APRIL 18, 1952
On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate, but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making an amazing catch for the third out to end the inning.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 18, 1955
In his first major league appearance, 25-year old Pirates reliever Al Grunwald, getting just one batter out, gives up a single to Don Mueller‚ a double to Monte Irvin‚ a triple to Willie Mays‚ and a homer to Whitey Lockman. The Giants fourth- inning ‘cycle’ contributes to an eight-run frame in the eventual 12-3 victory over Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 17, 1912
In front of a larger than usual crowd at the Polo Grounds of over 14,000 patrons that includes Broadway legend George M. Cohan, the Giants beat the new-look Yankees, now sporting pinstripes, in an unscheduled exhibition game, 11-2, to raise money for the survivors of the HMS Titanic. The charity contest, the first Sunday game ever played between major league teams at the Coogan’s Bluff ballpark, raises over $9,000 when each individual fan donates the price of an admission ticket to purchase a special program for the event.
APRIL 16, 1946
On Opening Day at the Polo Grounds, Mel Ott goes deep for the final time of his career. The Giants’ legend hits his 511th career home run off Philadelphia A’s left-hander Oscar Judd. (Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 14, 1911
Shortly after midnight, a tremendous fire breaks out destroying much of the Polo Grounds leaving the Giants without a place to play. The Highlanders invite the McGraw men to share Hilltop Park, an offer the displaced National League team accepts for six weeks until temporary stands are completed at their damaged ballpark.
Last night (April 10), the Nike Running Club (Some 150 plus runners using the name The Local) led by Coach Knox Robinson and organizer/tour-guide/historian/writer Kevin Fitzpatrick had their weekly run around NYC. Every Friday night Nike organizes a run in one of the five boroughs. 3 to 5 miles to see different neighborhoods and learn about them.This run ended at the John Brush Stairway in Upper Manhattan, the last piece of the Polo Grounds that remain. Kevin informed me that they open up “The Local” online registration each Sunday night for that week. The run filled up in 2 minutes, and had no spots open, only a waiting list to get on. He told me that this was the first time that’s ever happened! Kevin asked some members of the NYGPS to be on hand at the “finish line” to share some history and memories about the NY Giants, the Brush Stairs, and the Polo Grounds. A wonderful time was had by all. We want to thank Kevin, Knox, and Nike for asking us to attend their festivities. Nike provided the NYGPS members with sneakers, jackets and tickets to the Red Sox/Yankee Game that ended at 2:14AM April 11th!! Members were thrilled to be attending and sharing stories with the Nike Running Club. For those who don’t know, the Polo Grounds were about a mile from Yankee Stadium. Some members of both organizations walked to the game, others took a shuttle! I would bet this is the most people at this hallowed locale in decades!
APRIL 11, 1907
The Giants lose their home opener to the Phillies when some of the Polo Grounds fans, growing tired of the team’s lackadaisical performance, begin throwing snowballs onto the playing field disrupting the game. After he is hit by a frozen sphere, Bill Klem, the home plate umpire, decides enough is enough and forfeits the game to Philadelphia. (Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 11, 1912
Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3. The streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 8, 1947
In an exhibition game played against the Indians in Sheffield‚ Alabama, second-year player Whitey Lockman breaks his leg sliding into second base trying to break up a double play. With the exception of two appearances as a pinch hitter, the Giants sophomore outfielder will miss all of the season. (Nationalpastime.com)
To all those who donated THANK YOU!! Happy holidays!!-Gary
BY MICHAEL NOWELS Thu Apr. 2, 2015
PHOENIX—At Arizona State baseball’s new-again home, relics of the past reach high into the dry, dusty desert air. Ten 75-year-old light poles hoist bulbs that illuminate Phoenix Municipal Stadium. But the steel beams weren’t always in the middle of the Mojave.
In the shadow of these light poles, Mel Ott used his trademark leg kick to smack the 511th and final home run of his career on Opening Day 1946. Bobby Thomson hit his 1951 pennant-clinching “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Willie Mays chased down a fly ball off the bat of Vic Wertz in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series to make one of the most iconic catches in baseball history.
Before finding a home in the desert, the 160-ton, 150-foot towers brought light to the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants, beginning on May 24, 1940. That night, Bill Terry’s Giants defeated Casey Stengel’s Boston Bees 8-1 in the stadium’s first night baseball game. The lights replaced low-altitude football lights that were unsuited for baseball.
“Back then, they made things to last,” Phoenix Municipal Stadium manager James Vujs said of the light poles that have stood among Phoenix’s Papago Buttes for more than a half century after a 25-year stay across the Harlem River from Yankee Stadium.
Ed Logan Jr. played ball with childhood friends under those light poles when they towered over the old ballpark below Coogan’s Bluff. His father, Eddie Logan, was the Giants’ clubhouse manager for more than 30 years, spanning the team’s move from New York to San Francisco after the 1957 season.
“Just watching those guys climb up to change the lights gave me a dizzy feeling,” Ed remembered. The lights are just one stitch of an intricate tapestry of memories from a true baseball cathedral for Ed Logan Jr.
Ed was the Giants’ bat boy for that final season in New York between his junior and senior years in high school but as a child, he hung around in the center-field clubhouse with the players before games and after wins. After losses, his father made him wait outside until the players had calmed down.
“They did not censor anything,” Ed said. “There was lots of joking and lots of swearing, not PC like now. But it was totally integrated (racially).”
It wasn’t always so fun for Ed, though. He was tasked with keeping an eye on manager Leo Durocher’s son, Chris, who is five years Ed’s junior. For that duty, the skipper gave Ed a Schwinn bicycle.
Baseball fans are naturally nostalgic but the Polo Grounds’ character evokes a cascade of memories from those who visited it. Rich Rogers and Steve Rothschild were both raised as New York Giants fans and are involved with the New York Giants Preservation Society, as is Ed. Continue reading
APRIL 3, 1901
Although he tried to return the money, Christy Matthewson is accused by Connie Mack of reneging on his contract with Philadelphia. In January, ‘Big Six’ after meeting with the A’s manager, received a signing bonus, committing himself to play for the 1901 season with the American League team, but then used the offer as leverage to get a richer contract from the Giants.(Nationalpastime.com)