1930: Four years after the Lions and Horsemen came and went after one season, Professional football returned to Brooklyn. The opportunity to bring a team to Brooklyn occurred when the Dayton Triangles folded opening the door for two Brooklyn Businessmen to buy a NFL franchise and bring it to Ebbets Field. The team would not have any association with Dayton, as the league records consider the Brooklyn Dodgers, who borrowed their name from Ebbets Field baseball team a new separate franchise. The Dodgers were owned by Bill Dwyer and Jack Depler. Dwyer was a gambler and bootlegger who had experience owning teams in the NHL. Depler was an active player and coach who had previously played with the Orange Tornadoes in 1929, taking many of his teammates with him to Brooklyn. The Dodgers first game would be a scoreless tie against the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field on September 21st. Following a 12-0 loss to the Portsmouth Spartans, the Dodgers earned their first win on October 5th beating the Staten Island Stapleton 20-0. On October12th, the Dodgers made their debut at Ebbets Field, blanking the Newark Tornadoes 32-0. The Dodgers would put forth a strong effort in their first season, posting a record of 7-4-1, finishing in fourth place as Jack McBride led the league in scoring. The Dodgers would play ten games that ended in a shutout, blanking their opponents five times, whilst they were blanked five times themselves. However, the season’s highlight had to be a 7-6 win over the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds on November 30th.
1931: Playing their first five games on the road, the Brooklyn Dodgers found themselves behind the eight ball as they won just won game against the Frankford Yellow Jackets. The Dodgers would win their home opener 18-6 against the Staten Island Stapletons, but would not win another, losing their final eight games to finish the season with a record of 2-12, which landed them in ninth place.
1932: After a disappointing season, the Brooklyn Dodgers looked to improve by signing Benny Friedman one of the top passers in the league to serve as their player-coach. Early on things looked good for Brooklyn, as they began the season with wins over the State Island Stapeltons and Boston Braves. However, they would lose their next five games, including a disappointing 7-6 loss to the Stapletons in their home opener. The Dodgers would end their losing streak by edging the Chicago Cardinals 3-0, but again would lose their next four games and finished the season with a record of 3-9.
1933: The Brooklyn Dodgers receive new owners, as they are purchased for $25,000 by former New York Giants Chris Cagle and John Simms Kelly. Cap McEwan a successful college coach was hired to replace Benny Friedman who remained on with the team as a tailback. The new look Dodgers played well early in the season posting a record of 5-2-1 through their first 8 games. However, with a chance to put themselves in position to with the Eastern Division, in the first season of divisional play and the NFL Championship Game the Dodgers would suffer a 10-0 loss to the Giants at Ebbets Field. They would also suffer a 10-0 to the Cincinnati Reds to finish the season with a record of 5-4-1.
1934: Dan Topping would buy into the Dodgers as Chris Cagle sold his half of the team, while remaining on the roster as a running back. The Dodgers season would start on a positive note as they beat the Boston Redskins 10-6 at Ebbets Field. However, much of the season was a struggle as they posted a disappointing record of 4-7. The Dodgers bright spot was the emergence Ralph Kercheval, who scored every point the Dodgers had in their final six games.
1935: Paul Schissler a former coach with the Chicago Cardinals takes over the Brooklyn Dodgers who underwent wholesale changes with the retirement of Chris Cagle, Benny Friedman, and John Simms Kelly. The Dodgers would enter the season with 15 rookies. After losing three of their first four games to start the season, the young Dodgers won three straight games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Pirates. After splitting their next two games the Dodgers hosted the New York Giants with first place on the line at Ebbets Field on Thanksgiving. The Giants would win the game 21-0 as the Dodgers dropped had a loss and tie to finish the season with a record of 5-6-1, good enough for second place in the Eastern Division.
1936: The Dodgers would not be able to build on their second place finish as they took a step backwards, posting a record of 3-8-1, with two wins coming against the Philadelphia Eagles, who posted the worst record in the NFL, winning just one game.
1937: The Brooklyn Dodgers underwent in color change, moving from green and silver to red, white and blue. The Dodgers also had a new coach with the hiring of Potsy Clark who had led the Detroit Lions to a NFL Championship in 1935. The Clark era started well as the Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 13-7 to begin the season. However, they would suffer a letdown in their home opener, losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 21-0. A week later the Dodgers would bounce back with a 9-7 win over the Cleveland Rams. However, the Dodgers would lose their next six games, including three straight shutout losses in October. The Dodgers would end their losing streak by beat the Pirates 23-0, four days later they would end the season with 13-13 tie against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers would finish the season in fourth place with a record of 3-7-1.
1938: Clarence “Ace” Parker who was selected with the third overall pick in 1937 draft began to emerge as a star, leading the NFL in passing yards with 865 yards. Initially Ace Parker had no planned to play professional football, as the sport was still considered to be beneath educated men. Parker also played Major League Baseball with the Philadelphia Athletics, but failed to have any success and asked for permission to play in the off-season Meanwhile Ace Parker became an instant fan favorite in Brooklyn, and helped lead the Dodgers into contention posting a record of 4-4-3. Parker’s season was so good, that he decided to retire from baseball and became a full-time football player.
1939: The Dodgers started the season strong, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Rams at home to start the season. However, the Dodgers would struggle on the road over the next three weeks with two losses and a tie. Returning home to Ebbets Field, the Brooklyn Dodgers hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in the first NFL game to be televised. The Dodgers would win the first TV game 23-14, but would win just one of their final five games posting a record of 4-6-1.
1940: Despite opening the season with a 24-17 loss to the Washington Redskins, the Brooklyn Dodgers now coached by Jock Sutherland would embark on their finest season as they won their next three games and battled the Redskins all season for first place in the NFL’s Eastern Division. Despite losing two of three games in October, the Dodgers were in the race all season as they beat the Redskins 16-14 in Week 8. The Dodgers would close the season by winning their final four games, but fell one game short of the division title, posting a record of 8-3. The unquestioned star of the season was Ace Parker, who was named NFL MVP, passing for 817 yards with ten touchdowns. Parker also rushed for 306 yards, and caught three passes, including two for touchdowns, while also leading the league in points after touchdowns.
1941: Once again the Dodgers would be one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Division, opening the season with wins over the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. However, a rough stretch in October saw them suffer three straight losses. The Dodgers would get back on track with a 16-13 home win over the New York Giants. The Dodgers would win five of their last six games. However, the one that got away would haunt them as they suffered a 14-7 loss to the hapless Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9. It would be the only win the Steelers would get all season. The Dodgers meanwhile finished in second place for a second straight season with a record of 7-4, despite beating the division winning Giants twice, including a 21-7 win in the season finale at the Polo Grounds. As the Dodgers were beating the Giants, the world was being shook to its core with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Ace Parker would put his NFL career on hold like many other players and enlisted in the Navy.
1942: The war would take a heavy toll on the Dodgers as Coach Jock Sutherland and Quarterback Ace Parker were among several players serving in the armed forces. With Mike Getto replacing Sutherland the Dodgers started the season fine, beating the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions in their first two games. However, the Dodgers would win just one of their final nine games, suffering five shutout losses. The Dodgers would post a record of 3-8, finishing fourth in the NFL’s Eastern Division.
1943: With Pete Cawthon leading the team, the Dodgers struggles continued as they opened the season with six straight losses, extending their overall losing streak to 12 games. The Dodgers streak would come to an end with a 7-0 win over the Chicago Cardinals on November 7th, a week later they would win again, beating a combined team of the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, called the “Phil-Pitt Steagles” 14-7. However, the Dodgers would drop their final two games and finish in last place in the Eastern Division with a record of 2-8.
1944: The Dodgers would be renamed the Brooklyn Tigers, but their play was hardly be worthy of their name as they dropped all ten games, while being outscored 166-69 with Frank Bridges, Pete Cawthon, and Ed Kubale serving as co-coaches.
1945: Despite World War II, finally coming to an end and Ace Parker returning to action, the Brooklyn Tigers became the latest NFL team to seek a merger due to lack of manpower, joining with the Boston Yanks, under the name The Yanks. Four games would be played in Boston and one in Yankee Stadium. Coached by Boston’s Herb Kopf, the Yanks would win their first two games, before playing the New York Giants to a 13-13 draw at the Polo Grounds. However, they would win just one of their final six games, posting a record of 3-6-1. As the season came to an end Brooklyn Owner Dan Topping announced his intention to move his team to the AAFC, a new rival start up league in 1946. The NFL would strip Brooklyn’s franchise as all players became property of the Boston Yanks, with the 1945 season also going under the record of Boston. Topping who was also President of the baseball New York Yankees, would operate the New York football Yankees in the AAFC, whilst a separate team called the Brooklyn Dodgers were a part of the new league.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Brooklyn Dodgers or the National Football League. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 8, 2015. Last updated on March 8, 2015 at 1:30 am ET.