If the Brooklyn Dodgers stay in Brooklyn, a key date in baseball history will be May 20, 1957. It was on that day that a New Yorker named Nelson Rockefeller, chairman of the board of Rockefeller Center and, president of the International Basic Economy Corporation, left his office in mid- Manhattan to keep a speaking date at the annual luncheon of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Now Nelson Rockefeller describes himself as "a casual baseball fan"—soccer was his game at Dartmouth and sailing is his sport today. But like any good guest speaker he briefed himself on the concerns of his hosts. In Brooklyn that day Rockefeller became as concerned as the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce: the City of New York, and Brooklyn in particular, was in danger of losing an institution with both tangible and intangible assets.
Rockefeller flew off to the Far East after that. When he got back in mid-August he was disappointed to find the Brooklyn Situation still drifting. He called in his staff, quietly conferred with the baseball commissioner, Ford Frick, with the National League president, Warren Giles, and with Dodger Boss Walter O'Malley. As a citizen of New York, he told them, he wanted to do whatever he could: buy an interest in the Brooklyn club, or help expand the league, or help in finding a site and in constructing a new home for the team. It is the latter offer which could be most productive, since O'Malley has lately disdained several offers to buy the club and league expansion is a Gordian knot that even a Rockefeller probably can't cut.
The announcement last week of Rockefeller's interest in the Dodgers sent the previously confident bidders from Los Angeles into dismay. ("If it's true that Mr. Rockefeller has entered the picture," moaned Mayor Paulson, "I'm very much afraid we don't have a chance.") Meanwhile, energized by the Rockefeller news and by an official opinion that New York City can legally acquire land for resale to the Dodgers, New York politicos began to act as if the game wasn't lost after all.
Active Citizen Rockefeller couldn't help but feel pleased. "The city," he said, "should be a little more aware of the factors which make it great. We've got to stop taking them for granted; we can't expect them to be here forever if we do."
Arkansas' Governor Orval E. Faubus isn't the only advocate of states' rights who is currently embroiled in heated controversy with the Federal Government; there is also North Dakota's State Senator Lee F. Brooks, a fellow who feels that a canvasback is not necessarily a wetback, and who has promised to defy the powers in Washington with gunfire on the 27th of this month because he thinks states have sovereignty—over ducks.
Ducks are defined by federal law as "migratory" waterfowl, and are thus under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government—which not only limits shooting (this year to the period between October 1 and January 15) but has long been a party to migratory-bird treaties with Canada and Mexico. States are allowed to set their own seasons (75 days of shooting in the central flyway) but only between the dates prescribed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Last spring Senator Brooks thought he saw a loophole in this concept and introduced a bill—which passed both houses and was signed by the governor—authorizing a special 3�-day hunt of "native birds by native sons" at the end of September.
In his justification of the special hunt, Senator Brooks has spiritedly challenged the Federal Government, in effect, to prove that all ducks migrate and that North Dakota doesn't have native ducks of its own, and to show cause why North Dakotans can't shoot their own birds when they choose.