Did the Brooklyn Dodgers make Bernie Sanders hate corporations?

LA Dodgers fans hold signs in the bleachers.
(Image credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

In the fall of 1957, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley became one of the biggest villains in Brooklyn history when he moved the borough's beloved Dodgers to Los Angeles. Among the traumatized Brooklynites? One 16-year-old Bernie Sanders.

Almost 60 years later, Sanders still hasn't gotten over it, The Guardian reports, and "those closest to him believe the shock of their departure helped inspire his political ideologies today."

"Bernie and I were both Dodger fans and we talk about that," Sanders' friend, Huck Gutman, said. "[The Dodgers' move] was the [first indication] that those with a lot of money may have an interest that is different than the community's interests."

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"I asked him: 'Did this have a deep impact on you?'" another close friend recalls asking Sanders. "And he said: 'Of course! I thought the Dodgers belonged to Brooklyn.' [...] It does lay out the question of who owns what.”

Sanders had lived within walking distance of the Dodgers' Ebbets Field in Flatbush, and although he no longer watches any sports other than the Super Bowl, the Democratic presidential candidate is still able to rattle off the Dodgers' 1950s infield. During a recent appearance on David Axelrod's podcast, Sanders went as far as to quip that the Dodgers move wasn't "the only thing" that turned him against corporations.

"Now, when Bernie goes after pharmaceutical companies are the Dodgers in his mind? I don't know, it was definitely important to him," Gutman said. Read the whole story at The Guardian.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at TheWeek.com. She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.