SIX THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT EARLY DODGERS OWNERS
FROM CHARLEY BYRNE TO MAGIC JOHNSON
SIX THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOWN ABOUT THE FIRST DODGERS OWNERS:
By Ronald G. Shafer, author “When the Dodgers Were Bridegrooms.”
A. Charles H. Byrne, a New York real estate investor, and George J. Taylor, a former night editor at the New York Herald. It was Taylor’s idea to start a team in Brooklyn in 1883. Byrne provided financial backing.
2. Who joined Byrne and Taylor as co-owners?
A. As costs of building Washington Park rose to over $30,000, Byrne recruited two casino owners: his brother-in-law Joseph Doyle and Ferdinand “Gus” Abell, who became the team’s chief financial backer. Byrne was club president and the driving force behind the team.
3. When did the team begin playing?
A. In 1883 in the minor league Interstate Association. That same year Charley Byrne hired as his assistant a young Charles Ebbets.
4. When did the team join the Major Leagues?
A. In 1884 in the American Association, then a major league along with the older National League. The team had no nickname and was known simply as the ‘Brooklyns.”
5. Who was the team’s first manager?
A. George Taylor, in 1883 and 1884, before he returned to the newspaper business. Co-owner Charley Byrne was also the manager from mid-1885 to 1887.
6. When did the team become known as the Bridegrooms?
A. In 1888, after several players married just before the season began under new manager Bill “Gunner” McGunnigle. The team won the American Association pennant in 1889 and the National League pennant in 1890.