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3-D Tour of the Polo Grounds

By Mike Silva ~ December 19th, 2009. Filed under: New York Giants, NY Baseball Memories, Videos.

You think Citi Field is a graveyard? Check out this 3-D tour of the Polo Grounds found on twitter courtesy of Gotham Baseball.

These were the official dimensions:

Left Field - 279 ft
Left-Center - 450 ft
Center Field - 483 ft
Right-Center - 449 ft
Right Field - 258 ft

I also learned from the video that the bullpens were in fair territory and players had to walk through centerfield to get to the clubhouse. Of course, centerfield is the spot where Willie May’s made his “catch” in the 1954 World Series. Whoever built the stadium compensated for the spacious gaps by making left and right field less than 300 feet. According to Wikipedia no player ever hit the ball to the 483 mark in dead center. Good thing since there was no clear marker as to what would have been a homer. When watching the video you will also see an overhang in left field that allowed routine fly balls to turn into homers. Kind of an old school Pepsi Porch!   Of course, Bobby Thomson didn’t need any help as his “shot heard round the world” was a line drive into the seats.

The Polo Grounds might be one of the oddest constructed stadiums in the history of baseball.

After the Giants left the Mets played there for the first two years of their existence, but the last event staged at the old ballpark was a New York Titans/Buffalo Bills AFL matchup.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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8 Responses to 3-D Tour of the Polo Grounds

  1. MVP Gotham

    Not true actually, 4 players HAVE indeed hit homers over the center field wall according to Baseball Almanac.

    “Four sluggers have put a ball over the center field wall in the Polo Grounds (Version IV). Those sluggers are Luke Easter of the Negro Leagues in 1948; Joe Adcock on April 29, 1953; Lou Brock on June 17, 1962; and Hank Aaron on June 18, 1962.”

  2. Mike Silva

    Thanks Jonathan - I got my information from Wikipedia which stated no one had.

  3. pcusp

    The Mets played in the Polo Grounds in 1962 and 1963. Shea opened in 1964.

    The Adcock, Brock, and Aaron homers were hit into the bleachers, which were about 450 feet from home plate. Mays made his great catch while running toward the bleachers. Nobody ever hit a homer over the fence in dead center field, which was about 480 feet from the plate. There were probably innumerable inside-the-park homers in that direction.

  4. Rossi

    I saw a great many games in the Polo Grounds as a boy and as a young man, and I assure you there was not fence in dead center field; rather there were steps on either side to the club houses. Further Hank Leiber hit a ball to the steps on the left as you view center field. He did this in the early 30′s.

  5. Vern

    I thought it was 475 feet to straight away centerfield (and the video confirms it) to where the clubhouses were. There was an area in front of the stairs leading up to the clubhouses that added an extra 25 feet or so to reach the clubhouse area. The clubhouse was on the second floor. Nobody hit a homerun over the clubhouses in centerfield. I remember Lou Brock’s shot just to the left of area in front of the clubhouses in dead centerfield. After reviewing the video, it went over the batter’s eye extention to the left of the clubhouse approach.

    On the otherhand, I remember siting down the right field line when Gil Hodges and another Met (possibly Hobie Landreth) hit walk off homers directly over my head into the porch to allow Craig Anderson win both games that day.

    In 1962 the Mets swept 3 of 4 double headers in games I attended. That was six wins out of a total of 40 for the year.

  6. Vern

    My first major league game was at Ebbets Field on 5-11-55 when Carl Erskine no-hit the Giants. I remember I had to lean to the left to whatch the pitchers windup and around to pillar to the right to see the results. My second game was a Carl Spooner two hit shutout

  7. Mike Silva

    Vern, you were the good luck charm for the 1962 Mets.

    I was watching the 1963 season review on SNY. It was funny how they raved about Shea not having any pillars to block play. Diamond Vision was state of the art and, according to the announcer, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

    I remember a few bad seats at Shea so in hindsight that was an overstatement.

  8. Tony De Angelo

    As a small child, I saw the ’62 and ’63 Mets here, and the memories remain to this day. During one of the games, a military officer was transporting a military prisoner, and they sat behind us, while the prisoner was handcuffed! (Only in Harlem, I guess….)

    Goodnight, Miss Rheingold and Homer the Dog, wherever you are!

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