Where home plate once was at the Polo Grounds

The bathtub-shaped stadium known as the Polo Grounds, on Eighth Avenue and 155th Street in Harlem, met the wrecking ball in 1963 (here it is being dismantled at right).

In its place, the city built the Polo Grounds Towers, a public-housing complex with four 30-story red-brick buildings.

Maybe these projects were okay in 1968, but today, they’re as isolated and decrepit as the Polo Grounds were crowded and inspiring.

Inside the complex is one small reminder of the location’s former glory: a very faded plaque affixed to one of the red-brick buildings.

The plaque commemorates the Polo Grounds—home not just to the Giants but also the Yankees in the 1910s and the pre-Shea Stadium Mets in the early 1960s.

It’s supposedly placed at the approximate location of home plate, where greats like Willie Mays scored runs and Bobby Thompson hit his “shot heard round the world” in 1951.

The plaque is rusted and old—a faded bit of New York baseball history, like this secret staircase that once led to the Polo Grounds.

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11 Responses to “Where home plate once was at the Polo Grounds”

  1. Newport Carl Says:

    I love love love this blog. How do you do it? Thank you!

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    thank you–I love working on it!

  3. aspicco Says:

    Sadly, the secret staircase is no more… I had been on it last summer (2011) but when I went looking for this Spring, it was newly fenced off and torn down. The area is being renovated…

  4. Mike L Says:

    I love it too yet please permit me to ask you to edit home base to home plate as home is home, its not a base. Thanks.
    BTW as a Parole Officer I am alone in Lincoln, Wanger and LES all the time but never the Polo Grounds.

  5. Ed Greenberg Says:

    I was seven years old when I was taken to a Met game (1962) at the Polo Grounds. My memories are scattered, but I was tjhere. Let’s Go Mets.

  6. T.J. Connick Says:

    Next Friday (14th September) is the 65th anniversary of the Polo Grounds-hosted All-Ireland football championship. Up Cavan!

    The Titans (later Jets) played there. Before they built their own place across the Harlem River, the Yankees played there. The football Giants played there.

    But…polo was never played there.

  7. What took the place of Ebbets Field after 1957 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Ebbets Field wasn’t the only city stadium to get the ugly apartment building makeover. The Polo Grounds, former home of the New York Giants, is now the Polo Grounds Towers, a public housing complex. […]

  8. Maxine Chisolm Says:

    I did not like what you wrote calling the Polo Grounds isolated and decrepit. I am a Proud former tenant of Polo Grounds where I was a tenant for over thirty years. Instead of writing to knock the Polo Grounds down, you should have returned to clean up that old rusted plaque as you see it. We POlO GROUNDERS see it as a piece of History.

  9. Walking Macombs Dam Bridge in Upper Manhattan | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Today, walking Macombs Dam Bridge can make you feel very exposed. Before you stroll high across water, you walk above what was once the Polo Grounds, and today is the Polo Houses. […]

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