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Polo Grounds Seating Chart

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  • #16
    Originally posted by riverfrontier
    I always imagine the Polo Grounds to be a slightly quirkier version of Tiger Stadium. Which it was, basically.
    Hmmmm.... I can't say that I have done much research on Tiger Stadium, other than Green Cathedrals, Sporting News Take Me Out to the Ballpark, and I have an Amadee print of Tiger Stadium like those found in the Sporting News Book (have the whole set actually)

    But to say the PG was a quirky version of any other ballpark is a bit shortsided.

    The PG was incredibly unique, and not only were a few pieces of Americana/Baseball History produced there (the name HOT DOG was coined, Foul Pole Screens were first used, the Umps were "miked" and tied into the PA system for the first time, the first ever walk off HR to end a playoff or Series Game) and the outageous dimensions of the park itself produced a brand of baseball which has really never been equalled, IMO.

    For instance, the PG had the highest frequency of Home Runs of any park of all time until Coors Field was built. But the PG was no whiffle ball field. In terms of runs scored, it was actually VERY neutral (meaning plenty of parks prduced more total runs, plenty of parks produced less).

    So if you were sitting in Section 4...

    You were very likely to see a HR, but scores of games at the PG were normal. In fact, any player in the big leagues had HR power at the PG, if he hit it down the line. About 20-30% of the outfield was reacheable for anyone, but the rest of the park took a tremendous shot to reach the seats. Power alleys, where the bullpens were located (yes, the only FAIR TERRITORY bullpens in baseball) were about 450 feet from home plate. There wer basically in what would be the power alleys in other parks. Deepest left and right center were even farther away. And of course the famous 483 ft sign in dead center.

    Only Four Men ever hit a HR to the Center Field Bleachers, and no batted ball ever struck the clubhouse. Because of the short distance down the lines, outfielders played very close together. Not only could you hit a 470 foot out, but you could also rip one into the gap, and have it caught for an out due to the outfielders being close together. Then your pitcher makes a mistake inside to a weak hitter, and he gets a 280 foot home run. More than one player hit his ONLY career HR at the PG.

    But it was not always a boon to HR hitters. Babe Ruth's Yankees played three seasons at the PG. 1920-22. He hit 75 HR's at the PG, and 73 on the Road, with only 10 fewer at bats at the PG. Mays hit 94 HR's at home in the PG, and 93 on the road as a New York Giant.

    It must have been fascinating to watch a game there. Absolutely anything could happen on ANY pitch, to any batter. Inside the park HR's were more common, due to the deep fences. The fans were passionate, the Giants teams often very good, etc. Pitching inside must have been scary as he11 for the pitchers.

    The legendary PG deserves a more prestigious place in history, IMO.
    "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

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    • #17
      Great post Stan I couldn't have said it better myself.

      Its also interesting to note that had section 4 existed when Ruth played there during the Yankees tennancy that a home run to that area could have been seen a few times. Ruth was the first person to ever clear the right field roof and by examining the type of hitter he was we know that he hit to the power alleys and more twards center than right most of the time.

      That's not to say that the Polo Grounds didn't help his number of 450+ foot fly outs, with those dimmensions that park could have been his best friend and worst enemy every time he stepped into the box.
      Last edited by RichardLillard1; 10-10-2006, 08:00 PM.

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      • #18
        Looks like it was designed perfectly...for football!
        4 5 (7) 8 20 22 33 42 (44)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by bigtime39
          Looks like it was designed perfectly...for football!
          Or polo, perhaps?
          "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
          Carl Yastrzemski

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          • #20
            I'm familiar with lots of oft-repeated, archival facts about the Polo Grounds. Thanks for even more. It helps with all the mental imagery. Anyway, what I meant about Tiger Stadium and the Polo Grounds could be extended to Shibe Park too, I guess, but I never got to see it. And it was never fully enclosed. If I want to imagine a fully functional, 50's era Polo Grounds, I imagine Tiger Stadium, with a slightly deeper center field, and quirky alleys. The ambience is what I was trying to get across. The feeling of a cavernous, dark under-bellied park with upper deck all around you, and posts supporting the cheaper seats. A roof running around the whole park, excepting center field. If I imagine Forbes Field, I imagine Wrigley, with quirks. But balls on bats would never echo in parks like that. It's a different kind of park.
            Much like parks today, if you've seen one, you're in heaven. If you've seen two, you're getting a mental picture of what you haven't seen. If you've been to Coors Field, and you only seen a picture of Jacobs Ladder, you'll get the picture. If you've only been to Fenway, but not Wrigley, imagine Crosley Field. When you see Boston or Chicago, you'll be in Cincinnati.
            smoker

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            • #21
              Originally posted by riverfrontier
              If I want to imagine a fully functional, 50's era Polo Grounds, I imagine Tiger Stadium, with a slightly deeper center field, and quirky alleys. The ambience is what I was trying to get across. The feeling of a cavernous, dark under-bellied park with upper deck all around you, and posts supporting the cheaper seats. A roof running around the whole park, excepting center field. If I imagine Forbes Field, I imagine Wrigley, with quirks.

              That makes a lot of sense, and I fully understand what you are getting at.

              I do, however, sometimes spring my keyboard into action when the topic of the PG comes up.... and occassionally I do so without thinking first...... it's a character flaw, I suppose.

              Just make sure you never post along the lines that the PG was old, run down, and just had to go by the time the wrecking ball hit it. Polo Grounds 1957 will show up at your door, your will find your tires deflated next time you park anywhere, you will get an audit from the IRA every year, you will lose your car keys immediately (or did he take them?) and all kinds of bad stuff will happen to you.....

              For those who want to learn more about the PG, Stew Thornley's book, "The Land of the Giants" is excellent.

              I am also about halfway through a newly released book, "The Echoing Green," by Joshua Prager, which is the "untold" store of Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard round the world. The Giants were absolutely stealing signs through the use of a Center Field Clubhouse spy with a powerful telescope, and using a buzzer/vibrating bullpen phone to get the signal to the batter...... interesting indeed. There is a photo in the book of Thomson's HR in flight, and a faint shadow can be seen in the 4th window of the Clubhouse, which was manager Durocher's office. There is also a team photo from 1951 (taken with the 483 foot sign and the clubhouse as a background to the team) in which a section of the protective wire over the 4th window had been cut away, just enough for a telescope to comfortably see through.....

              There is certainly more to the claim however, such as players admitting it, clubhouse boys, and sons of players and team officials, who are alive today, who stated that they knew about it, etc.

              Ironically, the electrician who installed the buzzer system (who also was the electrician who worked the lights for the night games) was a lifelong Dodger fan. In the book, he is deathly ill with Cancer, and I am not sure yet if he was alive to hear of Thompson's homer beating his beloved Bums.

              If you look at the chart above, Thomson's HR landed in the lower deck of section 35. Just a few rows in.

              Long live the PG
              "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

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              • #22
                The one think I don't like about the Polo Grounds is the way players could hit "cheap" home runs just by pulling a shot down the left or right field lines. Sort of the same thing when they converted the Los Angeles Collesium to a baseball field, down the left field line anyway. What was that one, like 225 feet.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Seattle1
                  The one think I don't like about the Polo Grounds is the way players could hit "cheap" home runs just by pulling a shot down the left or right field lines. Sort of the same thing when they converted the Los Angeles Collesium to a baseball field, down the left field line anyway. What was that one, like 225 feet.
                  251 ft. down the LF line. As far as cheap home runs, who's to say which is cheaper: a 279 ft line or a 360 ft power alley.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Elvis
                    251 ft. down the LF line. As far as cheap home runs, who's to say which is cheaper: a 279 ft line or a 360 ft power alley.
                    Hmmm, I guess I like at least 325 down the lines, at least 380-385 in the power alleys, and 400+ in CF. What would you say your minimum for power alleys is?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by StanTheMan

                      Only Four Men ever hit a HR to the Center Field Bleachers,
                      In the interest of full disclosure or possibly just adding a bit of persepective: of the four hitters, two, Hank Aaron and Lou Brock accomplished the feat on cosectutive days in 1962. That, of course, was the inaugural year of the New York Metropolitans, a team and a annus mirabilis immortalized by Jimmy Breslin in his wonderful book, "Can't Anyone Here Play This Game."

                      I will leave it to the good office and judgement of this assemblage whether to asterik those two shots given the state of the home nine's pitching staff.
                      After 1957, it seemed like we would never laugh again. Of course, we did. Its just that we were never young again.

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