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June 14, 2017 / Media / Brooklyn news / Podcast / The Local
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O’Malley! Moses! The devil of Brooklyn is crowned on BPR!

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Brooklyn Paper Radio

It’s official! Walter O’Malley and Walter O’Malley alone is to blame for the Brooklyn Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles in 1958 — breaking the hearts of Brooklynites for generations to come including that of Brooklyn Paper editor-in-chief Vince DiMiceli’s mom, who vowed to never again root for a shortstop named “Pee-Wee” when the soul was ripped out of her home borough.

Or maybe it was Robert Moses’ fault.

On this week’s scintillating episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio, author Jerold Podair took the argument he laid out in his new book “City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles,” that New York’s master builder Moses forced O’Malley’s hand to the court of public opinion — and that of Judge and BPR co-host Gersh Kuntzman — who has final say on who is to blame.

“If there is one thing that America and, more importantly, the newspaper industry, stands for, it is pointing the finger,” said Kuntzman. “And I will point my proverbial and actual finger at the culprit after hearing all the arguments.”

And those comments were convincing:

• Podair noted that Moses, who was not a baseball fan, refused to build a new, baseball-only stadium in Brooklyn, preferring to build a multi-purpose stadium in Queens.

• DiMiceli pointed out that O’Malley wanted a new stadium the day he became the sole owner of the Dodgers, and that he started looking west once the Boston Braves made the jump to Milwaukee in 1954 — and immediately began packing the house and making money hand-over-fist.

• Podair countered that O’Malley, who lived on Long Island with his wife and two kids, had no real interest in moving himself, his family and his team, out west, an area he knew very little about, and was only using the threat of the move as leverage to get the land he wanted near the Long Island Rail Road terminal.

• DiMiceli claimed that the plan to move to Atlantic Avenue was a ruse, used to scare people in Los Angeles into thinking there was a chance the team would stay in Brooklyn, forcing residents their to give him the subsidies he needed to make the move.

• Podair said a last-minute offer by Nelson Rockerfeller to put up millions of dollars to keep the team in Brooklyn proved O’Malley was intent on keeping the team in Brooklyn.

• DiMiceli claimed that the devil was in two simple details: O’Malley convinced Chicago Cubs owner Phil Wrigley to trade him the rights to playing in Los Angeles — along with ownership of Wrigley Field in City of Angels — for a bag of baseballs, and O’Malley had paid an exorbitant amount of money for a plane to fly his team back and forth to the west coast. Both of those deals happened two years before the Dodgers left town after the 1957 season.

Take a listen and find out how Judge Kuntzman rules!

The boys were also joined by mayoral wannabe and former Bay Ridge Councilman Sal Albanese, who this week called Mayor DeBlasio a “limousine liberal,” and questioned why the mayor has to take giant, gas-guzzling trucks to and from everywhere in the city when he can just as easily take the subway.

But maybe it is because the subways are running so terrible right now?

Albanese claimed that if elected, he would allocate $1 billion of New York City cash to the system, and would work to convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do the same with state money. He also said the first fix that he would push for would be a fix to the antiquated signal system — which breaks down so often train never run on time.

Albanese also unveiled that he has recently moved to bucolic Staten Island to be closer to his grandchildren, a moved that shocked DiMiceli and Kuntzman.

“Wait a second, that makes you the ultimate outsider!” DiMiceli said. “A Democrat on Staten Island? Incredible.”

All told, it was another exciting episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio, and you can hear it all right now on BrooklynPaper.com!

Brooklyn Paper radio is recorded and podcast live every week — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher. A loop of the most recent show is always streaming at brooklynpaper.com/radio.

Updated 5:58 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
O'Malley could have bought the land for a new park anytime he wanted to, or sold the team to someone that could afford to. I know people that Moses steamrolled over to get his way, but he is largely blameless here. Anyone that complains about Ratner getting land gifted to him via eminent domain should tip their caps to Moses on this. O'Malley is still the devil.
June 14, 2017, 6:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
What some keep forgetting is that O'Malley didn't plan to have the stadium for the Dodgers on the rail yards itself, he planned to have where the Atlantic Center Mall is right now. I could never understand why so many are getting this wrong. Even then, it was seen as a bad idea to have a stadium or arena there, which was the same reason why there was so much opposition to when it was first proposed back in 2003. No matter how many try to revise this, I will always know that the Barclays Center is both a product of eminent domain abuse and corporate welfare, plus the Nets were nothing more than a Trojan Horse for Ratner when he was just using them to get politicians to support another one of his mega projects that will just fail later on as MTC over in downtown Brooklyn already did. Of course the same will imply for the WTC site on those who try claim a revisionist story there as well when I know the public never supported that project and wanted the Twin Towers rebuilt instead, but that's besides the point here. Overall, I will always be hear to tell the truth on what really want on with the Atlantic Yards even though it's now called Pacific Park whenever I hear something on it especially since I followed a lot of events relating to it firsthand in the past and even met with the opposition in person, so I know what they were really for and stood for when opposing it.
June 15, 2017, 5:28 pm
Ralph Branca says:
Podair is 1000%, wholly and completely wrong.

There is one and only one person to 'blame' and that's the greedy-- or rational, take your pick-- businessman O'Malley.

I don't carry water for Robert Moses but why should HE or the state / city been susbsidizing the Dodgers? If anything we should admire this rare example of public rectitude.

O'Malley apologists like Podair should explain how their supposedly maligned "hero" happily steamrolled his way into Chavez Ravine.
June 18, 2017, 1:21 am

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