posted by: Jeff Meyerson | December 09, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Back in the 60’s, I was able to park my VW bug in a space 1 1/2 inches longer than the car. It came in handy at college.
In one case, some people walked past my car where I was relaxing reading a book. They marveled that the car was within 1/4 inch of the car in front and the one in the rear. I acknowledged the praise of my ability and never told them that I was with friends, that is, friends who simply lifted the car at the corners and carried it into the tiny space.
Posted by: Steve | December 09, 2011 at 08:22 PM
When I was learning to drive in The Bronx (about a hundred years ago) we called it “parking by ear”.
–A founding member of The Committee to put “The” back in The Bronx.
Go to the original blog page: http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/2011/12/parking-in-brooklyn.html#storylink=misearch
We heard from the Orlando Business Journal that Brooklynite Johnathan Immordino took over the new Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.
Before 9-11 Immordino worked as a financial security professional for global finance giant Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center. After 9-11 Immordino said he decided he wanted to help people in a more direct way.
During the summer of 2011 Immordino said of his new position: “One thing that impressed me about Nemours is it’s one of the best in the field,” he said. “It has a reputation of knowing what it’s doing in the pediatric field and taking care of its employees. What I expected pales in comparison with the real thing.”
The OBJ said of Immordino: “Taking care of people always has been important to Immordino, who previously worked with nonprofit hospital organizations such as Wartburg Lutheran Services and Episcopal Health Services in New York. He enjoys improving the revenue flow of a health care finance system and upgrading its IT system to cutting-edge levels — in other words, making it so no one in a hospital except the finance department has to worry about the finance side of the operation.”
Immordino told the OBJ a little know fact about himself is that he likes to cook for a hobby and his favorite distraction is his family: “It’s my responsibility and pleasure to spend as much time with them as possible, so that means soccer, baseball, volleyball, or whatever.”
We hear from ESPN News via Tampa Bay Online that Tampa Bay Brooklynite Stuart Sternburg, owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, is not pleased with the Tropicana Field attendance numbers even though the Rays continue to be a winning major league baseball team.
“We replicated last year and our numbers were down. The (TV) ratings were down,” Sternburg said. “The rubber has got to hit the road at some point. We’re four years into winning. We’re getting to the point where we don’t control our own destiny. This is untenable as a model.”
The Tampa Bay Rays reached the playoffs three times in the past four years, won two AL East titles and ALMOST won the World Series in 2008, and they still can’t get fans to pack Tropicana field.
Apparently, with a winning Major League Baseball team only drawing an average in the range of 15-20,000 fans a game, something is missing. Sternburg even cut the team’s payroll at the end of the 2010 season by $30 million but the attendance problem continued to plague the Rays throughout the 2011 season.
Who knows what the answer is? Obviously playing good baseball with a salary cut are not the only ingredients that will insure increased attendance at the Trop. Is a new stadium the answer?
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
We hear from the Panama City Herald that the Brooklyn-based group of musicians called the Gregory Brothers (also dubbed Internet comedians), have produced a music video for the web that has more than 10 million hits.
The feature singer in the video, Diana Radcliff was recently interviewed by a local ABC Television station about her ordeal during a botched robbery attempt in a convenience store in Kansas City, Mo.
When speaking to a reporter for KMBC-TV in Kansas City last August, Radcliff dramatically described how she had to dodge a spray of bullets.
While hunching down and shuffling backward to recreate the scene for the reporter she recited the lyrics;
“When I’m on my knees,
I’m backin’ up, backin’ up,
backin’ up, backin’ up,
backin’ up, backin’ up,
’cause my daddy taught me go-oo-d
I’m backin’ the hell out of there
And I’m like oh, my God
Oh, my God, my God”
The interview itself created a temporary internet sensation, but millions of people already know Radcliff from the music video mentioned above called the “Backin Up Song,” which features the voice of Radcliff.