A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 04, 2005
(Trolley) Dodgers (National League baseball team, now in Los Angeles)
The "Trolley Dodgers" was the 1890s nickname of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms baseball team. Later, the "Bridegrooms" team was officially nicknamed the "Trolley Dodgers," then (after other nicknames) the "Dodgers."

In 1958, of course, the team dodged Brooklyn altogether and moved to Los Angeles.

See the 1955 citation below. The "dodger" nickname is supposedly suggested by a "yellow newspaper clipping," but the databases that I searched didn't turn up the passage.


Los Angeles Dodgers
Brooklyn's debut into the National League in 1890 began on a positive note as the team nicknamed the "Bridegrooms" won the championship with an 86-43 record. It was the first of 21 National League pennants that the Dodgers would win during the next 100 years.

The moniker "Bridegrooms" was attached to Manager William "Gunner" McGunnigle's 1890 ballclub because seven of the players got married around the same time in 1888. Despite the success of the Bridegrooms, McGunnigle didn't last past the initial year and the team paraded through six different managers before the end of the decade. The skippers included John Montgomery Ward (1891-92), Dave Foutz (1893-96), William Barnie (1897-98), Mike Griffin (1898), Charles H. Ebbets (1898) and Ned Hanlon (1899-1905).

The term "Trolley Dodgers" was attached to the Brooklyn ballclub due to the complex maze of trolley cars that weaved its way through the borough of Brooklyn. The name was then shortened to just "Dodgers." During the 1890s, other popular nicknames were Ward's Wonders, Foutz's Fillies and Hanlon's Superbas.
(...)
In the 1950s, the Brooklyn Dodgers became the Los Angeles Dodgers as the team made its historic move to the West Coast in 1958.

Wikipedia: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. They are in the Western Division of the National League.

Founded: 1883, as a member of the minor Inter-State League. The team moved up to the American Association in 1884 and transferred to the National League in 1890.

Formerly known as: Brooklyn Dodgers, 1932 to 1957, after which the team moved to Los Angeles for the 1958 season.
Prior to declaring "Dodgers" the team nickname in 1932, sportswriters applied a number of nicknames to the club. They were known in various newspapers, and at various times, as the Bridegrooms (after several players married prior to the 1888 season), the Superbas (under manager Ned Hanlon -- "Hanlon's Superbas" was the name of an acrobatic troup popular at the time), the Robins (after Wilbert Robinson, manager from 1914 through 1931) and the Trolley Dodgers in 1911 and 1912 -- originally a pejorative term for Brooklyn residents, later adopted in 1932 and shortened.

Home ballpark: Ebbets Field (1913-1957), Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (1958-1961), Dodger Stadium (1962-present). (a.k.a. "Chavez Ravine") (Prior to 1912, the Brooklyn Dodgers played at Washington Park on 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn. Part of the wall of the stadium (http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/Dodgers/dodgers.html) can still be seen.)

Wikipedia: Eastern Park
Eastern Park was a baseball park in Brooklyn, New York in the 1890s. It was bounded by Eastern Parkway (later renamed Pitkin Avenue), Van Sinderen Street, Sutter Avenue and Powell Street.

It was the home of the Brooklyn entry in the Players' League in 1890, and then became the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers during 1891-1897, between their stints at the two versions of Washington Park.

It is here that the club first earned the nickname "Trolley Dodgers", later shortened to "Dodgers", due to the need for fans to cross various trolley lines to reach the stadium.

The ballpark was considered difficult to reach, and although the team survived there for seven seasons, the venture there was a failure. When Charlie Ebbets acquired the Dodgers, he moved the team back to Washington Park, which was both closer to the city center and offered a lower rent.

20 April 1890, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 20:
ELECTRIC CARS RUNNING.
Brooklyns First Line Set in
Operation.
(...)
Brooklyn's first electric railroad was virtually inaugurated yesterday with thorough success. The road is officially known as the Coney Island and Brooklyn Electric line, and runs from the Boulevard entrance to Prospect Park, opposite the parade ground, to West Brighton, passing the Brighton Beach Hotel and race course, a distance somewhat greater than five miles.
(...)
This is done by means of a rod, called a trolley, which extends from the top of the car to the wirse, being kept in position at an acute angle by upward pressure exerted by horizontal springs.

4 May 1895, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. 9, col. 2:
"Trolley dodgers" is the new name which Eastern baseball cranks have given the Brooklyn club. Several years ago when little Bobbie Caruthers was twirling such great ball and the Brooklyn boys were sweeping everything before them, an epidemic of marriages struck the players and from that time the Brooklyn ball tossers were known as the "Grooms."

LA84 Digital Sports Library
11 May 1895, Sporting Life, pg. 9, cols. 1-2:
The 'Rainmakers" and the "Trolley Dodgers" are the latest terms used by base ball writers to designate the Phillies and Brooklyns respectively.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
26 May 1895, The Press (New York, NY), Brooklyn (pt. 5), pg. 2, col. 2:
'The Trolley Dodgers," as Brooklyn's base ball team are called, have been more successful in dodging the cars than in winning ball games.

22 August 1895, St. Louis (MO) Republic, pg. 4:
BROOKLYN'S GAME.
TROLLEY DODGERS HAD NO TROUBLE
DEFEATING THE ILL-FATED
ST. LOUIS TEAM.

30 August 1895, Atchison (KS) Daily Globe, pg. 2, col. 7:
"Trolley dodgers" is the new name which eastern baseball cranks have given the Brooklyn club.

3 September 1895, Warren (PA) Ledger, pg. 3?:
"Trolley dodgers" is the new name which eastern baseball cranks have given the Brooklyn club.

3 September 1895. Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 5:
BARNIES' TROLLEY DODGERS SOUND-
LY TROUNCE ANSON'S MEN.
Brooklyns, 11; Chicagos, 3.

2 August 1896, Washington Post, pg. 4:
It looks as if Tom McCarthy's days are numbered as a Bridegroom. The sleepy, perfunctory ball played by the Trolley Dodgers gives Tom a tired feeling, an ailment that is shared by the Brooklyn fans.

18 August 1896, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 5:
...proved too much for the Trolley Dodgers.

20 March 1897, Sporting Life, pg. 5, col. 2:
Tom Brown believes that Billy Barnie has a first division club in the Trolley Dodgers for the season of '07.

27 February 1955, Los Angeles Times, pg. K28:
YEARS ago, when Brooklyn was in the old American Association, a yellow newspaper clipping proclaims "the streets around the ball park have been made hazardous by these newfangled streetcars, and if a person isn't an alert dodger his chances of reaching the park intact are doubtful." Despite all the other names the Brooklyn team has been called - Bridegrooms, Superbas, Bums and what not - it's still the Dodgers.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, May 04, 2005 • Permalink


There’s something suspicious about the entry above from the 3 September 1895 Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 5: BARNIES’ TROLLEY DODGERS SOUNDLY TROUNCE ANSON’S MEN… Billy Barnie did not join the Dodgers until 1897. Dave Foutz was the Brooklyn manager from 1893-1896.

Posted by Patrick Spreng  on  03/26  at  10:28 PM

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