Celebrating the Brooklyn Dodgers at Tropicana Field
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.’