— Days Without Shea —

Last week, we posted a photo of one of the only existing artifacts of Ebbets Field still in Brooklyn: the stadium flagpole.

The Bobster sent along a few images he found of Polo Ground survivors. As most folks know, the Polo Grounds is now an apartment complex:


All the baseball…really New York…history that transpired on that field was paved over shortly after the Mets left in 1963. Today, one of the only intact heirlooms from the Polo Grounds is a plaque that wasn’t even in the Polo Grounds…this sign on the stairway from Coogan’s Bluff:


This photo was taken by a very cool photographer/blogger named Joe Schumacher. He wrote a great item about the John T. Brush stairway:

The John T. Brush Stairway runs through Highbridge Park from the top of Coogan's Bluff at Edgecombe Ave. down to the Harlem River Drive below at about 158th Street.  The stairway is closed off now, as it is in disrepair, but for the first half of the 20th century it served to carry people down to the Polo Grounds, home to the baseball and football New York Giants as well as the original home of the New York Mets.  The original home of the baseball Giants, 111th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, is close to where I live. 

John T. Brush owned the Giants from 1890 until he died in 1912.  The original Polo Grounds at this location was a wooden structure that burned down on April 14th, 1911.  Brush rebuilt the stadium in concrete and steel in time for the Giants to play the Athletics in the 1911 World Series.  Incredibly, the new stadium was sufficiently completed that it opened on June 28th.  The stairway is the last remaining part of the stadium.

The NYTimes also wrote about the plaque a few weeks ago, and mentioned plans to clean it up:

As part of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC2030 program, Highbridge Park is set for an overhaul, including the historic, and long-closed High Bridge — as well as the staircase.

The cost of repairing the staircase is about $1.2 million, according to city officials. So far, the city has only $400,000 to pay for it — all of it from the office of the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer.

Here is the photo the Times ran:


Thanks for the photos, Bobster.

[March 24, 2008 10:38 AM]  |  link  |  reply
G-Fafif said

May I add one more link to the glorious parade that recalls what was (and will always be, to at least one mind) the capital of New York baseball? It's a wonderful column Vic Ziegel wrote of the staircase in 2000, the very same day yours truly followed up on a lifelong dream and visited the site of the Polo Grounds. Required reading if you like reading and baseball and stuff.


[March 24, 2008 4:31 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Bobster said

Nice column by Ziegel. By the way, does anybody know why clowns like Warner Wolf on ESPN still say "New York Football Giants?" I mean it made sense for awhile after the baseball Giants left, but that was 50 years ago! I think Wolf is just trying to be cute, but as usual is coming off a fool.

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