Hilda Chester

In her day, Hilda Chester attended nearly as many Brooklyn Dodger games as the Dodgers themselves. She would take her favorite seat in Ebbets Field to support her favorites, razz the opposition, and lead the fans in snake dances through the Ebbets Field aisles. The stentorian bleacherite acquired her trademark brass cowbell from the Dodger players in the late 1930s. It replaced the frying pan which she banged with an iron ladle after her doctor forbade her to yell following a heart attack.

The plump, gray-haired Chester once influenced a game. She gave centerfielder Pete Reiser a note for manager Leo Durocher (a favorite of hers after he visited her in the hospital after her second heart attack), and Durocher mistakenly thought the message was from team president Larry McPhail. It said “Get Casey hot. Wyatt’s losing it.” In the eighth inning, soon after Durocher got the note, pitcher Whit Wyatt gave up a hit. Despite having pitched a good game up to that point, Wyatt was relieved by Hugh Casey, who just barely saved the game.