Brooklyn residents will never forgive Walter O’Malley, former owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1955, the Dodgers beat the Yankees to win their first World Series. Then O’Malley wanted to build a bigger and better stadium under Title I of the 1949 Federal Housing Act, which gave money to local governments to work with big developers and turn dilapidated areas into something for the public good. Robert Moses, the city’s infamous urban planner, rejected the plan. While there was talk of building the stadium in Queens, on October 8, 1957, a Dodgers publicist announced that the team was moving to Los Angeles.
Buzzie Bavasi, the Dodgers’ general manager at the time, told the New York Times in 2007 that O’Malley “did it for a reason: money. All those acres in downtown Los Angeles.” On the other hand, Michael Shapiro — author of The Last Good Season, a book about the team’s 1956 campaign — argues that Moses pushed out O’Malley and the Dodgers. The urban planner had no problem using Title I to justify his own pet projects before. “Robert Moses is the bad guy in this story,” Shapiro wrote.
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