American History14 Nov 2008 01:12 pm
Robert Moses was the “master builder” of New York City, and his reputation today largely stems from Robert Caro’s 1974 biography, The Powerbroker. Moses was the driving force (no pun intended) behind the Triborough and Verrazano Narrows bridges; the Brooklyn-Queens and Staten Island expressways; UN Headquarters and Lincoln Center. Urban planners debate Moses’ legacy to this day, and New Yorkers live it. Slightly less well-known is the impact Robert Moses had on baseball.
One of the greatest rivalries in New York sports history was that between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, who played out of Manhattan. In 1951, the two teams battled for the pennant, a battle that ended with one of the most famous moments in baseball. In the third game of a three-game playoff, the Giants won with a ninth-inning home run by Bobby Thomson. The run had a famous name: “The Shoot Heard ‘Round the World.” That rivalry came to an end, however, less than a decade later, when both teams moved to California.
The Dodgers played out of an old and shabby stadium called Ebbets Field, and team owner Walter O’Malley wanted a new stadium. He also knew where he wanted it: on the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, Moses had other plans for the corner. He wanted a parking garage, and he wanted to Dodgers to move to Queens. O’Malley said no, and took his team to Los Angeles. But Moses still got his stadium in Queens. It was called Shea; it was the home of the Mets; and it saw its last game earlier this year.
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