MLB, GIANTS, METS, YANKS, AMONG CONTRIBUTORS TO RESTORATION OF 100
-YEAR- OLD STRUCTURE
By Paul Post / Special to MLB.com
Ed Lucas ran down the John T. Brush Stairway, behind the Polo Grounds, a little boy thrilled about going to his first big league ballgame.
He and his father, Ed Sr., a lifelong Giants fan, were making their way down from Coogan’s Bluff, the hillside overlooking the horseshoe-shaped ballpark in Upper Manhattan.
Several years later, Lucas negotiated the steep concrete steps more slowly, because this time he couldn’t see them. At 12 years old, he was blinded by a freak baseball sandlot accident while recreating Bobby Thomson’s famed “Shot Heard Round the World,” the pennant-winning homer hit on Oct. 3, 1951.
Now 18, his love for baseball hadn’t dimmed. In fact, the anticipation was even greater because he was going to interview the New York Giants’ greatest player, Willie Mays.
“That was 1957, the last year the Giants were in New York,” said Lucas, of Union, N.J. “I remember holding on my uncle’s arm and going down the steps very slowly from Coogan’s Bluff so I could go into the Polo Grounds through the press gate. My uncle, Gene Furey, was carrying a large Pentron reel-to-reel tape recorder. The door we entered went right through to the dugout, because if you remember, the clubhouses at the Polo Grounds were in center field. We were greeted by an attendant named Barney O’Toole. He set the tape recorder up in the dugout and brought different players over — Willie Mays, Bobby Thomson, Gail Harris, Whitey Lockman, Don Mueller.”