On this week’s show we will explore the City’s temples to Baseball that are no longer physically here, but which live in many memories and many hearts.My guests will be returning guest, historian, and author Jason Antos, president of the Queens Historical Society, and author of “Shea Stadium”; and journalist, educator and sports historian David Kaplan, founding director of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center.
Jeff begins the show by introducing the topic of historical sports stadiums along with the two guests. He reads off the long list of pieces that Jason has written throughout his career. Next, he introduces David Kaplan stating that he is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and the founding director of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. Jason has always had a passion for sports and the history of New York which helped to fuel him. While in high school, he realized that he wanted to do writing and journalism professionally. He graduated from the University of Miami and got a job writing for the Gazette Newspaper. Dave attended Cortland State University, a school that embraces sports. His dream was to combine his two passions of sports and journalism which led to him becoming a sports editor. After introductions, they begin discussing the history of where the first few baseball games were being held. The first baseball game where admission was charged in a stadium was in the town of Corona. The Brooklyn Dodgers were playing in Washington Park but eventually they relocated to Brownsville. Since they were not getting the same amount of attendance while playing here, they moved back.
To begin this segment, the Polo Grounds are discussed. The original Polo Grounds was designed for the sport of polo. However, it became the home of the New York Giants in the late 1800’s. John McGraw and Bill Terry were two of the great historic Giants players. Eventually Willie Mays began playing there and left an amazing legacy behind. They eventually left N.Y. because they were persuaded that the west coast was more to offer. They would reunite with the Dodgers and resume the rivalry. In addition, the field they were playing in was not really designed for cars and New York was transitioning into something new which convinced the baseball club to move. Eventually, the Polo Grounds was refurbished for the Mets to play their first few seasons. The Polo Grounds also was the home of the Yankees from 1913 to 1922. Next, Paul Ebbets was discussed who originally was a bookkeeper for the Brooklyn Dodgers and eventually took over the team. He was going to keep the name of Washington Park but was eventually convinced to title the field after himself.
Next, Shea Stadium was discussed. Jason remembers watching game six of the 1986 World Series live when he was younger which only increased his love for the sport and the stadium. Furthermore, David begins discussing Yogi Berra and how down to earth he was. He states that what you saw was what you got. Yogi was part of one of the most memorable Yankee teams. He is a Hall of Fame catcher for the team who everyone loved. Next Ebbets field is brought up again. It meant a lot to all of the New Yorkers. Many game changing players played there including Jackie Robinson. The Dodgers ultimately left Brooklyn because of money. Parking was an issue and many New Yorkers were moving to Long Island. They did not want to change boroughs because they were so committed to Brooklyn. However, eventually they moved due to a decision made by a high ranking executive. Later, a super stadium was built which hosted multiple different sporting events. Furthermore, the history of Yankee Stadium was talked about. It will always be remembered for Lou Gehrig’s famous speech, Don Larson’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series and Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak. In addition, the rivalry was brought up between the Yankees and Dodgers. The two played in the same city and state for many years. They met in the World Series six times but the Dodgers only won once.
With New York now with only one team, the Yankees, many citizens were upset. Expansion was discussed. Talk of another league began to surface but eventually they began brainstorming ideas for another team name. They were going to try to replace the Dodgers in Brooklyn but eventually they decided to settle the team in a less developed area. The team eventually became the Mets. Shea Stadium was eventually torn down because of the demand for more modernism. It was outdated and cheaper to start from scratch. Also, many baseball fans enjoy being able to shop while at a game because Shea Stadium did not offer. However, ironically Citi Field does not offer as many seats as Shea Stadium. Despite the fact that it is no longer standing today, the memory of the stadium still lives through Jason’s book “Shea Stadium.”
00:00:29.970 --> 00:00:39.300 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone, welcome to our listeners and the big apple from across the rest of around the world i'm Jeff Goodman and you've tuned into rediscovering New York.
00:00:40.140 --> 00:00:45.960 Jeff Goodman: professionally i'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens, but rediscovering New York is not a show about real estate.
00:00:46.650 --> 00:00:53.130 Jeff Goodman: it's a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city, and we do it through interviews.
00:00:54.030 --> 00:01:02.160 Jeff Goodman: With historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists musicians and artists and the occasional elected official.
00:01:03.150 --> 00:01:12.150 Jeff Goodman: On some shows you know that we focus on an individual New York neighborhood we explore its history and its current energy what makes that New York neighborhood special.
00:01:13.110 --> 00:01:21.510 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight's we host an interesting topic that talks about invited color of the city and its history that's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:22.290 --> 00:01:28.590 Jeff Goodman: You know i'm prior episodes we've covered topics a diverse in eliminating as American presidents who came from, or lived in New York.
00:01:29.490 --> 00:01:38.370 Jeff Goodman: we've talked to the history of women activists and the women's suffrage movement we've looked at the history of different immigrant communities, including those people who were brought here and slammed.
00:01:39.030 --> 00:01:43.980 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of the city's LGBT community LGBT community and the gay rights movement.
00:01:44.610 --> 00:01:57.240 Jeff Goodman: we've explored the histories of bicycle and cycling we've looked at the history of punk and opera visited some of our greatest train stations and even cross some of our greatest bridges, yes, New York has great bridges, among other things.
00:01:58.290 --> 00:02:07.920 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcast you can hear us on apple spotify Amazon podcast stitcher and Google, as well as other services.
00:02:08.400 --> 00:02:16.740 Jeff Goodman: Well it's springtime here in New York New York even gets warm in the spring and this show will number 110 is called take me out to the ballgame.
00:02:17.100 --> 00:02:26.250 Jeff Goodman: But, more specifically we're going to look at baseball stadium is that are no longer with us, but that's still live on in some people's hearts and certainly in our memories.
00:02:27.270 --> 00:02:33.630 Jeff Goodman: We have two great guests tonight, our first guest is no stranger to rediscovering New York he's Jason and.
00:02:34.380 --> 00:02:38.670 Jeff Goodman: Jason is a journalist and author of six will receive books on the Borough of Queens.
00:02:39.180 --> 00:02:45.270 Jeff Goodman: he's a graduate of the University of Miami and is a lifelong new yorker his family has lived in the five boroughs since 1913.
00:02:45.810 --> 00:02:50.880 Jeff Goodman: His first book is on the history of white stone and it was published in 2006 when he was 25.
00:02:51.630 --> 00:03:00.990 Jeff Goodman: In 2007 Jason wrote the first history book ever written on shea stadium, which is in our lineup tonight, I suppose pun intended and it's currently in the fourth printing.
00:03:01.590 --> 00:03:11.670 Jeff Goodman: jason's published other books flushing then and now Jackson heights images of America white stone corona the original year the early years sorry Jason and Queens then and now.
00:03:12.210 --> 00:03:16.170 Jeff Goodman: jason's latest book is on the history of douglaston and little neck, which has just been published.
00:03:16.890 --> 00:03:27.180 Jeff Goodman: jason's recent proof prolific affiliations include being the associate editor of the queen's Chronicle and if that's not enough he's the president of the queen's historical society.
00:03:27.870 --> 00:03:40.770 Jeff Goodman: And our second guest is David kaplan Dave is a journalist educator sports historian and he's a founding director of the yogi berra museum and learning Center which opened in 1998 on the campus of montclair State University in New Jersey.
00:03:41.820 --> 00:03:55.980 Jeff Goodman: Prior to helping the museum Dave was a sports reporter and editor with the Associated Press and New York Daily News he's currently an adjunct professor at montclair state school of communications media and is also a consultant for the St Paul saints and city of baseball museum.
00:03:57.150 --> 00:04:04.860 Jeff Goodman: Dave is written for the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal and collaborated with baseball legend yogi berra on four books, including the New York Times bestseller.
00:04:05.160 --> 00:04:15.990 Jeff Goodman: When you come to a fork in the road taken I love that phrase that you said we're going to talk about that a little bit Jason Antonio Dave kaplan hardy welcomes to rediscovering New York.
00:04:18.840 --> 00:04:19.440 Jeff Goodman: you're muted.
00:04:22.770 --> 00:04:23.340 Jason Antos: Hello.
00:04:23.700 --> 00:04:26.340 Jeff Goodman: Good now you're unmuted excellent guys welcome welcome.
00:04:26.430 --> 00:04:27.420 Jason Antos: Thank you for having us.
00:04:28.560 --> 00:04:37.080 Jeff Goodman: Jason let's talk about your background for a second um how did you get in interested in in the history of New York City and the history of Queens specifically.
00:04:37.680 --> 00:04:40.380 Jason Antos: i've always been fascinated ever since I was a kid.
00:04:41.670 --> 00:04:43.230 Jason Antos: On the history of our great borrow.
00:04:44.610 --> 00:04:55.410 Jason Antos: And when I was in high school, I decided that I want to do, writing and journalism professionally and I just started writing about the local stories in Queens I began.
00:04:56.430 --> 00:05:04.680 Jason Antos: Focusing on historic landmarks and areas throughout the borough and it was just it really started off like anything is a hobby.
00:05:05.280 --> 00:05:13.200 Jason Antos: And when I finished from university of Miami I knew that's what I wanted to do professionally but I had to find an angle, in which to do it.
00:05:13.710 --> 00:05:26.460 Jason Antos: And when I got the job at the the gazette newspaper that's really when I was able to get into writing about not only local interest but also historical local topics as well.
00:05:27.270 --> 00:05:29.730 Jeff Goodman: and also about shea stadium which we're going to talk about tonight.
00:05:30.270 --> 00:05:30.780 Yes.
00:05:33.180 --> 00:05:46.050 Jeff Goodman: Dave how did you get interested in, I mean there are lots of sports fans and there are people who are interested in in history, being a sports historian is not only specialized but it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.
00:05:46.620 --> 00:05:56.250 Jeff Goodman: When did you decide that you would get involved in the business of war, the war, the vocation of looking at the history of sports and reporting on it.
00:05:57.180 --> 00:05:58.500 Dave Kaplan: But it's fantastic I went to.
00:05:59.880 --> 00:06:02.910 Dave Kaplan: Sports minded college at cortland state where.
00:06:04.500 --> 00:06:20.850 Dave Kaplan: Sports is very, very big there and big visit school and I was a child of the 70s were so influenced by Woodward and bernstein so I thought it'd be very cool to part of combined sports and newspapers and that was really my dream.
00:06:22.050 --> 00:06:25.020 Dave Kaplan: So I got a job ultimately at the New York daily news.
00:06:26.640 --> 00:06:42.330 Dave Kaplan: right as the mets were on the precipice of winning the world series in in 86, and so I was a Sunday sports editor and then was a great great ride back then, because we had a amazing staff and amazing talent.
00:06:43.020 --> 00:06:57.630 Dave Kaplan: talented roster of writers and it was just really such a joy, working with them and thinking of story ideas and making the you know daily news as vibrant as possible back when newspapers really did matter.
00:06:58.770 --> 00:07:01.560 Dave Kaplan: Back in back in the 80s and early 90s and.
00:07:02.640 --> 00:07:11.700 Dave Kaplan: So I just combine my two passions, which are really the printed word and sports and you know always was a you know.
00:07:13.230 --> 00:07:14.640 Dave Kaplan: always a history buff as well.
00:07:15.540 --> 00:07:23.400 Jeff Goodman: Well, aside from you both loving history and loving sports history and another thing that's common to you is that you both mets fans.
00:07:24.720 --> 00:07:34.320 Jeff Goodman: Think we're going to drink tea as well, I used to be a mets fan I grew up a mets fan, but now I live, I live to subway stops from Yankee stadium now I mean Yankees fan if they make the playoffs otherwise not so much.
00:07:35.790 --> 00:07:38.520 Jeff Goodman: Now i'm going to get some heat email, as a result of that.
00:07:39.900 --> 00:07:51.030 Jeff Goodman: You know one thing that that's really interesting about about baseball in New York is some of the names of the old stadiums people remember well, like the polo grounds and Edit field which we're going to talk about.
00:07:51.720 --> 00:08:01.620 Jeff Goodman: But New York actually has almost a dozen baseball parks places that baseball was played that don't exist anymore, although you can see remnants of them.
00:08:03.120 --> 00:08:06.840 Jeff Goodman: There is a remnant of a baseball club it's in park slope.
00:08:07.530 --> 00:08:22.920 Jeff Goodman: it's actually actually it's in GLONASS it's on a third avenue and beyond the corner of first and third street it's not really a stadium there's a wall that was there, it was called Washington park was this the first place Jason that that baseball was played in New York by by a team.
00:08:23.790 --> 00:08:26.850 Jason Antos: it's a one of the first places where baseball was played.
00:08:28.110 --> 00:08:34.260 Jason Antos: it's actually the the original home or one of the original homes, of the one evolved into the brooklyn dodgers.
00:08:35.220 --> 00:08:40.500 Jason Antos: But, believe it or not, the first recorded baseball game in which admission was charged.
00:08:41.400 --> 00:08:48.540 Jason Antos: For people to come pay to watch a game because keep in mind it's the great American pastime, you know people watched it for free.
00:08:49.260 --> 00:09:04.980 Jason Antos: But the first place where admission was charged was right here in Queens was in corona not too far from where shea stadium would be built over 100 years later, and I remember about five years ago, the baseball from that game.
00:09:06.210 --> 00:09:11.160 Jason Antos: was actually auctioned off at christie's for about $25,000.
00:09:11.460 --> 00:09:14.670 Jeff Goodman: wow wow I didn't know that it was played in corona.
00:09:15.870 --> 00:09:20.880 Jeff Goodman: They were actually, by the way, the name of the brooklyn dodgers used to be called the brooklyn athletics.
00:09:22.170 --> 00:09:29.220 Jeff Goodman: And it's sort of semi famous story, do you want to tell our listeners Jason how they got the name of the dodgers.
00:09:29.730 --> 00:09:34.770 Jason Antos: Well, they used to be well actually in the days of trolleys that ran all over the city and.
00:09:35.880 --> 00:09:47.040 Jason Antos: On the buses, there was trolley tracks that ran in front of the stadium, which was near third and fifth street in Manhattan and the people you know, there was no.
00:09:47.850 --> 00:09:53.430 Jason Antos: red lights or traffic stops for these trolleys they would just come whizzing by and people had to time.
00:09:54.120 --> 00:10:07.830 Jason Antos: Their steps very precisely as they cross the street, and this was all over the five boroughs in long island and actually you would have to dodge the trolley because they were not stopping for you, and so they became known as the trolley dodgers.
00:10:08.790 --> 00:10:22.380 Jeff Goodman: There are actually a couple of baseball stadiums right where this was playing what, for the first one was between it was actually was in park slope who's between fourth and fifth avenue at the place where the old stone houses right now.
00:10:22.440 --> 00:10:26.820 Jeff Goodman: Yes, and they called it was called Washington park originally.
00:10:27.660 --> 00:10:29.700 Jason Antos: That I that I do not know it.
00:10:30.300 --> 00:10:38.790 Jeff Goodman: Well, I can't believe Jason i'm going to stump you with this one, I actually know something that New York history that you don't i'm shocked because you're so incredibly knowledgeable about it.
00:10:39.180 --> 00:10:45.750 Jeff Goodman: Because the old stone House was in the vicinity of that and that's the building that still extent that Washington used.
00:10:46.020 --> 00:10:53.760 Jeff Goodman: As his headquarters, when he was in brooklyn during the battle of long island in fact during the battle that took place in now what's prospect park when.
00:10:54.300 --> 00:11:06.510 Jeff Goodman: The 400 marylanders kept the British and the Russians back and enabled the continental forces to retreat to brooklyn heights and get across these rivers and live to fight another day, thank goodness, and so they named it an honor of Washington.
00:11:06.720 --> 00:11:10.380 Jason Antos: DC the House is still standing where there's like a replica of the House.
00:11:10.560 --> 00:11:11.820 Jason Antos: Yes, yes.
00:11:12.240 --> 00:11:22.020 Jeff Goodman: I think it's rebuilt their their remnants of it but it's still it's still they've moved it a couple of times but it's but it's there and it's a great it's a great site to save on.
00:11:23.400 --> 00:11:29.850 Jeff Goodman: The dodgers actually left for a different park which we'll discuss in a little bit.
00:11:31.050 --> 00:11:35.760 Jeff Goodman: They went to a club in brownsville was called Eastern park.
00:11:36.360 --> 00:11:45.750 Jeff Goodman: But as baseball was becoming more of a business they couldn't get many fans to go out to brownsville so they they can that after a number of years and they came back and they build a new stadium in Washington.
00:11:46.530 --> 00:12:01.320 Jeff Goodman: And now what's GLONASS and that actually the original wall is still there, of that stadium, you would never know that there was a baseball a place where people paid to watch baseball but it's the bright there it's on the east side of third avenue between first and third street.
00:12:01.500 --> 00:12:02.640 Jeff Goodman: And every time it.
00:12:03.390 --> 00:12:05.760 Jason Antos: kind of runs it now right it's a kind of facility.
00:12:05.850 --> 00:12:16.500 Jeff Goodman: I think so yeah but now that I know that every time I walk by go wow i'd like touch the wall it's just you know, this is what the dodgers first started out well not that exact when it was a block away.
00:12:18.990 --> 00:12:24.120 Jeff Goodman: Well uh we started the episode talking about old stadiums in brooklyn.
00:12:24.810 --> 00:12:36.030 Jeff Goodman: The next natural topic would be to be talked about where the the trolley dodgers as they were called before the dodgers when and that's the episode ebbets field, but I do want to go chronologically so we're going to.
00:12:36.870 --> 00:12:50.460 Jeff Goodman: Talk about another stadium but we're going to do that, after we take a short break my guests are Jason analysts President the queen's historical siding and sports journalist and author Dave kaplan will be back in a moment.
00:15:46.290 --> 00:15:51.180 Jeff Goodman: we're back everyone episode 110 and rediscovering New York take me out to the ball game or.
00:15:51.180 --> 00:16:03.270 Jeff Goodman: actually take me down the road the memory lane of yesteryear to old ball games my two guests Jason Antonio president of the queen's historical society and author one of his books is called shea stadium very appropriately.
00:16:03.810 --> 00:16:23.130 Jeff Goodman: And Dave kaplan David is a sports historian educator and a journalist let's move to the polo grounds which a lot of people know but Dave many people remember the polo grounds to be above 150 655th street right by the Harlem river, but that wasn't the original polo grounds, was it.
00:16:23.820 --> 00:16:35.070 Dave Kaplan: know exactly the polo grounds is actually the same you just mentioned Jeff is really mistake it's kind of a misnomer, there was no polo ever played there.
00:16:35.880 --> 00:16:42.030 Dave Kaplan: But the original polo grounds was was pulled were literally polo grounds, it was in central park and.
00:16:42.660 --> 00:16:51.780 Dave Kaplan: That avenue 110 street and you see baseball is really becoming a business in the 1880s it was a home of the giants that's where they got their name.
00:16:52.290 --> 00:17:09.480 Dave Kaplan: The manager said, these are these are my giants, these are my big men and but unfortunately the giants were evicted within the city decided to record traffic circle right in the middle of 110th and the fifth and they had to find another place to play.
00:17:09.690 --> 00:17:11.460 Jeff Goodman: And they went really ugly they didn't put up a fight.
00:17:12.960 --> 00:17:15.690 Dave Kaplan: I think there was a battle, back then, I think there was.
00:17:16.770 --> 00:17:23.130 Dave Kaplan: Ultimately they settled in the, as you mentioned the Northeast part of Harlem.
00:17:24.180 --> 00:17:33.840 Dave Kaplan: Under hill called coogan's bluff and so polo grounds really opened in 1891 and they became the home.
00:17:34.380 --> 00:17:56.580 Dave Kaplan: Of the New York giants from 1891 to 1957 host of so many extraordinary events and also the home of the football giants from 1925 to 55 and great boxing matches and just and also the home of the Yankees for 1913 to 1922 before Yankee stadium was built.
00:17:57.720 --> 00:18:04.590 Dave Kaplan: And the maps from 62 to 63 so polo grounds is really one of the most celebrated and renowned.
00:18:05.670 --> 00:18:07.830 Dave Kaplan: Both ballparks in the country.
00:18:08.550 --> 00:18:13.680 Jeff Goodman: I always wondered why you know the polo grounds at 100 between 110th and hundred and 12 street was such a different.
00:18:14.310 --> 00:18:22.980 Jeff Goodman: kind of a place and the polo grounds, was a real stadium is, we would know what a stadium is I wonder where they kept the name was it for branding and business purposes to.
00:18:24.270 --> 00:18:30.240 Dave Kaplan: be gone yeah I think they just kept moving the name along um, you know as Jason will tell you, you know when the dodgers move to.
00:18:31.170 --> 00:18:41.580 Dave Kaplan: The evidence, they were going to continue to call that new new stating that they were building Washington park and then ebbets was convinced by a newspaper man to call it after himself.
00:18:41.850 --> 00:18:48.630 Dave Kaplan: So yeah I think it's more of a branding thing than anything else, even though there was no polo ever played in the most photographed.
00:18:49.890 --> 00:18:58.050 Jeff Goodman: With the polo grounds expanded it the northern location where did they basically just build a stadium, and then leave it until it was no longer.
00:18:58.320 --> 00:19:11.790 Dave Kaplan: It was actually expanded the original capacity for the polo grounds right, you know, often you know it was down below the coogan's bluff and right by the Harlem river, the capacity was about 16,000 but there was a fire.
00:19:12.600 --> 00:19:24.840 Dave Kaplan: In 1911 actually the giants had to move to hilltop Park, where the Yankees were actually playing 168 street and broadway now the side of Columbia Presbyterian hospital.
00:19:25.650 --> 00:19:44.100 Dave Kaplan: And when we rebuilt, the next year the capacity was a belt and there were new new bleachers put in and it started to take a kind of a different shape a very, very unique shape like a horseshoe shape or people say was like a bathtub very bizarre.
00:19:45.240 --> 00:19:46.620 Dave Kaplan: Circumstances but.
00:19:47.820 --> 00:19:59.220 Dave Kaplan: That really gave the polygraph such a unique look, and you know I think a lot of football stadiums start to emulate the dimensions of holograms.
00:20:00.150 --> 00:20:12.000 Jeff Goodman: Well, the program is not a show about about sports I know that's going to disappoint you, as a sports reporter Dave but let's talk about some of the baseball graves, who played at the polo grounds, who was some of the great baseball players who played there.
00:20:12.510 --> 00:20:24.510 Dave Kaplan: Well john mcgraw was the one of the great leaders and baseball and his giant teams in the early 20th century were dominant christy mathewson you know, later on, Bill Terry.
00:20:25.560 --> 00:20:34.200 Dave Kaplan: Key Casey stengel play for the New York giants and they were they were nationally powerhouse later on Mel a lot.
00:20:35.400 --> 00:20:46.590 Dave Kaplan: And then you know we go into the 50s in the you know Willie mays got his start playing in the polo grounds and became a you know, one of the most beloved players of all time.
00:20:47.970 --> 00:20:56.100 Dave Kaplan: But the New York giants it's an interesting story Jeff the fact that they were sharing it with the Yankees, but when the Yankees had acquired.
00:20:56.490 --> 00:21:02.550 Dave Kaplan: babe Ruth in 1920 and they there they were tenants of the giants and john mcgraw hill.
00:21:03.090 --> 00:21:10.380 Dave Kaplan: They started out drawing the giant because Ruth was such a great attraction very first team to draw over a million fans so.
00:21:10.950 --> 00:21:27.960 Dave Kaplan: mcgraw was was really ticked and he wanted to evict the Yankees and thought they would just basically disappear and announced to him and to his consternation the Yankee bill right across from the Harlem river this majestic super stadium, which became Yankee stadium.
00:21:28.650 --> 00:21:36.600 Jeff Goodman: which we will talk about the original Yankee stadium, not to be confused with the current Yankee stadium another former stadium, why did the giants leave New York.
00:21:38.220 --> 00:21:52.920 Dave Kaplan: They were pretty much persuaded because of the dodgers had left brooklyn for la and Walter o'malley convince hearthstone them of the giants that they could you know, there was.
00:21:53.700 --> 00:22:02.550 Dave Kaplan: You there's more riches in California, we can continue our rivalry on the west coast, which was really the one the most storied rival regional sports.
00:22:03.990 --> 00:22:15.750 Dave Kaplan: Also, I think the New York was changing back then, in the late 50s certainly abbott's was not conducive for cars, they had a very small capacity polo grounds also.
00:22:16.350 --> 00:22:23.580 Dave Kaplan: Was you know it stadium was getting a little bit run down to and stoneham was looking for you know greener pasture, so to speak.
00:22:25.290 --> 00:22:43.950 Jeff Goodman: On the polo grounds had no real tenant for five years, the giants left San Francisco after the 57th season and the nationally returned with the team and 62 we'll talk about the mets a little later in the program managed by Casey stengel.
00:22:45.030 --> 00:22:56.760 Jeff Goodman: Why did the ebbets field was was demolished much sooner after the dodgers left what what kept the polo grounds going for a number of years after the giants left.
00:22:56.940 --> 00:23:10.920 Dave Kaplan: Well it's interesting you know, whenever it's feel when the dodgers left ebbets field after 1957 season, it was still used there was some college baseball play their stock car racing same thing with the polo grounds, there was.
00:23:12.150 --> 00:23:17.850 Dave Kaplan: Actually later became the home of the New York titans which became the jets in 1960.
00:23:19.140 --> 00:23:20.850 Dave Kaplan: There was soccer played there.
00:23:22.440 --> 00:23:33.060 Dave Kaplan: And I think the continental League, which was supposed to be this third majorly was going to play in New York branch rickey, believe it or not, was one of the.
00:23:33.420 --> 00:23:42.660 Dave Kaplan: organizers of the kind of mentally which never got off the ground, but then there was also talk that the metrics would would form and become an expansion team and.
00:23:42.990 --> 00:23:58.020 Dave Kaplan: I think they needed a stadium really ready to play in and so polo grounds was refurbished for about $300,000 back then to get ready for the mets to start their inaugural season in 62 but to answer your question, I think.
00:23:59.340 --> 00:24:04.290 Dave Kaplan: They just didn't know what to do it we're done with the stadium, and it was still there was still some use for.
00:24:05.400 --> 00:24:14.310 Jeff Goodman: I think at that point, but right before the polo grounds met its fate, the city wanted that area for affordable housing.
00:24:14.490 --> 00:24:15.030 Jeff Goodman: Exactly.
00:24:15.060 --> 00:24:16.110 Jeff Goodman: don't housing projects.
00:24:16.290 --> 00:24:21.930 Dave Kaplan: 1700 units for low income housing exactly and you still see that today.
00:24:22.650 --> 00:24:25.380 Jeff Goodman: It may be a little a little bit of poetic.
00:24:26.460 --> 00:24:27.570 Jeff Goodman: commonality.
00:24:28.650 --> 00:24:44.820 Jeff Goodman: The same wrecking ball that was used to demolish ebbets field in 1960 was used to demolish the polo grounds, a number of years later, speaking of ebbets field we move back to brooklyn a lot of back to brooklyn who is Charles habits, but what was he what was he famous for.
00:24:44.820 --> 00:24:56.490 Dave Kaplan: Charles habits was originally the bookkeeper for the dodgers and he ultimately took ownership of the team um but he was really.
00:24:57.630 --> 00:25:09.660 Dave Kaplan: had to scramble the team, when he was in debt that he had to when they created he had gotten tired of Washington park and just thought that the dodgers needed a better facility to play and.
00:25:10.500 --> 00:25:25.440 Dave Kaplan: So they he bought a plot of land, which was really kind of a slum in brooklyn back then, I mean it was called pig town where a lot of farmers would bring their pigs to feed, and you know, there was a lot of people would just throw garbage in this, you know.
00:25:27.240 --> 00:25:29.670 Dave Kaplan: I think about four acre plot of land.
00:25:30.480 --> 00:25:32.220 Jeff Goodman: brooklyn have a sanitation department, then.
00:25:32.790 --> 00:25:33.600 Dave Kaplan: You got the garden what.
00:25:34.080 --> 00:25:36.000 Jeff Goodman: They weren't this was his own city for a while.
00:25:37.530 --> 00:25:41.310 Dave Kaplan: But it was a big stench to I mean, but he actually.
00:25:41.760 --> 00:25:52.110 Dave Kaplan: was able to buy out the people who own plots and you have to start to build one of you know, this is really kind of a golden age for these new stadiums.
00:25:52.860 --> 00:26:06.690 Dave Kaplan: comiskey park has just been built, and I think in 1910 fenway park 19 1912 and tiger stadium, so these new you know, back then, there was no there was no ballparks or stadiums, they were all fields.
00:26:07.350 --> 00:26:21.540 Dave Kaplan: But it was really a very cool unique stadium, I had a marble rotunda and it was you know just a very intimate place for the fans the capacity was still only 32,000 people.
00:26:22.920 --> 00:26:28.350 Dave Kaplan: And, but ecotourism he was just basically a bookkeeper who took control the team and.
00:26:29.070 --> 00:26:36.090 Dave Kaplan: When someone said, you know what are you going to name, he says i'll just keep them Washington Park, they said well why you're the one who went in a hot forward.
00:26:36.390 --> 00:26:44.010 Dave Kaplan: This was your idea whether this will be your monument once you call it ebbets field we go well, I suppose I will and that's how it became habits feel.
00:26:45.300 --> 00:26:45.930 Jeff Goodman: Well right.
00:26:46.950 --> 00:27:01.470 Jeff Goodman: Well we're going to take another short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with sports journalist Dave kaplan and historian Jason anto is also the President of the queen's historical society, we will be back in a couple of minutes stay tuned.
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00:30:57.390 --> 00:31:02.010 Jeff Goodman: Jason you have written at least a half a dozen books about the history of Queens.
00:31:02.490 --> 00:31:17.040 Jeff Goodman: On shea stadium was your second book we're going to talk about Shay a little bit later because we're doing this sort of in chronological order, we got to finish up ebbets field and talk about the old Yankee stadium, but when did you decide that you wanted to write a book about Shay.
00:31:18.330 --> 00:31:28.680 Jason Antos: I had been in love with shea stadium ever since I was a boy I the first baseball game that I ever saw, believe it or not, was game six of the 1986 world series.
00:31:29.370 --> 00:31:44.340 Jason Antos: And I remember being at a cousin's house in corona as a six year old watching that game, and it was so exciting and, from that point, I was hooked and I had written a couple of.
00:31:45.930 --> 00:32:00.030 Jason Antos: Articles as a contributor in the early 2000s and then after the success of the white stone book which really took off it sold out within a month I sold over 1200 copies and about five weeks.
00:32:00.870 --> 00:32:12.930 Jason Antos: The publishing company asked me what you know they gave me carte blanche of what I wanted to do for my next book and since Shay had about a year and change to go before its demise I said, this is, this is the one that I, I want to write about.
00:32:14.070 --> 00:32:21.000 Jeff Goodman: I think that you and Dave must have been at that same game, because you talked about a writing for the Daily News during this areas.
00:32:21.210 --> 00:32:23.760 Dave Kaplan: I was working that day Jason had to get tickets.
00:32:23.910 --> 00:32:26.460 Jason Antos: No, no, no, I was, I was at a cousin's house in.
00:32:26.460 --> 00:32:26.910 Dave Kaplan: curl.
00:32:27.120 --> 00:32:29.670 Jason Antos: On the other side of the grand central where the holiday INN is.
00:32:29.790 --> 00:32:34.320 Jason Antos: OK opposite and he lived about a block down from there, so we could see the ballpark it's right there.
00:32:34.500 --> 00:32:45.450 Jason Antos: yeah knowing that all of that excitement was going on there, but you know six year old watching it on one small color TV around gave me, but the place was going crazy and i'll never forget the excitement.
00:32:45.900 --> 00:32:53.730 Jason Antos: When the blow went through buckets legs will happen and it's just the whole place exploded, and so I can imagine what was going on inside the stadium i'd love to hear it from you.
00:32:54.390 --> 00:33:01.950 Dave Kaplan: Well that's I you know my first game jake's I was seven years old and I went to Memorial Day doubleheader.
00:33:02.850 --> 00:33:17.400 Dave Kaplan: The first year shea stadium and 64 it actually the second game was 23 innings So this was before cell phones my mother, you know we lived upstate New York she had no idea where her husband and her little boy were so she started calling the state troopers and then.
00:33:18.810 --> 00:33:28.830 Dave Kaplan: Man they're still at the ball game is it will they play two games, how can they still be playing at 1130 at night, you know, and I think the trooper said that.
00:33:29.940 --> 00:33:43.320 Dave Kaplan: Well text Jennings and my mom just I haven't played enough already so i'm not a big fan but i'll never forget that that was gaylord Perry actually introduced us before we made played shortstop it was so I was really look back then.
00:33:44.400 --> 00:33:51.780 Jeff Goodman: Jason if our listeners wanted to find out about the books that you've written or maybe order them how could they do that, how could they get that information for.
00:33:51.810 --> 00:34:01.860 Jason Antos: sure they can find them on amazon.com they are readily available at Barnes and noble and Barnes and noble.com and also on arcadia publishing COM as well.
00:34:02.460 --> 00:34:15.870 Jeff Goodman: And jason's last name is spelled a nt O s if you're going to Google and everyone Dave I want to ask you about a work of yours you knew yogi berra and you co authored some books with him what was that, like.
00:34:16.440 --> 00:34:25.770 Dave Kaplan: So yogi was you know he's this legend Obviously nobody has one more world series Championships in the history of the sport us.
00:34:26.550 --> 00:34:32.610 Dave Kaplan: You know the anchor that great Yankee dynasty, but I think, maybe more people know him as this accidental philosopher.
00:34:33.540 --> 00:34:49.140 Dave Kaplan: You know, with the yogi isms but to me, he was just like everybody's favorite uncle he was just a very grounded down to earth guy what you see, is what you got so it was a real privilege and a pleasure to be associated with him to be friends with him.
00:34:50.190 --> 00:34:57.270 Dave Kaplan: went to La to Yankee game by ask them a lot about shea stadium because it's Jason knows yogi spent 10 years with the match.
00:34:58.590 --> 00:35:09.240 Dave Kaplan: The after you have been fired as manager the Yankees and 64 you imagine he got fired for going to the seventh game of the world series in this first year is manager and it gets fired.
00:35:10.080 --> 00:35:18.450 Dave Kaplan: But Casey stengel brought him over with the match and say spent 10 really memorable years at shea and then was manager that.
00:35:19.890 --> 00:35:32.010 Dave Kaplan: You know you got to believe team in 1973 but yogi talked a lot about the stadium's he he loved the old Yankee stadium he thought the the new one looked like it was more like a shopping mall.
00:35:33.750 --> 00:35:35.460 Dave Kaplan: But the shade he.
00:35:36.780 --> 00:35:46.080 Dave Kaplan: got comfortable with it, but he said, there was a there was a lot of sewage leaking down beneath the clubhouse but.
00:35:46.710 --> 00:35:55.890 Dave Kaplan: He has only great great memories there because the 69 minutes he was the first base coach and that was one of the most you know I memorable teams in the history of the sport.
00:35:56.610 --> 00:36:08.250 Jeff Goodman: And we're going to get to the old Yankee stadium and Shay in a couple of minutes, but I just want to finish up on on ebbets field day what were some of the things that made ebbets field famous as an institution for baseball.
00:36:08.940 --> 00:36:18.780 Dave Kaplan: You know Jeff I think was really the fans, they were so clear with so part of their their overall experience editorial was such a personal familiar.
00:36:20.040 --> 00:36:24.420 Dave Kaplan: Experience for these fans, they were right, on top of the action.
00:36:25.560 --> 00:36:36.690 Dave Kaplan: The fans and became celebrity they would be super fans hilda Chester with her cowbell the symphony that played something resembling music, you know they marched around the stadium.
00:36:38.310 --> 00:36:44.460 Dave Kaplan: And you know the the players lived in these neighborhoods in brooklyn so there was a real intimacy.
00:36:45.510 --> 00:37:01.920 Dave Kaplan: and, obviously, you know evidence has been romanticized so much and so much history happened there you know with Jackie Robinson, you know breaking apart, I break it basically you know breaking the color barrier in baseball and the boys of summer of the 50s.
00:37:03.090 --> 00:37:16.710 Dave Kaplan: It so I just think that brooklyn you know Jason knows this in researching you know his book you're, just as you know, work on that Washington parking and book problem was a baseball hockey fans, you know even before the civil war, so.
00:37:17.640 --> 00:37:25.710 Dave Kaplan: Having a major league team right in crown heights right there in the neighborhood was just something that really connected with everybody.
00:37:27.000 --> 00:37:34.770 Jeff Goodman: Why the hell did the dodgers leave they leave brooklyn a lot of a lot of people in brooklyn never forgave and my mother.
00:37:36.540 --> 00:37:49.770 Jeff Goodman: You know she still doesn't forgive the dodgers for leaving in 1957 it's like a 64 year old grudge she's had bad courage longer than i've been around the planet and i've been here almost 61 years, why did they leave what happened.
00:37:49.770 --> 00:37:59.190 Dave Kaplan: depends on who you speak to I mean you know epitaph become old there was no parking you know other people in brooklyn started moving out to long island.
00:38:00.480 --> 00:38:04.260 Dave Kaplan: They needed a new stadium now depending on you speak with.
00:38:05.370 --> 00:38:10.800 Dave Kaplan: Walter o'malley wanted to build a new stadium in Atlantic yards, which is the other side of the Barclays Center.
00:38:11.940 --> 00:38:16.770 Dave Kaplan: For Robert Moses said no, he wouldn't give him the land Moses did propose.
00:38:18.270 --> 00:38:26.190 Dave Kaplan: A place in flushing meadow which is now the site with site where shea stadium is and o'malley said no we're not the queen's dodgers with the brooklyn dodgers.
00:38:26.790 --> 00:38:38.010 Dave Kaplan: So he obviously was courted by the you know the city managers of Los Angeles and shown Chavez ravine and where where you know this new.
00:38:39.090 --> 00:38:59.130 Dave Kaplan: franchise could take root and, ultimately, we should really put the money, but you know o'malley is still seen, I think, by my former boss pete ammo passed away just last year, but he said, one of the three the three most evil people in the 20th century.
00:39:00.210 --> 00:39:03.570 Dave Kaplan: One would be Hitler to starling three Walter o'malley.
00:39:04.890 --> 00:39:06.210 Jeff Goodman: And i'm sure my mother would agree with that one.
00:39:08.310 --> 00:39:16.620 Jeff Goodman: moving along we're going to take the subway back up to the bronx and we're going to talk about Yankee stadium we include it, because in this show.
00:39:17.070 --> 00:39:23.700 Jeff Goodman: It gives us the Yankee stadium, we see today is not the original Yankee stadium it's, not even in the exact location, that it is now it's across the street.
00:39:25.230 --> 00:39:31.890 Jeff Goodman: When Yankee stadium was built New York already had ebbets field and brooklyn and the polo grounds in Manhattan you mentioned that the.
00:39:33.270 --> 00:39:38.940 Jeff Goodman: was to Jacob Rupert who own the Yankees who wanted his own stadium and that's when they built that to the ability of the stadium.
00:39:39.480 --> 00:39:50.490 Dave Kaplan: yeah you know Jeff it's interesting or Jacob roper you know roper brewery fame and the owner of the Yankees so you said, the Yankee stadium, he was fond of saying Yankee stadium was a mistake.
00:39:50.820 --> 00:40:00.900 Dave Kaplan: He said, not mine but the New York giants Rupert did not believe that New York needed to stadiums he really wanted to pay john mcgraw.
00:40:01.410 --> 00:40:16.800 Dave Kaplan: money to pay him off, and then they demolish the polo grounds and build together jointly a big superstate in 100,000 seat thing that would you know have boxing and baseball and they would share that but mcgraw wanted no part of it so.
00:40:19.080 --> 00:40:33.060 Dave Kaplan: Rupert built this majestic you know, the first three tier stadium, you know, in the major leagues right across from Harlem river and you know because of the Yankees successes became the most famous.
00:40:34.230 --> 00:40:36.420 Dave Kaplan: stadium, and all the country.
00:40:37.410 --> 00:40:52.830 Jeff Goodman: And it it definitely was inspiring and emotional I mean one of my favorite movies growing up as a kid was pride of the Yankees that babe Ruth actually started, you know he played himself let's talk about inspiration in a moment and emotion.
00:40:54.120 --> 00:41:00.270 Jeff Goodman: It said that more emotions had been stirred at and by things that happened in Yankee stadium than any other ballpark in America.
00:41:00.990 --> 00:41:12.240 Jeff Goodman: Well cubs and red SOx fans are going to disagree with that, but we're in New York, be that as it may, can you talk about some of those wondrous things that that Yankee stadium will probably forever be remembered for.
00:41:12.810 --> 00:41:23.940 Dave Kaplan: When you're talking to motion obviously you mentioned, you know gehrig's farewell in 1939 and you know there's gettysburg address of baseball you know I consider myself the luckiest man.
00:41:25.560 --> 00:41:33.180 Dave Kaplan: which became a movie That was a great movie, by the way, and just as an aside, I got to meet Teresa right who played garrett's wife.
00:41:33.600 --> 00:41:47.520 Dave Kaplan: And brother, to the museum, and that was a memorable time but boy yeah I mean look at the history, there you have some of the most if you had the most famous 60 at home run babe Ruth but famous 61st home run Roger Maris.
00:41:48.480 --> 00:41:59.100 Dave Kaplan: Joe dimaggio launches 56 game hitting streak there you have this you know don larson's perfect game and never had been done before in the world series and 1956.
00:41:59.640 --> 00:42:16.860 Dave Kaplan: And he just 27 championships, so it was really a place that had so many moments, and you know not only that, but Yankee stadium, as I said, was also home for some for concerts legendary heavyweight boxing matches.
00:42:18.360 --> 00:42:22.320 Dave Kaplan: And also, the home of the football championship from 5060 7030.
00:42:23.820 --> 00:42:31.020 Jeff Goodman: um let's talk about before we take a break let's talk about rivalries, in the same city.
00:42:31.470 --> 00:42:43.950 Jeff Goodman: The Yankees and the dodgers played 11 world series is that, where the sub the term subway serious got to be non I was wondering if it was that, with a three step shuttle that went across the Harlem river, you know the old central avenue stop.
00:42:44.460 --> 00:42:51.720 Dave Kaplan: I think subway series, I mean they literally took I mean yo he said they took subways to ebbets field, at times, I mean.
00:42:53.100 --> 00:42:55.800 Dave Kaplan: So yeah it was it was subway series.
00:42:56.610 --> 00:43:03.150 Jeff Goodman: But sadly for the dodgers I think they only beat the Yankees once in 1955 the Yankees 10 times.
00:43:04.080 --> 00:43:14.730 Jeff Goodman: i'm not really a diehard baseball fan, I discovered that and doing the research for the show, but I will have to tell my mother that one would you love to otter so much instead of the Yankees when they got beat been 10 out of 11 times.
00:43:16.320 --> 00:43:21.450 Jeff Goodman: Yankee stadium went through two major renovations you want to talk about them briefly before we take a break.
00:43:22.440 --> 00:43:34.440 Dave Kaplan: Just so there was a lot of talk Yankee stadium in that neighborhood in the south bronx you've really kind of getting pretty shaky and nearly 70 Yankee stadium need mammoth repairs.
00:43:36.090 --> 00:43:43.230 Dave Kaplan: And there was a lot of talk that they were going to move to the meadowlands so mayor Lindsay was able to convince.
00:43:44.790 --> 00:43:45.750 Dave Kaplan: The city to.
00:43:46.830 --> 00:44:01.620 Dave Kaplan: Put in a mammoth renovation, where this the contours of the stadium change to monument Park, or you know or the monuments were were removed from the playing field that dimension were changed a little bit more modernized.
00:44:02.520 --> 00:44:08.790 Dave Kaplan: So that was a big big hundred thousand dollar more than that, I think, was 300,000.
00:44:09.810 --> 00:44:18.450 Dave Kaplan: Back then actually the Yankees had to play at shea stadium for two years, during that renovation 74 and 75 and that was very, very peculiar.
00:44:20.160 --> 00:44:20.730 Dave Kaplan: But then.
00:44:21.930 --> 00:44:31.770 Dave Kaplan: You know the new stadium was built in 2009 it open and so that was a very emotional moment for a lot of baseball fans when the stadium was taken down.
00:44:33.180 --> 00:44:39.090 Jeff Goodman: And i'm i'm imagining that they did because they really needed new facility is also commercially they were able to have.
00:44:39.090 --> 00:44:41.010 Jeff Goodman: Businesses that could have service people better.
00:44:41.220 --> 00:44:42.000 who went to that.
00:44:43.140 --> 00:44:57.120 Jeff Goodman: All right, well we're going to take another short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with sports journalist Dave kaplan and historian Jason Antonio about baseball stadiums that were in New York, but now or no longer with us we'll be back in a moment.
00:47:11.880 --> 00:47:23.430 Jeff Goodman: we're back and you're back to rediscovering New York and our 110th episode take me out to the ball game, this is about exploring baseball stadiums that was such a part and vital.
00:47:23.850 --> 00:47:37.830 Jeff Goodman: fabric of New York, but now no longer with us, but that live in the hearts and memories of many, many people my guests are sports journalist Dave kaplan and Jason and toasts president of the queen's historical society and author.
00:47:38.910 --> 00:47:42.780 Jeff Goodman: we're going to be speaking with Jason next about shea stadium, and I got to tell you guys that.
00:47:43.290 --> 00:47:56.370 Jeff Goodman: Coming around the Horn here for the last segment it's kind of bittersweet i'm having a lot of fun talking about old baseball stadiums and stories of things that as a new yorker I have connected to and heard about a lot from old stadiums.
00:47:57.510 --> 00:48:06.390 Jeff Goodman: Jason the giants and the dodgers left both left New York in 1957 before there was a stadium they had to have been a team before there was another stadium share.
00:48:07.230 --> 00:48:16.830 Jeff Goodman: When did the mets form and what led to the mets forming seeing that New York had just lost two of its three local baseball teams to California.
00:48:18.240 --> 00:48:28.170 Jason Antos: With New York now down to one team, there was a tremendous outcry outcry that the giants and the dodgers had left.
00:48:30.300 --> 00:48:34.260 Jason Antos: It didn't really sit too well for fans who were not too fond of the Yankees.
00:48:35.400 --> 00:48:43.290 Jason Antos: The rivalry was extremely better and there was a need for another team at that time mayor Wagner.
00:48:44.310 --> 00:48:56.580 Jason Antos: of New York City hired William Shay, who was a partner of shea and gold in Manhattan was a law firm to try to bring another team.
00:48:57.630 --> 00:48:58.590 Jason Antos: to New York City.
00:48:59.820 --> 00:49:11.040 Jason Antos: And at this meeting they had discussed for the first time really expansion of the league's William shane tried to introduce something called the continental league.
00:49:12.210 --> 00:49:18.930 Jason Antos: where he was going to try to bring an existing team or teams into this League and create a third league.
00:49:20.220 --> 00:49:26.850 Jason Antos: This didn't really sit too well with them lb and they decided that it would be best to generate.
00:49:27.960 --> 00:49:32.400 Jason Antos: A National League team from scratch and there was many.
00:49:33.930 --> 00:49:46.080 Jason Antos: thoughts of what to call the new team what the team would consist of what players would be on the team, and one of the first names of the mets that was created was the the the bees.
00:49:47.820 --> 00:49:48.210 Jason Antos: and
00:49:48.240 --> 00:49:52.140 Jeff Goodman: I don't I don't think there wasn't at the same ring as the mets New York New York bees.
00:49:52.800 --> 00:49:53.310 Jason Antos: being said.
00:49:53.370 --> 00:49:58.290 Jason Antos: what's all the buzz about hey and the other one was, I think the metal.
00:49:58.290 --> 00:49:59.220 Dave Kaplan: larks Mr.
00:49:59.700 --> 00:50:03.450 Jason Antos: Again, not a very attractive sexy name for.
00:50:03.840 --> 00:50:05.400 Dave Kaplan: A public contest, I think.
00:50:05.430 --> 00:50:14.010 Dave Kaplan: Two people were sending their entries the newspapers and, ultimately, I think it was a was a patient who ultimately decided.
00:50:14.160 --> 00:50:21.810 Jason Antos: you're so young Whitney patient who was, I think the one of the first female owners of the team.
00:50:23.280 --> 00:50:28.350 Jason Antos: They had decided on on the metropolitan baseball club or mets for short.
00:50:29.940 --> 00:50:36.930 Jason Antos: They had discussed building a new stadium in brooklyn arm to satisfy the the need.
00:50:38.040 --> 00:50:46.740 Jason Antos: That was left there when the dodgers left but they started looking elsewhere, because they wanted room they wanted to build in.
00:50:47.430 --> 00:50:56.490 Jason Antos: They had decided to build in an area that was more underdeveloped than developed in brooklyn by that time was extremely developed highly populated borrow in New York City.
00:50:56.970 --> 00:51:06.090 Jason Antos: So one of the areas that they came upon was flushing meadows Park, where the old corona ash dumps existed years prior.
00:51:07.410 --> 00:51:25.860 Jason Antos: They were in the process of cleaning them up, Robert Moses was looking at the site in which to put this second world's fair the 6465 world's fair so since there was a lot of the tension and development in that area, it was decided to bring the stadium there.
00:51:26.640 --> 00:51:35.760 Jeff Goodman: Is that the same part of Queens that F Scott Fitzgerald wrote about in the great gatsby the people traveled the railroad and along with them boulevard that that was you know the ash dumpster right.
00:51:35.970 --> 00:51:38.070 Jason Antos: yeah absolutely is in the valley of ashes.
00:51:38.640 --> 00:51:48.510 Jeff Goodman: hmm I suppose it was you could refer to this project as a bit of urban renewal is which we had a lot of in the 60s, except the sports stadium.
00:51:49.680 --> 00:52:01.320 Jeff Goodman: And they built shea stadium, I remember is we were mets fans and you know my mother We grew up and sheepshead Bay I think my mother still really from the dodger experience it's like we could never be Yankees fan, so we became mets fans.
00:52:02.700 --> 00:52:07.740 Jeff Goodman: It was quite striking it's it's construction you'd go up to the Western side of it.
00:52:08.220 --> 00:52:08.820 Jeff Goodman: And they would be.
00:52:08.850 --> 00:52:19.830 Jeff Goodman: This sort of an open stadium, but all these these blue and orange tiles it was very memorable when I was when i'm wondering, is that part of the original design or did they add that later on well.
00:52:19.890 --> 00:52:22.860 Jason Antos: It was originally designed to be a Dome stadium.
00:52:24.150 --> 00:52:29.880 Jason Antos: That was one of the things that really shocked me when I was doing research for the book and I actually have my possession and old.
00:52:30.600 --> 00:52:40.800 Jason Antos: schematic of the Dome version of shea stadium, but that was quickly abandoned, but they wanted to make it a multi purpose stadium they wanted it to be the most modern.
00:52:41.670 --> 00:52:50.880 Jason Antos: ballpark ever built, and it was at the time it was, as you know, it was the home of the New York jets for many years for almost for almost 20 years.
00:52:51.420 --> 00:53:02.790 Jason Antos: And the stadium the field level seats were built on tracks, so that the field level seats could go from a diamond shape and go parallel to make the gridiron of football field.
00:53:03.630 --> 00:53:18.330 Jason Antos: That was revolutionary in a ballpark technology and you mentioned the the the paint those beautiful multicolored levels, when the stadium opened in 1964 the stadium was still being constructed.
00:53:19.410 --> 00:53:31.290 Jason Antos: Just two weeks prior to the stadium opening the outfield Wall was installed and there was really nothing beyond it, there was a the scoreboard, of course, which was electronic and that was also revolutionary for its time.
00:53:31.710 --> 00:53:42.240 Jason Antos: But when you look at the pictures of those first games, especially if their color photographs, you see that that that there's a little bit missing of the stadium, and in the first game.
00:53:43.140 --> 00:53:57.000 Jason Antos: The construction people had just painted the field level seats yellow and a lot of people, people used to wear suits in those days when they got it from their seats everyone had a yellow stain on their backside because the pain had not yet dried.
00:53:57.660 --> 00:54:11.130 Jeff Goodman: wow well actually if the fence not built it could have been a modern day version of getting watching the game for free, like some people looking from coogan's bluff down into the polo grounds are the only Yankee stadium used to be able to watch the game from the platform on the fortran.
00:54:11.850 --> 00:54:27.000 Jason Antos: And as well, you can watch it from the platform of the seven train when he came down there was like a like a round about where you brought the steps down to Roosevelt avenue and and before the creation citi field, you could watch the game at shave you know from the outfield.
00:54:28.380 --> 00:54:29.730 Jason Antos: viewpoint from the right field.
00:54:30.420 --> 00:54:34.380 Jeff Goodman: Aside from the jets playing what kind of other events took place at chase meeting.
00:54:34.530 --> 00:54:55.230 Jason Antos: As many events they they use that the Pope came to shea stadium twice the first time in 1979 it was used the Beatles were there in 1965, which was a huge event, and I believe it was the first outdoor concert stadium.
00:54:56.760 --> 00:55:05.880 Jason Antos: And there was a tremendous a beautiful documentary film made by CBS called the Beatles at shea it's actually on YouTube.
00:55:07.350 --> 00:55:15.060 Jeff Goodman: They said, like the old Yankee stadium the polo grounds so many others shame at the wrecking ball, maybe too soon, because I think it was you know it was.
00:55:15.480 --> 00:55:25.290 Jeff Goodman: It was only maybe 40 years old, when that happened, why did they tear it down so soon citi field is beautiful and it's facade is reminiscent of some of the oldest stadiums like.
00:55:25.590 --> 00:55:33.090 Jeff Goodman: wrigley field and the old tiger stadium, and also what you know I i've seen pictures of ebbets field, why did they, why did they tear down shea.
00:55:33.960 --> 00:55:44.520 Jason Antos: Well, it had been in disrepair towards the end and I think I mean the legend has it that it was more economic to build a new stadium from scratch them to keep overhauling it.
00:55:45.600 --> 00:55:55.740 Jason Antos: You know, they would have had to you know as as the I guess the demand by fans, I mean I certainly couldn't care, one way or the other but there was a demand for more modern day.
00:55:56.400 --> 00:56:04.860 Jason Antos: efficiencies more you know places to eat and places to shop and you know and that's why a lot of modern day ballparks have like a shopping mall.
00:56:05.520 --> 00:56:13.110 Jason Antos: Real to them, I really don't go in for that i'm just there to watch the game and have a beer, if possible, but sure I mean that's.
00:56:13.590 --> 00:56:18.960 Jason Antos: That that's why they tore it down because it was just simply out of date and it was cheaper just to.
00:56:19.590 --> 00:56:27.240 Jason Antos: To start from scratch, I was actually there and I videotaped I had rented the I had friends in the audio visual field years ago.
00:56:27.810 --> 00:56:39.870 Jason Antos: And I had and I went down there to the site with a high definition video camera and I, and I filmed over a three day period, the final pieces of demolition and I was there when they brought that last segment down.
00:56:42.390 --> 00:56:54.030 Jeff Goodman: Well sort of sad but then something rose up even from the ashes before they were they were ashes, and I have to say I really I really do like citi field one thing interesting about citi field is that it has fewer seats than shea stadium that.
00:56:54.690 --> 00:57:03.570 Jeff Goodman: Yes, this is true, but it's really you know I I do enjoy citi field, probably a dozen times i've gone i've gone guys.
00:57:03.630 --> 00:57:05.370 Jeff Goodman: were so many i'm sorry JESSICA hell.
00:57:05.580 --> 00:57:13.080 Jason Antos: Before we go just in 30 seconds I got I gotta give a shout out to a local ballpark that we had here in Queens and woodhaven we got out i'm sure.
00:57:13.740 --> 00:57:28.440 Jason Antos: Dave knows all about it is is Dexter Park, which was in working, and it was home to the negro leagues go to the brooklyn Bush weeks for many years, so they're right off of Jamaica avenue for around 40 something years and.
00:57:29.550 --> 00:57:33.840 Jason Antos: That also is another last memory in the New York City baseball.
00:57:34.500 --> 00:57:47.220 Jeff Goodman: One of the ways that the memory of shea stadium lives is through your book Jason it's cold shea stadium it's by Jason and toes you can find it by googling and it's on Amazon COM and Dave what's the name of one of your books that you co wrote with yogi.
00:57:49.080 --> 00:57:53.970 Dave Kaplan: Well, when you come to fork in road take it or you can observe a lot by watching.
00:57:55.140 --> 00:57:55.590 Dave Kaplan: So.
00:57:56.880 --> 00:57:58.830 Dave Kaplan: yeah those are a couple of.
00:57:59.220 --> 00:58:12.900 Jeff Goodman: Great well, thank you guys like Kevin so much on this program the time goes real fast and we're at a time I wish we had more to talk about such a fun topic, but I really Thank you so much, my two guests Dave kaplan sports journalists.
00:58:14.280 --> 00:58:27.420 Jeff Goodman: And author of co author with yogi berra where is the name of the title again Dave said it Okay, and also Jason anto as president of the queen's historical society and author of at least a half a dozen books on Queens including shea stadium.
00:58:29.010 --> 00:58:36.120 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show if you'd like to get on my mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York at nyc.
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00:58:42.780 --> 00:58:47.430 Jeff Goodman: Once again i'd like to thank our sponsors the mark hyman team more constraints that freedom mortgage.
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00:58:53.580 --> 00:59:01.110 Jeff Goodman: One more thing, before we sign off i'm Jeff Goodman a real estate agent of brown Harris Stevens in New York City and whether you're selling buying leasing or renting.
00:59:01.590 --> 00:59:11.490 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City real estate to help you, with your real estate needs, you can reach us at 646-306-4761.
00:59:12.270 --> 00:59:24.270 Jeff Goodman: Our producer Israel story or our engineer this evening is Emily showman our production assistant is Leah couple of our special consultant for the show is David Griffin of landmark branding who will be back.
00:59:25.290 --> 00:59:29.190 Jeff Goodman: Next week, actually thanks for listening, everyone will see you next time.
00:59:30.180 --> 00:59:30.810 Thank you Jeff.
00:59:31.950 --> 00:59:32.580 Dave Kaplan: Thank you Jeff.