For those of you youngins out there the Polo Grounds was the home of the New York Baseball Giants, yes that reads correctly, from 1890 to 1957. It also hosted the New York Yankees, New York Jets (NFL), and New York Giants (NFL), as well as a number of college teams throughout the years. It was quite the building, and goes back to an era when baseball stadiums were unique and works of art.
CBS Sports has taken footage from the last New York Giants baseball game in the old barn, and colorized it. The History Channel did this with World War II footage, and while this is by no means as close to as jarring as that, it’s still incredible to see. Old footage is great, but when you can add color to it, it feels a bit more real.
One of the reasons I love baseball is the history of it. The teams, both present and past, the stadiums, the players, the stats, it’s all great to me. The Polo Grounds is the epitome of this. It had some absurd dimensions, a unique look, and some great obstructed views! But back when baseball ruled the American sports scene, these places were cathedrals, and looked the part.
In the 1960s, multipurpose, monoliths became all the rage. While the older stadiums catered to both, they were baseball dominated. However, the promise of more seats, and unobstructed views was too much. We were subjected to such ‘unique’ pieces of architecture as Three Rivers Stadium or Old Busch Stadium. If I gave you a test of all the stadiums of that era, without landmarks or hints, it would be tough to guess which is which.
Now baseball has come around, and started to go with more unique looks, many going back to the old look, but with a modern spin. The best being Comerica Park in Detroit, and no I am not biased one bit. And some the old ones have survived the test of time, becoming living history of a bygone era. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s nice to see the past has not been forgotten.