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Giants Fans' Allegiances After 1957

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  • Giants Fans' Allegiances After 1957

    As an Australian, I am relatively new to American baseball culture. A recent trip to the States has left me obsessed with baseball, and eager to learn more about baseball history.

    I am a Mets fan and I am interested in whether the Mets were successful in attracting disillusioned New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers fans.

    There seem to be a lot of original New York Giants fans on this forum. I am interested in whether most New York Giants fans still followed MLB after 1957. Did many fans transfer their allegiances to the San Francisco ballclub? Did many shun the game altogether? Did many get behind the Mets? With the Mets filling a gap in the NL left by both the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, was it easy to get behind the Mets? Especially in light of the fierce rivalry between the New York Giants and the Bums.

    Apologies if these questions have already been raised again and again on this forum. I am posting a similar question on the Brooklyn Dodgers forum, and wondering if there will be similar responses to yours.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by greenpoint; 11-20-2013, 04:33 AM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    This ties in with my last post on your similar thread on the Brooklyn Dodgers forum, greenpoint.

    On July 24, 1961, the Giants came from San Francisco to play an in-season exhibition game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It rained heavily that day and the temperature was still over 90 degrees. Yet 47,346 fans turned out, many of them to see Willie Mays. The Sporting News wrote that Mays "drew what amounted to a continuous ovation whenever he was on the field, and at times it thundered louder than the turbulent storms which had almost washed away the game."

    I suspect the loyalty may have been greater to the old players than to the club itself.

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    • #3
      Initially, when the Giants left New York for San Francisco radio station WINS 1010 provided recreations of Giant games. Les Keider was the announcer. I, for one, continued to follow the Jints when they first moved to San Francisco. The Phillies and Pirates used to televise the home games into New York when they played the Giants and the Dodgers to fill the void of no National League team in New York. For me, the Yankees were not an option. Once the Mets became a reality in 1962, many former Giant and Dodger fans switched over to them. In 1962, I still remember some old Brooklyn fans unfolding a bed sheet at the Polo Grounds when the Mets played the Dodgers which read "The Bums are Crumbs."

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      • #4
        Living in New Jersey in the NY metropolitan area aa a child in the late 1950s I can remember that the Phillies televised a lot more games than just those against the Dodgers and Giants into the New York area in 1958 & 1959, the first two years after the Giants and Dodgers had departed for the West Coast. Those attempts to gain a new audience were largely unsuccessful particularly since and the Phillies were trying to promote a poor product, because the Phils had declined to a last-place team by that point, which didn't help their efforts to win new fans.

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        • #5
          I had read on another forum that the Yankees either threatened to or actually started to televise there games into Philadelphia, which put an end to this unwanted TV competition in NY

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          • #6
            That's true. Actually, WOR, Channel 9- which had telecast the Dodgers' games since 1949- televised 78 Phillies' games in 1958- 58 home games and 20 road games from Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. In addition, Channel 13- not the public station, but another station in the New York area at the time, WTNA- telecast 39 Giants' and Dodgers' games from St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Anheuser-Busch was the principal sponsor; Gulf Oil was a secondary sponsor, and Jack Buck did the play by play. I have around a copy of an ad for WTNA's first telecast from The New York Times from May 14th, 1958 which had the Giants playing the Cardinals. The first line of the copy read, "Just the sight of Willie in a slide makes spring a lot more like it should in New York." Not only did George Weiss threaten to telecast the Yankee games into Philadelphia, he also threatened to telecast them in Pittsburgh and St. Louis as well.

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