— Days Without Shea —

Earlier we remembered the anniversary of Tommie Agee's historic home run at Shea Stadium.

Today is also the 44th anniversary of the beginning of the demolition of the Met's first home: The Polo Grounds:

polo.jpgOn April 10, 1964, a two-ton steel wrecking ball - the same one used to bring down Ebbets Field - crashed into the side of the Polo Grounds to begin a four month project to dismantle the former home of  the New York Giants and The New York Mets.

As the new York Times reported on April 11, 1964, " After demolition is completed, the site will be used for a $30 Million low rent, public housing project. 1,614 families will live in four 30 story buildings, will attend school and will use the project's children center, play ground, community center and child welfare center."

Sounds swell.

The Times was noticeably unsentimental in its reporting:

" The Polo Grounds is being demolished by the Wrecking Corporation of America, which yesterday fielded a team of 11 men wearing shiny steel helmets and baseball shirts. The shirts had 'GIANTS" across the chest, the corporate name on the back, and numerals on each sleeve.

No. 1 was the Corporation's manager and vice-president, Harry Avirom, a Dodgers fan who remarked that "Getting at the Polo Grounds is something I always wanted to do." Mr. Avirom said that "this makes up for the sad day we went after Ebbets Field" in 1960.

The rest of the crew - also Dodgers fans - are described gleefully whacking away at their former rival stadium. If Freud had been a baseball fan, he would have loved the spectacle.

The Wrecking Corporation of America (love that name) got paid $149,000 for the job. They also received the rights to sell off every part of the stadium! "The 54,000 seats will be sold to schools, to minor league stadiums and even to Giants fans," according to the  Times. Even Giants fans?  They were sitting on a fortune in baseball memorabilia. I guess that's why there's no Wrecking Corporation of America today.

RIP Polo Grounds.





[April 11, 2008 10:20 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

My dad was a NY Giants fan, and went to the Polo Grounds many times. My mom was a Phillies fan. They both became Mets fans in the 60's. I was raised in a National League House.

One regret my dad carries with him to this day is that he was too proud a Giants fan to step foot in Ebbet's Field. He now wishes that he went once to see it.

When one considers the value that society put on old things back in the 50's and 60's, it is no wonder much of it does not exist. Everyone wanted new. Nobody wanted the old. They were reminders of a by-gone era that society was willing to put behind them. Not until Penn Station was torn down did we get a Landmarks Law that had some teeth, and did people realize that old doesn't mean trash.

What does that mean? I guess it means that everyone is going to be looking to make a buck off something old....

[August 28, 2008 8:28 AM]  |  link  |  reply
v rice said

I have one of these chairs and I would like to sell it.
it's in excellent shape.


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