New Hall of Famer Stirs Both Sides in Brooklyn

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Forgive? Perhaps not. Forget? Um, forget about it.

But half a century after Walter O’Malley ripped the heart out of Brooklyn by moving the Dodgers to Los Angeles, quite a few Brooklynites seemed grudgingly willing to congratulate Mr. O’Malley on his posthumous election yesterday to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Yeah, he deserves it,” David Avery, 50, said as he stood near what was once center field in Ebbets Field and is now the front courtyard of the Ebbets Field Apartments in Crown Heights. “It’s overdue.”

Yesterday’s vote, by the Hall of Fame’s veterans’ committee, was a bit of a twist of the knife, to be sure. Mr. O’Malley’s great accomplishment, after all, was to take Major League Baseball to the West Coast, allowing it to become a truly national sport. This left a few ruffled feathers back in Brooklyn.

But revisionist history has been relatively kind to Mr. O’Malley, who owned the Dodgers from 1950 to 1970. Many historians maintain that Robert Moses, still at the height of his city-shaping powers in the late 1950s, forced Mr. O’Malley’s hand by refusing to use eminent domain law to acquire land for Mr. O’Malley to build a new domed stadium along Atlantic Avenue to replace the undersize Ebbets Field....

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