During all those years the only thing Giant fans could celebrate is denying the Dodgers. They spoiled their parties in 1962, 1971, and 1982 but the Dodgers returned the favor in 1993. The Giants often came close to winning the pennant but were usually the brides’ maid. The bottom line is that the Dodgers knew how to get over the hump and the Giants didn’t.
All that changed in 2010 when the Giants got hot at the end of the season and brought home their first World Series title. The victory parade drew 1.5 million delirious Giants’ fans who basked in a title that was over 50 years in the making. While the Dodgers floundered to regain their magic the Giants seemingly used mirrors to somehow win the title again in 2012.
I was reminded of the rivalry because of a recently published book by Joe Konte, “The Rivalry Heard ‘Round the World: The Dodgers-Giants Feud from Coast to Coast.” Konte tells how the rivalry developed in New York and expounds on it after the teams moved west. He delves into statistics too much and is loath to criticize anyone but does provide an excellent overview of the intensity of the rivalry.
Konte gives a good summary of the teams’ growing distain for each other during their years in New York. It was sad to see the end of their playing days in Manhattan and Brooklyn, especially the demise of the Dodgers’ legendary Ebbets Field. There are still people in Brooklyn who have never gotten over losing the Dodgers.
The author also gives a good feel for the way S.F. and L.A. embraced the teams when they first moved west. There was something nostalgic about their temporary ballparks, Seals Stadium and the L.A. Coliseum, where the teams first played after moving west. When their new stadiums were ready Los Angeles unveiled the beautifully designed Chavez Ravine while the Giants ended up in a dump called Candlestick Park (where else could you find Arctic conditions in August?). Thank goodness they ended up in the gorgeous AT&T Park in the year 2000.