Summer/August 2006 Catalog > Sports > Baseball Equipment
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Lot 1134: New York Giants Last Home Plate From The Polo Grounds
Worth its weight in history (and rubber), this coveted home plate from the beloved Polo Grounds in New York City, made its way out of the legendary stadium’s turnstiles on September 29, 1957, after the New York Giants played, and lost (brutally, 9-1, to the Pittsburgh Pirates, in front of a crowd of 11,606 fans), their last game ever to be contested in the bathtub shaped ballpark. The lucky fan savvy enough to obtain the home base, collected it, and, with daughter in tow, escorted it safely home. Four precious 8 x 10" photographs exist, and accompany this treasured plate, chronicling the day and the deed, with choice among them, a picture of fan and young child walking in the stadium’s runway, he with plate in hand, and she with New York Giants pennant in left hand and what appears to be some grass and soil from the playing field in right. Compare plate with photos, noting the lack of devaluation. It measures 19 ½ x 19 ½”, and the use on the plate’s surface is dynamic, with dirt, scratches, nicks, spots, punctures, and wedged-in pebbles figuring prominently, as well does the four actual game ticket stubs affixed to the plate, used by the fan and his three buddies (all of who signed above their stubs). And yet, it is the other four signatures which add even more prestige to this Giant rubber slab, that of Giant leftfielder Hank Sauer, 1954 World Series home run hero Dusty Rhodes, Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh and old-timer Giant, Hans Lobert. After the Giants relocated to San Francisco, as part of deal to follow their fellow Brooklyn Dodgers west, the Polo Grounds, located then at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue (what is now Frederick Douglass Boulevard), remained vacant until the New York Mets brought the National League back to New York, and, while playing at the Grounds for the two years that it took to build Shea Stadium, finally and officially named the park, The Polo Grounds. This historic item is a gem. Condition is amazing, despite that one of the stubs is missing its top third, and another is only loosely taped. Will include an LOA from the daughter of the gentleman shown with the final plate in the photographs, Mr. Jack O'Donnell.
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