Dodger photographer highlighted game off the fields
In an effort to preserve his legacy, Stein’s daughter, Bonnie Crosby, collaborated with Dennis D’Agostino to produce a collection of his
work, Through a Blue Lens: The Brooklyn Dodgers Photographs of Barney Stein,
1937-57 (Triumph Books).
Crosby and D’Agostino a former public relations employee for the NY Mets, discussed their project at a program at a June program hosted by the Yogi Berra Museum and Education Center in Little Falls, NJ.
Stein said her father taught her not only about photography “but about the emotions of the game.” He presented more than the action on the field, she said; he showed the Dodgers and their extended community of employees, families, and fans.
D’Agostino described Stein as “one of the greatest news photographers New York has ever seen. He photographed everything from heads of state, entertainers, tragedies, gangsters, etc.,” he said. “And then when the whistle blew every day
at five o’clock at the Post [where Stein had a full-time position], off he’d go to Ebbets Field to have his second job.” Flipping through the book, the reader sees the artist himself joining in the fun and managing to capture his subjects with their guards down.
Perhaps his most famous shot is one of unmitigated agony for old-time Dodgers fans: pitcher Ralph Branca, head bowed in grief after yielding baseball’s most famous home run, ‘the shot heard ‘round the world,” hit by the New York Giants’ Bobby Thomson to win the 1951 National League pennant.
On the lighter side, one of Stein’s favorite photos features Marilyn Monroe at Ebbets Field in 1957 demonstrating her “athletic skills” for Israel’s Hapoel soccer team during an exhibition with a team of American all-stars.
“The Israelis were asked what they wanted to see during their visit,” D’Agostino said. Their response: “‘As athletes, we’d like to meet the Brooklyn Dodgers; as men we’d like to meet Marilyn Monroe
Photos courtesy Barney Stein Photo Collection, LLC. A version of this article appears in the June 21 issue of the New Jersey Jewish News