How The Los Angeles Dodgers Helped to Snuff Out Communism

2011 has been a difficult year for the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the owners going through a messy divorce (who gets the house? Who gets the team?) and attendance down, the Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 as Major League Baseball stepped in to assume day-to-day operations of the team. But all this pales by comparison to the drama surrounding the move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles and the site known as Chavez Ravine where Dodgers Stadium was built.

In the Beginning

Chavez Ravine was comprised of three neighborhoods: La Loma, Palo Verde and Bishop, which covered about 315 acres north of downtown Los Angeles in the hills Elysian Park. The largely Mexican community developed quietly over the years as immigrants made their way into LA pursuing the American Dream—a better life, a chance for prosperity. At ?rst idyllic, life in Chavez Ravine changed pretty quickly after the city identi?ed the area as a “slum” with substandard housing, prostitution, juvenile delinquency and dirt roads. They saw the neighborhood as ripe for development with the help of the federal government urban renewal programs that would enable them to build freeways and affordable housing. Families living in Chavez Ravine were told they would get priority to move into the new housing development once it was built. That’s when the real trouble started.

The Dodgers Trump Communism

By 1951, certain politicians and businessmen in LA decided that a baseball team would be more economically bene?cial to the city than public housing and they moved to kill housing project plan, which was seen as espousing abhorrent "communist ideals.” Although many of the families by this time had moved out, 12 families refused to leave.

The city was now in legal possession of the land and wanted to transfer it to private corporate interests. Seeking a better location for his team, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley struck a deal with the city, giving him Chavez Ravine as part of a sweet incentive package to bring the Brooklyn Dodgers to LA.

Outraged former residents of Chavez Ravine forced the city to put the matter to a vote in 1958. But the referendum to bring the Dodgers to LA won by a margin of less than 2%. This put the city in a pickle. Not wanting to seem like communist sympathisers (I joke, of course), the city decided to evict the remaining families and used force and bulldozers to show that protests would not be tolerated. Fourteen sheriffs were needed to get the last family off the property. This was way before national BREAKING NEWS dominated 24-hour cable news stations, which didn’t yet exist, but the forced eviction was still caught on camera and aired on local news stations that night. Tensions between dark-skinned people and light-skinned people escalated. The Chicano communists lost. The Irish business owners won. A dark cloud moved over Chavez Ravine that, some say, haunt the Dodgers to this day.

Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
11 Timeless Yogi Berra Quotes
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The great Yogi Berra—a 10-time World Series champion and three-time MVP—was one of baseball's best catchers, but he's remembered just as much for his wit and wisdom as his Hall of Fame career. Here are some of the quotes attributed to Yogi (who was born on May 12, 1925), even if he didn't always say them first.

1. "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."

2. "The future ain't what it used to be." (Yogi later clarified, saying, "I just meant that times are different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.")

3. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

4. "It ain't over 'til it's over."

5. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (See Quote Investigator)

6. "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (See Quote Investigator)

7. "We have a good time together, even when we're not together."

8. "It's déjà vu all over again." (See Quote Investigator)

9. "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."

10. "I really didn't say everything I said."

11. "Then again, I might have said 'em, but you never know."

Hate Running But Want to Feel Like a Winner? Try a 0.5K Run

If you’re a non-runner who feels left out by the surging popularity of 5K and half-marathon races, Boerne, Texas has the race for you. Billed as a “running event for the rest of us,” the Boerne 0.5K is exactly what it sounds like: a very, very short race. The unique event, taking place in a town of 10,000 outside of San Antonio, covers just a little more than a third of a mile. And, as Mashable reports, it includes free beer and doughnuts.

The first annual charity event takes place on May 5, 2018 and is a fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack, a Kentucky-based nonprofit that provides weekend meals to hungry children. Designed as a tongue-in-cheek response to typical 5K races, the extra-short run features a coffee and doughnut hydration station, just in case you get hungry midway through the race, and a free beer both before and after you run. “Join your fellow underachievers for a day (actually more like 10 minutes) of glory, celebration and participation trophies to raise money for a great organization,” the race website trumpets.

For a small fee, you can also get all of the trappings of racing without ever lacing up your shoes. For $50, VIPs can get the same swag the racers get, plus get the luxury of being shuttled the full 546 yards in a VW bus.

Understandably, this year’s roster is already full, but since the event’s organizers know that most people interested in the event aren’t necessarily committed to running, you can still get a T-shirt, participation medal, and bumper sticker for $25—no racing involved—here.

[h/t Mashable]


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