On April 9, 2013 the Brooklyn Nets home game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers began with a rare treat: a presentation of the one and only Brooklyn Dodgers 1955 Championship Banner. This special display of the banner was all part of the centennial celebration of Ebbets Field, which opened its doors one hundred years ago on this same date in 1913.
The Banner itself has quite an interesting history! When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957 the banner went with the team. In 1959, during a press conference a group of New York journalists decided that the banner belonged in New York, and not out on the west coast, and they hatched a plan to steal it. It is uncertain how they distracted the owners and other journalists. One version of the story involved a wastepaper basket fire. Regardless, the “plotters” succeeded and the banner was on its way back to New York the next morning.
One of culprits, Stan Issacs a sports writer for Newsday who passed away on April 2, would keep the banner in his Long Island home before giving it to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. However, it was not Issacs to give, and in July 1996 Peter O’Malley formally gave the banner to the Brooklyn Historical Society.
The championship banner has since been cleaned and conserved. You can see the extra fabric that was added to the back of the banner to help support the original in the photo as the banner is being unrolled. During the Presentation the banner was joined by Nets CEO Brett Yormark; Brooklyn Historical Society Board Chairman JimRossman; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; several Brooklyn Dodgers fans; and of course the Brooklynettes.