137 Years Later Old New York City Rivals Still Going at It
Their rivalry is nearly 140 years old and it all started about 3 hours south of Albany in New York City. One started as the New York Gothams in 1883. The other came to town a year later. They were known as the Brooklyn Atlantics. Their battles have been many, 2,535 to be exact. One, once known as the Gothams holds a slight edge of 1270 victories over the former Atlantics 1248 triumphs. The two have come to 17 draws but those were many years ago.
The rivals would eventually change their names to the New York Giants, who resided in the Polo Grounds on West 155th Street in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Dodgers, who resided at 55 Sullivan Place in Brooklyn, Ebbets Field. Amazingly, according to baseballreference.com, these two franchises have never met in the Major League playoffs, even after 1957 when both franchises fled New York for new stadiums on the left coast.
In 1951 and 1962, the Giants and the Dodgers ended the regular season with identical records. A 3 game, "regular season" series was played in order to determine the National League representative in World Series. In the first match up, the New York Giants defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers two games to one that culminated with Bobby Thomson's infamous "shot heard around the world," a walk-off home run. My father and grandfather, both huge Giants' fans, were among the celebrating crowd that day at the Polo Grounds. In 1962, the Los Angelas Dodgers got revenge in a similar series, defeating the San Francisco Giants two games to one.
Thursday night, the Gothams (Giants) will take on the Atlantics (Dodgers) in their 2,536th meeting in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, in another winner take all match-up at 9:07pm EST. USA Today's Bob Nightengale will join The Drive with Charlie and Dan on Wednesday at 4:45pm to preview the match-up.