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October 9, 2015

Protechwood – The Polo Grounds

Just as the heritage of the United States has been tied to the geography of North America, so the heritage of New York Giants baseball was tied to the asymmetrical bathtub condition of the Giant’s dwelling ballpark, called the Polo Grounds. Polo was never performed there but the baseball and soccer Giants performed there, as did the Yankees just before they moved to Yankee Stadium and the Mets just before they moved to Shea. Jack Dempsey knocked out Firpo there, Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling and Billy Conn, Floyd Patterson regained his title by knocking out Ingemar Johansson and Ray Robinson his middleweight title by TKOing Randy Turpin there.

It was located amongst 155th and 157th west of Eighth Avenue and east of the base of Coogan’s Bluff, which stood guiding dwelling plate. The taking part in space was 550 ft long from the stands guiding dwelling plate to the clubhouse wall in deepest centerfield, which was down a slope from the infield. Players and supervisors sitting down in the dugouts could see outfielders only midsection up. The remaining subject stands were being 380 ft from the ideal subject stands and if you drew a line from dwelling by 2nd to the clubhouse wall, the remaining subject side of the subject was a quarter acre larger than the ideal. That and the overhang of the higher deck of the remaining subject stands, gave ideal-handed hitters the edge.

The distance from dwelling plate to the fifteen-foot significant concrete wall of the reduce grandstands was 276 ft down the remaining subject foul line and 257 ft down the ideal, but the higher grandstands in remaining subject prolonged out about the subject by twenty-5 ft. Over and above the foul traces the partitions on both equally sides ran two hundred ft out to the bullpens in deep ideal and remaining fields. So the bullpen partitions were being 450 ft from dwelling plate and they curved inward to the bleachers, 425 ft from dwelling plate.

For pull hitters like Mel Ott (R.I.P. 1958) the short distance down the foul traces made the Polo Grounds a paradise. Ott hit 323 of his 511 dwelling operates there and the higher deck just past the foul line turned acknowledged as Ottville. On the other hand, I normally noticed remaining fielder Sid Gordon get under a pop-up down the remaining subject line and just as he elevated his glove the ball would scrape off the overhanging higher deck for a dwelling run.

I never noticed any one hit the ball into the bleachers, not even in batting follow, though the report guides say Hank Aaron, Lou Brock and Joe Adcock managed to do it. The bleachers were being divided into two sections with a sixty-foot wide passageway amongst them that led to the Huge and going to crew clubhouses. The windows in the clubhouse confronted dwelling plate from deepest middle subject, which gave increase to rumors of telescopes stealing and relaying catchers’ signals to batters. They even claim the Giants did that the day Bobby Thomson hit the video game and pennant profitable homer off Ralph Branca. How can any one believe a crew managed by Leo Durocher, with Eddie Stanky taking part in 2nd, would ever stoop to these types of a tactic?

Lower line drives into the gaps in middle subject could roll all the way down the slope to the bleacher wall for triples and within the park dwelling operates. Nevertheless Ernie Lombardi (R.I.P. 1977) would hit significant 4 hundred foot line drives that obtained caught. With his wide aside stance and long attractive swing, he was 1 of baseball’s fantastic long ball hitters, but its slowest base runner. He led the league in hitting into double plays and teams would routinely play 4 outfielders and shift the infielders back to the edge of the outfield grass with him at bat.

“Runs like he obtained a piano on his back,” a male sitting down in the row guiding me explained 1 day.

“As well as the men carrying it,” the male future to him explained.

After the online games, twenty or 30 kids would hold out on Eighth Avenue, outside the house the clubhouse, to get autographs. We understood the Giants by sight, but not men on the going to teams, so we might look at for men with hair wet from the showers. In individuals times teams considered themselves ballplayers fairly than businessmen and they were being friendlier. They’d sign 4 or 5 or additional as they walked to the parking ton or subway entrance. 1 day 1 youthful person stopped and signed for everyone. He had wet hair but none of us acknowledged him.

I appeared at my ebook. “Buddy Marshall. Who’s he?” No one understood. Turned out he was not a player, just a person with wet hair and a twisted perception of humor.

Mel Ott was my most loved player, but from 1942 until eventually 1948, although he was player-supervisor, the Giants finished the period in last position twice, fifth a few moments, fourth when and 3rd his first yr. All the very same. I cheered for outfielders Johnny Rucker, Sid Gordon, Willard Marshall, Joe Medwick, Danny Gardella, Crimson Treadway, Steve Filopowicz, (he performed for the soccer Giants way too) and Garland Lawing, who could throw the ball farther than he could hit it. I cheered for infielders Johnny Mize, Buddy Kerr, Bill Rigney, George Hausmann, Nap Reyes, Phil Weintraub, Jack Lohrke, Connie Ryan, pitchers Bill Lohrman, Ace Adams, Harry Feldman, Bill Voiselle, Monte Kennedy, Ewald Pyle, Hooks Iott, and Clint Hartung, and for catchers Sal Yvars, Gus Mancuso, Walker Cooper, Wes Westrum and Lombardi.

In the first video game of a doubleheader from the Dodgers in 1944 Weintraub hit two doubles, a triple, a dwelling run and batted in eleven operates, Lombardi batted in seven, Ott walked 5 straight moments and scored six operates and the Giants won 26-eight. They finished fifth that yr, but that 1 victory carried me by the period. In 1947 they finished fourth, and hit 221 dwelling operates, the solitary-period report back then Mize hit fifty one, Marshall 36, Cooper 35, Thomson 29. Bill Rigney, who turned a Huge supervisor would claim that he and his roommate hit sixty eight of the 221. (His roommate was Johnny Mize.)

According to Rigney, Horace Stoneham, the Giants’ operator, “didn’t like the bunt and didn’t like pitching, but beloved the dwelling run. We could conquer you 9-eight,” Rigney explained, “but not two-one.”

Then in July 1948 Pleasant Male Mel Ott remaining and “Pleasant-Men-Complete-Previous” Leo Durocher, obtained fired by the Dodgers and turned supervisor of the Giants. Quickly, the Giants turned into a speedier, additional intense crew. On August eleven of the 1951 period, they were being 13 and a half online games guiding the Dodgers. Then with Stanky, Thomson, Irvin and the pitchers primary the charge, and with Willie Mays, Don Mueller and Irvin in the outfield, Whitey Lockman at first, Stanky at 2nd, Alvin Darkish at short, Thomson at 3rd, Wes Westrum catching and Sal Maglie, Larry Jansen, Jim Hearn and George Spencer pitching, they won 30-seven of their last forty-4 online games such as the first sixteen straight and finished the period tied with the Dodgers for first position. Then in the 3rd of a few playoff online games, they conquer the Dodgers on Thomson’s two-out, last of the ninth inning dwelling run and won the championship in the most remarkable pennant race in the heritage of baseball-all at the Polo Grounds.

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