Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between

 STEALING HOME                                              ERIC NUSBAUM

A story about baseball, family, the American Dream, and the fight to turn Los Angeles into a big-league city.
Dodger Stadium is an American icon. But the story of how it came to be goes far beyond baseball. The hills that cradle the stadium was once home to three vibrant Mexican American communities. In the early 1950s, those communities were condemned to make way for a utopian public housing project. Then, in a remarkable turn, public housing in the city was defeated amidst a Red Scare conspiracy.
Instead of getting their homes back, the remaining residents saw the city sell their land to Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now LA would be getting a different sort of utopian fantasy -- a glittering, ultra-modern stadium.
But before Dodger Stadium could be built, the city would have to face down the neighborhood's families -- including one, the Aréchigas, who refused to yield their home. The ensuing confrontation captivated the nation - and the divisive outcome still echoes through Los Angeles today.


This book here is a true history book. The author Eric Nussbaum has given was the reader a true look at the history of Los Angeles before it became the city it is today or even was a hundred years ago. He goes into the description of how Chavez Ravine was really named after a family, and how after decades and even well before the city was even close to the mountain the people who lived there had their own life and way of doing things and living day today.
You get a glimpse at the early baseball in Southern California with the Angels of the early Pacific Coast league. They played at Gilmore stadium corner of Fairfax and also Wrigley field in L.A. I found all of that very interesting. He also moves on to the Zoot Suit Wars what happened and the after-effects. Still, the people of Chavez Ravine were living okay with a few leavings some going to fight in WWII.
This would all begin to change after the war. Housing was a boon and regulations were changing. Also, laws were being passed to make it easier for the government to move people off the land which they wanted. How men of different areas wanted the land and what was thought to be a potential housing development soon was not to happen because you could not build anything there for it would collapse.
Now enter the man who owned the Times another who owned Clifton’s which was a cafeteria-style restaurant and had good food, also politicians then O’Malley and you begin to see that maybe if we build a stadium, we can get the Dodgers to move from Brooklyn.
This where Frank Wilkerson comes in, he was trying to stop the building but was unsuccessful to the point of being put on trial by the city and labeled a communist. Later the author would discover over 200,000 pieces of paper written and surveillance by the FBI on him and they say Hoover was not corrupt. They even found evidence of a hit that was put out for him but did not let him or his family know. It was okay to destroy this man and family besides everyone else that moved from the Ravine.
You find out how they moved everyone and tore down their homes without getting their items out beforehand. The stadium would be built down into the mountain instead of up, and a school and a church were buried and are underneath the parking lot along with a cemetery. When the stadium opened the first day, they had no drinking fountains they forgot to put them in. Really a good book and also a sad one for the people living there and for what the government did to Frank Wilkerson, but everyone thinks it was okay. The author did a g job with all of the research as well. Very much worth the read. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars Follow us at

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