In a fall 1965 game between the Dodgers and Giants in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, a couple pitches thrown, or caught, near the head of the batter led to a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams. It was just another in the long list of incidents of violence between the two teams. How can such an intense rivalry exist between ball clubs 360 miles apart? Because at one point they were just a subway ride away in New York.
On this day, May 28 in 1957, in a scheduled meeting of National League team owners, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants were both officially allowed to move to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. The only condition was the clubs had to make their decision in tandem: either both go, or neither does.
Both the clubs ended up moving, for different reasons. The Dodgers were a popular club, and a perennial contender, having won five pennants and a World Series in eight years, but would not get a new stadium in Brooklyn their owner wanted — whereas in Los Angeles they would. The Giants were an up-and-down team, and after their final game at the Polo Grounds in Coogan’s Bluff, when fans took to the field one last time, Giants PR man Garry Schumacher noted the irony: “If all the people who will claim in the future that they were here today had actually turned out, we wouldn’t have to be moving in the first place.”