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Manhattan Playground

April 2024
1min read

The June/July “Time Machine” states that the 1934 All-Star Game was hosted by the National League in the Polo Grounds in the Bronx. Wrong. The dear departed Polo Grounds were in Manhattan. Yankee Stadium, which sits almost directly across the Harlem River from the site of the Polo Grounds, is in the Bronx.

As an eleven- and twelve-year-old I had the opportunity to see the Mets play at the Polo Grounds several times before they were torn down to make way for high-rise housing. By the time I got to see a game there, whatever charm the place had was quickly disappearing within the dried-out wooden boards of its facade. But it was still a thrill, especially now as I look back on it, to have been in a park where so much baseball history took place. It was ancient, it was decrepit, it deserved to be put to rest. But the Polo Grounds had character; they were a far cry from the antiseptic, geometric, Astroturfed pleasure domes of today. But more important, the Polo Grounds were in Manhattan.

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