Abe Stark

Abe Stark, Presidents of Brooklyn Borough, NYC

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Abe Stark

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Abe Stark (September 16, 1893 - July 1972) was a Russian-American politician from New York City. An immigrant who came to America from Russia as a small boy with his parents, he became a tailor and owned a clothing store at 1514 Pitkin Avenue in the East New York section of Brooklyn.

A sign for Abe Stark's clothing store, placed directly under the Ebbets Field scoreboard in right-center field, told players "Hit Sign, Win Suit. Abe Stark. Brooklyn's Leading Clothier." Any player to hit the sign with a fly ball would get a free suit from Abe's store.

Due to the fielding of Brooklyn Dodgers right fielders Dixie Walker and Carl Furillo, Stark awarded very few suits. It has been said that, as long as the sign was up, the only opposing player to hit the sign on the fly was Mel Ott of the arch-rival New York Giants. What is known is that, upon the suggestion of a customer who pointed out how many free suits Furillo saved Stark from having to give, Stark gave Furillo a free suit.

Stark became so famous as a result of his sign, being seen first on movie newsreels and then on television, he was able to rise through City politics to serve as president of the city council from 1954 to 1962, and as borough president of Brooklyn from 1962 to 1970.

There is also a famous Ice Skating rink on Surf Ave. in Brooklyn named after Stark.

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