A Brief History of the
There are many in New York City and elsewhere just
drooling at the thought of a World Series matchup: the New York Yankees
versus the New York Mets. It would be the ultimate battle for Big Apple
And it could happen.
For no one would dispute the fact that both teams are
two of the best in all of baseball right now. And if it happens the old
rivalry of borough versus borough - the "Subway Series" would be
Only this time around it would not be Brooklyn versus
the Bronx - it would be Queens versus the Bronx - travel distance eight
The only question is will players and fans travel by
subway as they once did which was how the term "Subway Series"
came to be.
Back in 1889 the New York Times observed: "The
competition between Brooklyn and New York as regards baseball is
unparalleled in the history of the national game."
The competition may have been unparalleled but it was
also unequal. Throughout most of their history the Dodgers of Brooklyn
were a sad sack team. The Yankees were the royalty of baseball.
It was not until 1941 that the rivalry between the
two franchises reached fever pitch in the first Subway Series. The results
were predictable. The Yankees won. There was another Brooklyn-New York
Subway Series in 1947 - same result. In 1949 - same result. In 1952, in
1953 - same results.
In 1955, it was again a Subway Series - Dodgers
versus Yankees. Brooklyn had lost all seven Series it had played - five of
them to the Bronx Bombers. Casey Stengel's Yankees took the first two
games. Since no team had ever won a seven-game World Series after losing
the first two games, Yankee fans were getting ready to celebrate. And once
again Dodger fans were trotting out their poignant slogan: "Wait 'til
But 1955 was Next Year! The Brooks pushed the Yankees
to a seventh game. And Johnny Podres threw a 2-0 complete game shutout to
give the Brooklyn Dodgers their first and only World Championship.
The precise moment was 3:43 P.M. on October 4, 1955.
Brooklyn streets were clogged with celebrating fans. Honking car horns,
clanging pots and pans, and shredded newspaper all punctuated that one
singular moment. There was joy in Flatbush. The hated Yankees had been
However, all the celebrating was short-lived and
bittersweet. For in 1956,the last time there was a Subway Series, it was
Yanks over Dodgers in seven games. And in 1957 the Dodgers of Brooklyn
moved to Los Angeles.
Pretenders to the throne of "Subway Series"
have sprung up since then - - Yankees versus Los Angeles Dodgers in
transcoastal World Series. Even the "Shuttle Series" - - the
World Series of 1986 between the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. The
name derived from the two cities that were linked by commuter air-shuttle
routes and shameless commercialism by shuttle operators Eastern and Pan
But all that is past "Subway Series"
footnotes. This October beckons. And there are the sub-plots: Joe Torre,
who grew up in Brooklyn, managed the Mets from 1977-1981 and has been
Yankee skipper since 1996. Yogi Berra managed the Yankees in 1964, the
Mets from 1972-1975, and the Yankee from 1984-1985. He is now a new symbol
of the Bronx Bombers after making up with George Steinbrenner after years
And Daryl Strawberry, one time great star for the
Mets, now a Yankee, is another sub-plot. "I'm on this side now, a
Yankee, but I know there are a lot of Mets fans back from the old days
The meeting in October, the Subway Series in New York
City - now that would be something else." It sure would. # # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and
is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
on Twitter: http://twitter.com/south2nd
on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?locale=en_US
on the Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer
Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch.
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .
Other Frommer sports related articles can be
Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth
College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage
in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
This Article is Copyright
© 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.
All rights reserved worldwide.