Polo Grounds, National League Baseball Park, New York

Polo Grounds NL Ballpark NY pc1Polo Grounds NL Ballpark NY pc2

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1922 – 1923. Publisher:  Manhattan Post Card Co., New York City.

Price:  $15.00

Here’s one in keeping with the season:  October…nail biting time if your team has made it to the playoffs…The description on the back states:

“POLO GROUNDS, New York City, Home of the New York Giants, are located at 155th Street and Eighth Ave., covering about 16 city blocks. The Stands are built entirely of stone and concrete, being strictly fireproof. It was opened during the season of 1912, and is the largest Base Ball Park in the United States. Seating capacity over 45,000.”

A postcard with the same front and back (except for the publisher info – there were different publishers using the same front image) which is postmarked January of 1923, was found on eBay at the time of this post. That is former player, manager, and Hall of Famer John McGraw (1873 – 1934) in the insert. McGraw managed the New York Giants from 1902 – 1932. Anyway, the similar card showing on eBay was most helpful in estimating the date. However, a Wiki article indicates the stadium was being expanded for seating capacity during the 1923 season, and the article below on the left, clipped from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dated June 1, 1923, seems to indicate the expansion wasn’t completed. One might wonder then how the caption on the postcard back would already be talking about the expanded seating capacity of over 45,000. Was the postcard printed in advance? A second article was found in the Hornell, New York Evening Tribune, dated April 16, 1923, which sheds a little light on the question. The card must have indeed been printed in advance from whatever information was available regarding the expansion project. So, perhaps this postcard was published in the latter part of 1922, or early in 1923.

Baseball CrowdsAnother Clip

The next image is part of a clip from a 1921 New York Times spread, but is just included here to get a feel for the era, as it includes photos of players and managers (including John McGraw) for that year’s World Series between the Giants and the Yankees. And it mentions how in 1911 the Stadium had been destroyed in a fire, hence the emphasis in this postcard description regarding the stadium being fireproof.

1921 NY Times Article 1

Back to 1923 again – who won the World Series that year? The Yankees beat the Giants in six at the Polo Grounds. And 1923 was a historic year for the Yankees:  It was their first of twenty-seven (as of 2014) world championships. Here’s part of the Hornell, New York Evening Times Herald page dated October 15, 1923:

Yankees Capture Series

Meusels Single

Sources:  John McGraw. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McGraw (accessed October 4, 2014)

Polo Grounds. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polo_Grounds (accessed October 4, 2014)

Great Stadium Now Complete. (1923, April 16). The Hornell, New York Evening Tribune, p. 11. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (Newspapers.com)

Baseball Crowds Are Exaggerated. (1923, June 1). The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, p. 27. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (Newspapers.com)

Polo Grounds Is Historic Diamond. (1921, October 2). The New York Times, p. 123. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (Newspapers.com)

Walsh, D. (1923, October 15). Meusel’s Single and Cunningham’s Error Beat Giants. Olean Evening Times, p. 13. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (Newspapers.com)