New addition to Brooklyn arena

December 17, 2012 Editorial Staff
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The flagpole that once belonged to Ebbets Field, home to the Brooklyn Dodgers, now stands permanently in front of the newly developed sports and entertainment arena, Barclays Center.

At a ceremony that took place on December 11, the pole was unveiled in presence of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Barclays developer Bruce Ratner, daughter of the legendary Jackie Robinson Sharon Robinson, and Jerry Stackhouse, a player for the Brooklyn Nets.

“We are proud that such historic symbol of Ebbets Field will now stand permanently outside of Barclays Center,” said Ratner, “to connect the borough’s great sports past to its present.”

Robinson shared memories of her father saying that “this is a proud day for us,” adding that the monument will bring the community together. Along with her nieces, Robinson took pictures with the plaque, located at the bottom of the pole, which was also presented during the commemorative ceremony.

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Stackhouse, who wears Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 on his uniform, spoke of the contributions Robinson provided as an African American athlete saying that he feels “ecstatic” to be a part of the occasion and that he “wears the number 42 with tremendous honor.”

Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark said the flagpole is a symbol of what the Brooklyn Dodgers meant, symbolizing the memory of what Robinson meant to Brooklyn. “It defines the rough and charming of this borough,” and “we will be forever connected to Ebbets Field,” he said.

Ebbets Field was demolished for housing in 1960, three years after the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn for Los Angeles, and the flagpole was donated to a Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Utica Avenue. It stood on that site until Ratner secured the historic flagpole in 2007, with the goal of positioning it at Barclays. Markowitz had alerted Ratner of the availability of the flagpole.

“Bravo to the Brooklyn Nets and to Bruce Ratner for this fitting tribute to our beloved ‘bum’ of yesteryear — the Brooklyn Dodger,” he exclaimed. “this Ebbets Field flagpole and Brooklyn Nets are a ‘home run’ and a ‘slam dunk,’ marking the transition from one great tradition of major league sports in Brooklyn to another.”

The American flag and the Brooklyn Nets flag were raised at the 4 o’clock ceremony, with the help of Stackhouse.

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