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Ebbetts Field

        The Ebbets Field Cake replica will be dedicated in memory of the late Hilda Chester, known as the First Lady of Flatbush and one of the most famous fans in baseball history. For thirty years, Chester held court in the bleachers at Ebbets Field, clanging her cowbells, banging her frying pans and iron ladles, and holding a sign that pronounced, “Hilda is Here!” The cake will be on display for one year at the City of Pasadena’s Jackie Robinson Center, an appropriate site in light of the fact that this multi-purpose social service center was one of the first public buildings in Los Angeles County to be named for Robinson and is just blocks from the former location of his childhood home.
        Jackie Robinson will also be the subject of an exhibition of paintings by Pasadena-area artists to run concurrent with the Ebbets Field Cake display. In addition to paintings by Michael Guccione, Kimberly Enedy-Guccione, and Ben Sakoguchi, Altadena-based artist Avery Clayton will unveil a portrait (acrylic on canvas) of Jackie Robinson. A former art student at Los Angeles City College and UCLA, Clayton has exhibited extensively at group and solo shows throughout Southern California. His professional background includes technical, fashion, and editorial illustration. Noted for his pen-and-ink drawings of African American personalities from Dorothy Dandridge and Duke Ellington to Ralph Bunche and Paul Robeson, Clayton is also President of the Board of Directors of the Western States Black Research and Educational Center.
        A formal program, beginning at 2:00 PM and preceding the unveiling of the Ebbets Field Cake replica and Jackie Robinson portrait, will feature guest speakers including Peter Dreier, Andy McCue, and Michael C. Ford. Dreier is the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College. A resident of Pasadena, Dreier has authored several articles on Jackie Robinson and will offer some personal observations on the cultural legacy of this African American baseball pioneer.
        Historian Andy McCue is the author of Baseball by the Books, an acclaimed history and bibliography of baseball fiction, and is currently working on the first biography of former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley. McCue will discuss the origins and early days of Ebbets Field.

Ebbets Field Cake Replica In Progress

Dedication Ceremony Flier

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        Los Angeles-based poet Michael C. Ford received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his volume of selected works from 1970 through 1995. A baseball fan whose plays have been staged internationally, including Termite Palace, a one-act homage to the last wooden stadium in the Pacific Coast League, Ford often draws from history and politics in his witty and intelligent writings. For this occasion, he will read the poem, “Hometown Piece for Messrs. Alston and Reese,” written by the late Marianne Moore, a devotee of the Brooklyn Dodgers and denizen of Ebbets Field and the recipient of virtually every major American literary award.
        Rounding out the afternoon’s festivities will be a silent auction of baseball memorabilia, including pieces relating to Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers history, with proceeds going to support the Baseball Reliquary and Jackie Robinson Center, both of which are non-profit organizations based in Pasadena.
        The Ebbets Field Cake dedication ceremony is open to the public and free of charge. The doors at the Jackie Robinson Center open at 1:30 PM, with the festivities beginning at 2:00 PM. Free parking is available in the center’s parking lot and on the street. For additional information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at

“I have been trying to find a single memory so vivid and so real that one can understand, with the shock of recognition, what the place called Ebbets Field once meant. It was my ballpark and before that it was my father’s ballpark. . . It was the Elysium of boyhood. The wrecker’s ball, crashing against Furillo’s wall, destroying mortar, laying waste a monument. Steam shovels assaulting soil that had felt the spikes of Reese and Robinson. We thought, we had always thought, that Ebbets Field would stand for centuries.” ~ Roger Kahn on the demolition of Ebbets Field

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