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Could they still be at 155th and Eighth?

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  • Could they still be at 155th and Eighth?

    Here's a question for you Giants fans that we have teased on the Brooklyn Dodgers board in different forms:

    With the benefit of 48 years' hindsight, do you believe that anyone (NYC, Stoneham, others/all?) could have done anything do retain the Giants at the Polo Grounds and keep them there to this day?

    What say ye?

  • #2
    Stoneham could have sold the team to Bill Terry who wanted to buy them and relocate them to Yankee Stadium. I'm sure that eventually Shea would have been built to accomodate them.
    RCL

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    • #3
      Whoops, Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I think eventually the polo grounds would have been razed no matter what. The area, lack of parking, stadium age and design (I think) all would have contributed to it's ultimate demise. I'm also not sure who actually owned the park and the land on which it stood but seem to recall that the Giants would have had to leave in any case at the end of there lease which I believe would have taken them into the early Sixties. Any similar recollections out there?
      RCL

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      • #4
        Polo Grounds

        Originally posted by [email protected]
        Whoops, Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I think eventually the polo grounds would have been razed no matter what. The area, lack of parking, stadium age and design (I think) all would have contributed to it's ultimate demise. I'm also not sure who actually owned the park and the land on which it stood but seem to recall that the Giants would have had to leave in any case at the end of there lease which I believe would have taken them into the early Sixties. Any similar recollections out there?
        One thing that pisses me off is when people say the giants left the polo grounds because of its age.the giants played at 155th and 8th ave since 1891 that does not mean that the polo grounds was that old.the wooden polo grounds burned down and they built the modern polo grounds that stood until 1964.it was only 53 years old when it was torn down in 1964. there was nothing wrong with the stadium itself either.granted there was a parking problem but baseball could still be played at the polo grounds today.with renovations to the stadium and surrounding area. look at the mets in 1962 and 1963 they drew over 2 million fans for those two years.and since the yankees still play across the river at yankee stadium baseball still could be played at the polo grounds today. as far as parking you really dont need to drive around new york to get to the game with the subway. so yes the giants still could be at the polo grounds today. they should never had built that dump called shea stadium.
        LONG LIVE THE POLO GROUNDS 1891-1964
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/POLOGROUNDS1962

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        • #5
          Mr. Grounds 1957, if you decided to renovate the Polo Grounds, would you leave the dimensions of the park alone?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by [email protected]
            Whoops, Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I think eventually the polo grounds would have been razed no matter what. The area, lack of parking, stadium age and design (I think) all would have contributed to it's ultimate demise. I'm also not sure who actually owned the park and the land on which it stood but seem to recall that the Giants would have had to leave in any case at the end of there lease which I believe would have taken them into the early Sixties. Any similar recollections out there?
            The Polo Grounds building itself itself was constructed by & belonged to the Giants. The land it was built on belonged to the Coogan family, of Coogan's Bluff fame. AFAIK there were no problems with the lease - no pre-set ending time or anything like that.

            The Polo Grounds physical plant was fine. Closest thing to a problem would be parking space, but this is NYC we're talking about. Take the train.

            The shape - and let's be honest, it was, um, idiosyncratic - was part of the character of the place, as with all the old ballparks.

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            • #7
              polo grounds

              Originally posted by donzblock
              Mr. Grounds 1957, if you decided to renovate the Polo Grounds, would you leave the dimensions of the park alone?
              Yes i would leave the dimensions alone. that was one thing that made the polo grounds special. look at the cookie cutters that replaced the classic ballparks they all looked the same inside.as far as the parking new york city has the subway.
              LONG LIVE THE POLO GROUNDS 1891-1964
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/POLOGROUNDS1962

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              • #8
                later did at Yankee Stadi renovation they
                Originally posted by westsidegrounds
                The Polo Grounds building itself itself was constructed by & belonged to the Giants. The land it was built on belonged to the Coogan family, of Coogan's Bluff fame. AFAIK there were no problems with the lease - no pre-set ending time or anything like that.

                The Polo Grounds physical plant was fine. Closest thing to a problem would be parking space, but this is NYC we're talking about. Take the train.

                The shape - and let's be honest, it was, um, idiosyncratic - was part of the character of the place, as with all the old ballparks.
                There was a lease expiration date, I'll have to look to be sure but I believe it was 1960. A coogan heir, Jay Coogan I believe, was willing to extend the lease. Stoneham had already announced that the Giants could no longer survive at The Polo Grounds. as far as the question could they have still played ball there, the answer is yes. They could have done the kind of renovation, they later did at Yankee Stadium. As far as dimensions go, There could have been some adjustments, but there were limitations due to the dimensions of the property.
                Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
                www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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                • #9
                  Hey PG 57 lets get real. If it was 53 in 1964 it would be 94 years old today. The mens rooms on the lower level still had troughs. What about the clubhouse. Players were referring to it as a "dump" even in the 40s. I doubt you could put luxury suites between the first two decks. I guess you could put them on the roof but do you honestly think ANYONE in there right mind would go to the astronomical expense that it would take to bring the Polo Grounds up to snuff. I loved the old park as much as anyone, and in fact attended the last NY Giants game played there. I even have 50ft of old 8mm film taken with a Kodak Brownie to prove it.Unfortunately they lost but I did get one of Willies classic basket catches on film. But renovate the old horseshoe I don't think it feasable , not then (during the cookie cutter era) and certainly not in todays dollars . As to the surrounding area not being to bad, c'mon we both no better than that. Neither one of us would take an after dark stroll in the area even in '64 and nothing to my knowledge has occured to make it any better today. Shea might be a dump now but wasn't a bad park when it opened. And even though the number 7 subway stops at its front door the parking lots are still full when the Mets have a decent product on the field and fans do live in places other than the 5 buroughs. They say you can never go home again. Maybe that's true, but I'm still looking forward to Fred Wilpons new stadium. Now if we could only recapture the spirt of baseball in the 50s we'd all be better for it.
                  RCL

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by [email protected]
                    Hey PG 57 lets get real. If it was 53 in 1964 it would be 94 years old today. The mens rooms on the lower level still had troughs. What about the clubhouse. Players were referring to it as a "dump" even in the 40s. I doubt you could put luxury suites between the first two decks. I guess you could put them on the roof but do you honestly think ANYONE in there right mind would go to the astronomical expense that it would take to bring the Polo Grounds up to snuff. I loved the old park as much as anyone, and in fact attended the last NY Giants game played there. I even have 50ft of old 8mm film taken with a Kodak Brownie to prove it.Unfortunately they lost but I did get one of Willies classic basket catches on film. But renovate the old horseshoe I don't think it feasable , not then (during the cookie cutter era) and certainly not in todays dollars . As to the surrounding area not being to bad, c'mon we both no better than that. Neither one of us would take an after dark stroll in the area even in '64 and nothing to my knowledge has occured to make it any better today. Shea might be a dump now but wasn't a bad park when it opened. And even though the number 7 subway stops at its front door the parking lots are still full when the Mets have a decent product on the field and fans do live in places other than the 5 buroughs. They say you can never go home again. Maybe that's true, but I'm still looking forward to Fred Wilpons new stadium. Now if we could only recapture the spirt of baseball in the 50s we'd all be better for it.
                    Yankee Stadium is in the same general vicinity as The Polo Grounds. Many areas where there are ballparks you wouldn't want to take a walk after dark, if there was no ball game. As someone said earlier The Polo Grounds could have been renovated. Bathrooms repaired and modernized, seating changed.)One of the complaints of Horace Stoneham was the majority of the seating was beyond First and third bases. They couldn't be sold as box seats because of their distance from home plate. A renovation would have taken care of some of that.Of course at todays prices it probably makes more sense to build new, but we are talking late 1950's. The same police presence that is at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium on game days would have made the Polo Grouds safe.

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                    • #11
                      Not quite the general vicinity. The parks, while within sight of each other where nontheless situated in separate buroughs separated by the Harlem River. The area surrounding Yankee Stadium in the late fifties and early sixties was far different from that same area today. It was, for the most part, a solid middle class neighborhood which bore two claims to fame. The first being the Grand Concourse, a lovely , tree lined thoroughfare which ran North/ South and was located about a block from the Stadium. The Concourse Plaza Hotel stood on a corner within sight of the Stadium and for years was the hotel of choice for American League teams visiting the stadium. The second and more meaningful claim to fame was, of course, Yankee Stadium itself. The Polo Grounds on the other hand was located in central Harlem which was still three decades away from the rennisance (excuse the spelling) which today has reclaimed many of the beautiful old brownstones and other historical buildings that grace Harlem.The area was, quite simply, a dangerous place to be at any time, day or night. Sure the Mets drew 2 million between '62 and '63, but remember this was a city starved for National League baseball and even then they managed to draw less than 900,000 in their inaugural seaon of '62. If the Polo Grounds was in such good shape and needed only renovation, if the area was so safe and presentable, If parking and transportation was so adequate, why then did New York spend all that money to build Shea Stadium rather than let the Mets continue at the Polo Grounds?
                      Last edited by [email protected]; 12-27-2005, 09:28 PM.
                      RCL

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        polo grounds

                        Originally posted by [email protected]
                        Not quite the general vicinity. The parks, while within sight of each other where nontheless situated in separate buroughs separated by the Harlem River. The area surrounding Yankee Stadium in the late fifties and early sixties was far different from that same area today. It was, for the most part, a solid middle class neighborhood which bore two claims to fame. The first being the Grand Concourse, a lovely , tree lined thoroughfare which ran North/ South and was located about a block from the Stadium. The Concourse Plaza Hotel stood on a corner within sight of the Stadium and for years was the hotel of choice for American League teams visiting the stadium. The second and more meaningful claim to fame was, of course, Yankee Stadium itself. The Polo Grounds on the other hand was located in central Harlem which was still three decades away from the rennisance (excuse the spelling) which today has reclaimed many of the beautiful old brownstones and other historical buildings that grace Harlem.The area was, quite simply, a dangerous place to be at any time, day or night. Sure the Mets drew 2 million between '62 and '63, but remember this was a city starved for National League baseball and even then they managed to draw less than 900,000 in their inaugural seaon of '62. If the Polo Grounds was in such good shape and needed only renovation, if the area was so safe and presentable, If parking and transportation was so adequate, why then did New York spend all that money to build Shea Stadium rather than let the Mets continue at the Polo Grounds?
                        The city of new york condemed the polo grounds in 1960. they felt that the need of more public housing at the time outwayed the historic ballpark.they let the Jets(TITANS)football team and the mets use the polo grounds until the new dumpy stadium could be built.I cant stand shea stadium and never will like the stadium. they should have stayed at the polo grounds.there was nothing wrong with the ballpark, i have asked former mets and giants about the stadium and was told that it was fine.It was the city who decided to tear it down for more public housing.the coogan family wanted to keep the polo grounds instead of building the housing and filed a law suit against it but the suit was not heard until after the polo grounds was torn down in 1967 or 1968.the polo grounds was torn down in 1964.
                        LONG LIVE THE POLO GROUNDS 1891-1964
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/POLOGROUNDS1962

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [email protected]
                          Not quite the general vicinity. The parks, while within sight of each other where nontheless situated in separate buroughs separated by the Harlem River. The area surrounding Yankee Stadium in the late fifties and early sixties was far different from that same area today. It was, for the most part, a solid middle class neighborhood which bore two claims to fame. The first being the Grand Concourse, a lovely , tree lined thoroughfare which ran North/ South and was located about a block from the Stadium. The Concourse Plaza Hotel stood on a corner within sight of the Stadium and for years was the hotel of choice for American League teams visiting the stadium. The second and more meaningful claim to fame was, of course, Yankee Stadium itself. The Polo Grounds on the other hand was located in central Harlem which was still three decades away from the rennisance (excuse the spelling) which today has reclaimed many of the beautiful old brownstones and other historical buildings that grace Harlem.The area was, quite simply, a dangerous place to be at any time, day or night. Sure the Mets drew 2 million between '62 and '63, but remember this was a city starved for National League baseball and even then they managed to draw less than 900,000 in their inaugural seaon of '62. If the Polo Grounds was in such good shape and needed only renovation, if the area was so safe and presentable, If parking and transportation was so adequate, why then did New York spend all that money to build Shea Stadium rather than let the Mets continue at the Polo Grounds?
                          Shea Stadium is owned by the city,therefore they have more to gain financially, by having teams play there. The Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field were privitely owned, thus less income to the City of New York. My dad took me to The Polo Grounds to see both the Mets and Giants play. We always felt safe. True I wouldn't have wanted to be there at night when there wasn't a game, but thats true of a lot of stadiums.The question was could baseball still have been played there, the answer is yes. I don't sgree with Donald about Shea Stadium, I also spent many a day and night watching games there, and it was fine for what it was built for.
                          Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
                          www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by [email protected]
                            If the Polo Grounds was in such good shape and needed only renovation, if the area was so safe and presentable, If parking and transportation was so adequate, why then did New York spend all that money to build Shea Stadium rather than let the Mets continue at the Polo Grounds?
                            Let's not forget the migratory patterns of New Yorkers circa 1962. They had been heading east for more than 15 years, to Long Island. The Mets were always planned as a Flushing Meadow resident and referred to back then as a "Long Island team," Queens address notwithstanding. A couple of decent attendance years in the PG wasn't going to change that.

                            What might have been interesting regarding the long-term fate of the PG was if the Giants had hung on into the mid-'60s, specifically after the original Penn Station started being taken apart. That's when the landmarks act gained steam and a preservationist instinct awakened in a city that was usually all too happy to demolish its past. Maybe, just maybe movements to save the two old N.L. ballparks would have gained traction and garnered a more sympathetic municipal audience had they faced extinction in the late '60s as opposed to the late '50s -- particularly if they had outlasted the immediate influence of Robert Moses, no fan of saving venerable structures if he could replace them with new highways or, yup, housing projects.
                            Faith and Fear in Flushing: The Blog

                            Faith and Fear in Flushing: The Book

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                            • #15
                              One more point of why the Mets went to Queens. After the Dodgers and Giants moved, their was a fight over the NewYork City territory, between the National and American Leagues. Commissioner Ford Frick declared all of New York City Yankees territory with the exception of Brooklyn and Queens.With Walter O'Malley holding the lease in the only ballpark in Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows was the only option for a team. The Polo Grounds was only a temporary measure until Shea was completed.
                              Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
                              www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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