Sports in Brooklyn - Baseball - League Baseball

League Baseball

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA), the first professional league was established in 1871. The three major clubs calling Brooklyn home all joined by its second season, so both grounds are in the record books if we count the NA as a major league. For 1873 the Eckfords went out of business and the Atlantics moved in as second team at the Union Grounds, sharing with the Mutuals for three seasons. The Mutuals continued as a charter member of the National League in 1876 and the Hartfords of Brooklyn played there in 1877.

Brooklyn's most famous team, the Dodgers, got its start as a minor league team in 1883, joining the American Association in 1884, calling themselves the Bridegrooms and playing at the first of three venues called Washington Park. The team moved to the National League in 1890 and relocated to Ebbets Field in 1913. In the years prior to 1932, they were also known as the Superbas and the Robins, the last an informal name taken from their manager, Wilbert Robinson. The team name is short for "trolley dodgers," a reference to the many streetcar lines that once criss-crossed the borough.

Perennial losers, the Dodgers were called "bums" by their fans, first with derision, eventually with affection. The Dodgers greatest achievement came in 1947 when Jackie Robinson took the field in a Dodgers uniform, the first Major League African American player of the modern era. The Brooklyn Dodgers won National League pennants in 1890, 1899, 1900, 1916, 1920, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953, but lost the 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952 & 1953 World Series to their longtime rival the New York Yankees. In 1955, the Dodgers won their first and only World Series in Brooklyn, beating the rival New York Yankees, resulting in mass euphoria and celebrations all over Brooklyn. Just two years later, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, California, after the 1957 season, causing widespread resentment and sorrow. Brooklyn's most beloved and cherished institution had left, and the move is cited by some historians as one of the catalysts for the decline of Brooklyn in the 1960s and 1970s.

In addition, the Brooklyn Ward's Wonders of the Players League in 1890 and the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League in 1914 and 1915 called the borough home. The Players League team played in Eastern Park, in what is now known as East New York. The Tip-Tops played in the final incarnation of Washington Park.

After a 43-year hiatus, baseball returned to the borough in the form of the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team that began playing in Coney Island in 2001. The Cyclones are a short season Class A New York - Penn League affiliate of the New York Mets professional team. The Cyclones play at MCU Park, located in southern Brooklyn near the Coney Island boardwalk. During hot summer nights, fireworks are sometimes used to signify the commencement of the baseball games.

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