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New York Giants

aka Gothams, Green Stockings

1883-1957

Team 6067-4898, 553


A New York team under the ownership of factory owner John B. Day and local sports figure Jim Mutrie replaced the Troy, NY team in the NL in 1883. The two also entered a team called the Metropolitans in the American Association that same year. Mutrie managed the Mets and John Clapp was the first manager of the NL team, then called the Gothams or Green Stockings. The NL team's original stars were Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, and Mickey Welch, who'd been with Troy, and former Providence pitcher-turned- shortstop John Montgomery Ward. At first, the Mets, with former Troy pitcher Tim Keefe, were more successful, winning the AA pennant in 1884. The following year, Mutrie moved over to manage the NL team, bringing Keefe and several other Mets with him. The team, which included a number of six-footers, received its name from Mutrie's habit of referring to his charges as "My boys, my giants!" Mutrie's Giants won NL pennants in 1888 and 1889.
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RELATED LINKS
» 1957: : Dodgers, Giants Bid New York Adieu
» 1958: Nick Testa's major-league debut

Photos
» Photo: Fair Play in the Fall Classic from The American League
» Photo: Ott At Bat from Baseball Between the Wars

Book Excerpts
» Land of the Giants by Stew Thornley
» "Dressen said, 'Let me have Branca.'": Carl Erskine
» Photos: New York Giants: A Baseball Album by Richard Bak

Submissions
» Baseball Names - and How They Got That Way! (Part 1) by Harvey Frommer
» Pitch Proved Costly for Voiselle, Giants in 1945: Starting Pitcher Bill Voiselle Was Fined $500 For Pitch by Dean Lollis

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» Who were the Giants' starters in Game One of the 1954 World Series?
» Was George Brett the only player to have 20 doubles, triples, and homers in one season?
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» How many World Series have been won by a team from New York?
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Under unpopular owner Andrew Freedman, the Giants experienced mediocre seasons through the 1890s despite the excellent power pitching of righthander Amos Rusie. Freedman changed managers 12 times in eight years before he hired John McGraw to lead his team in 1902. The next year he sold the team to John T. Brush, who let McGraw control the on-field operation. The Giants dominated the National League in 30 years under McGraw, winning ten pennants and finishing second 11 times. The 1905, 1921, and 1922 teams won World Championships. During the first quarter of the 20th century, the Giants were baseball's most successful franchise both on the field and at the box office. Among the great players under McGraw were Christy Mathewson, Roger Bresnahan, Joe McGinnity, Frankie Frisch, Mel Ott, Travis Jackson, and Bill Terry.

Brush died in 1912 and his son-in-law, Harry Hempstead, took over the team. In 1919, the Giants were purchased by a syndicate headed by New York stockbroker Charles Stoneham, the beginning of a powerful baseball family. After Stoneham's death in 1936, his son Horace replaced him as team president.

McGraw retired in 1932. Spearheaded by first baseman-manager Terry, home run champ Ott, and lefthander Carl Hubbell, the Giants won three pennants and one World Championship in the 1930s, then slipped into the doldrums through the 1940s.

Manager Leo Durocher and star centerfielder Willie Mays brought a pennant in 1951 and a WS victory in 1954, but sharply declining attendance and the growing inadequacy of the Polo Grounds threatened the team's survival. After the 1957 season, Stoneham moved the team to San Francisco. (FS)
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
» September 10, 1889: New York Giants pitcher Mickey Welch strikes out as the first pinch hitter in ML history.

» May 10, 1893: Brooklyn's joy over beating the New York Giants in the bottom of the last inning for the 2nd straight day is partially dashed as youngster Willie Keeler fractures a bone while sliding. Keeler will miss nearly two months of action.

» May 27, 1896: Cleveland takes advantage of Jouett Meekin's 13 walks and three wild pitches to beat the New York Giants 11–5. However, the Spiders fall to 2nd in the National League race behind Cincinnati, which whips Washington 10–6.

» May 18, 1897: Bill "Scrappy" Joyce's four triples pace the New York Giants to an 11–5 win over the Pirates at Pittsburgh. This is the last time this feat is accomplished in ML history. Philadelphia's (AA) George Streif hit four on June 25, 1885.

» May 27, 1897: The Reds acquire Jake Beckley from the New York Giants.

» April 26, 1900: On their way to the Polo Grounds, New York Giants George Davis, Kid Gleason, and Mike Grady spot smoke rising from an apartment building and rush to help with the rescue. Davis climbs a fireman's ladder to rescue a woman who fainted in the heat, and Gleason and Davis help a woman and child down a fire escape. Forty five families are left homeless from the major blaze. Then the trio, with Davis stroking a triple, help the Giants tie Boston 5-5 after nine innings, then rally with a five spot to tie again in the bottom of the 10th.

» April 26, 1901: After six postponements, the New York Giants down the Brooklyn Superbas 5-3 for their season’s first win and Christy Mathewson’s first ML victory. Matty allows four hits and strikes out 8.

» September 30, 1901: The visiting New York Giants drop a pair to the Cards, as McGraw uses position players on the mound. Heinie Smith, primarily a second baseman, makes his only career start in game one and completes a 12-4 loss to the Redbirds. He bats 7th and hits a HR. Jim "Sheriff" Jones also makes his only career start in the second match and loses 6-5 in a game called in the 6th inning because of darkness. Jones bats 2nd in game 1 and plays RF, and bats leadoff in game two going 0-for-4 in each.

» October 7, 1911: With just 1,000 fans on hand at the Polo Grounds, New York Giants' mascot Victory Faust hurls an inning against Boston, allowing a hit and a run. Faust also hits, circling the bases for a score as the Rustlers deliberately throw wildly. Faust will reprise his act on October 12th against Brooklyn: he allows a hit in his one inning; is hit by a pitch and then steals 2B and 3B, and scores on a grounder.

» February 1, 1913: Jim Thorpe signs with the New York Giants, but the Indian Olympic-medal winner will be more of a gate attraction than a threat at the plate.

» April 29, 1915: Federal League star Benny Kauff jumps from the Brookfeds to the New York Giants. When Boston refuses to play if Kauff is in the Giants' lineup, ump Ernie Quigley forfeits the game to New York. The two teams agree to play an exhibition game. The other ump, Mal Eason, telephones NL president John Tener, who declares Kauff ineligible until reinstated and orders Eason to forfeit the game to Boston. Meanwhile, the Braves win the exhibition game, 13–8. The next day Tener rules this to be an official game, and both forfeits are canceled. Kauff goes back to Brooklyn where he leads the FL at .342, and John McGraw has to wait until next year to sign him.

» March 20, 1925: In a reprise of the 1924 World Series, the New York Giants edge the Senators, 2–1, at West Palm Beach's new Municipal Athletic Field.

» December 20, 1926: In probably the biggest player-for-player trade to date, Rogers Hornsby is traded from the Cardinals to the New York Giants for Frankie Frisch and P Jimmy Ring. Hornsby, after 12 years in St. Louis, will play for three teams in the next three years. Hornsby and owner Sam Breadon had had an increasingly stormy relationship, and feelings between Frankie Frisch and John McGraw were equally as bad. Thirty years later, Hornsby will call the trade "the biggest disappointment in my life."

» July 12, 1928: Baseball's biggest battery is recorded, appropriately, with the New York Giants, as Garland "Gob" Buckeye, a 260 pound pro football lineman in the off-season, makes his NL pitching debut with 250 pound Shanty Hogan behind the plate. The Giants lose to the Cardinals.

» December 24, 1929: Officers of the New York Giants hand stockholder Francis X. McQuade a Christmas present, filing a $200,000 damage suit against the long-time club treasurer. The suit charges McQuade with seeking to "wreck and destroy" the club. McQuade countersues and after months of litigation, the NY Supreme Court will rule that McQuade is entitled to back pay, but not his job. A higher court will rule that he doesn't even get the back pay.

» December 15, 1930: Chief Bender is signed by the New York Giants as a pitching coach. He had coached baseball at the Naval Academy in 1930.

» February 21, 1931: The Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants become the first ML teams to meet in a night game. They collect 23 hits in a 10-inning exhibition game played in Houston, at Buffs Stadium.

» February 27, 1931: Finally cut loose by the New York Giants, for whom he refused to play in 1930 in a season-long holdout over salary terms, 2-time batting champ Edd Roush returns to the Cincinnati Reds.

» July 4, 1933: The New York Giants have their NL lead cut to 5 games when the Braves take a pair in Boston, 3-0 and 8-3.

» January 17, 1934: Carl Hubbell, the National League MVP winner, is rewarded with a $18,000 contract by the New York Giants.

» January 15, 1936: Horace Stoneham is elected president of the New York Giants, succeeding his late father. Stoneham, 32, will remain president for the next 40 years before selling the team in 1976.

» June 15, 1937: The Boston Bees sell star OF Wally Berger to the New York Giants for $35,000 and P Frank Gabler.

» May 24, 1940: Before 22,260, the New York Giants rip the Boston Bees 8–1 in the first night game at the Polo Grounds. Harry Gumbert is the winner.

» July 23, 1944: After hitting four consecutive HRs in two games, Bill Nicholson of the Chicago Cubs is walked intentionally with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of the second game against the New York Giants. The Cubs rally to tie, but the Giants win 12-10. Nicholson has hit six HRs within 48 hours (one on Friday night, one on Saturday, and the 4 today).

» June 23, 1946: Eddie Waitkus and Marv Rickert of the Chicago Cubs hit back-to-back, inside-the-park HRs in the fourth inning, but the team loses 15-10 to the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.

» April 24, 1947: Johnny Mize of the New York Giants hits three successive home runs in a 14–5 loss in Boston. It is a record 5th time in his career that Mize has hit three home runs in one game; he will do it a 6th time with the Yankees in 1950.

» July 18, 1947: Willard Marshall of the New York Giants hits 3 consecutive HRs, as Larry Jansen beats the visiting Reds.

» September 9, 1948: Hard-throwing Rex Barney of the Brooklyn Dodgers survives a one-hour rain delay plus showers in the 6th, 8th, and 9th innings and hurls a no-hitter, beating the New York Giants 2-0. It is Barney's 10th win in 2 months, and keeps the 3rd-place Dodgers 31Ž2 games behind the NL-leading Braves.

» July 31, 1949: Sid Gordon of the New York Giants blasts two HRs in the second inning of game two, as the Giants sweep the Reds 10-0 and 9-0 behind Larry Jansen and Adrian Zabala.

» February 7, 1952: North American P Bill Samson achieves an undistinguished winter league record by walking 14 Vargas batters in six innings while pitching for Cerveceria Caracas of the Venezuelan League. This negative feat also matches the major-league record set in 1906 by Henry Mathewson of the New York Giants, who needed nine full innings for an equal display of pitching wildness.

» November 25, 1952: The St. Louis Cardinals seek payment from the New York Giants for two televised games in an effort to determine the TV and radio rights of visiting teams for revenue.

» February 1, 1954: The Milwaukee Braves send pitchers Johnny Antonelli, Don Liddle, infielder Billy Klaus, and C Ebba St. Claire to the New York Giants for OF Bobby Thomson and C Sam Calderone. Giant fans will howl in protest at the loss of Thomson, but will quiet down when Antonelli posts a sparkling 21–7 record.

» April 24, 1956: AL umpire Frank Umont is the first to wear glasses in a regular season game, between Detroit and Kansas City. The former NFL tackle (New York Giants) still presents an intimidating appearance to most players and fans.

» September 21, 1957: Gail Harris is the last player to hit a HR as a New York Giant, as they beat the Pirates 9-5 in the 2nd game of a doubleheader. Ruben Gomez gains the last New York Giants' victory.

» March 10, 1982: Travis Jackson and Happy Chandler are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Jackson hit .291 in 15 seasons as the New York Giants SS in the 1920s and 30s, while Chandler was baseball's 2nd commissioner and oversaw—and encouraged—the dismantling of the color barrier in 1947.

» August 20, 2000: The Indians defeat the Mariners, 12-4 in a game delayed by a rogue squirrel. The loss is the 7th in a row in which Seattle has surrendered at least nine runs, tying a 99-year-old major-league record set by the New York Giants on September 3-6, 1901. The Giants lost seven in a row allowing 10+ runs in each.