How the Dodgers Leaving Brooklyn Influenced the Politics of Bernie Sanders

The senator from Vermont is still sad about what happened in New York in 1957

Bernie Sanders Dodgers
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) holds a campaign event. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
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In 1957, Major League Baseball’s National League voted to allow the Brooklyn Dodgers to move to Los Angeles.

Now, more than six decades later, a senator from Vermont is still mad about it.

Born in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders was 16 when the Dodgers left town for LA after the 1957 baseball season. To this day, the presidential candidate refers to the departure as  “the worst thing that ever happened,” according to The New York Times.

“It was like they would move the Brooklyn Bridge to California,” Sanders told The NYT. “How can you move the Brooklyn Bridge to California? I don’t want to tell you that was the sole reason that I’ve developed the politics that I’ve developed. But as a kid, I did see in that case about the greed of one particular company. And that impacted me.”

His lingering feelings about the Dodgers leaving for LA is one of the reasons Sanders has been such a vocal opponent of Major League Baseball’s reported plan to alter the minor league system and sever ties with 42 teams.

“If the multibillionaire owners of Major League Baseball have enough money to pay hundreds of millions in compensation to one superstar ballplayer, they damn well have enough money to pay minor-league players a living wage and prevent 42 minor-league teams from shutting down,” Sanders said in a statement this week.

It’s unclear how Sanders feels about the New York Giants eventually departing for San Francisco thanks to the same 1957 vote that allowed the Dodgers to leave for LA.

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