(this is not a photograph of Frank McCourt shortly after he read Tuesday’s LA Times.)
“Dodgers”, in the opinion of LA Times Op/Ed contrtibutor Leon Furgatch, is a nickname that survives as “a vestige of nostalgia for a time when Brooklyn fans of the team had to dodge heavy trolley car traffic to enter Ebbetts Field…it has no relationship to Los Angeles or meaning for local fans.” And as such, Mr. Furgatch suggests (seriously) renaming the Los Angeles National League entry, “the Los Angeles Yang-nas.”
When owner Walter O’Malley brought his Brooklyn team to Chavez Ravine in 1958, he did not know the historical significance of the site. (Neither do most Angelenos, unless they attended Los Angeles public schools in the 1950s or earlier, when Yang-na history was still being taught.)
Historians tell us that Los Angeles was first founded on Sept. 4, 1781, by 44 settlers from Mexico on a spot not far from where the Olvera Street tourist attraction is located today. But that is not entirely true.
The pobladores from Mexico were the first foreigners to settle here, by the authority of the king of Spain, and the new community was blessed with the Los Angeles name. But Chavez Ravine — the area now occupied by Elysian Park, Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Police Academy — was first peopled by the Yang-na Indians.