LAST NYGPS MEETING OF 2017 WITH AUTHOR STEVE STEINBERG-11/8/17


Our last meeting of the calendar year will take place Wednesday, November 8th at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse at 6:30PM. Author Steve Steinberg will be our guest speaker. Steve will talk about his 2010 book 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York
https://www.amazon.com/1921-Yankees-Giants-Baseball-Supremacy/dp/0803239998

His chat will focus mainly on McGraw and the Giants.
Here is a brief synopsis:
The Yankees won their first pennant in 1921, and the World Series against the Giants was a struggle that pitted the slugging Babe Ruth (with his 59 home runs) against the legendary Giants manager John McGraw, who had the allegiance of most NY sports fans until that time. It was also a thrilling Series, with much drama and many surprises.

Please RSVP ASAP

If you would like a book, please let me know as well. All the best, Gary

NYGPS MEETING WITH PAUL KOCAK: OCTOBER 24

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Before a large audience at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in lower Manhattan, the NYGPS held its final meeting of 2016. Paul Kocak discussed his book, Chasing Willie Mays.
https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Willie-Mays-Pa…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
Kocak spoke about the book for about 35 minutes before entertaining questions from the audience. Kocak told us of his admiration and lifelong “seeking out” of his favorite player despite the Giants leaving his state and moving 3000 miles away. We want to thank Paul and Jay Goldberg (Owner of the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse) http://www.bergino.com/ for a wonderful evening!

‘WILLIE MAYS WORLD SERIES MVP’: MLB RENAMES AWARD, HONORS SAY HEY KID

By John Shea

In 1954, the year Willie Mays made his epic Game 1 catch at the Polo Grounds in New York, the most replayed highlight in World Series history, there was no World Series most valuable player award.
The first World Series MVP was awarded in 1955 to the Dodgers’ Johnny Podres.
Now, the award will be named after the great Mays, starting this season — the Willie Mays World Series most valuable player award.
“I think that’s a great honor,” Mays said in a phone interview. “It’s an ongoing thing. You never know who’s going to win the World Series or the World Series MVP. Every year, it’s somebody different. This is a wonderful honor.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Friday on the 63rd anniversary of Mays’ over-the-shoulder catch (and magnificent whirling throw to the infield) that robbed Vic Wertz and created momentum for a four-game sweep of the favored Cleveland Indians.
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to honor Willie Mays on our game’s biggest stage and in a manner that befits his many contributions to the sport … This annual recognition will forever celebrate the life and career of a legend of the national pastime,” Manfred said.
Mays issued a statement thanking Manfred and MLB and added, “Baseball has always taken care of me, and for that I am grateful. I think it’s just a wonderful thing to know that at 86 years of age, I can still give something back to the game. I am proud to lend my name to this important award. What a day this has been.”
Also Friday, Mays had a street named after him near the Polo Grounds site in New York. The northeast corner of 155th Street and Harlem River Drive now is Willie Mays Drive.
The Giants have had three World Series MVPs: Edgar Renteria in 2010, Pablo Sandoval in 2012 and Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Last year’s MVP was the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist.
“That’s a really cool honor for him and for all of us to see the MVP named after him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s going to remind people who Willie is and how great a player he was. I’m sure the player who receives the award, it’s going to mean a lot to him, having an award named after Willie Mays.”
Mays, 86, played in three World Series with the Giants (1951, 1954, 1962) and one with the Mets (1973). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979, voted by fans as one of the four greatest living players in a 2015 promotion and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer. Email: jshea@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @JohnSheaHey

THE GIANTS GO WEST: THE TALE OF WHEN THE GIANTS LEFT NEW YORK AND HOW IT CHANGED BASEBALL


https://www.si.com/…/2017/09/28/new-york-giants-polo-grounds
HARRY SWARTOUT
Thursday September 28th, 2017
New York is a two-team town Giants-Jets, Knicks-Nets, Yankees-Mets but it hasn’t always been. In the Golden Age of Baseball, New York had three teams, all championship-caliber, in the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers.
Since 1883, the New York Giants had played ball in Manhattan (and in the Polo Grounds since 1911), but the stadium was getting old, and the city was changing. In 1957, Horace Stoneham decided to move the team west along with the Brooklyn Dodgers, absolutely gutting New York baseball fans.
The Giants moved and prospered, but the fans they left behind have been reckoning their love for a home team 300 miles away.
HARRY SWARTOUT
Thursday September 28th, 2017
New York is a two-team town Giants-Jets, Knicks-Nets, Yankees-Mets but it hasn’t always been. In the Golden Age of Baseball, New York had three teams, all championship-caliber, in the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers.
Since 1883, the New York Giants had played ball in Manhattan (and in the Polo Grounds since 1911), but the stadium was getting old, and the city was changing. In 1957, Horace Stoneham decided to move the team west along with the Brooklyn Dodgers, absolutely gutting New York baseball fans.
The Giants moved and prospered, but the fans they left behind have been reckoning their love for a home team 300 miles away.
https://www.si.com/…/2017/09/28/new-york-giants-polo-grounds

CITY HONORS BASEBALL’S NEW YORK GIANT WILLIE MAYS WITH STREET RENAMING IN HARLEM


By Shannan Ferry
City officials celebrate the life of a baseball legend by pitching up a permanent tribute. NY1’s Shannan Ferry was there and has the story from Harlem.
A lot has changed in Harlem since the 1950’s — it’s been sixty years since the New York Giants called this neighborhood home.
But on Friday, city officials honored the past — and one man in particular, renaming the corner of West 155th Street and The Harlem River Drive after Willie Mays, the baseball great who began his career with the Giants at the nearby Polo Grounds — and lived in the neighborhood, too.
“I mean how many guys brought a World Series, to Harlem?!” asked Jacob Morris, director of the Harlem Historical Society.
The ceremony came on the 63rd anniversary of a magic Mays moment.
His iconic over-the-shoulder catch in Game One of the 1954 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds.
The ‘Say Hey’ kid spent six years with the Giants here through the 1957 season, then moved with the team to San Francisco, where he played until ending his career back in New York with the Mets in 1973.
His son Michael Mays says he and his dad who is 86 are thrilled by this honor, because Harlem is where it all began.
“You can’t beat the pride,” the younger Mays said. “He’s a person in history, he’s a significant person, he’s in the white house, and a medal of honor, I mean the achievements in his life, it’s incredible.”
Organizers say they hope the street sign also inspires the younger generation. Some young players we spoke with say seeing it right here in Harlem, makes them even more motivated.
“Now just want to be like him, especially I’m an outfielder he was an outfielder, so that inspired me to look at videos and try to be like him,” said Wanter Martin, a high school junior.
This is not the only new honor for Mays. Major League Baseball announced Friday that the World Series MVP award will be named the “Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player.”
And from this ceremony near the old Polo Grounds, it is clear Mays is still an MVP to Harlem.
http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2017/09/29/city-honors-new-york-giant-willie-mays-with-street-renaming-in-harlem.html

NOW MORE THAN HOMEPLATE PLAQUE AND BRUSH STAIRWAY TO VISIT AT THE POLO GROUNDS SITE



A three-section mural of the fabled Polo Grounds site was officially dedicated today, August 30, at the Polo Grounds Towers at 2931 8th Avenue in Upper Manhattan. The mural, “Illustrates the story of the Polo Grounds housing development’s past, present, and future, including the Polo Ground’s rich sports history as the location of the NY Giants fabled field.” The project was spearheaded by Groundswell www.groundswell.nyc, an organization that “Brings together artists, youth, and community organizations through the Scaffold Up! model to use art as a tool for social change, for a more just and equitable world. Projects beautify neighborhoods, engage youth in societal and personal transformation, and give expression to ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented in the public dialogue”. Claudie Mabry and Robyne Walker Murphy, spoke on behalf of the Groundswell group. Remarks were then made by former Polo Grounds Towers tenant leader Barbara Williams and Property Manager Clara Garcia, as well as the President of the NYGPS. Lead Artist Demetrius Felder and Assistant Artist Iris Loughran then closed out the ceremony thanking everyone including their hard-working artists!!

Pictured are members Carmine Magazino, Paul Ellis-Graham, Tim Penman, and Gary Mintz

NYGPS MEETING WITH ROBERT GARRATT 6/21-REVIEW


June 21st saw Robert Garratt visiting the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse (www.bergino.com ) to discuss his fabulous new book, Home Team: The Turbulent History of the San Francisco Giants, in front of 2 dozen members of the New York Giants Preservation Society. Garratt spoke about the ownership of the team in particular, the Horace Stoneham era. This era, especially the latter part of his Stoneham’s tenure in both NY and SF, has much to do with the title of the book. Garratt then added wonderful tales about the Bob Lurie era and spoke of Peter Magowan’s era as well. The night ended with a Q/A session before Mr. Garratt signed books for those who purchased them. I want to thank Robert Garratt and of course Jay Goldberg (owner of the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse) for making this a wonderful event!!

HUNDREDS GATHER TO ENRICH HARLEM RESIDENTS’ LIVES BY RESTORING HISTORIC POLO GROUNDS AREA

Now a housing complex, the stadium that once stood on 155th Street was home to the New York Giants baseball team — and an MLB legend.
By Nikki M. Mascali
Published : June 02, 2017 | Updated : June 02, 2017
http://www.metro.us/…/revitalizing-harlems-historic-polo-gr…
The history of Harlem is so vast, it could be the city’s sixth borough, but sadly over time, many of its once-notable areas have disappeared, replaced by endless skyscrapers or long forgotten altogether.
Such is the case of the former Polo Grounds, a stadium that was on 155th Street in Harlem and was home to MLB’s New York Giants from 1883 to 1957, before the team moved to San Francisco in 1958.
In what was known as “The Bathtub” for its unique shape, Bobby Thomson made his game-winning “shot heard ’round the world” against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951, and Willie Mays made “the catch” in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.
In an effort to remind New Yorkers of that storied MLB lore while also revitalizing portions of the landscape that was demolished in 1964 to make way for the Polo Grounds Towers and Rangel Houses complexes, hundreds gathered Thursday under the 155th Street Viaduct to take part in Pernod Ricard’s annual Responsib’all Day.
For the second year in a row, the global beverage company partnered with environmental nonprofit EarthShare and the New York Restoration Project to revitalize several acres of land for the more than 7,000 residents living in nearby public housing.
“I live about 10 blocks from here, and it’s kind of isolated from the rest of Harlem,” state Sen. Marisol Alcantara said. “One in seven kids has asthma in this area, and there is not a lot of green space. What you’re doing today is going to make a difference in many kids’ lives.”
Among the work included in the daylong project was clearing vegetation on the complex property, planting wildflowers, assisting with a neighborhood garden and working in nearby Highbridge Park, where Responsib’all Day took place last year.
“This has been a dumping ground for 30 years. I hope this is the beginning of a destination,” Barbara Williams, president of the resident association at the Polo Grounds Towers, added.
For many diehard Giants fans, like those in the New York Giants Preservation Society, the site has always been a destination.
“I’m a San Francisco Giants baseball fan, but I live in New York. Willie Mays was my idol, and Willie’s origins are here,” member Paul Ellis-Graham said.
“It’s a storied history, a storied franchise, and we want people to not forget that there was a team here,” added Gary Mintz, the society’s president, who began the organization in 2011 to honor his father, a longtime Giants fan.
Though the main portion of The Bathtub is long gone, little reminders do exist, like the John T. Brush Stairway. Built in 1913 and named after the man who owned the Giants from 1890 until his death in 1912, the stairway still leads down into the Polo Grounds Towers property from Coogan’s Bluff. It was restored in 2014 using donations from the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets and the MLB, Yankees, Mets and San Francisco Giants.
On one of the Polo Ground Towers buildings is a faded sign that reads, “This development was built on the location that Willie Mays and the Giants made famous.” A little further into the complex on another building is a weathered bronze plaque that commemorates where home plate used to be — and serves as a reminder that the Giants shared the field with the Mets and Yankees for several years as well.
“New York doesn’t really celebrate the history of this city enough, but this needs to be preserved,” Mintz said. “But today is not about baseball, it’s about restoring neighborhood pride.”
To watch a video about the Pernod Ricard’s and NYRP’s work at the Polo Grounds site as part of its Responsib’all Day, click here.

POLO GROUNDS, HOME OF NY GIANTS BASEBALL: ‘SWEET SPOT’ WITH MIKE SUGERMAN

June 2, 2017

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — On the corner of 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem there’s now a big housing development, but it used to be a ballpark.
The Polo Grounds were home of the New York Giants baseball team.
“The Giants left town September 29, 1957. It’s embedded in my heard. I was at that game,” Carmine Magazine remembers.
He is now 76 years old. You have to be an older American to remember.
“In 1954, I started to go to the Polo Grounds,” says Larry Hans. “I was 11 years old. I always thought they’d just come back.”
They are members of the New York Giants Preservation Society. It’s run by Gary Mintz, who never made it to the Polo Grounds.
He was born four years after the Giants moved to San Francisco. But he has remained a New York Giants fan, because his dad was one and it helps keep the memory of their relationship alive. He says his dad was his best friend.
Members of the group helped in a cleanup effort around the area of the Polo Grounds, which hasn’t been kept up as well as it might have.
The Pernod Richard liquor group allowed 300 of their employees to take a day off of work on June 1 to come to the area around 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard to take part in the day, which was also sponsored by the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and the nonprofit ground Earthshare.
It’s hoped that some day there might be a mural near the site to commemorate the Giants’ ballpark, the Polo Grounds. There are already some plaques and a restored stairwell that had been used to get fans down to the park from Coogan’s Bluff.
The park, and the team, mean a lot to the history of New York and fans are hoping their memory won’t die.
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/…/06/02/sweet-spot-polo-grounds/

NYGPS MEETING WITH AUTHOR ROBERT GARRATT-JUNE 21

Our next NYGPS meeting will be on June 21 at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse at 6:30PM, with author Robert Garratt, who will be talking about his new book entitled: HOME TEAM: THE TURBULENT HISTORY OF THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, a great new book on the Giants that NY fans will very much enjoy if they have kept their fandom when the team moved westward.

Here is the synopsis:
In 1957 Horace Stoneham took his Giants of New York baseball team and headed west, starting a gold rush with bats and balls rather than pans and mines. But San Francisco already had a team, the Seals of the Pacific Coast League, and West Coast fans did not immediately embrace the newcomers.
Starting with the franchise’s earliest days and following the team up to recent World Series glory, Home Team chronicles the story of the Giants and their often topsy-turvy relationship with the city of San Francisco. Robert F. Garratt shines light on those who worked behind the scenes in the story of West Coast baseball: the politicians, businessmen, and owners who were instrumental in the club’s history.
Home Team presents Stoneham, often left in the shadow of Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, as a true baseball pioneer in his willingness to sign black and Latino players and his recruitment of the first Japanese player in the Major Leagues, making the Giants one of the most integrated teams in baseball in the early 1960s. Garratt also records the turbulent times, poor results, declining attendance, two near-moves away from California, and the role of post-Stoneham owners Bob Lurie and Peter Magowan in the Giants’ eventual reemergence as a baseball powerhouse. Garratt’s superb history of this great ball club makes the Giants’ story one of the most compelling of all Major League franchises.

This should be a terrific meeting following the ones with Dan Taylor, Jerry Liebowitz & Hal Bock, and our impromptu session at the Polo Grounds with Mark Melacon. Please RSVP ASAP as we expect a full house. Books can be purchased for $26 that night. (Hard-covered)