The Giants and the Dodgers

Four Cities, Two Teams, One Rivalry


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About the Book

The Giant-Dodger rivalry was considered the best in baseball by 1890 and remains the game’s oldest and most storied rivalry today. It’s remarkable how often both teams have been good, how rarely they’ve both been bad, and how tenaciously the underdog has battled in between. Through 12 decades (and in two sets of cities 3,000 miles apart) Giant and Dodger partisans have rooted so passionately against each other that, just as during the Civil War, conflicting loyalties have divided neighbors and even families. This is the definitive account of the rivalry, from its roots in amateur contests between New York and Brooklyn teams in the 1840s to its present incarnation in California’s world class cities. All the greats are here: Ward, Ebbets, McGraw, Mathewson, Terry, Durocher, Reese, Robinson, Mays, Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Lasorda, Bonds. The book also examines the cities that have hosted the rivalry and devotes a special section to the move to California. The author argues compellingly that, contrary to popular wisdom, the rivalry’s best years came after the move.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Goldblatt is an administrative specialist in the Office of Risk Management at the University of California–Berkeley and lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Andrew Goldblatt
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: photos, tables, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1640-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1314-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgment      v
Introduction: The New York Game      1

Part I. 1883–1901: “Even Members of the Gentler Sex Have the Fever”     9
1889: “I Do Mind Being Robbed”      15
The 1890s: “The Hottest Baseball Locality on Earth”      22

Part II. 1902–1931: Little Napoleon and Uncle Robbie      29
1911–1913: “Repositories of Twin Heartbeats”      40
1916: “He Pissed on My Pennant”      47
1924: “Better Than a Free Trip to Mars”      52

Part III. 1932–1945: Jints and Bums      61
1934: “Are They Still in the League?”      69
1939: “All Tangled Up in the Spirit of the Thing”      76

Part IV. 1946–1957: Reality Strangles Invention      87
1951: “The Inexpressibly Fantastic”      99
1952: “There Will Be a Hundred Thousand Suicides in Brooklyn”      121
1954: “The Giants Is Dead”      128

Interlude: The Move      135

Part V. 1958–1971: Might Versus Mites      151
1958: “We Had People Picking Up Money with Shovels”      156
1959: “It Gripped the Players as Well as the Stands”      166
1960–1962: Harney’s Horror and the Taj O’Malley      173
1962: “Like Two Drunks Having a Fight in a Saloon”      179
1965: “I’m Going to Get Him on the Head”       192
1966: “The Moon Plus the Rest of the Solar System”       200
1971: “It’s Almost Like the Giants and the Dodgers Have a League of Their Own”    207

Part VI. 1972–1992: Bleeding Dodger Blue      213
1976: “Bobby Thomson Still Lives!”       221
1978: “Let Them All In, Lock the Gates, and Go Play Somewhere Else”      226
1982: “Double Murder”       236
1992: “Tampa’d With”       244

Part VII. 1993–2002: Do You Believe in Dustiny?      251
1993: “A Ralph Branca Walk”       261
1997: “They Blew Sincere Kisses to Their Sport”       268
2002: “The Sort of Stuff Around Which the Game Has Been Built”      275

Select Bibliography      279
Index      285

Book Reviews & Awards

“wonderful…Goldblatt writes in sharp, engaging sentences…a good read”—Choice; “finely focused book…very good piece of baseball history, a nice effort of which both author and publisher should be proud…intelligent, sprightly writing…this book is far from ordinary…insightful”—Nine; “informed…definitive…thoroughly enjoyable…unique and exciting…filled from cover to cover with anecdotes”—Midwest Book Review; “good…a nice detailed history of baseball’s best rivalry”—; “ranks among the ‘division winners’”—The Diamond Angle; “There is no sports rivalry quite like the Dodger-Giant rivalry that spans a century and a continent. Andrew Goldblatt has captured these confrontations with humor, verve, and affection. Dodger and Giant fans—be they from Brooklyn, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or points in between will love this book. So will anyone who likes a good book about baseball.”—Jules Tygiel (author of Past Time and Baseball’s Great Experiment).