WILLIE MAYS TURNS 82 ON MAY 6.
MAY 6, 1937
Dodgers and Giants fans attending afternoon ball games at both the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field are thrilled to have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Hindenberg when it appears over New York nearing the end of its maiden voyage of the season from Germany. A few hours later, the majestic German zeppelin will explode on a landing strip in Lakehurst, N.J. killing 36 of its passengers.
MAY 2, 1928
With the bases loaded and two out in the ninth inning, Giants’ manager John McGraw orders that Dodger rookie Del Bissonette be intentionally walked with the bases loaded by Larry Benton, forcing home a run. The strategy works when Harry Riconda strikes out giving New York a 2-1 victory in the Polo Grounds contest.
MAY 2, 1956
During a game in which 48 players see action, Chicago’s third baseman Don Hoak strikes out a record six times against six different New York pitchers. The Giants outlast the Cubs in the 17-inning Wrigley Field marathon, 6-5.
The 2nd meeting of the year of the NYGPS was held 4/23/2013 at the Bergino Clubhouse in lower Manhattan. It was a night to remember as Dr. Larry Hogan discussed his book, “So Many Seasons in the Sun”. A wonderful Q&A followed. The NYGPS wants to thank Mr. Hogan and Jay Goldberg ((Owner of the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse
for a wonderful and enlightening evening!! The photo is of Larry on left and Jay on right with some parting gifts courtesy of the NYGPS. Here is the podcast from last night’s event. http://berginobaseballclubhouse.podbean.com/2013/04/24/so-many-seasons-in-the-sun-with-dr-lawrence-hogan/
Thanks to Jay Goldberg for all he does for our group. Give a listen, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!!
This is an edited version of NYGPS member Greg Prince’s latest Faith and Fear in Flushing entry on his Mets blog found at http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com/. Greg has more knowledge of the Mets than anyone I know. He has written many books on his beloved Metropolitans, his latest being The Happiest Recap: First Base (1962-1973): 50 Years of the New York Mets As Told in 500 Amazin’ Wins (Volume 1) Greg joined our group due to his love of the game and the Mets tie into the NY Giants. Greg also wants to thank fellow NYGPS member John Barr with his help for the piece. ENJOY!!
Rebuilding is often as much about preservation and restoration as it is rehabilitation or transformation, so another thumb up for the Mets taking part in a terrific episode of making New York whole again. The Mets, along with the Yankees, the Jets and two teams of Giants have chipped in to make passable once more the John T. Brush Stairway, the last physical connection remaining to the cradle of your New York Metropolitans.
The staircase — which connected the 1911 version of the Polo Grounds to the road above it on Coogan’s Bluff — was presented to the City of New York by the baseball Giants in memory of Brush, their then recently deceased owner, one hundred years ago this July. And one half-century ago this month, the Mets commenced their second season in that same staircase’s shadow; 1963 marked the last spring and summer the grand old ballpark would be filled with fun and frolic (not to mention 34 wins for the good guys). A year later, one week before Shea Stadium opened, the Polo Grounds succumbed to the wrecking ball. While a housing project rose, everything else came down…everything but the stairs, though those fell into terrible disrepair. You could still make out the dedication plaque that was etched into one of its landings if you were in the neighborhood, but climbing the steps could be hazardous to your health. Continue reading
NYGPS member Stew Thornley, author of Land of the Giants: New York’s Polo Grounds wrote me the following:
“I will be editing an anthology on the Polo Grounds for McFarland Publishers that will feature historical research and essays and memories from players and fans. The book will probably not be out until 2016 and (as you may have figured) there will no remuneration, only fame and a warm, fuzzy feeling, for contributors. Essays may be of any length, covering a particular topic or just a brief memory of time spent at the Polo Grounds. Thanks for your help.” If you are interested in this venture, please email me with your real email address and I will send you a release form and where to mail your work.
Here’s your chance to be a celebrity and explain your love for the NY Giants and the famed PG’s!!
Surprise, Arizona 4/10/13
What better time to have the first West Coast Meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society Meeting? Yesterday marks 50 years that the last opening day was held at the Polo Grounds.It was not the Giants but the New York Mets.They had their second opening in their history at a stadium filled with history but really neglected.In addition we are only a short while away from the dedication of the John T. Brush Staircase.
Steve Rothschild, Frank Daniel (he was at the Polo Grounds for the final NY Giants Home Game on 9/29/57) and Former Batboy Ed Logan handled the meeting and displayed quite some memorabilia.Frank had some amazing large framed photos from the late 1940s and early 1950s.Ed Logan had some fantastic items as did Steve.
Frank showed us where he was in that famous photo from 9/29/57 with everyone leaving towards the famed clubhouse in CF.Frank was in the photo under the 483′ sign about to remove the sign when a cop told him to get lost!!
Ebbets Field is in the spotlight this year because the long-departed home of the Brooklyn Dodgers is in the centennial of its birth. But this is also a significant month for the Polo Grounds, the other New York home for National League baseball that succumbed to the wrecking ball decades ago.
After all, it was on April 9, 1963, that the Polo Grounds hosted the last opening day in its long history.
The Mets — not the Giants, who left for San Francisco after the 1957 season — were the home team that day, 50 years ago. And the Mets were reluctant tenants. They had hoped to move into Shea Stadium at the start of that season, their second in the major leagues, but delays in the construction of Shea forced the team to play an extra year in Upper Manhattan.
By then, the final incarnation of the Polo Grounds, which opened in 1911, was on its last legs. There was limited parking, the locker rooms were cramped and the concession stands outdated. Maintenance and restoration work had all but ceased.
These are the three known calls of the most famous home run in MLB history. Thanks to Joshua Prager for having all 3 on his website and sharing them for all to enjoy. Everyone has heard the Hodges… call, a few the McLendon call, but I believe very few the Red Barber call. Enjoy!!
More on the calls at wikipedia:
Several television and radio broadcasters captured the moment for baseball fans in the New York City area and nationwide. Some sources claim additional radio broadcasts were done by Al Helfer for the Mutual network, by Buck Canel and Felo Ramírez for a Spanish language network, and by Nat Allbright in a studio re-creation for the Dodgers’ secondary network in the South. Harry Caray was in the Giants’ radio booth with Hodges and may have also participated in the broadcast.