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)
APRIL 2, 1952
In Denver, Giants’ Monte Irvin breaks his ankle sliding into third base during an exhibition game against Cleveland. The future Hall of Fame outfielder will appear in only 46 games this season, mostly as a pinch-hitter, batting .310. (Nationalpastime.com)
March 25 was the NYGPS first meeting of the 2015 year, excluding our January soiree with the World Series Trophy. Guest speaker Jaime Rupert spoke before an SRO crowd at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse. Jaime was fabulous speaking for almost 40 minutes about her life as the granddaughter of Horace Stoneham. She told us great tidbits regarding Stoneham’s love for the game and his GIANTS. She read an excerpt from her soon to be released book entitled Really? Really! and told us of her love affair with the game due to her relationship to the team.
Jaime then extolled the merits of her grandfather and how he is deserving of the Baseball Hall of Fame induction via the Golden Era Committee. Her points mainly being longevity, foreseeing baseball need to expand to the west coast, starting the Cactus League, being a forerunner of black integration to the game (starting the 1st all African-American outfield in NY), being a leader in the Hispanic movement in the game, etc. Whether you agreed with her or not, her points were all well taken and convincing to the point were members were changing their opinions on Stoneham’s election. Jaime hopes this might be the start of changing public opinion as she tries to gather steam for her dream.
I want to thank the over 40 members who showed up for a wonderful night. A special thanks to Jay Goldberg, owner of the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse for making his home ours! With Easter and Passover right around the corner, there is no better place to get the one of a kind baseball gift that Jay can offer. Check out his website athttp://www.bergino.com/
MARCH 8, 1946
The first spring training game ever to be played in Arizona takes place at Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field. The Indians, behind the pitching of Bob Lemon, beat the Giants, 3-1, in the inaugural Cactus League contest. (Nationalpastime.com)
A very special day was celebrated and enjoyed by the NYGPS on Feb 25 at the annual Cactus League luncheon held in Peoria, AZ, as Ed Logan Sr., father of our own Ed Logan Jr., was inducted into the Cactus League HOF, Class of 2015. Ed Logan Sr. was recognized for his extraordinary contributions to the NY and SF Giants as clubhouse manager during spring training each year in AZ from 1947 to his retirement in 1979.
Mr. Logan’s HOF plaque was presented to Ed Logan Jr., the last bat boy of the NY Giants and NYGPS Member, who graciously offered an insightful and at times humorous acceptance speech on behalf of his dad.
In attendance at the induction were key members of the extended and close-knit Giants family: Chris Durocher, son of Leo Durocher; Jaime Rupert, granddaughter of long-time former owner Horace Stoneham; Roy McKercher, the Giants 1st batboy in 1958, the team’s first year in SF; Steve Rothschild, Co-President of the NYGPS as well as other members of the NYGPS based in the Phoenix area.
Also, as this date was the 96th birthday of NY Giants HOF outfielder Monte Irvin, the NYGPS members phoned Monte as a group to extend him our best wishes.
Top Pix-Ed Logan Sr.
Middle Pix-Chris Durocher & Ed Logan Jr. with plaque of his dad’s achievements.
Bottom Pix-Ed Logan Jr. speaking about his dad.
FEBRUARY 26, 1957
The Giants trade right-hander Hoyt Wilhelm to the Cardinals for their former all-star first baseman/outfielder Whitey Lockman. The knuckleballer will win only one of five decisions for the Redbirds before being selected off waivers by Cleveland in September, and New York’s newest infielder will spend two seasons with his old club hitting .246 in 225 games over that span.
FEBRUARY 25, 1934
At the age of 60, John McGraw dies at New Rochelle Hospital, two weeks after entering the facility with optimistic reports about his recovery. The renown Giants skipper, known as ‘Little Napolean’ due to his style and stature, won ten pennants and three world championships during his 30 years as the team’s manager.