Ebbets Field expert to speak about lingering love for the ballpark
A century after its construction and over five decades since its demise, Ebbets Field endures as one of the most beloved ballparks in the history of America. Brooklynites in particular harbor fond and vivid memories of the baseball park, which arose in Flatbush in 1913. One former Brooklynite, Bob McGee – a historian who spent his formative years in the borough and still lives nearby – has expertly recreated the ballpark’s animated history in his book “The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers.”
In celebration of Ebbets Field’s 100 year anniversary, McGee will give a lecture on June 19 titled “Ebbets Field at 100: Still Resonating in the American Imagination.” The discussion, which will take place at New York School of Interior Design (170 East 70th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues), is part of the school’s 2013 summer lecture series. McGee will unpack the history chronicled in his book, which includes original interviews and letters, as well as published archival sources.
In “The Greatest Ballpark Ever,” McGee comprehensively explores Charley Ebbets’ convoluted path to building the ballpark, investigating with humor the politics and characters that intersected and influenced the great project.His book offers many lesser known details, including architectural quirks and flaws and the 15-year existence of a professional football team also called the Brooklyn Dodgers playing their home games at Ebbets. Mostly, McGee paints a larger picture for his readers, revealing how Brooklyn and the Dodgers came to complement and characterize each other.
With enlightening and poignant descriptions, McGee enlivens a slice of history that continues to echo in the hearts and minds of many Brooklynites. In anticipation of his upcoming lecture, Brooklyn Eagle spoke to the author, who shares with us his early memories of the Dodgers in Brooklyn and his take on the movie “42.”