Day 267

Home Run

September 22nd, 2012

This 24-year-old mural once wrapped around the corner of this building in East New York, but most of it has now been painted over. I believe that's Jackie Robinson's silhouette on deck; the artist apparently included all of her favorite players somewhere in the scene.

Just a few blocks away from this spot, on the Brownsville side of the train tracks, once stood Eastern Park, the home of Brooklyn's National League ball club for several seasons in the 1890s. In fact, it was supposedly at this park that the team acquired the original version of the name by which it is still known in its current, distant home of Los Angeles. A number of surface rail lines ran through the area in those days, and so a walk to the ball park could require a fair amount of maneuvering on the part of the pedestrian to avoid being hit. Hence the club's new nickname: the Trolley Dodgers.*

After seven years of low attendance and mediocre baseball, the Dodgers left Brownsville and returned to their old stomping grounds in South Brooklyn, where they built the second Washington Park (whose sort-of-not-really remains we saw back in April), catty-corner to the site of their former home of the same name.

* Some sources claim that "Trolley Dodgers" referred more generally to Brooklyn's late-19th-century profusion of street car lines, rather than the specific lines that ran past Eastern Park.

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