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:
On 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."
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.