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    Description

    The tombstone of the Brooklyn Dodgers

    1913 Ebbets Field White Marble Slab Salvaged from the Famous Ticket Rotunda.


    It's been six decades since the Dodgers broke a million Brooklyn hearts, but that dwindling population of fans who recall the sting of abandonment still revile the man who made it happen. The degree of Walter O'Malley's culpability in the relocation of Dem Bums is a matter of debate, and certainly an array of logistical and demographic issues had forced the hand of the Dodgers owner, but the intensity of the grief demanded a scapegoat and O'Malley had been the obvious choice. With the New York Giants answering the same call of the sport's Manifest Destiny in 1957, the year echoes forever in Big Apple baseball infamy.

    Those wounds of betrayal had just begun to scab when the announcement came that the vacant stadium built by Charles Ebbets on the former site of the Pigtown garbage dump would be razed to make space for a public housing project. On February 23, 1960, a farewell luncheon was hosted in the stadium's famous white Italian marble ticket rotunda where Lee Allen, historian of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was presented the key which Mr. Ebbets used to open the doors on April 9, 1913. Roy Campanella, also in attendance, was given his number "39" jersey and his old locker.

    Before a wrecking ball--painted at the whim of a dark humorist with the white hide and red stitching of a baseball--swung the more dramatic blows in wiping the Dodgers off Brooklyn's map, any contents of monetary value were salvaged. Seats were unbolted and hawked for five dollars each. Discarded bats and photos were sold at auction. And, as the exterior walls of the grandstands fell, the valuable white marble of the rotunda was carted off and repurposed in the Tri-State area's inexhaustible rush of progress.

    It was a little over thirty years after Ebbets Field was reduced to rubble that the offered relic reappeared at a construction salvage auction in a field in New Jersey, fewer than ten miles from its original home. A handwritten letter from the auction attendee reports that the offered slab was stacked in a pile of marble he was examining for table tops, and that he secured the lot after a short bidding war with another man, retaining it in his own Brooklyn home for the next quarter century.

    The twenty-one-pound slab of Italian white marble (21x9x1") stands as the most significant artifact from the storied Brooklyn landmark in private hands, second only to the original cornerstone purchased at the 1960 Ebbets Field auction by National League president Warren Giles and now part of the permanent collection of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Should it require clarification, we note that the cornerstone bears the 1912 date of the start of construction, while the offered relic was installed in the weeks before the park's Grand Opening, thus the "Ebbets Field 1913" text. The hefty slab of marble is speckled with brown age spots to document its century of existence but is otherwise free of any condition concerns, with no chipping or cracking to report.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,271

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