TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Sports writer and “Stealing Home” author Eric Nusbaum

Baseball week at Bullseye continues with a conversation with sports writer and author Eric Nusbaum. His new book “Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between,” is all about the complicated history behind Dodger Stadium. When the team moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in the mid-twentieth century the construction of a new stadium displaced hundreds of Mexican American families. The lifelong Dodgers fan talks to us about reckoning with this reality, the history of the team and his love of the game. Plus, he’ll reveal more about the lives of the community members who had their lives turned upside down. That’s on the next Bullseye.

Transcript

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Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

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jesse thorn

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. About two and half miles from where I am sitting, right now, is Dodgers Stadium. In fact, if I go up to the upper floor of my house—I’m in the basement right now—I can look out the window and see its light standards. It’s one of—and this pains me to say, as a native San Franciscan and a San Francisco Giants fan—it is one of the most iconic and beautiful baseball stadiums in the country. A wonderful place to see the Giants beat the Dodgers. Go there on a Friday night in May or June and you’ll see what I mean. It’s surrounded by sprawling, open chaparral. You’ll see the light from the setting sun hit the hills behind the outfield. You’ll feel a cool breeze coming in from the ocean. The stadium opened in 1962. It was the home for a team that had, just a few years before, moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn. As beautiful as the stadium is though, the story of its construction is a painful one. It’s a story of injustice, racism, and hundreds of lost homes. Eric Nusbaum is a sportswriter who’s written for Vice, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Deadspin. And he has a new book telling that history. It’s called Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between. It’s a really great read. [Music fades in.] Anyway. Let’s get into my conversation with Eric.

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jesse

Eric Nusbaum, welcome to Bullseye. It’s great to have you on the show.

eric nusbaum

It’s great to be here. Thank you for having me, Jesse.

jesse

For people who have never been to Dodgers Stadium, in Los Angeles, you grew up in LA. Can you describe the ballpark?

eric

I feel like I spent 300 pages trying and failing to describe it in my book. [Jesse laughs.] It’s sort of an encapsulation of all the wonder and goodness of Southern California, to me. The architecture is sort of modernist. The stadium is nestled into a hillside. It’s both secluded from LA and sort of right in the middle of it, so you get the sense of being in the middle of something big, but also apart. And that creates a sort of magical tension, in the air.

jesse

I think that’s a really fair description. I grew up in San Francisco, where we had our own baseball stadium built in the late 1950s, when teams first moved to the West Coast—Candlestick Park. It was a miserable hellhole where I spent many happy afternoons and evenings. But when I moved to Los Angeles, I was shocked that there could be a stadium from the late 1950s—not exactly the high point of world stadium architecture—that could be such a beautiful and pleasant place to watch a baseball game.

eric

It’s really an incredible achievement, as a work of architecture and sort of imagination by Walter O’Malley, who owned the team at the time and who really kind of geared his whole life towards building this stadium, which was like his dream and his monument to himself. And he had very specific, very ambitious ideas about what live baseball could be and what a stadium could be and put it all on the line to make that stadium. And it worked!

jesse

So, you grew up in Los Angeles, as a Dodgers fan. When you were a kid, you know, when you were 14 years old, what was your understanding of Dodgers Stadium and where it came from?

eric

I didn’t really have one. It sort of felt like part of nature, to me. Dodgers Stadium—in the way that, you know, when you’re a kid, these monuments—these special places in your city or your town where you live, they’re just always there. And sometimes they go away, but Dodgers Stadium just felt like—it was like a tree that just had been planted before I was born. I never really questioned it. And then, when I was in high school, a guest speaker came to my US History class, named Frank Wilkinson. And he threw a wrench my sort of innocence and totally changed the way I thought about Dodgers Stadium forever.

jesse

What did he tell you and your classmates?

eric

He told us that Dodgers Stadium should not exist. Those were his words. He had a very good point, it turned out. His idea was… well, it was more than an idea. His life mission had been building public housing, in Los Angeles in the ‘40s and ‘50s. And he told us that the land that became Dodgers Stadium had been slated to become, instead, a very ambitious sort of utopian public housing project called Elysian Park Heights. And Frank Wilkinson had been sort of the arrowpoint of this project and the housing authority had worked to evict, with eminent domain, 1000 families just about from three neighborhoods that used to be where Dodgers Stadium is now. And before they could build the housing project, Frank was blacklisted and, you know, sort of the project was ruined and that was that.

jesse

If we went to the place where Dodgers Stadium is now, in 1945 or 1950, what would we find there?

eric

It would be almost unrecognizable, first of all. It was—it was like a rugged sort of hillside area. You know. With gullies and ravines. And there were three small… independent, mostly Mexican, Mexican American communities there. Palo Verde, La Loma, and Bishop. And they were unique, and they were sort of isolated from the rest of LA, but they had, you know, normal LA stuff—normal community stuff. They had a church and schools and plumbing and running water and electricity. And it was these three neighborhoods, basically, that were targeted, ultimately, for “urban renewal”. Right? And so that’s—that’s how we sort of make our transition from having these three communities to having a beautiful baseball stadium.

jesse

When did these communities get founded? When did they grow?

eric

They really started growing in the ‘20s. I mean, like, the land there—god, you could trace it back forever, you know. The first Jewish burial ground in LA was there. There were brickyards and quarries there, too. But in the ‘20s, the brickyards were shut down by the city, ‘cause they were creating so much air pollution and noise and bothering people downtown. And that was when the communities really took off. It was one of those things where if you were Mexican or Mexican American, you couldn’t buy property in a lot of LA, in the ‘20s and ‘30s and ‘40s and even ‘50s. That was the place where you could. It was not redlined. So, a lot of immigrants, a lot of families, you know, bought land there. They built their own houses. You can go pull permits and see, you know, their housing permits that they got, in 1923 or whatever. And in the ‘20s and ‘30s, the city really boomed. And really boomed throughout the whole first half of the century, but that was when the community started to really grow and take hold and kind of develop their own identity.

jesse

You mentioned this guy who came to your class, when you were in high school at Culver City High School, in Culver City California, where NPR West is these days. What was his role in the story of this community?

eric

So, Frank Wilkinson was a really fascinating guy. He grew up in Beverley Hills, the son of a conservative, kind of anti-vice crusading Methodist doctor. He went to UCLA, in the ‘30s, and wanted to become a Methodist minister, but after college he took this trip to the Middle East and Europe, and he was exposed for the first time in his life to poverty and to the fact that there’s bad stuff in the world, basically. He was so sheltered. And he became radicalized. So, he came back to LA not believing in God, anymore. Pretty much a communist. He would join the communist party later. And he got involved in the housing authority—first as an activist for public housing and then literally working inside the authority. So, his whole life was this sort of zealous mission to build public housing in LA. He was a true believer. He thought, you know, “We can clear out slums—” And that was the word he used. It was always slums. “And we can build good, clean, modern housing based on sound architectural principles, and we can tell people the best way to live, and we don’t have to compete for land.” And it was a—it was a really appealing vision at a time in America when there was still debate over, you know, how we were gonna house people. You know, the idea of the single-family home and sort of government backed mortgages and all this stuff was really new, then. And it could’ve swung the other way. It could’ve been that we, as a society, kind of chose to invest more in public housing. Obviously it didn’t work out that way, and one of the reasons it didn’t work out that way was because there was a lot of land owners and real estate developers who thought that was a bad idea and bad for their own business interests and, in LA at least, they used pretty devious and immoral, Red Scare politics to crush public housing and the lives of people like Frank Wilkinson, who advocated for it.

jesse

What did Frank think he was going to make when the city of Los Angeles bought the land that became Chavez Ravine?

eric

He thought he was gonna build something called Elysian Park Heights. And Frank, to be clear, he was not the head of the housing authority. He was the number two guy. Basically, the head was kind of a career bureaucrat named Howard Holtzendorf. But Frank was sort of the, like, public face. And the energy behind it all. And Elysian Park Heights was gonna be a 3000ish unit, massive complex of these 13 story towers overlooking downtown LA, designed by two famous architects: Robert Alexander and Richard Neutra. It was gonna be a whole city, you know. They called it the town within the town. It was part of this 10,000-unit public housing plan that LA had going off of a law that Harry Truman signed. So, they had all this federal funding to really, really expand public housing and Elysian Park Heights was the crown jewel of this ambitious project.

jesse

It’s difficult for me to imagine Los Angeles as it was in the—in the time around World War II. I think, like, our ideas of what Los Angeles is are kind of locked into maybe 1965 or something. That it is this single-family home paradise of drop-top cars and palm trees and long, wide boulevards. But, you know, I know that [laughs]—I lived in a big brick apartment building when I moved to Los Angeles. And there was, at one time, a very different and much closer to other American cities and other cities around the world idea of what Los Angeles could be. Was part of the conflict around public housing a conflict around the kind of identity that we still see, in housing politics in Los Angeles?

eric

A little bit. It was a little bit about that. But I think the conflict of public housing was much more public versus private. It was much more about, sort of, who gets to be in charge of the growth of this city. Although it’s [chuckling]—it’s funny you mention that. One of the problems they had was—so, when they initially started planning Elysian Park Heights, and you—you know, like I said, it was gonna be ultimately these giant towers overlooking downtown LA, the initial idea they had was to do this kind of more sweeping campus, like—you know, you’ve seen housing projects in LA. They’re usually low-slung, right? Garden apartments. But the soil around the mountains made it really tough for them to build that way, so they had to adjust and build these towers. And when they switched from, you know, garden apartments to towers, they actually lost a lot of support even from public housing advocates in LA. Because it just seemed inhumane to make people live in 13 story apartments. Like, that was—that was just so abhorrent and so inconceivable to even housing advocates in LA that we would make anybody, even poor people who—and let’s be honest, like Frank Wilkinson and his allies were, you know, progressive at the time, but they did not hold in high regard the people who they were kicking out of their homes to build these housing projects. But even, like, putting those people who they clearly didn’t respect into towers was objectionable.

jesse

What did you think when you saw the plans for what the area could have been, had this all been pulled off?

eric

I mean, they’re very beautiful plans, and I know it would have been a very stunning architectural, probably, triumph. And I have to imagine that it also would have been demolished within, like, 30 or 40 years, because the city was never gonna fund it. And also, when you see those plans, it’s a really sad thing. Because the real tragedy is that 1000 families were kicked out of their home to make way for a project that never got built, and they were ultimately kicked out of their home to make way for a private baseball stadium. The plans were nice, but there was a real, thriving community there and that was way better than any sort of modernist, planned community that could have been built. I mean, the community in Palo Verde and La Loma and Bishop, they had all the things that public housing was striving for and had they been supported more by their government, had they been given better infrastructure, had they been given better access in and out, had they been given a bus line up into the neighborhood—I mean, there wouldn’t have been any need at all for public housing, there. And really there probably wasn’t.

jesse

How did the city of Los Angeles end up acquiring this land?

eric

So, they acquired the land with eminent domain to build the housing project. And that was the first step, right? So, most of the families in the community sold their homes before Frank was blacklisted and he was dramatically blacklisted at a hearing, in 1952. He was asked about his political affiliations and refused to answer. And this is the height of the Red Scare, and so the next day, you know, he’s fired and there’s headlines everywhere, you know, “Red Scare at Housing Authority”. So, before that happened—and that was August, ’52—most of the community had been emptied out. Most of the community had sold, you know, taken the government’s offers for their land and the government offers were not great, as you can imagine, but it was inevitable. You know. There was not a lot of legal recourse. A few families chose otherwise, and they chose to fight it out. And when, in 1953, a new mayor—anti-housing mayor—was elected and the program was officially canceled, those families embarked on their own legal battle. But the land itself was transferred to the city of LA. So, after the housing project was canceled, the city was kind of sitting on these 300 disputed acres, with a responsibility—due to the way it was acquired—to use it for a public purpose. And that was when the discussions over what to do with this land began. And over what counted as a public purpose.

jesse

Who was having that discussion?

eric

I mean, city hall people. Business leaders. The communities who were still there, the families, you know, the main kind of heart and soul that spoke as one family called the Aréchiga family, and they and some of their neighbors were suing to stay. They said, “You tried to kick us out to build a public housing project. There’s no public housing project. You don’t really have grounds to take our house, now.” So, that was one angle. That was one conversation being had. You have, you know, the city parks department advocating for making parks. You have—people wanna build a community college campus. You have people who wanna build a zoo there. You know. Griffith Park Zoo ended up opening right around the same time and it could have been an Elysian Park instead. You have people who wanna put all kinds of things—a cemetery. And, you know, these are city hall discussions. And you also have the city, in the ‘50s, really, really wanting a Major League Baseball team. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

jesse

More with Eric Nusbaum after the break. Eric is a lifelong Dodgers fan. He grew up in Los Angeles. He has been to countless games. He’ll tell me how he reckons with that after writing a book about Dodgers Stadium’s painful, complicated history. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

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jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. I’m talking with Eric Nusbaum. He’s a sportswriter and the author of the new book, Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between. The book tells the story of Dodgers Stadium, in Los Angeles. When it was built, in the late 1950s, it displaced a large, mostly Mexican American community, just northeast of downtown. Let’s get back into it. You mentioned that this is a book that is largely about the Aréchiga family, a family who lived in this area for generations. Who was the first person in this family to move to this hillside?

eric

So, the family moved to the hillside in about 1922. And at the time, it was Abrana, who’s the matriarch of the family, and her husband Manuel. And Abrana’s daughter from her first marriage—her husband had passed away when they were living in Arizona. Her name was Delphina. And they have another daughter, Lola, who comes with them too. They have a son, Juan, and they start to have kids and, you know, eventually there’s six kids. And they are the sort of generation that arrived there, you know, they had been born in Mexico—Abrana and Manuel—and they were still there, in 1958, when the Dodgers moved to LA.

jesse

Why didn’t they take the buyout when the city of Los Angeles decided to eminent domain the whole joint to build public housing?

eric

I think they thought it was unfair. There was a debate over how much they were getting, first of all. They had two houses on three lots, and the city appraiser said that their land was worth $17,500. But then a city judge, for whatever reason, overruled that appraisal and decided that they should get $10,050, instead. There’s no real logic or explanation behind this, that’s just what happened. It’s worth saying that LA was a very racist place, in the ‘50s and before that and after that. And they found that to be pretty insulting. So, you could theorize and say they didn’t take the money ‘cause it wasn’t enough. And later on, that would become a key issue: them wanting to get the full value of their property, as opposed to this lowball judge offer that the city insisted on.

jesse

It’s one of those things—and I think this comes up any time eminent domain is invoked, and certainly any time that, you know, people are—people are knitting together parcels for development, whether or not it’s driven by the government. The value of [chuckles]—the value of land is such a weird thing. I mean, capitalism in general has a certain element of weirdness, but certainly the owners—the private ownership of land. And, like, when you are putting together something like this, well, the value of 1 lot out of 100 is—if you have the other 99—almost infinite, because you can’t build anything without owning all 100. And at the same time as, you know, a developer or a government entity is putting together these lots, they’re also destroying the practical value of the lots that remain in private ownership, right? Like, they’re actively trying to make it a bad place to live so people will be willing to leave. It seems like this family decided that, based on these insults that they had suffered, they were going to take a principled stand. They were going to take a stand that was, like, almost abstract, but also deeply rooted in their lived experience. And Abrana—the matriarch—was sort of the public leader of this.

eric

She was. I mean, she—you know, she didn’t read. She didn’t speak English. And yet, she was sort of the heart and soul and brains behind—and mouth, as I say in the book—behind their operation and their activism, as a family. She was a strong-willed, don’t take any bull from anybody kind of person. And what she saw from the government was that she was being treated badly and her family was being treated badly. And she’s a person who, you know, immigrated through the Mexican Revolution while pregnant, as a teenager, lost a husband, later lost a son. I mean, had put everything into this house, into this land, into this community. She was deeply involved in the church. She was around, you know. This was—this was her home. This was where she had raised her kids and grandkids. And seeing it taken away under false pretenses… obviously infuriated her. It was unjust. And then, on top of that, the insult of, “We’re gonna underpay you for your land.” It was untenable. So, she led this… almost decade long protest with her family, where—as you said, while the city was making their home less and less desirable to live in by rolling neighboring houses out of the neighborhood to sell and put in other parts of the city, or at Universal Studios—which they did—or whether it was sending dog catchers in to try to round up her pets. Whatever it was, all these different tactics the city used to make her life miserable, they just stayed. And they kind of held fast.

jesse

At what point does Walter O’Malley show up in Los Angeles looking for a place to plop a baseball stadium?

eric

He was lured to Los Angeles. It wouldn’t’ be fair to say he just showed up looking for a place. The city of LA had wanted Walter O’Malley. They wanted the Dodgers, because the Dodgers were really good. Obviously, they saw some blood in the water, with the situation in Brooklyn, where he wanted to leave Ebbets Field and get a new stadium in Brooklyn and was having a sort of… war of attrition with Robert Moses over what was gonna happen. This long standoff. And finally, LA lured him out with the promise of these 300 acres that became known as Chavez Ravine. They lured him out with a very friendly land swap and some help in getting this thing built. That was tricky, because—as we said—the land was supposed to be used for a public purpose. And a privately owned baseball stadium doesn’t really qualify under any sane definition as a public purpose.

jesse

What’s interesting to me about the politics of this are that they don’t neatly fit along left/right lines, and in fact, the biggest fault line is about private ownership and eminent domain and property rights, which are all—you know—have traditionally been core conservative political values, rather than about whether this marginalized community should be further marginalized. It seems like everybody was on board with being racist. [Chuckles.]

eric

Everyone was on board with being racist. Almost everyone. The weird thing about it was that, yeah, so the people who voted against the Dodgers were generally sort of like working, white conservatives. Which was a constituency in LA, at the time. Not really anymore. Sort of the second or third generation of the Oakies, you know, who felt strongly that the Aréchigas and their neighbors who were still fighting had a really good argument, in that they had fulfilled their end of the social contract, right? They were landowners doing it right. They had earned money by working really hard and collecting bottles, even. Working in the fields in the summertime. I mean, they did everything they could to make a living and to make a life for themselves and their families and… is it fair for, you know, the forces of capitalism or the forces of government to come in and say, “Actually, sorry, the American dream doesn’t count for you. We’re putting a baseball stadium here.” That resonated. So, you had this alliance between—even on the city council, some of the most conservative council members become anti-Dodger forces. This one council member, John Holland, who is—like—a libertarian basically, became obsessed with proving there was a great conspiracy going back, you know, years before O’Malley came to bring the Dodgers and to kick out these families. And he became a staunch advocate for the families. I mean, also grandstanding himself, but it’s not the kind of thing you would have necessarily expected.

jesse

This conflict ends up culminating in the destruction of the Aréchigas homes, on live television. How did that happen?

eric

So, a year after this ballot measure—almost to the day—the Aréchigas were still entrenched in their home. And they had been—they had been on a slightly different legal path from their neighbors who were still in their homes, basically ‘cause they, like, didn’t sign an appeal in the early ‘50s. And I’m not sure why they didn’t sign it. There’s a theory that their kids weren’t home to help them translate, the day that the appeal was signed. That one of their neighbors told me. There’s no real way to know. But… they didn’t sign it. So, they had been technically evicted. Their land had been technically confiscated by the government. But they were still living in it. And throughout the ‘50s, there’s this weird sort of dance between the family and the city government over what’s gonna happen. At one point, the government thought about charging them rent, ‘cause the government was saying that, “We own the land.” And they had deposited their $10,000 that the Aréchigas said wasn’t the right amount of money. But the government had deposited it in escrow, for them to collect. So, they were gonna charge them rent. But then, because the government had ruled the land a slum to make the public housing project, they couldn’t charge them rent because then the government itself would have been a slumlord. These, like, kind of weird, surreal moments of politics. And, you know, they tried the dogcatchers. They sent sheriff’s deputies up there all the time. There was this sort of long-running thing where the family’s protesting at city hall, letters in the paper… and finally, you know, the city says, “We’re gonna evict you.” And they give them an eviction order. And on May 8th, 1959, everybody knows that that’s the date of the eviction order. LA County sheriff’s deputies drive up the hill. The media’s waiting for them. And they’re followed by, you know, utility crews, bulldozers, and everything. And the family is forcibly evicted from their home, you know. Lola Vargas, Abrana and Manuel’s daughter, is dragged by the hands and feet down the stairs and there’s a pretty famous photo of her. And the family—and she’s’ arrested and the family is seated outside the home and they watch a bulldozer just plow through it. And the city watched it. And it was big news. I mean, like, this is early in live TV. And when you see a family with little babies screaming and old women, you know—just this whole traumatic event happening on TV, violently… it resonated with people.

jesse

You’re a sportswriter and sportswriters take great pride in not being fans, because they’re sportswriters. But get the impression that you are still a Dodgers fan, in a way.

eric

Yeah. I think I’ll always be a Dodger fan, in a way. I grew up with them. You know. You can, like, write something critical of the Dodgers. I wrote a whole book that’s—one could argue is critical of the Dodgers, or critical of the city of LA, and I still love the city of LA. It’s a complicated thing. But being a Dodger fan is a big part of my identity, as—you know—as a kid. I have friendships that Dodger baseball and sharing that is a big part of our friendship. It’s important to me. And I’ve written about the Dodgers as a reporter. And I’m—I think I’m capable of being dispassionate when I need to be. But this book is not a dispassionate object. You know. It’s… it’s a book that I could only write because I care deeply about that building and about the city and about the Dodgers and about the injustices that happened to make that building a reality.

jesse

What do you think the city of Los Angeles or the Los Angeles Dodgers could do to pursue justice and reconciliation?

eric

Well, there’s a lot. I mean, first of all, I would say it’s not my place to say. It’s the place of the communities and the people who were evicted. I would say, you know, that there’s a—there’s a nonprofit called Buried Under the Blue that’s run by the descendants of Palo Verde residents, including Melissa Aréchiga, who is Abrana’s great granddaughter. And they’ve said—they’ve spoken to, you know, elders from the community who are still around and there’s not that many left. And one of the things they’ve talked about was creating three community centers. You know, one named for each community. And funding them to provide, you know, education and recreation and stuff that… you know, kids need. But you can’t really undo it, you know. You’re talking about robbing property and generational wealth from families. You’re talking about the inherited trauma of losing a home and, you know, the inherited the suspicion of government that comes with that. You’re talking about a famous, iconic building that—every time you see it—reminds you of what you lost, and even if you like the Dodgers and, you know—plenty of people who come from those communities love the Dodgers—there’s still something heavy about that. It’s not really, like, a wound you can fix. But I do think it starts with listening to the communities and it starts with acknowledging that it happened—which the city and the Dodgers have not really done.

jesse

Well, Eric, I sure appreciate you taking the time to be on Bullseye. And, as a native San Franciscan and a Giants fan myself—you’re a native Angelino and a Dodgers fan. I just wanna let the Nobel Prize people know that we will be willing to accept our Peace Prize via mail.

eric

Yeah, I’ll take it via mail. I’d rather not go to Sweden right now. [Jesse agrees.] But, like, the UPS is fine.

jesse

[Chuckles.] Eric, thanks for your wonderful book and thanks for coming on the show.

eric

Thanks for having me, Jesse. It was a great, great talk.

jesse

Eric Nusbaum. His book, Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between, is available to buy now. You can get it just about anywhere that sells books.

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jesse

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is produced out of the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California—where, as of this recording, the Giants are 6 and 7 and the Dodgers are 9 and 4. But! The Giant are fundamentally good, and the Dodgers are fundamentally evil. The show is produced by speaking into microphones, one of which I have and none of which my Dodgers fan colleagues have. Our producer is Kevin Ferguson, Dodgers. Jesus Ambrosio, Dodgers. And Jordan Kauwling, who was a Phillies fan until the Philly fanatic who made her drop her hotdog and didn’t replace it and became a Dodgers fan. They’re our associate producers. We get help from Casey O’Brien, who is blessedly neutral in this eternal battle. He’s a Twins fan, and I think we can all agree on Twins’ utility catcher, Willians Astudillo. Our interstitial music is by Dan Wally, also known as DJW. Our theme song is by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and their label, Memphis Industries, for letting us use it. You can keep up with the show on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Just search for Bullseye with Jesse Thorn. And I think that’s about it. Just remember, all great radio hosts have a signature sign off. And by the way, rest in peace to Bay Area sports radio legend, Ralph “Razor Voice” Barbieri, whose own signature sign off was the inspiration for my somewhat glib one. He always ended his shows by saying, with a little bit of a wink, “Remember that angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”

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About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

People

Producer

Associate Producer

Associate Producer

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

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