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Giants for a Day
2008-09-04 06:20
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

My grand father was a circumspect, bookish man who believed that actively rooting for a sporting team was an essentially foolish activity, a waste of time.  At least the impression I always got.  He was the most passive fan you could imagine but he was a Giant fan because the Giants were New York's team when he was growing up.  My father, hot-tempered and emotional, took after his mom's side of the family and rooted for the Dodgers, even though he was raised in Washington Heights.  He was ten when Jackie Robinson joined the team, and liked to tell me that he was "second to none" as a Jackie Robinson fan.  I heard the names Pee Wee and Pete Reiser and Cookie Wookie Lavagetto as a kid but I never heard about any of the Giants, other than Willie Mays.

Of course, we all know about the Dodger's enduring legacy in Brooklyn, but I've always found it curious that the Giants are all but forgotten.  After all if I could go back in time, I'd go to the Old Penn Station:

Untitled 

...and the Polo Grounds:

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That said, I'm going to make today all about the old New York Giants who started playing ball in San Francisco fifty years ago. Much more to come shortly...

Comments
2008-09-04 06:32:03
1.   domvjr
Polo Grounds, Saw a Fordham football game there when I was 5. All I can remember that it was being played in a near Hurricane. I believe it was 1955!
2008-09-04 06:56:32
2.   Raf
I've often felt the same way, that the Jints were the forgotten team in all this. The Dodgers get all the press, not surprising given their success.

AFAIK, Stoneham was shut out of many discussions regarding staying. NYC was busy trying to accommodate O'Malley's demands. What's often not mentioned is that Stoneham actually announced his move to the West Coast first. Given those who played for the Giants in the 60s I could only imagine how things would've turned out had they stayed in NY. I wonder what Willie Mays' legacy would've been had the Jints stayed in NY.

I wish there were more written on the Giants and their move west but I guess I'll have to settle for a couple of Yahoo Groups as well as the NY Giants Baseball Society, organized by Stu Leeds.

Just as difficult to find is the works of Willard Mullin, the NYWT cartoonist.

Nice pic of Penn Station. While in retrospect, razing it was a terrible thing to do, I can understand why given the times. OTOH, I see how beautiful Grand Central is and I just sigh.

Some Polo Grounds Shuttle related stuff
http://tinyurl.com/5gqzch
http://tinyurl.com/6pxwla

Reminds me, I need to get out there and snap some pics...

2008-09-04 07:03:59
3.   Raf
Forgotten-NY page on Penn Station
http://tinyurl.com/4kpp3
2008-09-04 07:06:34
4.   williamnyy23
3 That is the one of the best web-sites I have come across. I can spend hours on it. It's also strangely exciting to visit some of the points of interest. Even benign relics from the past seem to inspire feelings of nostalgia.
2008-09-04 07:22:42
5.   Knuckles
That is a sweet pic Alex.
I just finished this book about the building of Penn Station:
http://tinyurl.com/5ow3o6
A pretty faschinating look at how it was done, as well as a great wider overview of life in NY around the turn of the century. Well worth the read.
2008-09-04 08:12:04
6.   tommyl
Can someone tell me why they replaced the beautiful old Penn station with the blight that is the current one? It may be the ugliest major train station I've ever been to.
2008-09-04 08:12:13
7.   tommyl
Can someone tell me why they replaced the beautiful old Penn station with the blight that is the current one? It may be the ugliest major train station I've ever been to.
2008-09-04 08:12:13
8.   tommyl
Can someone tell me why they replaced the beautiful old Penn station with the blight that is the current one? It may be the ugliest major train station I've ever been to.
2008-09-04 08:19:25
9.   Raf
The short answer to that question is that PRR needed the money.

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