Birth of the Dodgers
Welcome to the historical roots of the Brooklyn baseball team that became the Dodgers. When the Dodgers Were Bridegrooms, Gunner McGunnigle and Brooklyn’s Back-to-Back Pennants of 1889 and 1890, which has just been published by McFarland Publishers, is the first book devoted entirely to:
- The men who started the team that became the Dodgers.
- Brooklyn’s first boys of summer who won the team’s first two pennants
- Brooklyn manager Bill “Gunner” McGunnigle, who still has the highest winning percentage of any manager in Dodgers franchise history.
The book is about more than runs, hits and errors. It also details the personal side, ranging from the name-calling feud between the Brooklyn club’s suave little president Charley Byrne — the “Napoleon of base ball” – and Chris Von der Ahe, the bombastic German owner of the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals), to a public clash at Sportsman’s Park between the St. Louis owner’s wife and his mistress. Plus, there is a revolt by the players, who form a league of their own led by a future Hall of Fame shortstop married to the leading lady of the Broadway stage.
This is a book that tells the story of how the owners and players of the Brooklyn team — players with such nicknames as Adonis, Needles, Oyster and Parisian Bob — began the glories of a franchise that would become the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn and then across the country in Los Angeles. More broadly, it is the story of the owners and players who fought to establish the national game of ”base ball” and to create some of the game’s most lasting teams, the forerunners of today’s Dodgers, Giants, Reds, Cubs, Braves, Cardinals, Phillies and Pirates.