Missed Out

As I have grown older, I realized that I was missing out on something special. From 1991 to now there have been alot of new stadiums built in baseball, which means lots of opportunity to go see new ones, but also means some that will be considered classics one day have been missed. Some of the ones replaced were in need of it, and were very basic, cookie cutter stadiums. Others, while old and outdated, were classics already. I will not let the new wave of stadiums pass me by this time. I am dedicated to seeing them all.

While some of these classics are before my time, I sit and wonder what it would have been like to see a game at some of these classic domains. I love the look of some of the classics and am learning more about them daily.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Polo Grounds IV, New York, NY

Polo Grounds was one of baseballs hallowed ballparks. Throughout the history of baseball in New York City there have been four ballparks known as the Polo Grounds dating back to the 1800s. This was Polo Grounds IV. It was named that because the original parks were at an actual old polo park, and they took the name with when they moved away and built this park. The NY Giants played there from 1911 to 1957 when they left for the west coast. The Yankees played there from 1913 to 1922, when they were evicted by the owner of the Giants, because they were outdrawing his own team. They went on to build thier own park, this place called Yankee Stadium. The Mets played there in 1962 & 63 while Shea was being built. It was demolished in 1964.

The Polo Grounds were enclosed except in centerfield. The grandstands were extended to the bleachers that were on both sides of the clubhouse in centerfield. The left field upper deck overhung the playing field by 23 feet. Polo Grounds looked like a horseshoe. Round behind home plate, the sides did not run parallel to the foul lines, but rather to a line drawn from home to second, extending straight into the power alleys before curving toward the middle in deep left and right centerfields. The center field wall ran straight across, except for a large cutout square in dead center that was the entrance to the clubhouses. The bullpens were in the outfield in play. The unique shape and dimensions are what made this park interesting. Could you imagine a park today trying something like this?

No player ever hit a fly ball that reached the 483-foot distant center-field wall.
The Giants' first night game at the stadium was played on May 24, 1940. The catch that Willie Mays made in the 1954 World Series against Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians would have been a home run in many other ballparks of the time. The outfield sloped downward from the infield, and people in the dugouts often could only see the top half of the outfielders.
One of the greatest moments in the stadium, and maybe MLB history, was Bobby Thomson's homerun off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca to win the National League pennant in 1951. Better known as "The shot heard around the world".


  1. Great Blog. Interesting reading

    Love to get to a game. One problem . . . I'm in Australia. :(

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I have a few more to add, but was focused on the main ones.