I Never went to Ebbets Field when it housed Dem Bums,
But felt a fondness for Campanella, Reese, Furillo, Robinson —
An affinity for a team that tried so hard and was so good
But never beat my Yanks until 1955. I watched the Dodgers’
Orchestrated victories for those five years, the first half
Of that decade, and respected the hell out of the way they
Executed and could play together in that band box of a stadium.
I never played for Felton prior to each home game, but
I was there in my imagination, just as I existed on the big team
When my Bronx Bombers were away and non-existent on
My black-and-white RCA. It wasn’t black and white that I
The Yankee fan could have no other team to cheer for.
If sports talk radio had been extant back then there’d be no
Herb from the Bronx calling in berating the New York teams
Of the Senior Circuit as also-rans compared to The seemingly
Perennial Champions of the World. I respected top-notch
Competition — Black, Newcombe, Hodges, Snider (Willie-
Mickey or the Duke?) — and was able to admire those who
Held their ground and honored the game. Why is it so hard
To comprehend that pros deserve the honor of recognition
Of their skills. I can’t call it Yankee Stadium without confusion.
So let me say “The House that Ruth Built” was home to Greats
But so was Ebbets Field, and it’s an irony of Life that in the end,
Both once-glorious homes of idols who were worshiped
Have faded into memory much as the players who called
These castles home. So next time you hear on your FAN radio
Joe from the Bronx bragging about the team with the most
World Series wins, remember that that team was not alone
On Mount Olympus pitching lightning bolts and hitting shots
Of thunder. Back in the day, the first half of the sixth decade
Of last century, there was another team whose fans also showered
Them with love (as they wept when that team’s owner
Finally abandoned the third largest city in America — larger than
Boston, Atlanta, D. C. and Minneapolis combined). Brooklyn
Earned respect even from this Yankee fan. Too often, our
Concept of the world is too pedestrian; we need to expand our
Vision, share our regard and welcome people of a quality that
Demands our esteem even if they can’t be called our own.