Classic Shots of the Polo Grounds
On Sept. 18, 1963, New York Mets manager Casey Stengel waves goodbye to the Polo Grounds as he leaves with his wife, Edna, after the Phillies beat the Mets 5-1 in the final game at the ballpark. 50 years later, SI.com takes a look at the classic old ballpark. While it didn't feature any bells and whistles like many modern parks today, the Polo Grounds was home to many historic moments, including Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning "Shot Heard `Round the World" in 1951 and Willie Mays' iconic over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. The stadium was demolished in 1964, one year after the Mets last played there and seven years after the Giants moved to San Francisco.
Horse-drawn carriages serve as the stadium's outer boundary in this photo, taken before the final edition of the ballpark -- there were four in total -- was built in 1911. Polo Grounds I hosted its first Major League Baseball game in 1883 and closed in 1888 when it was seized by New York City for construction. Polo Grounds II was only open for one year, serving as the Giants temporary home before Polo Grounds III could be finished on adjacent ground. The third edition of the stadium stayed open until 1911, when a fire destroyed the structure and forced the Giants to build Polo Ground IV on the same site.
Fans are shown watching a Polo Grounds game from atop trees at Coogan's Bluff in this undated photo. Fans could watch for free from the bluff, which overlooked the stadium's final location on 155th Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.
Fans rush the field after a 1915 game at the Polo Grounds.
Cadets stand in formation before the start of the Army-Navy football game on Nov. 25, 1916, at the Polo Grounds. Hundreds of football games were played at the stadium, which served as the initial home of both the Giants and the Jets.
The view from the Polo Grounds' right field bleachers. The stadium was renamed Brush Stadium in honor of then-Giants owner John Brush in 1911, but switched back to the Polo Grounds when Brush died in 1912.
An aerial view of the Polo Grounds is shown in this 1921 photo. Along with being home to the baseball Giants, the Polo Grounds was the Yankees' home stadium from 1913 to 1922.
Babe Ruth bats during the fourth inning of a 1922 World Series game at the Polo Grounds. The Giants beat the Yankees in five games, winning four games to none with one tie.
A view of a Giants game from underneath the Polo Grounds' right field overhang.
Bobby Thomson hits his famous "Shot Heard 'Round the World" at the Polo Grounds to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in a playoff game and give the Giants the pennant.
Brooklyn's Jackie Robinson looks on as the New York Giants mob Bobby Thomson at home plate after Thomson won the pennant with his "Shot Heard 'Round the World."
Fans cheer on the Giants during a 1953 game.
The Giants head into theirclubhouse between the first and second games of a 1954 doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A shot of a night game between the Giants and Dodgers in 1954. The Giants played their first night game at the Polo Grounds on May 24, 1940.
The New York Giants vs. the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series.
Mays makes his iconic over-the-shoulder catch deep in center during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. The catch preserved a 2-2 tie and allowed the Giants, who swept the series, to win the game in the 10th inning.
Young fans run out onto the Polo Grounds field to congratulate Jackie Robinson after his Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Giants in a 1955 game.
A panoramic view of a Giants-Dodgers game from the left field stands at the Polo Grounds.
Mays finishes his swing in this 1957 photo.
Fans pack the field after the Giants' final game at the Polo Grounds. Team owner Horace Stoneham announced his decision to move the team to San Francisco in the summer of 1957.
Fans linger on the field after the final Giants' game at the Polo Grounds. Both the Giants and the Dodgers moved to California after their 1957 seasons.
Huddled under blankets and sitting under an awning advertising mouthwash, the New York Mets watch on-field action during their inaugural 1962 season. The Mets, who set the all-time record in 1962 for losses in a season with 120, played at the Polo Grounds in 1962 and 1963 before moving to Shea Stadium in 1964.
An aerial shot of the Polo Grounds taken during the 1963 season.
Some young Mets fans wave to a player before an April 1963 game.
Fans in the right field bleachers watch the Mets take on the Milwaukee Braves in this 1963 photo.
Fans reach out to try to catch a ball during an April 1963 Mets game at the Polo Grounds.
Willie Mays and Casey Stengel
San Francisco Giant Willie Mays with New York manager Casey Stengel during a May 1963 game at the Polo Grounds.
A semi-demolished Polo Grounds is shown in July 1964. It took a crew of workers nearly four months to complete the demolition, which began in April '64 with workmen clad in Giants jerseys tipping their hardhats as a wrecking ball -- painted like a baseball -- slammed into the famed stadium. The Polo Grounds Towers public housing project opened on the site in 1968.