A Baseball Album
by Richard Bak
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The New York Giants have sent more men to the Baseball Hall of Fame than any other team, a distinction that only begins to hint at the place this storied franchise holds in the long history of America's national pastime.
Between 1883 and 1957, a span of 75 summers, the Giants were one of professional sports' great dynasties. Aside from the 17 National League pennants and eight world championships (in 1888, 1889, 1894, 1905, 1921, 1922, 1933, and 1954) the team won during this period, there were the unique personalities and imperishable moments that remain so much a part of the lore of the game: John McGraw's pugnacity, Christy Mathewson's fadeaway, Fred Snodgrass's muff, Mel Ott's leg kick, Carl Hubbell's scroogie, Bobby Thomson's home run, Willie Mays' catch. Even the Giants' ballpark, the Polo Grounds, had a personality of its own, with a center field that seemed as expansive as Utah and abbreviated foul lines that turned many an ordinary fly ball into a mighty home run.
This illustrated chronicle uses nearly 190 vintage photographs, period advertisements, and historic scorecards to recapture 75 years of memories provided by the New York Giants, a team that -- with apologies to Tony Bennett -- may have moved to San Francisco but left its heart in Manhattan.
Copyright © 1999 by Richard Bak. Excerpted with permission.