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Finding Aid File

Guide to the Al Todres Brooklyn Dodgers Collection, BCMS.0052

Summary Information


    Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection


    Al Todres Brooklyn Dodgers Collection




    1928-2010, bulk 1940-1960


    2.5 Linear feet , 3 document boxes, 1 oversize box


    Brooklyn Collection Morgue, Shelves 24.4-24.5



    Perferred Citation

    This collection should be cited as the Al Todres Brooklyn Dodgers Collection, Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection.


    Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia including yearbooks, photographs, magazines and programs.

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Historical Note

Baseball clubs were introduced to Kings County as early as the 1820s, with over 71 amateur teams playing in the county by 1851. Early prominent clubs included the Atlantics and the Ekfords, drawing players from the blue collar workforce and attracting thousands of fans to games played all over the borough. In 1883, Charles Byrne opened the Washington Park baseball field on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street in Park Slope and formed a team called the Brooklyn Grays. The team joined the American Association in 1884 and the National League in 1890, by which time they were known as the Bridegrooms.

In 1891 Washington Park burned down and the team was moved to Eastern Park, a 12,000 seat stadium in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. The team was still known as the Bridegrooms but picked up several nicknames including the Superbas and the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers, named after borough residents who had to “dodge” oncoming electric trollies. In 1898 Byrne died and was succeeded by his assistant, Charlie Ebbets. By 1899 Ebbets gained majority control over the team and in 1912 moved them to Ebbets Field, a new 37,000 seat stadium in Flatbush.

The team played and lost their first World Series game in 1916, in front of the largest crowd in baseball history. By 1920 the team was officially known as the Brooklyn Dodgers, but was also called the Daffiness Boys, a nickname reflective of their performance on the field and outrageous behavior of players and management. The death of Charlie Ebbets in 1925 left the team open to poor management and a series of disastrous trades that led to a drop in ticket sales and a field in need of repairs. Things began to turn around in 1938 when Leland MacPhail was brought in as General Manager. MacPhail got rid of the Daffiness Boys and replaced them with some of the Dodgers' most iconic players, including Pee Wee Reese and Pete Reiser.

When the U.S. entered World War II MacPhail and several players enlisted. Branch Rickey was brought in from St. Louis as the new General Manager. In 1947 he signed Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play on a major league baseball team. The 1947 season kicked off an era often called the “glory days” with star players including Roy Campanella, Duke Snider and Gil Hodges. Brooklyn supported their team with steady game attendance, merchandise sales and their own fight song, “Follow the Dodgers.” After years of close-calls and near-misses the team finally captured a World Series title in the 1955 season.

After 43 years Ebbets Field was in a state of disrepair and team owner Walter O’Malley began to make plans for a new stadium in Brooklyn. O’Malley’s plan for a city subsidized stadium at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue that would provide more seats, parking and access to public transportation was rejected by Robert Moses, who proposed an alternative location in Queens, the eventual site of Shea Stadium. O’Malley began negotiations with the city of Los Angeles, which promised a growing market and space for a new stadium. The National League authorized the move on May 28, 1957 and the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game on April 18, 1958.

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Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of baseball memorabilia and publications concerning the Brooklyn Dodgers. Materials created on behalf of the Dodgers club such as yearbooks, ticket stubs and programs are included; as well as items about the Dodgers created by other companies, such as magazines and guidebooks. Items created after the team’s 1958 move to Los Angeles are included if the content references the Brooklyn years or players, such as obituaries of prominent players, general team histories and honors.

Images include team photos, autographed photos and illustrated postcards. The Dodgers 1941, Today and Yesterday and  The Dodger Victory Book were designed by noted abstract painter Ad Reinhardt.

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This collection is arranged in six series:

Series I: Serials is arranged alphabetically by title.

Series II: Yearbooks is arranged chronologically.

Series III: Photographs is arranged by subject.

Series IV: Clippings is arranged chronologically when possible.

Series V: Ephemera is arranged alphabetically by item.

Series VI: Books and Guides is arranged alphabetically by title.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection , 2018

10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY, 11238
[email protected]


Collection is located in the Brooklyn Collection at the Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The collection may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Requests to view the collection must be made at least 48 hours in advance of visit.


While many items in the Brooklyn Collection are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.


This collection was donated by Albert Todres in 2013.

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Related Materials

Articles from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Photographs from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Stanley Person Baseball Collection

Golenbock, Peter. Bums--an oral history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Putnam, 1984.

Krell, David. "Our bums" : the Brooklyn Dodgers in history, memory and popular culture. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2015.

McGee, Bob. The greatest ballpark ever : Ebbets Field and the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rivergate Books, 2005.

Prince, Carl E. Brooklyn's Dodgers : the bums, the borough, and the best of baseball, 1947-1957. Oxford University Press, 1996.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Sports writing


  • Baseball teams--United States--History
  • Baseball--United States--History--20th century
  • Brooklyn Dodgers (Baseball team)

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Serials 

Box 1 

Folder 1: Baseball Digest , 1951 (Feb.) 

Folder 2: Baseball Magazine , 1943-1953 

Folder 3: Baseball Magazine , 1953-1957 

Folder 4: Complete Baseball , 1952-1953 

Folder 5: Dell Baseball Annual , 1953-1955 

Folder 6: Dodger Doings , 1941-1943 

Folder 7: Line Drives , 1985 

Folder 8: Prologue , 2008 (Spring) 

Folder 9: Sports Illustrated , 1955-1958 

Box 2 

Folder 1: Sport Life , 1951 (Sept.) 

Folder 2: Sport Magazine , 1958 (Jan.) 

Box 4 

Folder 1: Ebony , 1950 (June) 

Folder 2: Life , 1948 (April) 

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Series II: Yearbooks 

Box 2 

Folder 3: Yearbooks , 1949-1952 

Folder 4: Yearbooks , 1953-1957 

Folder 5: Los Angeles Dodgers Bluebook , 1958, 1987, 1991 

Folder 6: Los Angeles Dodgers Bluebook , circa 1990-1998 

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Series III: Photographs 

Box 2 

Folder 7: Autographed Photos 

Folder 8: Team Photos , 1928, 1932, 1935 

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Series IV: Clippings 

Box 2 

Folder 9: Clippings , circa 1975-2010 

Box 4 

Folder 3: Clippings 

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Series V: Ephemera 

Box 3 

Folder 1: Score Cards , 1942-1958 

Folder 2: Pin , 1982 

Folder 3: Postcards , 1991 

Folder 4: Stamp , 2006 

Folder 5: Ticket Stubs , 1955-1956 

Folder 6: World Series Programs , 1941-1956, 1981 

Box 4 

Folder 4: Calendar , 1995 

Pennant , 1955 

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Series VI: Books and Guides 

Box 3 

Folder 7: Baseball Guide and Record Book , 1943 

Folder 8: Baseball History , 1987 

Folder 9: Baseball’s Beloved Bums , 1947 

Folder 10: Brooklyn’s Best , 1988 

Folder 11: The Dodger Victory Book , 1942 

Folder 12: The Dodgers 1941, Today and Yesterday , 1941 

Folder 13: The Dodgers, All Time Greats , circa 1975 

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