Polo Grounds

The Polo Grounds, an iconic stadium in New York City, is etched in the annals of baseball history as one of the sport’s most storied venues. Known for its unique shape and significant events, it was more than just a baseball field; it was a symbol of an era in American sports.

Stadium Facts about Polo Grounds

  • Location: New York City, New York
  • Opened On: June 28, 1911 (IVth iteration)
  • Closed On: September 18, 1963
  • Home Team: New York Giants (MLB, National League), several others including the New York Mets (1962–1963) and New York Yankees (1913–1922)
  • Stadium Nicknames: N/A
  • Dimensions: Left Field – 279 feet, Center Field – 483 feet, Right Field – 258 feet
  • Capacity: Approximately 55,000
  • Attendance Record: Not available
  • Surface: Grass
  • Architect: Osborn Engineering Company
  • Owner: Various, including the New York Giants

The History

The Polo Grounds, specifically its fourth and most famous incarnation, was a part of New York’s rich baseball tapestry. Originally built for the sport of polo, hence its name, the stadium became synonymous with baseball and the New York Giants. The Giants played at the Polo Grounds until they moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season. The stadium was also briefly home to the New York Mets and served as a temporary home for the New York Yankees and the New York Jets of the AFL.

The closing of the Polo Grounds in 1963 marked the end of an important chapter in baseball history and left a lasting legacy on the sport and its fans.

Design and Features

The Polo Grounds was renowned for its distinctive bathtub shape, with very short distances to the left and right field foul poles but an extraordinarily deep center field. This unique configuration resulted in quirky in-game scenarios and was a defining characteristic of the park.

The stadium’s grandstands wrapped around the field in a horseshoe shape, and its iconic facade and towering grandstands were well-known features. Despite its odd dimensions, it was beloved for its atmosphere and history, remaining a favorite among baseball purists.


Over the years, the Polo Grounds underwent various renovations to maintain its structure and accommodate the evolving needs of its teams and fans. These renovations included seating expansions, scoreboard updates, and maintenance of its unique field.

However, the stadium’s age and the desire for more modern facilities led to its eventual replacement, as teams sought new venues to match the growing popularity of the sport.


The facilities at the Polo Grounds were typical of the era’s ballparks, with basic amenities. The concessions reflected the classic ballpark fare of the time, and while the seating and facilities were not as advanced as modern standards, they offered fans an intimate view of the game.

The stadium’s location in Manhattan, perched above the Harlem River, made it easily accessible to fans but also presented logistical challenges due to its urban setting.

Memorable Moments at Polo Grounds

  • The ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’: Bobby Thomson’s famous home run in 1951.
  • Willie Mays’ Catch: The iconic over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series.
  • Numerous World Series: Hosting multiple World Series games, including the 1947, 1951, 1954, and 1962 Series.
  • Hosting MLB All-Star Games: Including the 1934 and 1942 games.
  • Final Game: The last MLB game played in 1963, marking the end of an era.

Interesting Baseball History at Polo Grounds

  • Home to Baseball Legends: Hosting legendary players like Willie Mays, Mel Ott, and Christy Mathewson.
  • Unique Home Runs: The stadium’s layout led to some of the most unusual home runs in baseball history.
  • Historic Rivalries: The venue for many significant games, particularly between the Giants and the Dodgers.
  • AFL and NFL Games: Also serving as a venue for professional football, including several significant NFL and AFL games.

Non-Baseball Events

In addition to baseball, the Polo Grounds was a venue for various other events, demonstrating its versatility. It hosted boxing matches, including the legendary fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, football games, and even became a temporary home for the New York Titans/Jets. The range of events held at the Polo Grounds highlighted its role in the broader cultural and entertainment landscape of New York City.