After Many a Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball

By Moss, Robert A. | Nine, Fall 2010 | Go to article overview

After Many a Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball


Moss, Robert A., Nine


Robert E. Murphy. After Many a Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball. New York: Union Square Press, 2009. 418 pp. Cloth, $24.95.

The Dodgers have now played longer in Los Angeles (since 1958) than they played in Ebbets Field (1913-1957), their famously intimate bandbox in Brooklyn. Fans who grew up doting on the "Boys of Summer" Dodgers teams of 1947-1957 are now elderly. New York Giants fans who thrilled to Bobby Thomson's epic home run that won the 1951 National League playoff at the Polo Grounds and who rejoiced as Willie Mays and his teammates defeated Cleveland in the 1954 World Series, similarly lost their team to San Francisco in 1958. Like their onetime Brooklyn Dodgers antagonists, they must now be content either with memories or the New York Mets.

How did it happen that two storied franchises--the Giants of John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Mel Ott, and Willie Mays, and the Dodgers of Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider--simultaneously deserted the country's media and financial capital for California? Robert E. Murphy's After Many a Summer is a requiem for "the Dodgers being taken from me," as well as an inquest: "The boy left behind, and the man he becomes, wants to know more about the man who did it" (xiii). Murphy does not assume an impartial stance. From the outset it is clear to him that Walter O'Malley, the Dodgers' owner, is the villain. And although his book is subtitled "The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball," Murphy's emotions are mainly engaged by O'Malley and the Dodgers. Dutiful attention is paid to the Giants and Horace Stoneham, their owner, but the microscope is focused on O'Malley. His is the lead role and the object of Murphy's undisguised animus. (Truth demands that this reviewer acknowledge a similar prejudice.)

However, since the publication of Neil J. Sullivan's The Dodgers Move West in 1987, an alternative demon has emerged: Robert Moses, New York City's Parks Commissioner and power broker supreme. In this new scenario, also adopted by Michael Shapiro in his study of the 1956 Dodgers, The Last Good Season, O'Malley simply wants to build a new stadium for the Dodgers in Brooklyn, but Moses blocks him at every step and ultimately points him westward. Murphy mistrusts this "revisionist view," and it irks him "to see it become the standard version of events" (xiv). After Many a Summer is thus written to reestablish O'Malley's culpability. Does Murphy prove his case? I'll admit to rooting for him, but I came away convinced that his exhaustive (and exhausting) dissection of the events and evidence demonstrates that both O'Malley and Moses must share the blame and bear the obloquy. Murphy himself implicitly recognizes this, writing, "The team's fans might have cursed the fate that brought these two fiercely self-assured men together in an awkward dance around Brooklyn and Queens ..."(113).

Murphy begins with extensive historical vignettes of baseball in Brooklyn and New York dating back to 1845. These include the Civil War era Brooklyn Excelsiors, the Brooklyn Atlantic's 1870 defeat of the professional Cincinnati Red Stockings, and Brooklyn's National League championships in 1890 and 1899. The great Giants teams of McGraw and Matty are invoked as well. We are given a review of Dodger ownership up to the appearance of O'Malley, brought aboard as a young lawyer and team director in 1932. Murphy even includes short biographies of O'Malley's father, Edwin, a Tammany Hall politician and New York Commissioner of Public Markets, and of Stoneham's father, Charles, a stock manipulator and gambler, who bought the Giants in 1918 and left them to his son when he died in 1936. Both Edwin O'Malley and Charles Stoneham were onetime subjects of judicial investigations, and Murphy actually entitles a chapter "Stoneham and O'Malley: Sinful Fathers." As much as one may rue the later actions of the sons, imputing to them the sins of their fathers surely departs from historical objectivity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

After Many a Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodgers and a Golden Age in New York Baseball
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.