Talk:Polo Grounds

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What now stands on the site?[edit]

What now stands on the site? --71.102.144.27 03:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

An apartment complex. 64.241.37.140 19:56, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

New York City Housing Authority operates two units on the site. One is the Charles Rangel Houses, the other is the aptly-named Polo Grounds Towers. The area is referred to as "The Polo Grounds" by local residents, especially Black New Yorkers, who use the term to define both the two public housing complexes and Rucker Playground which is across the street (east side of Frederick Douglass Ave and north side of 155th). Rucker Playground is famous for street basketball tournaments and is a popular weekend hangout for local basketball players and other youths.

If so, that would put the playground on the site of Manhattan Field. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 08:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Since we're talking baseball, it should be noted that from Rucker Playground or from any east-facing window in the projects on the site, there was a clear view of old Yankee stadium. Not sure about the new one, I haven't been to NYC since July.

The article is confusing. It says that the Polo Grounds were "bounded on the south and north by 110th and 112th Streets, and the east and west by Fifth and Sixth Avenues, just uptown of Central Park," and yet in the side bar it says: "Location West 155th Street and Eighth Avenue, New York, New York". Which is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 161.44.41.68 (talk) 15:21, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Original was on 110th. Best-known one was on 155th. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:48, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response. Can/should this be clarified in the article? In the summary it is unclear that the famous Polo Grounds used by the Giants was moved uptown. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 161.44.41.68 (talk) 16:20, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Soccer at the Polo Grounds[edit]

  • I never knew how important the Polo Grounds was to the development of soccer in this country. Nyrmetros 19:25, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

The New York Giants soccer team of 1894[edit]

The paragraph contained within the soccer section of this page keeps being removed but I feel that it not only is an important part of the history of the Polo Grounds but also a very significant turning point in American sport and should remain. Had the Baseball owners achieved what they set out to do with the soccer idea it could, and probably would have changed the face of American sports totally from the framework we know today in three ways. Firstly soccer would almost certainly be either the biggest or second biggest sport in the USA today. Football may well have never become a major sport and possibly even could have been outlawed in the early 1900s making it a forgotten extinct sport today. Amazing as this seems this nearly happened even without soccer popularity. Thirdly each citie's Baseball, soccer, football {if there was any}, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, rugby etc...teams would quite possibly have all been run by the same owners {perhaps the city itself} under the same name. As an example the New York Giants would today have been one organisation playing a wide range of professional sports under the one title. Similar to the Spanish model where Real Madrid play a host of sports other than soccer for which it is famous. Captainbeecher

It keeps getting removed because you're not providing a source. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 00:16, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Four different stadiums; four different pages?[edit]

Should this article be split into four articles for each of the four distinct Polo Grounds, or is this article like this for some other reason?--CrazyTalk 21:26, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, the so-called "III" and "IV" were the same diamond just surrounded by wooden (III) or concrete (IV) stands, so they were really the same park. And "II" was right nextdoor. "I" was 45 blocks south or so. Now, how would you do the disambiguation on it? To put it another way, is there really enough info to warrant separate pages for I and II? I just checked Madison Square Garden, and it was done this same way. Even though they are separate buildings, there is an implied continuum... just like the N.Y. Giants and the S.F. Giants are on the same page, although maybe that's a poor analogy, since they didn't physically move the ballparks. Wahkeenah 21:52, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

One of the common fallacies that I have noticed on this site is the circular logic that is used often: It must be this way because this is how it is. "Because" is not answer for "why?". If III & IV are the same park, then there is no IV and there just is a III. However, III burned down and they built IV; therefore, III & IV are not the same or they would have just called it III. Just because they have the same name does not mean they are the same. I am sorry, but that answer seems empty: "there is an implied continuum". Do New Yorkers generally consider the Polo Gounds as one park? Using that logic, Comiskey, Busch, South End Grounds, Lake Front Park, West Side Park, etc etc etc should all be combined, not to mention all of the various League Parks, County Stadiums, Memorial Stadiums, Municipal Stadiums etc etc etc. Typically for stadiums, we have a page for each structure. I believe this page should be disambig. If a consensus believes otherwise, then so be it.--CrazyTalk 01:04, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Then you should do likewise with Madison Square Garden. As to III and IV, that is modern revisionism. Nobody called them that at the time, it was just "The Polo Grounds". The wooden grandstand burned in 1911 and was replaced with concrete stands built around the same diamond. However, the previous bleachers survived the fire and remained intact until 1923. So I could argue for a III (1890-191) and a III-and-a-half (1911-23) and a IV (1923-64). Also, consider Sportsman's Park, which was rebuilt several times in its existence on Grand and Dodier, the diamond repositioned several times, yet there is only one article. If you want to separate them, I would argue that I and II could be on individual pages, but separating III and IV is kind of a stretch. As to what New Yorkers "consider", most of them don't even know about I, II, and III, so it's kind of a moot question. Wahkeenah 02:52, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Ruth[edit]

Even in the early 1920s, one of Babe Ruth's deeper blasts was said to have landed "in Manhattan Field".

Is there a source for this? I assume the implication is that one of Babe Ruth's home runs from the Bronx was said, quite hyperbolically, to have landed in Manhattan field, but to someone who wouldn't know it sounds like the shot in question was hit in the Polo Grounds, which would still be hyperbole but considerably less so. Can someone clarify? Thanks. Chick Bowen 21:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Or was it in the Polo Grounds before '23? I guess that would make more sense. Again, a citation would clear everything up. Chick Bowen 21:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • It was a home run that Ruth hit over the right field stands at the Polo Grounds that landed in whatever was left of the former Manhattan Field. I could look for the article if necessary. It's in a book I have someplace. Wahkeenah 22:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
      • I'm thinking it was his first as a Yankee, on May 1, 1920. Smelser's book makes reference to the ball landing on an amateur field. Another book, which I can't find just now, reprinted an entire article from 1920 about it. The point of that anecdote was that the diamond called "Manhattan Field" was still well known in 1920. Later it became a parking lot. Wahkeenah 00:46, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
        • Yep, it was May 1, 1920. I put that in the article recently... and only about 14 months after I said I would look for it. Now, on to my projects from February of 2006. Wahkeenah 23:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

American Football at the Polo Grounds[edit]

This statement needs a citation:

Yale traditionally played football in the Polo Grounds in the 19th century for their most highly attended games. Their Thanksgiving rivalry game against Harvard was attended by 24,000 spectators in the stadium, marking the arrival of college football as a significant cultural phenomenon.

Which game? When? --Chancemichaels 19:24, 2 April 2007 (UTC)Chancemichaels

According to the article List of Harvard-Yale football games, there were two such games, in the 1880s, i.e. at the original "polo grounds" on 110th Street. The details are not given, though. Wahkeenah 23:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I've inserted the dates and citation in the section on Polo Grounds I. bobhymes —Preceding comment was added at 20:15, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Ninth/Eighth Avenue Elevated[edit]

I've changed "Eighth Avenue Elevated" back to "Ninth Avenue Elevated" as in the text I had originally added. Although the northern terminus of this elevated line was at 155th and Eighth Avenue, at the time the entire line was called the "Ninth Avenue Elevated" because it originated in Ninth Avenue, all the way down at South Ferry at the southern end of Manhattan. From Ninth Avenue the line made a sharp turn east into 110th Street followed by a sharp turn north into Eighth Avenue, creating the S-curve that would later be known as the "Suicide Curve" because of its height and because at least one person did attempt suicide from the El tracks at this point. Bobhymes (talk) 02:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I reverted it because it was an IP address making an unsourced and seemingly random change. You could be right. What's your source for this info? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:22, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
The "Ninth Avenue" change was based on my general knowledge about that elevated line, which ran through what's now my neighborhood; but I realize general knowledge isn't enough, so for a source see the Wikipedia article "IRT Ninth Avenue Line," which lists the 155th Street stop as one of the stops on that line. See also the webpage "abandoned subway stations (nysubway.org)" at www.scribd.com/doc/220588/abandoned-subway-stations-nysubway-org. Sorry about the IP address before -- I had forgotten that I wasn't logged in yet when I started making changes.Bobhymes (talk) 02:28, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Aha. Well, you need to include that cross-reference in the article, and then you could reset it to Ninth Avenue. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I just added the reference as a parenthesis after the sentence mentioning the Ninth Avenue Elevated. Is that the correct location for the reference? Pardon the question, but I'm a novice at Wikipedia editing, as you can probably tell.Bobhymes (talk) 02:39, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's a source, anyway. I'll leave it to the sourcing-structure mavens to determine the exact way to state it, assuming they accept it. Thanks for posting it. We'll see what happens next. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Concrete and steel[edit]

Owner of the Polo Grounds????[edit]

The article lists in the summary section on the right of the page that the NY Giants owned the stadium. Who owned it after they left town in 1958? Maybe the new owner should be listed underneath with the dates effective. Kochamanita (talk) 00:39, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

The Giants owned the stands, but the piece of land was the property of the Coogan estate. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 03:16, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm still confused. So who got the gate and concession money when the Mets were the users of the field? The Giants or the Coogans? Kochamanita (talk) 07:02, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Since we're delving into details, I dug out my copy of Land of the Giants, by Stew Thornley. The teams got the gate receipts and concessions money. The teams paid rent to the Coogan family. Page 116 says that once the Giants left, the city of New York decided, in 1961, to condemn the Polo Grounds and put up high-rise housing. Apparently they did this through eminent domain, but the Coogan family fought it until a court decision on the matter was issued - in 1967. Meanwhile, the Titans of the AFL (renamed Jets in 1964) began playing (and paying rent) in 1960, and the Mets in 1962. Both of them left for the publicly-owned Shea Stadium after their respective 1963 seasons. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 07:19, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Earliest picture of Polo Grounds?[edit]

Picture labeled 1882

Something doesn't seem right with the description on this image. It would appear in this image that what appears to be Coogan's Bluff and the Morris-Jumel Mansion (with flag waving) are in the background in the same position as they are in the later photos of the Polo Grounds. However Polo Grounds I (circa 1882) was at 117th Street and the later ones were at 157th Street. It's possible that the background is a different building and bluff but it sure looks a lot like the later Polo Grounds. Americasroof (talk) 16:24, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

110th Street, actually. And at 157th Street, Coogan's Bluff and the mansion were above and behind home plate, not beyond the outfield. And they were much higher up than in this artist's conception. In any case, if the magazine is truly from 1882, then it must be the 110th Street location. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:52, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
You're so smart. I was looking at the position the pictures and not the relation of the field. What's in the background is still going to bug me. What direction did home base in Polo I face? Thanks. Americasroof (talk) 17:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Photographs I've seen from 1884 suggest home plate was roughly in the southeast corner of the block at the 110th Street location. That's where the Giants played. However, there was a curtain-like structure halfway down the block and the Metropolitan club played in the west half. I've never seen a picture of that diamond. So it's hard telling which diamond this illustration depicts, as I don't know which of the two was there first, or if they were laid out at the same time. I was under the impression that the west diamond was in the southwest corner. This illustration doesn't quite seem to work for that assumption. I do know this from the 1884 photos - there were no really tall buildings north of the ballpark. And Central Park was to the south. Make of that what you will. I think more research is needed. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 22:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
After blowing up the photo some more here's some more thoughts: With trees along the left (third base) side and no trees on the right that would imply Central Park is on the left and so home base would be on the Fifth Avenue facing northwest. The flag and "mansion" on blow up actually looks to be part of the Fields itself and not so distant. There is what looks to be a hill in the backgound on the right and that would fit with the location of Columbia University to the northwest. This is all proably much ado about nothing. Thanks for indulging me. Americasroof (talk) 22:41, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
No problem. This has been educational. :) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 22:49, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Is there reason to doubt that the Polo Grounds I was actually located at 110th Street? The description of this location is not consistent with street maps from the time. See the new discussion below. -- A Carbine Flash (talk) 22:01, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Players League[edit]

Edited to indicate that the stadium known as Polo Grounds III opened up as host for the Players League version of the New York Giants and that the National League Giants did not take possession until the next year after the Players League folded. Vidor (talk) 08:37, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

how many Polo Grounds?[edit]

This article lists three parks called the Polo Grounds, but "Green Cathedrals" by Philip Lowry lists five. Trying to correlate that with Wikipedia is a bit confusing. Lowry seems to classify I and II as separate parks, with two diamonds occupying the same property, i.e. "a huge park". Lowry's Polo III, according to the text, was next to Polo IV. Lowry's Polo V was built on the same site as Polo IV after the latter burned down. So as far as this Wiki article is concerned, Polo Grounds I equals Lowry's Polo I and II, and Wiki's Polo Grounds III equals Lowry's Polo IV and V. Does that sound right? Elsquared (talk) 00:27, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Location of Polo Grounds I?[edit]

The article states:

  • ... the original Polo Grounds, opened in 1876 and demolished in 1889, ... Bounded on the south and north by 110th and 112th Streets and on the east and west by Fifth and Sixth (Lenox) Avenues, just north of Central Park
  • The original Polo Grounds stood at 110th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, directly across 110th Street from the northeast corner of Central Park.
  • New York City was in the process of extending its street grid into uptown Manhattan in 1889. Plans for an extended West 111th Street ran through the grounds of the Polo Grounds. City workers are said to have shown up suddenly one day and begun cutting through the fence to lay out the new street.

The 110th street location and the 1876 to 1889 timeframes are not consistent with street maps available from that era. For example, numerous contemporary maps show that 111th Street extended the full width of Manhanttan Island from 1874, with 111th Street running between Fifth and Sixth Avenues seemingly since many years earlier. [This map from 1873 shows 111th street is interrupted, but between 9th and 10th avenue, while this map from 1874 shows it uninterrupted the width of the island.]

The 110th Street location is given without any reference, as is the account of the park's closing. There is reason to doubt the correctness of either the location [see the discussion above regarding the background depicted in the 1882 image], or the other information given in this article. -- A Carbine Flash (talk) 21:58, 29 October 2016 (UTC)