THIS DATE IN NY GIANTS HISTORY: JUNE 24, 1950

June 24, 1950
Giants’ catcher Wes Westrum, a low average, high power defensive catcher, hits three home runs and a triple. The 27-year old backstop’s fifteen total bases help New York defeat Cincinnati at the Polo Grounds, 12-2. (Nationalpastime.com)

June 24, 1950
Willie Mays makes his professional baseball debut playing centerfield for Trenton, the Giants’ farm team in the Class B Inter State League. The 20-year old outfielder from Alabama goes hitless in the game against Hagerstown in Maryland, but will hit .353 in 81 games, before being promoted to the Minneapolis Millers, the Triple A affiliate of the parent club. (Nationalpastime.com)

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THE NEW YORK GIANTS PRESERVATION SOCIETY SALUTES MONTE IRVIN ON HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY

THE NEW YORK GIANTS PRESERVATION SOCIETY SALUTES MONTE IRVIN ON HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY
by Bruce Slutsky

The New York Giants Preservation Society met last night at Finnerty’s to celebrate the 100th birthday of Monte Irvin who played for the New York Giants from 1949-1955 and who was one of the first African American baseball players in Major League Baseball. You can see from Baseball-Reference that he did not come to the Giants until he was 30 years old, but played in the Negro Leagues before that.
Gary Brown and John Barr, who actually met Monte Irvin, spoke to the audience and said only glowing things about him. Audience members were invited to contribute to the discussion as well. A great time was had by all!

NYGPS’s 1ST MEETING OF 2019, 2/25, AT FINNERTY’S TO HONOR THE LIFE OF MONTE IRVIN

NYGPS FIRST 2019 MEETING TO HONOR MONTE IRVIN’S LIFE AT FINNERTY’S FEBRUARY 25TH.   

The New York Giants Preservation Society’s first meeting of 2019 will take place on February 25 at our new home base Finnerty’s at 6PM. The night will be entitled: Monte Irvin:  A Centennial Celebration.  This night would have marked Irvin’s 100th Birthday.  On hand will be many members of the NYGPS who had personal experiences throughout the years.  They include as of this date, Gary Brown and John Barr. We hope to have a special guest or two as well. Finnerty’s is located at 221 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. We will have use of their backroom. For your enjoyment, libations will be available at the Happy Hour rate until 8PM. Drinks specials are:
$5 draft beers
$6 mixed well cocktails
$7 glasses of wine

Please RSVP ASAP to me. All the best, Gary

NYGPS MOURNS PETER MAGOWAN

Our organization and the Giants organization lost a tremendous friend and resource today when Peter Magowan passed away at the age of 76. We mourn his passing. May he rest in peace. Peter, thanks for everything you did for us!!

SAN FRANCISCO — Peter A. Magowan, who led the drive to keep the Giants in San Francisco, surrounded by his family on Sunday after a long battle with cancer, the team announced. He was 76.

“The Giants family, the entire Bay Area and the game of baseball lost a man whose passion and loyalty to his favorite team and beloved community made it possible for all of us and future generations to experience the magic of Giants baseball in San Francisco forever,” said Larry Baer, the Giants’ president and CEO. “Peter was my mentor and dear friend, and I will forever be grateful for his guidance, support and love. His legacy will be carried on by all those he inspired, including community leaders, our players, the front office, Junior Giants players and, of course, by his devoted family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Debby, and his children and their families.”

The Magowan family issued the following statement: “Our family lost a great man today. We all know how much Peter loved his Giants and San Francisco, and he had that same love and passion for his family. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren, and we will forever cherish the memories we made together.”

Magowan organized a group of San Francisco-area investors in 1992 to purchase the team from Bob Lurie after a group based in Tampa-St. Petersburg reached an agreement in principle to purchase the franchise and move it there.

Once Magowan’s group successfully bid to forestall a coast-to-coast move, he and Baer launched efforts to build a stadium that would replace Candlestick Park, which fans avoided by the thousands due to its decay and the chilly conditions surrounding the area.

Finding a replacement for Candlestick meant winning a vote to build a stadium. Four previous initiatives failed at the ballot box because taxpayers would have assumed part of the costs. Magowan and Baer engineered enough deals to build the ballpark with mostly private funding, which helped the Giants finally win a stadium vote in 1996. The park opened as Pacific Bell Park in 2000 and was known as SBC Park and AT&T Park before a new business agreement prompted the recent change to Oracle Park.

Under Magowan’s watch, the Giants also signed left fielder Barry Bonds to a then-revolutionary six-year, $43.75 million contract before the 1993 season. Adding Bonds, who became baseball’s all-time home run leader in 2007, instantly transformed the Giants into a winning team.

With the Giants, after leading the Safeway supermarket chain from 1979-93, Magowan hired the executives that would assemble four National League pennant winners and three World Series championship clubs within a span of five years to begin this decade.

“Peter Magowan has been a part of my life for a long, long time, first as a fan watching me play in New York and then, remaining a fan when we moved to San Francisco. Along the way, he became my friend. Peter would call me often to check in. He and Debby cared about me and it was so easy to care about them in return. It’s hard to find the right words just now, but in losing Peter, I’ve lost a great, great friend. He was like my godfather. No one can replace him,” said Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

On Wednesday, the Giants announced that Magowan would become the first non-player to receive a plaque on the club’s Wall of Fame, which adorns Oracle Park near Second and King streets. The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, immediately before the team’s annual FanFest.

“Peter’s mark on the Giants and the San Francisco community can be felt throughout the ballpark, in which he was intimately involved in the design and planning and throughout the daily operations of the organization,” Baer said. “He set forth a Giants vision to create a winning culture and to serve our fans and the community. Over the past 25 years, we have followed through on his vision and his impact on our community will be felt for decades to come.”

In addition to Debby, Peter is survived by 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peter Magowan Fields for Kids Program of the Giants Community Fund.

Commissioner Rob Manfred issued the following statement: “Peter Magowan was a vital figure in the history of the San Francisco Giants, the club he rooted for since his childhood in New York. During a tenuous period for the franchise, Peter stepped up and led the group that purchased the Giants and kept them in San Francisco. With groundbreaking vision, he then guided the effort that resulted in a ballpark that became a landmark for the city. In his 16 seasons of leadership, Peter oversaw a winning, civic-minded ballclub that represented the spirit of San Francisco. The foundation created under his direction helped make the Giants the model club they remain today.

“All of us in Baseball will be forever grateful to Peter for his pivotal part in preserving a first-class franchise in one of America’s most vibrant cities. On behalf of Major League Baseball and his many friends in our game, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Debby, their children and their entire family.”

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked forMLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Matt Kelly contributed reporting.

LINCOLN MITCHELL DISCUSSES HIS NEW BOOK AT NYGPS MEETING AT FINNERTY’S 11/13/18

Before a packed “Keg Room” at Finnerty’s, author Lincoln Mitchell discussed his new book “Baseball Goes West” last night before an enthusiastic crowd of baseball fans. Lincoln spoke for about an hour, signed many books, and held a Q&A. Lincoln spoke about the Dodgers and Giants but predominantly the Giants as that’s what the crowd came for. We can’t thank him enough for a terrific evening.

This was the NYGPS first meeting at hopefully our new “home”, Finnerty’s. Owners Dieter and Brian were so delightful to deal with as was their party planner, Annie. This downtown bar oozed Giants baseball and we hope to attract some younger SF Giants fans in the future as they should know that their team had a glorious past, 3,000 miles away, and more than 60 years ago. Dieter and Brian surprised the crowd by pulling out the original NY Giants Pennant from 1951 that flew at the Polo Grounds! Un believable and in great shape for a piece of material that is almost 70 years old.

Thanks to all those who attended and we hope to see many more at our next event.

LINCOLN MITCHELL TO SPEAK TO NYGPS AT FINNERTY’S NOVEMBER 13


The New York Giants Preservation Society’s first meeting at Finnerty’s will take place on Tuesday, November 13, at 6PM. Our guest speaker will be author Lincoln Mitchell whose new book entitled Baseball Goes West will be available for purchase. This from Google Books:

-Following the 1957 season, two of baseball’s most famous teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, left the city they had called home since the 19th century and headed west. The Dodgers went to Los Angeles and the Giants to San Francisco. Those events have entered baseball lore, and indeed the larger culture, as acts of betrayal committed by greedy owners Walter O’Malley of the Dodgers and Horace Stoneham of the Giants. The departure of these two teams, but especially the Dodgers, has not been forgotten by those communities. Even six decades later, it is not hard to find older Brooklynites who are still angry about losing the Dodgers.

This is one side of the story. Baseball Goes West seeks to tell another side. Lincoln A. Mitchell argues that the moves to California, second only to Jackie Robinson’s debut in 1947, forged Major League Baseball (MLB) as we know it today. By moving two famous teams with national reputations and many well-known players, MLB benefited tremendously, increasing its national profile and broadening its fan base. This was particularly important following a decade that, despite often being described as baseball’s golden age, was plagued with moribund franchises, low wages for many players, and a difficult dismantling of the apartheid system that had been part of big-league baseball since its inception.

In the years immediately following the moves, the two most iconic players of the 1960s, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays, had their best years, bringing even greater status and fame to their respective ball clubs. The Giants played an instrumental role in the first phase of baseball’s globalization by leading the effort to bring players from Latin America to the big leagues, while the Dodgers set attendance records and pioneered new ways to market the game.

Sports historians, baseball fans, and historians of American culture on a broader scale will appreciate Mitchell’s reframing of baseball’s move west and his insights into the impacts felt throughout baseball and beyond.

Mitchell’s book will be available for $27. Lincoln will gladly sign his book as well. We look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with Finnerty’s, similar to one we forged with Jay Goldberg and the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse. Finnerty’s is located at 221 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. We will have use of their backroom. For your enjoyment, libations will be available at the Happy Hour rate until 8PM. Drinks specials are:
$5 draft beers
$6 mixed well cocktails
$7 glasses of wine
Please RSVP ASAP to me. If you have intentions of purchasing the book, let me know as well so I can give Lincoln a rough estimate of books he needs to bring. All the best, Gary