Our first meeting of 2014 will take place on Wednesday, January 8 at 6:30PM with NY Post Writer Ken Davidoff. Ken spent 11 years at Newsday before moving to the NY Post in 2012. He covers the Mets, Yankees, and all of baseball. He was the former President of the Baseball Writers Association of America (2010-2011). Ken also appears on Fox’s Sports Extra during the year and is frequently heard on WFAN with Richard Neer on Saturday mornings. Ken is a tremendously knowledgeable baseball man and just a great guy as well. If you don’t already read his column your are missing something.
Here is a link:
The meeting will take place the day the 2014 Hall of Fame Members will be announced and Ken will be able to discuss the electees and non-electees as he has a vote. He will also be discussing hot stove news, spring training, history of the game, etc. His dad will be accompanying him and the elder Davidoff is and was a huge Willie Mays fan attending the SF Giants January 2013 Trophy presentation which we were specially invited to.
The meeting will take place at our “home base” the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse. Jay Goldberg always welcomes us with open arms. If you need that perfect baseball gift for the holidays, birthdays, etc., Jay is your guy and his store is the place. Here is his link:
After a brief hiatus, the Bedford & Sullivan podcast picks back up the research process with its 33rd episode!
The founder of the NY Giants Preservation Society, Gary Mintz, joins to discuss how the Society got started, some of the highlights so far for the group since its inception, and stories Gary’s late father told him regarding the Upper Manhattan ballclub.
WITH OCTOBER 3RD SOON ARRIVING…………………
This will be released next week.
On October 3, 1951 Ralph Branca became a legendary figure in baseball history. The 26 year-old Brooklyn Dodger pitcher became infamous for losing the National League Pennant to the bitter rival New York Giants, by giving up the game winning homerun termed The Shot Heard Round the World. Jeered by once adoring fans and labeled a scapegoat for the rest of his life, Ralph never reclaimed his career. From Executive Producer Bobby Valentine, BRANCA’S PITCH follows 86 year-old Ralph Branca’s journey to pen a memoir that finally tells his side of the story, to try and restore his fascinating, yet overlooked legacy in baseball’s Golden Age of the ’40s and ’50s. The documentary features a mixture of verite, and archival materials including many of Branca’s own films and photos such as a recently discovered and restored color 16mm film of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
Let’s just say “What a Night”!! A SRO crowd attended our meeting this past Thursday. Mr. Peter Magowan was our key note speaker and had the audience in the palm of his hand. He discussed his love of the team as young boy all the way up to his “retirement” as the CEO of the team. Magowan spent much of the night reveling about the history of the team here in NY and his subsequent purchase of the team in the early 1990′s when it appeared they were moving to Tampa Bay. He told wonderful stories about the purchasing group that saved the team, the Barry Bonds signing and the building of AT&T Park. He truly loved the Q & A with members of the NYGPS.
The entire night’s program can be heard here thanks to Jay Goldberg on his podcast:
Robert Garratt who wrote an amazing expose on Horace Stoneham captivated the audience with his perspective on the former owner of the team. Garratt explained how Stoneham was a true trailblazer of an owner and broke the second barrier in the game by signing many Latinos to contracts with the Giants. He explained that Stoneham and his scouts were concerned with putting the best team on the field and race had no barring as the Giants started the first All-African American outfield of Mays, Irvin, and Hank Thompson in the early 1950′s. Garratt also spoke of Stoneham’s spearheading a move out west regardless of the Dodgers when it appeared the Giants were going to Minneapolis. Garratt left us stating that Stoneham belongs in the Hall of Fame for all his noteworthy contributions to the game. A movement to do so appears imminent with Peter Magowan on board.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1963-
FROM THE BOWERY BOYS NEW YORK CITY HISTORY
Thanks to NYGPS Member Ed Logan for finding this article which explains the last baseball game played at the Polo Grounds between the Mets and the Phillies., 50 years ago last week.
Fifty years ago today, the final game was played at the Polo Grounds, the legendary sports field that had once been home to the New York Yankees, the New York Giants (both baseball and football), and the New York Mets in their debut season.
The last game at the Polo Grounds was hardly memorable. The Mets were in their second season, almost as forgettable as their first. The team went 40-120 in its inaugural season, one of the worst results for a season in baseball history. In their second season, they fared marginally better (51-111). The Mets last home game of their second season — and the last game ever here — was a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-1.
Hardly anyone cared. No, really, that’s how the New York Times put it. “Hardly anyone cared”
“The smallest crowd to watch the Mets at the Polo Ground — 1,752 paying customers — turned out for this finale at the Harlem ball yard. Maybe the fact that there had been two previous major league ‘last games’ at the Polo Grounds took a bit(e) from the occasion.”
The writer is referring to the last game by baseball’s New York Giants in 1957 and the Mets last game from the 1962 season, when there were supposed to move into their new digs at Shea Stadium. But Shea wasn’t ready, and the Mets remained at the Polo Grounds for a final season, apparently to an audience of crickets.
“There wasn’t too much fuss and bother about the affair yesterday,” the Times lamented.
The Mets first game at Shea Stadium was in April 17 the following year. The brand-new stadium dazzled; the Mets did not. They lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3. One week earlier, April 10th, their former home was torn down