Dodger Stadium’s first game

From the <I>Variety</I> archives

Originally appeared in Daily Variety, Apr. 11, 1962

Dem Ex-Bklyn. Bums Look (& Play) Like Dudes in Prim Park


(Boy and man, in Brooklyn or Karachi, a Dodger fan)

The Bums put on their top hat, white tie and tails yesterday and said farewell to Flatbush forever. There was a little bit of Brooklyn left though in the way they dropped the opener to the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 at the luscious looking, $18 mil Chavez Ravine stadium.

It was a far cry from Ebbets Field. Chavez Ravine, with its gaily covered seats, is the kind of a prim and proper ballpark where a woman can wear a hat and not look out of place.

Walter O’Malley still has a traffic problem on his hands. It took more than an hour from the center of Hollywood to get to this baseball wonderland. Getting out was easier as the crowds headed for the exits around the eighth inning. Brooklyn did have the subways – the Independent, BMT and IRT – and oldtimers are going to miss them as a means of transportation to see the Bums play.

The decorous atmosphere even affected Walter Alston, who switched to “percentage” baseball in the eighth inning. There were two men on base, one out, and the Reds replaced righthander Bob Purkey with lefty Bill Henry. Out came the venerable Duke Snider, batting in the cleanup spot, and in came righthander Tommy Davis, who promptly hit into a double play. Imagine if Alston did that in Ebbets Field.

The club house tier of the ballpark was comfortable and except for the transistor radios it was hard to imagine one’s self at a ballgame. Nobody selling beer, peanuts or pop. Only pretty young teenagers yelling “Charge.”

There was a nice touch in the seventh inning for old Brooklyn fans. The fancy signboard lighted up with “Welcome Dearie Mulvey,” a greeting for the ailing wife of James A. Mulvey who has recovered so that she could attend the opener far from her beloved Flatbush.

A legend has ended. A new one has begun. The Bums are dead. Long live the Dodgers!

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