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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Sports

Opening Day at Shea Stadium: A nostalgic trip to the New York Mets’ beloved old home

Shea Stadium has been gone ten years now. With mourning fans looking on, the final section of seats were torn out on the morning of February 18, 2009. Awaiting fans a short distance away was the sparkling new Citi Field which would open for business with a thrilling game between the San Diego Padres and the field’s home […]

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Podcasts Sports

The Pride of Brooklyn: Ebbets Field and the Glory Days of the Brooklyn Dodgers

PODCAST: Pride of Brooklyn: Ebbets Field The Robins. The Bridegrooms. The Superbas. The Dizziness Boys. Dem Bums. The Boys of Summer. Whatever you call them, they will always be known in the hearts of New Yorkers as the Brooklyn Dodgers, the legendary baseball team that almost literally defined the spirit of Brooklyn in the early […]

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Sports

The Wise Guy of Baseball: Getting To Know Leo ‘The Lip’ Durocher

BOOK REVIEW The history of sports is often written around its most revered role models, as though the noble character of the greatest players comes from the purest devotion to their game. Leo Durocher, a sterling shortstop and manager for some of the greatest teams in baseball history, was no role model. In most ways, he was the […]

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Sports

Meet the Mets! The Metropolitans, that is, an early NY baseball team

The New York Mets, 2015 National League Champions and New York’s perpetual baseball underdogs, are only 53 years, formed in 1962 to fill the void after the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New  York Giants* to California. But in name, at least, they’re older than even the Yankees. The first New York ball club […]

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Sports

And now, the New York Female Giants: (Briefly) A League Of Their Own

For a very brief period — likely just a single year — there was a female counterpart to the New York (Male) Giants. The New York Female Giants seem to have an unofficial affiliation with the better known Giants, the city’s most popular baseball team.  Author Michael Carlebach speculates the team was probably formed by Giants manager John […]

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Brooklyn History Sports

Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds at Ebbets Field — in the first Major League baseball game ever broadcast on television

Seventy five years ago today, an extraordinary tradition began — televised Major League baseball! The location was appropriately Ebbets Field, one of baseball’s legendary ‘field of dreams’. The home team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, was pitted against the Cincinnati Reds in a key National League match-up. Both teams were quite strong that year, although it was Cincinnati […]

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Brooklyn History Sports

The short shelf life of the Tip-Tops, the Brooklyn baseball team situated near the Gowanus River and named for bread

The piping hot uniforms of the Brooklyn Tip-Tops, worn by baby-faced manager Lee Magee For a brief shining moment between 1914 and 1915, Brooklyn had two major league baseball teams — the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers and the not-so-legendary Brooklyn Tip-Tops. Baseball has long been a sport of two parallel sports leagues — the National League […]

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Sports

Photographs of college football players in New York (1914)

Above: the Columbia University football team, 1914 Click into the images for bigger view.  The first two team photos were taken sometime in Fall 1914, on the Columbia University campus. (As in, in the middle of campus.)  The first solo portraits were taken on Oct 24, 1914, during the Cornell vs Brown match-up at the […]

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Sports

The Polo Grounds: The final game, 50 years ago today

The Polo Grounds in 1923, the first year of a major expansion to accommodate fans of the New York Giants baseball team and a great many historic boxing matches (LOC) Fifty years ago today, the final game was played at the Polo Grounds, the legendary sports field that had once been home to the New […]

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Sports

Go Thistles! The finest names from old NYC soccer teams

Above: The New York Nationals and the New Bedford Whalers play the Polo Grounds, circa 1928 (Courtesy NYPL) The announcement on Tuesday of a second Major League Soccer team for New York — sponsored by Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees — has sent me down a rabbit hole of soccer history, courtesy this […]

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Sports

‘Arctic blasts’, union rousers and hunchbacks: Ten bits of trivia about Ebbets Field’s opening day, 100 years ago today

Inside Ebbets Field, 1913, Library of Congress The first-ever regular season baseball game at Ebbets Field was played 100 years ago today.  The legendary field, once located in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 until the team left for Los Angeles in 1958. Here are ten interesting facts […]

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Sports

Boston vs. New York: You think this is just about sports? Origins of an epic rivalry, from Puritans to the Super Bowl

The Metropolitans vs. the Beaneaters, captioned: “Boston and New York players on opening day, 1886, at the Polo Grounds, 5th Ave. and 110th St., NYC. posed in front of stands; Boston player in back row on left has his middle finger raised in obscene gesture.”  LOC Eli Manning, Tom Brady — how heavy the burden […]

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Sports

The New York Giants, before they were giants

At the legendary Polo Grounds 1925, where the Giants football team (after a couple false starts) finally make their mark on the sport.The New York Giants, currently in the playoffs and on their way to tackle the formidable Green Bay Packers this Sunday, are football’s oldest existing NFL team, and among its greatest — with […]

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Podcasts Sports

The race is on! A history of the New York City Marathon

Photo from Flickr A true five-borough episode! The New York City Marathon hosts thousands of runners from all over the world, the dream project of the New York Road Runners and in particular one Fred Lebow, an employee of the Fashion District turned athletic icon. Find out how he launched a massive race in the […]

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Sports

PODCAST: Randall’s Island and the 1936 Olympic trials

PODCAST The smaller islands of the East River reveal fascinating secrets of the city’s past, and Randall’s and Ward’s Islands are no exceptions. Found out how these former potter’s fields are related to the most important Olympics-related event New York City has ever seen. The cast includes a swashbuckling British engineer, Jesse Owens, Tony Bennett, […]