Robert A. Moss In The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn recalls the warning he received as a young sports reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. Assigned to cover the 1952 Dodgers, Kahn’s editor cautioned him against the “transpontine madness,” a form of mental illness that afflicted otherwise sober folk who crossed the bridges connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn. His editor feared that the bor- ough’s contagious infatuation with their Dodgers would infect Kahn too. Much to our benefit, Kahn succumbed, penning his classic meditation, a cri de cœur for the avatars of a lost age of baseball, a time before free agency, when many great ones spent their entire careers with one team. In 1958, Walter O’Malley hijacked the Dodgers to Los Angeles and the bor- ough diminished. As Peter Golenbock put it in Bums, “The heart had gone out of Brooklyn. The soul had fled. It’s a place to live now, that’s all. It’s a place to hang one’s hat. It’s just across the river, a place where people sleep.” Yet, if we grasp the reins of memory, we may recreate a razed ballpark and animate a company of ghosts. I can still see Pee Wee Reese, for
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 19, 2017
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