Today marks a sad day in baseball history. On this day in 1960, demolition began on venerable Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The stadium was no longer needed following the Dodgers move to Los Angeles. Many former Brooklyn Dodgers were in attendance, including Roy Campanella, who was presented with a ceremonial urn of dirt from behind home plate. In a stroke of whimsy, the wrecking ball was painted with seams to look like a baseball.
Ebbets Field was a cramped bandbox of a stadium, reminiscent of many of the early 20th Century parks. It was shoehorned into a crowded neighborhood, leaving little room for expansion and parking. Ultimately, the battle over a new, modern stadium helped to drive the Dodgers out of Brooklyn and to Los Angeles. The Dodgers won their only pennant in Ebbets Field in 1955.
The game of baseball lost an important part of its history with the demise of Ebbets Field. I cannot help but wonder if Ebbets Field could have been preserved and remained an iconic stadium in the way that Fenway and Wrigley have. Unfortunately, Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley. The history of Ebbets field does live on in the new Citi Field, home of the Mets. The architects behind the design of Citi Field incorporated Ebbets Field’s iconic rotunda into the main entrance of the Mets new home.