Sunday, December 21, 2008

Polo Grounds

As part of my Aspbergian nature, I relate well to numbers and statistics. For example, decades ago, when I was just a kid, I came across a section in the World Almanac that listed the fence measurements of every big-league ballpark. What sticks in my mind almost half a century later is that the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Yankees until 1923, for the New York Giants and New York Mets for two years had the shortest right-field fence distance (255 feet) and the shortest left field fence (275 feet) of any big-league ballpark. The measurement for straightaway center field was 481 ft, the deepest of any park in the majors. The Polo Grounds were torn down after the 1962 season. However, many years later, I was talking baseball with some guys in the Navy when somebody mentioned that the Polo Grounds had a center field distance of 505 feet. I contradicted him, he contradicted me, and things got pretty heated. Happily enough, no one threw a punch.

It was not until just recently, when surfing on the web, that I realized the Polo Grounds went through several configurations. At one time, the fence was at 481 feet; at another, it was 505 feet.

Moral of the story: there are times when people disagree and both are right.

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