Similarly as the historical backdrop of the United States has been attached to the topography of North America, so the historical backdrop of New York Giants baseball was attached to the deviated bath state of the Giant’s home ballpark, called the Polo Grounds. Polo was never played there yet the baseball and football Giants played there, as did the Yankees before they moved to Yankee Stadium and the Mets before they moved to Shea. Jack Dempsey thumped out Firpo there, Joe Louis thumped out Max Schmeling and Billy Conn, Floyd Patterson recaptured his title by thumping out Ingemar Johansson and Ray Robinson his middleweight title by TKOing Randy Turpin there.
It was situated somewhere in the range of 155th and 157th west of Eighth Avenue and east of the base of Coogan’s Bluff, which remained behind home plate. The playing territory was 550 feet long from the stands behind home plate to the clubhouse divider in most profound centerfield, which was down an incline from the infield. Players and administrators sitting in the burrows could see outfielders just abdomen up. The left field stands were 380 feet from the correct field stands and on the off chance bathtub hair catcher that you drew a line from home through second to the clubhouse divider, the left field side of the field was a quarter section of land bigger than the right. That and the shade of the upper deck of the left field stands, gave right-gave hitters the edge.
The good ways from home plate to the fifteen-foot high solid mass of the lower grandstands was 276 feet down the left field foul line and 257 feet down the right, yet the upper grandstands in left field stretched out over the field by twenty-five feet. Past the foul lines the dividers on the two sides ran 200 feet out to the warm up areas in profound right and left fields. Along these lines the warm up area dividers were 450 feet from home plate and they bended internal to the seats, 425 feet from home plate.
For draw hitters like Mel Ott (R.I.P. 1958) the short separation down the foul lines made the Polo Grounds a heaven. Ott hit 323 of his 511 homers there and the upper deck simply past the foul line wound up known as Ottville. Then again, I regularly observed left defender Sid Gordon get under a spring up down the left field line and similarly as he raised his glove the ball would scratch off the overhanging upper deck for a grand slam.
I never observed anybody hit the ball into the cheap seats, not even in batting practice, in spite of the fact that the record books state Hank Aaron, Lou Brock and Joe Adcock figured out how to do it. The grandstands were isolated into two segments with a sixty-foot wide path between them that prompted the Giant and visiting group clubhouses. The windows in the clubhouse confronted home plate from most profound focus field, which offered ascend to bits of gossip about telescopes taking and transferring catchers’ sign to hitters. They even guarantee the Giants did that the day Bobby Thomson hit the game and flag winning homer off Ralph Branca. How might anybody accept a group overseen by Leo Durocher, with Eddie Stanky playing second, could ever stoop to such a strategy?
Low line crashes into the holes in focus field could move right down the slant to the seat divider for triples and inside the recreation center homers. However Ernie Lombardi (R.I.P. 1977) would hit high 400 foot line drives that got captured. With his wide separated position and long lovely swing, he was one of baseball’s incredible long ball hitters, yet its slowest base sprinter. He drove the alliance in hitting into twofold plays and groups would routinely play four outfielders and move the infielders back to the edge of the outfield grass with him at bat.
“Runs like he recovered a piano on his,” a man sitting in the line behind me said one day.
“In addition the folks conveying it,” the man by him said.
After the games, twenty or thirty children would look out for Eighth Avenue, outside the clubhouse, to get signatures. We realized the Giants by sight, yet not folks on the meeting groups, so we’d watch for folks with hair wet from the showers. In those days groups viewed themselves as ballplayers as opposed to specialists and they were friendlier. They’d sign four or at least five as they strolled to the parking garage or tram entrance. One the very first moment youthful person halted and marked for everybody. He had wet hair yet none of us remembered him.