Posted by Rich in Albuquerque
on Sunday, October 22nd 2017:
In Reply to: Brooklyn Dodger Baseball posted by Brooklyn Guy on Sunday, October 22nd 2017:
I have mixed emotions. I cried in 1957 when I heard the Bums were leaving. And for years, I joined in the chorus of "O'Malley, the bum, may he rot...." But I rooted for the Dodgers until the mid 1960's when, after a couple of seasons the Mets wormed their way into our hearts. I first saw them play in the Polo Grounds waiting for Shea to be completed. I camped out, cutting a class or two at St. John's U. and bought tickets to the World Series home games in 1969 and was in the stands when the Mets won the Series. After the Navy, I stayed in San Diego and followed and cheered for the Padres in the early/mid 1970's. Same thing with the Baltimore O's when I lived in Southern Maryland during two tours in Washington in the 1980's. (Yes, I did appreciate the irony.) I missed the 1994 strike as I was posted to London and cheered on the Chipperfield (Hertsfordshire) Cricket club for three years. But when I spent three years in the late 1990's at Travis AFB in almost-Northern California I semi-followed the nearby S.F. Giants. When I retired to Albuquerque at the end of 2000, the Dodgers, in the form of the AAA-level Albuquerque Dukes had just decamped for Portland, Oregon, miffed because the city would not fund a new stadium. Shades of O'Malley and 1957 all over again. Then in 2003, a chastened and newly elected Albuquerque City Council welcomed the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes to a newly built stadium and I became a fan of sorts of the Isotopes and much less of a fan of their MLB partners the then-Florida Marlins. I cheered on the "'Topes" but really could not care less about the MLB partners. Then in 2007, the L.A. Dodgers became the Isotopes major league affiliate. I continued to cheer on the Topes. There was a long legacy of Albuquerque-Dodgers relationships dating back to the early 1960's in Albuquerque. I had to put on an insincere smile when my neighbors waxed poetic about the Dodgers returning to Albuquerque. I follow(ed) the Topes, but could not really cheer on the Dodgers who always seemed to screw their hard working minor league players by signing the latest drug-addled flash-in-the-pan players and passing over the promising journeyman prospects who played great baseball in the minors. Then in 2014, it was 1957 all over again when the new Dodgers management, miffed because the minor league owners would not sell the franchise to the Hollywood moneymen, terminated their affiliation and bought the Oklahoma City AAA franchise and named it the OK City Dodgers.
For the last three seasons, the Isotopes have been the AAA affiliate of the nearby Colorado Rockies. My wife has become an avid Rockies fan. Yet I remain interested only in Minor League play. I have grown to like the Rockies and follow our Isotopes graduates who have made the transition to the major leagues. But for now, the only interest I have is a perverse wish for the Houston Astros to best the big money Dodgers in the World Series. The Dodgers have left the towns where I lived three times now. I owe them no allegiance. I am looking forward to April 2018 when the Isotopes home stand re-opens, silly mascot and all.
As for O'Malley and the move of the Dodgers and Giants franchises to California, I now see the movement west of the Mississippi as perhaps the best thing that happened to Baseball in my lifetime. Wild-card games not withstanding, the growth of the leagues and the expansions and moves, however one feels about teams moving out of town, were good for the sport and good for the fans. But I have never, ever, felt any need to cheer for those "Damn Yankees."
Reference ID: BK95200
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