Stealing Home' Author Eric Nusbaum Discusses the Secret History of Dodger StadiumHistorians in the News
tags: baseball, Los Angeles, Mexican Americans, urban history, public housing
Although the spread of the novel coronavirus has delayed the start of Major League Baseball's season until some unknowable future date, that hasn't stopped people from enjoying the game through various mediums. That can mean watching a game in Korea or Taiwan; it can mean passing the hours on The Show; and it can mean diving into a good baseball book.
Author Eric Nusbaum recently penned one of the latter, called Stealing Home, wherein he details the secret history of Dodger Stadium. Nusbaum's book, released in March, details the human cost of the stadium's construction.
Let's start with the obvious. What inspired you to write this book?
It was both one thing and a lot of things. When I was in high school in Los Angeles, my U.S. History teacher brought a man named Frank Wilkinson in to talk about his experience being blacklisted in the Red Scare. To my great surprise, one of the first things Frank did was tell us that Dodger Stadium should not exist.
Frank was a public housing activist in LA in the 1940s and 1950s. He was a key part of the effort to build public housing where Dodger Stadium now sits. Those efforts ended with communities torn apart, Frank and his family ruined, and eventually, as we all know, Dodger Stadium.
I could never shake the story Frank told. As I became a writer and reporter, and got better at my job, I just grew more obsessed with this story every passing year.