03.22.09 You can Blame Robert Moses (again)

Hey disgruntled 90-year-old Brooklyn Dodgers fan, stop blaming L.A. and the O’Malleys for stealing your team and take your gripin’ to Robert Moses. Of course, you’ll have to get in line. Arch enemy of Jane Jacobs, affordable housing, liveable cities, blue collar workers and public transit, Robert Moses was the biggest political road block to a new stadium in Brooklyn at the time, and he provided the bullying impetus to move the team out of the city, as news of his involvement in the contentious Dodgers move to Los Angeles continues to come to light.

(Although yours truly thinks its high time the diehards bury the hatchet: Brooklyn’s boys in Blue mutated into “Los Dodgers” a long, long, LONG time ago and they’ll remain that way in baseball’s lexicon.)

Long time Dodger’s owner Peter O’Malley (from 1970-1998), along with "Forever Blue" author Michael D'Antonio, recently attended a bereavement-themed Dodgers symposium at the Brooklyn historical society that brought to light and highlighted the involvement New York’s most infamous urban development czar in the eventual transplant of the team to the West coast and the destruction of Ebbets field.

Walter O’Malley (father of Peter) wanted to redevelop to the derelict Fort Greene public market area for a new Brooklyn Dodgers’ stadium, but Moses wouldn’t have it. He was subsequently pushed to find other cities for the team, fatefully landing in L.A. Today the Atlantic yards site, at the border of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights – to be designed by Frank Gehry, er, or maybe not – hasn’t progressed any faster than O’Malley’s domed stadium. Presently, at the site where O’Malley would have built, little work has been done, private land remains to be acquired, and developers are scrambling to keep their heads above water.

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