I learned about the Polo Grounds the New York Giants played in because of the Show 19 (a baseball video game) and decided I wanted to learn more about them. So, I went on to Wikipedia and found a detailed article about all four polo grounds and which sports were played on the fields.
Here are some fun facts that I learned in my research of all four polo grounds:
- All of the fields were mainly used for professional baseball and American football from 1880 – 1963.
- The original polo grounds opened in 1876, was used only for polo (on horses not water), and was demolished in 1889.
- The original field was leased by the New York Metropolitans (a professional baseball team) in 1880.
- The third field was built in 1890 and renovated after a fire in 1911. This field is famous because of Willie Mays’ incredible catch in 1954. When people generally talk about the “polo grounds” they are referring to the third field.
- The third field’s nickname is “the bathtub” because it is shaped like a bathtub with short distances to the right and left field walls. It is rounded behind home plate and center field is really deep with a flat edge.
Do The Polo Grounds Exist Today?
I was disappointed to learn that all four of the polo grounds were torn down. The one that I really wished hadn’t been torn down is the third polo ground because that is where Willie Mays made “The Catch”. I also wish it was still up (the third one) because then I could see if any of today’s MLB players could hit a homerun over the centerfield wall.