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Dem bums! Los Angeles Dodgers exploit Brooklyn roots — again!

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Well, you can say this for the Los Angeles Dodgers — they’ve got balls.

Brooklyn Dodgers fans are bleeding blue over a promotional scheme by the L.A.-based franchise to wear throwback borough uniforms for six games next season.

The team is asking fans to vote for their favorite old-school jersey — and critics are saying that this foul ball is just another way to exploit the borough that the team abandoned in 1957.

“They are using us,” charged Marty Adler, 75, founder of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame, a museum in Coney Island filled with team memorabilia that recalls the glory days of the 1940s and ’50s.

Adler was certainly not alone in the outrage.

“They’re not entitled to Brooklyn Dodgers shirts,” said East Flatbush-native Stan Feinberg, 69. “When they left, I was destroyed.”

Adding insult to injury, the Dodgers won’t be stepping up to the plate in New York wearing the Brooklyn uniforms. Instead, they’ll wear them at home games against a variety of teams from lesser cities. (Adding triple insult, food and drink will be half price at each of the games!)

“It’s a slap in the face — especially since they don’t want to wear it here,” Adler added. “If they’re going to do it, New York is the place to wear them.”

This is the point in any Dodger story where the reporter stops the flow of the narrative to remind the reader that Dodger owner Walter O’Malley became a pariah after making a bum’s rush from the borough after the 1957 season. He not only wrenched the hearts from Dodgers faithful from Voorhies Avenue to Visitation Place, but became the punchline in this celebrated joke: You’re in a room with Walter O’Malley, Stalin and Hitler and you have a gun with only two bullets — what do you do? Answer: You shoot O’Malley twice just to make sure he dies.

And now, back to our story.

Under the Dodgers’ uniform contest, fans can choose among:

• A 1911 Superbas-era pinstriped jersey with “Brooklyn” stitched down the button panel. The team wore this during its second-to-last season in Washington Park, located on Fifth Avenue between Third and Fourth streets.

• A 1931-Robins era jersey with a robin’s egg- blue “B” emblazoned on the chest.

• A 1940s uniform with “Brooklyn” scrawled in script across the chest. With the emergence of night baseball, this type of uniform was made out of a highly reflective satin to be more visible under the lights of Ebbets Field on Sullivan Place in Flatbush.

Dodgers-diehards such as Charles Solomonson, 85, of Bergen Beach, won’t be casting a ballot any time soon.

“They shouldn’t even talk about ‘the Brooklyn Dodgers’ any more since they left,” he said. “I don’t think they should even be allowed to do this.”

Solomonson’s ire is understandable. After all, this wasn’t just any sports franchise, the team was the flesh and blood embodiment of the borough: They were the lovable Bums, indomitable and fallible. They cemented a place in American history as the team that broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, when the great Jackie Robinson took the field in 1947.

And they weren’t New York City’s team, they were Brooklyn’s own.

“Most of them lived in Brooklyn. In fact, they would carpool to Ebbets Field,” Michael Shapiro, author of “The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers, and Their Final Pennant Race Together” told WNYC. “I mean it was a really local team. The idea that you would have baseball players, Brooklyn Dodgers, whose kids played on local Little League teams — this was all part of the Dodgers as a truly local sport. The Dodgers became the repository of all these notions of what baseball was supposed to be.”

The modern-day Dodgers were formed in 1883, and were at first known as the Brooklyn Grays. The squad took on an array of nicknames since then, including the Bridegrooms, Superbas, Grooms, and Robins, eventually settling for good on the name “Dodgers,” which refers to “trolley dodgers,” a nickname given to Brooklynites who were accustomed to evading the borough’s network of streetcars.

Team officials balked at the criticism of the uniform promotion.

“This is just to salute the history and recognize where we came from,” said Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch.

And this is not the first time the team has played with throwback jerseys, having donned replica 1955 road uniforms against Tampa in 2007.

“It’s not unprecedented,” he said.

And it’s probably quite lucrative.

Besides the classic Los Angeles cap, Brooklyn Dodgers hats are the most popular ones sold by the team, Rawitch said.

And no less a figure in the Dodger pantheon than Joan Hodges herself defended the promotion.

“It’s a wonderful thing,” said Hodges, widow of legendary first baseman Gil Hodges, who should be in the Hall of Fame, but is not. “The Dodgers are the Dodgers, and they’ll always have a special place in the heart of the people of Brooklyn.”

Besides, “It’s the name the Dodgers — not the city — that matters,” said Hodges, who still lives in the Midwood home she once shared with the slugger, who played 16 seasons with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring after two more seasons with the fledgling Mets. He ended his career with 370 home runs, nine All-Star team appearances and the admiration of an entire city.

Since the promotion began earlier this week, 30,000 votes have been cast, the Dodgers said. The winning uniform will be announced on Feb. 25, the day before individual tickets go on sale.

To vote, go to losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. The deadline is Feb. 17.

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Reader Feedback

common sense from bay ridge says:
Right now, the Dodgers are in limbo, as the owner gets taken to the cleaners in his divorce case. Now is the time for someone to step up and buy the team, and move them back where they belong. The Raiders went back yo Oakland, why not bring Dem Bums back home too.
Feb. 11, 2011, 7:03 am
freddy from slope says:
fact check...

stadium in park slope area was between 1st and 3rd street, 3rd and 4th avenue.

the stadium that avbutted 5th avenue had been gone for 20 years.
Feb. 11, 2011, 9:46 am
Adrian from LA says:
Brooklyn people. Get over it! Move on! I don't know if you noticed but lots of teams move all over the damn place. Let it go.
Feb. 11, 2011, 10:24 am
Chris from Los Angeles says:
Nope. Stayin in LA. Wishful thinking Bay Ridge but wont happen. Although my crazy renegade Football Godfather Al Davis who moved the Raiders to L.A then back to Oakland was from Brooklyn!
Feb. 11, 2011, 1:34 pm
Phil from Central Ca. says:
They are the Dodgers, no matter what town or city they are playing in.
Feb. 11, 2011, 8:53 pm
Nick from New Jersey says:
I don't see the big deal. I'm a huge Dodger fan, as are my father and Grandfather. We always go see the Dodgers play the Mets and Yanks whenever they come to town. I think it's great the Dodgers are honoring their roots. And whether LA or Brooklyn the Dodgers are still the Dodgers!
Feb. 12, 2011, 7:30 am
wanda from connecticut says:
I lijke the 40s the best. I saw the Bums play many times with my Dad and have missed them evey season. There has enever been and never will be a team loved like the Brooklyn Dodgers. And there will never be fans like us eather. God Bless the Brooklyn Dodgers and all their fans.
Feb. 12, 2011, 12:34 pm
Richard Kosmicki from Westport,CT says:

Of course! This is an extension and continuation of
the smash and grab manuever that occurred when the
Dodgers were bought and kidnapped to Los Angeles
back in the late '50's. So LA - so O'Malley !
So utter McCheese !

May the true memory of the Brooklyn Bums win/win!!!

Richard J. O'Mahony Kosmicki, Jr
In memory of: Faith Ann O'mahony 1933-1998 A former
resident of Park Slope. When the Dodgers were Brklyn!
Feb. 12, 2011, 3:32 pm
Roy from Los Angeles says:
Don't forget that it was New York City officials that ran the Dodgers off. O'Malley wanted a new stadium in Brooklyn but officials insisted on Queens (Brooklyn Dodgers of Queens or New York Dodgers?). As many have pointed out, the Dodgers were a BROOKLYN team, not Queens! Since the Dodgers had no choice but to leave Brooklyn, they took the better deal in Los Angeles (have you seen the size of Dodger Stadium and surrounding land at Chavez Ravine?). And while the Dodgers may have started in Brooklyn, they now belong to Los Angeles more than they ever did to Brooklyn. In Brooklyn they were the Grays, the Bridegrooms, and the Robins before they were the Dodgers. Los Angeles has only known them as the Dodgers. Not to mention they had only one championship in Brooklyn compared to 5 in LA! Sorry Brooklyn fans- go cheer for your New York Mets in Queens and be grateful that the Los Angeles Dodgers acknowledge and honor their Brooklyn roots!
Feb. 13, 2011, 5:26 pm
JAY from PSLOPE says:
Roy, you are wrong and ignorant. The Dodgers STILL to this VERY DAY were in Brooklyn LONGER than they have been in LA. They were in Brooklyn for 72 years, they have been in LA for ONLY 52 years.
Say your drivel in another 20 years and you may have a point, but for now, its just drivel.
Besides, you so called "fans" in L.A. show up in the 3rd inning and then leave in the 8th. Your stadium sucks too. It is a joke and is NOTHING like the way it was in Brooklyn.
The rest of the country makes fun of LA fans for such "support".
While it is true that the city government, specifically Robert Moses, creator of many things gone wrong, could have done more to keep the Dodgers, they were NOT run off. Its also true that LA gave the Dodgers everything for free, which no one else could have done, and no one can complete with free. The Dodgers had a choice, and Walter O'malley sold it out, just like friggin Bernie Madoff.
Be grateful the dodgers "honor" their Brooklyn roots? Are you so clueless? Brooklyn needs no charity for some goof from the left coast. What you seem to be incapable of understanding is that this is not an honor, its a damn insult. You don't seem to know any more about honor than you do baseball.
Feb. 13, 2011, 8:09 pm
Old Brooklyn Fan from Greenpoint says:
That was a very well written and interesting article ("Dem Bums Los Angeles Dodgers exploit Brooklyn roots -again" by Gary Buiso)
As a Dodger fan, since 1947, I just wanted to point out that not all Brooklyn Dodger fans gave up their loyalty after the team left Brooklyn, not this one anyway. It's become much easier now with modern technology. I watch the team nightly on MLB.TV when they're not on regular TV. We have newer fans following the team from the New York area, most who were born after the departure.
Feb. 20, 2011, 11:05 pm

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