The Polo Grounds

Essays and Memories of New York City’s Historic Ballpark, 1880–1963


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SKU: 9780786478972 Categories: , ,

About the Book

In an era of unique baseball stadiums, the Polo Grounds in New York stood out from the rest. With its horseshoe shape, the Polo Grounds had extremely short distances down the foul lines and equally long distances up the alley and to center field. Some of baseball’s most historic moments—Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World, Willie Mays’ Catch, Fred Merkle’s infamous blunder—happened at the Polo Grounds.
This book offers descriptive text and photographs that give a sense of the glory of this classic ballpark. Additionally, it contains historical articles and memories submitted by more than 70 former players who played at the Polo Grounds.

About the Author(s)

Stew Thornley is the official scorer for the Minnesota Twins home games and a member of the Official Scoring Advisory Committee for Major League Baseball. He lives in Roseville, Minnesota.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Stew Thornley. Series Editors David Cicotello and Angelo Louisa
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7897-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3358-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: McFarland Historic Ballparks

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Part I: History and Background
The Polo Grounds: Owners and Landlords (Bill Lamb) 5
Early Polo Grounds: Players Who Homered There (Alan Cohen) 58
Next Stop—Cooperstown (Tom Edwards) 65
By the Numbers: The Five Polo Grounds Ballparks (Ron Selter) 69
Polo Grounds Seating, Dimensions and Design (John Pastier) 92
Black Baseball at the Polo Grounds 107
• Part I: Notable Players, Teams and Performances (Tom Edwards) 107
• Part II: The New York Cubans (Rory Costello)  109
The Boys of the Polo Grounds: Youth Baseball, 1944–1958 (Alan Cohen) 113
White Circled Targets Drawn in Crayon: The Untold Story Behind
the Tragic Shooting of Bernard Doyle at the Polo Grounds (Dan VanDeMortel) 138
Voice of the Giants: Russ Hodges (Stew Thornley) 163
When the Circus Came to Town: The New York Mets
at the Polo Grounds, 1962–1963 (Scott Ferkovich) 167
Memorable Games 175
• Metropolitans 4, Nationals 2: September 29, 1880 (Richard Hershberger)  175
• New York Giants 2, St. Louis Browns 1: October 16, 1888 (Bill Lamb)  178
• New York Giants 1, Boston Beaneaters 0 (13 innings): May 12, 1890 (Joel Rippel)  179
• New York Giants 1, Chicago Cubs 1: September 23, 1908 (Norm King)  181
• New York Giants 1, New York Yankees 0: October 13, 1921 (T.S. Flynn) 185
• American League 9, National League 7: July 10, 1934 (Stew Thornley) 188
• Boston Braves 9, New York Giants 0 (forfeit): September 26, 1942  (James Forr) 191
• Brooklyn Dodgers 5, New York Yankees 1, New York Giants 0: June 26, 1944 (Mike Huber and Rachel Hamelers)  193
• New York Giants 5, Brooklyn Dodgers 4: October 3, 1951 (Scott Ferkovich)  196
• New York Giants 5, Cleveland Indians 2 (10 innings): September 29, 1954 (Gregory Wolf) 199
• New York Mets 8, Philadelphia Phillies 6: April 28, 1962 (Alan Cohen)  202
• National League Latin Players 5, American League Latin Players 2: October 12, 1963 (Rory Costello and Robert Dominguez) 205
Part II: Memories
The Polo Grounds: View from the Bleachers (Arnold Hano) 209
The Book and the Batboy (David Butwin) 213
Dr. Fan (Seth C. “Dr. Fan” Hawkins) 218
Fred Stein (Interview by Steve Treder) 222
Home Address: Polo Grounds (Jerry Schwab) 232
Saving the Polo Grounds (Tom Edwards) 235
The Polo Grounds Was My Playground (Ed Logan) 237
The Fans Remember 240
The Players Remember 251
About the Contributors 275
Bibliography 278
Index 279

Book Reviews & Awards

“The essays flow smoothly from one topic to the next, making this an easy read from cover to cover. This book should be a welcome addition to most sports history or stadium architecture collections…recommended”—Choice