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The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hardcover – June 22, 2005

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Bob McGee has crafted a meticulously researched and vivid portrait of Brooklyn’s long affair with the American game." -- Brian Naylor, National Public Radio

Bob McGee has crafted a loving read…a celebration of what was and a lament of what should always be. -- New York Daily News

For a fan of Brooklyn baseball, this book is a must...fine detail in easy to read text. -- NY Sports Day

For the old time fans of the Dodgers of Brooklyn, [TheGreatestBallparkEver] has much appeal and much to recommend it. -- Harvey Frommer, frommersports: the Book Review

The greatest book ever written about Ebbets Field....Brings us right back to those wonderful years. -- The Brooklyn Spectator

From the Publisher

Winner of the 2005 Dave Moore Award

The Dave Moore Award is a national juried award competition conducted by the baseball literary journal, Elysian Fields Quarterly, which honors the most important book published on baseball each year with this award.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rivergate Books (June 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813536006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813536002
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bob McGee's latest book, "The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers," (Rivergate, 2005) won the 2005 Dave Moore Award, presented by Elysian Fields Quarterly, and won wide acclaim as a touching story about baseball, Brooklyn's unique sense of place, and the hold Ebbets Field continues to have on the American imagination.

As the late Yankees senior vice president Arthur Richman said shortly after the book's publication, "I've been in and around baseball for seventy years now, and this undoubtedly is one of the finest books I've ever read. For a moment I thought I was sitting in Ebbets Field and was ready to order a hot dog."

Bob also co-authored Bridges of Central Park, with Henry Hope Reed and Esther Mipass (Greensward, 1990), to help ensure adequate preservation of the world's greatest collection of miniature bridges.

His articles on sports or history have appeared in The New York Times, the Oakland Tribune, and in a number of magazines. He has lived in Maine, Ohio, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Westchester, where he currently resides with wife Maureen, and he's a native of Brooklyn, where he's always had a home.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By S. Grossman on August 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a 58 year old Brooklyn Dodger fanatic who still and always will hate O'Malley, Mr. McGee's book is my new bible. He gives you the entire history of Baseball in Brooklyn without being boring, without preaching facts and making me feel that I was still living on Eastern Parkway. This is one book that I read very slowly as I didn't want it to end. He brought back many great memories and also brought back the tears I shed when they left and even more when on that cold February day they tore down the Hallowd Walls of that place called Ebbets. He brought me back to the times when I snuck in to watch games, layed on my stomach on Bedford Avenue to sneak a peak at the only spot to look under the Center Field fense to watch a game,saved our Borden's Elsie Dixie Cup tops to get Bleacher Seats and to turn in a Bedford Blast for a free admision to the bleachers. He even spelled Gladys Goodding's name correctly, something not done in some of the other Brookly Dodger books.

A job well done, Mr. McGee. My only disappointment in your book is that I finally ran out of pages. But, It is a book I will read over and over and over again and to all who miss Ebbets Field,the Brooklyn Dodgers and still hate O'Malley, DO NOT miss this book

Steve Grossman, Mount Laurel, NJ
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on August 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a baseball fan interested in the game's history you will enjoy this effort on the Brooklyn Dodgers and their history. Whether they were called the Dodgers, Superbas, or Robins the Brooklyn version of the team has cemented its place in baseball history. Author Bob McGee provides us with a detailed account of the team's history dating from the opening of Ebbets Field in 1913 until their infamous move following the 1957 season orchestrated by a man who's name will not appear here. Some readers may find they are being told more about the team than they care to know. However, if you are a fan of baseball history this will not be a problem for you. The team's inability to win a World Series haunted the team throughout their history from their first Series appearance in 1916 until that glorious year of 1955. At one period of time the team was nicknamed the Daffiness Boys, an early version of the New York Mets of the early 1960's. The best was saved for last with the arrival of the post war Boys of Summer in the early 1950's who were immortalized in literature by Roger Kahn in 1971. Several pictures also add to the book. One, in particular, of the inside of the Ebbets Field Rotunda, I had never seen before. If you remember the Brooklyn Dodgers, I do, or if you were a fan of the team you will enjoy this book. As I said in my title, it is at once both historic and nostalgic.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Miglino on December 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What differentiated this book from the countless others witten about the Brooklyn Dodgers was the author's attention to small detail. Now being from Brooklyn myself I appreciated this. The references to Steeplechase and the clown with paddles, Jim McElroy bring the Torre brothers to games at Ebbets field, the old Washington Park, Jack Kaiser, etc. For the average baseball fan outside of Brooklyn this is a great way to experience what once was. Even though I was only 6 when the Dodgers left and never saw a game at Ebbets Field the only logo's I display on anything I wear are Brooklyn Dodgers hats or shirts. You can't believe how many compliments I get. McGee in his writing really connects the Dodgers into the everyday life of every Brooklynite. I could only imagine what it must have been like (neither of my parents were sports fans nor did I have brothers or sisters). Growing up on the streets of Brooklyn you never had to worry how much junk food you ate because you would constantly burn it off playing stickball or basketball in the schoolyards. I find it interesting the players lived right in the neighborhoods, todays players live in castles and mansions, how could they ever connect to today's fan. I read this book very slow in order to digest every detail, there are plenty to digest. I highly recoomend this book to anyone baseball fan or not to get a glimpse into what was the "greatest place in the world" to grow up in. I only regret the Dodgers were not there when I could have appreciated them. I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a book signing and if he is ever in your area make it your business to meet him. The only thing better than the book is actually meeting Bob McGee.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gary B. Rosenthal on October 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Even though I grew up a Senators fan, having lived in Washington, DC., my parents, both of whom are from Brooklyn, instilled in me a love and respect for that grand old city/borough. I was born on October 16, 1956, 8 days after Don Larsen's World Series perfect game, but this book brought me in a time machine, allowing me to sit with Charley Ebbets as he planned to build this park, talked strategy with Uncle Robbie, laughed as the three Dodgers ended up on third, cried as those close chances in the World Series of the 1940s, cheered for Pee Wee, the Duke, Gil, Oisk, Campy and Jackie, booed Walter O'Malley and cried as the wrecking ball wiped out a landmark. Read this book today, immerse yourself in an era that was simpler, more neighborly, more alive. Take those memories and share them with all people, your kids, grandkids and their kids. Keep the memory of Ebbets Field and the Brooklyn Dodgers alive forever.
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