Book, exhibit celebrate baseball's great era of Dodgers, Giants, Yankees

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

Joe DiMaggio's 1948 Yankee jersey with a black sleeve strip commemorating the death that year of Babe Ruth. A telescope used by the Giants to steal catchers' signs from center field at the Polo Grounds, presumably helping them get to the 1951 World Series. The cap Johnny Podres wore when he pitched the Dodgers to their Series victory in 1955.

These are among artifacts included in a new exhibit opening later this month, titled "The Glory Days,'' that glorifies the 11-year period of 1947-57, when New York City's three teams dominated major league baseball as never before. It streak only ended when two of them decamped for California, changing the game forever.

It was an era in which at least one of Gotham's teams reached the World Series every year but one (1948), when Dodger Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color line, Giant Bobby Thomson hit the home run called "the shot heard round the world'' and Brooklyn finally beat the Yankees for a World Championship.

But that wasn't all it was, according to John Thorn, a sports historian and baseball authority who edited a new book, also titled "The Glory Days,'' and serves as expert consultant to the exhibit that opens June 27 and will run through Dec. 31 at the Museum of the City of New York.

"It not only was the golden age of New York baseball, it was the greatest period in New York City history,'' Thorn said in an interview. "There was postwar prosperity, and the war's devastation in European cities meant that New York became the number one city in the world, a golden door portal for a new group of immigrants.''

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