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The only major league team whose named location was a borough (rather than a city or state), the Brooklyn Dodgers entered American mythology as a metaphor for lost innocence and community. They became a symbol of the decline of the eastern city. Many in Brooklyn agreed with columnists Pete Hamill and Jack Newfield when they named the three most evil men of the 20th century as "Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O'Malley." O'Malley moved the "Boys of Summer" to Los Angeles only ten years after their proudest moment, the breaking of the color barrier with Jackie Robinson, and two years after their greatest triumph, beating the hated Yankees in the World Series after five losses.
The Dodgers are best remembered for their freewheeling days as manager Wilbert Robinson's Daffiness Boys, for their legendary Ebbets Field fans, and for the cry of "Wait until next year." Brooklyn lost the only two league playoffs played during their tenure, in 1946 and 1951, and were the only major league team to finish in the cellar only once. They played the longest major league game ever, a 26-inning tie with the Braves in 1920. (TG)