No other city, then or since, had two teams in the same league. The 22 games the Dodgers and Giants played against each other every year, split between the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, sometimes determined the National League pennant. But the rivalry had been intense even in decades when the Giants were strong and the Dodgers were awful, for it had always been about more than baseball. It was also borough against borough, extending a competition that had begun in the previous century, when Brooklyn and New York were separate cities. It can be hard for people today to imagine what it was like to have friends, relatives, and co-workers taking sides in this intense feud year after year, or to appreciate how much this placed baseball at the center of New York life.