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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

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

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 […]

Abercrombie & Fitch used to be more robust and gentlemanly

I’ve never understood why tourists wait in line to get into the Fifth Avenue Abercrombie & Fitch clothing shop, with its several floors of basic casual clothing, perfumed showrooms and salespersons who are often barely wearing the apparel they are attempting to sell. But visiting an Abercrombie & Fitch store from one hundred years was quite […]

Abercrombie & Fitch used to be more robust and gentlemanly

I’ve never understood why tourists wait in line to get into the Fifth Avenue Abercrombie & Fitch clothing shop, with its several floors of basic casual clothing, perfumed showrooms and salespersons who are often barely wearing the apparel they are attempting to sell. But visiting an Abercrombie & Fitch store from one hundred years was quite […]

How New York City celebrated the FIRST London Olympics

Crowds gather around the steps of New York City Hall to welcome the procession of American Olympic athletes returning from the 1908 games in London. Pictures courtesy Library of Congress.OLYMPICS ROUNDUP London has hosted the Olympics four times, New York City zero.  The city tried for the current games in an ultimately unsuccessful bid back […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The rock gods of Forest Hills, Queens

WARNING The article contains a few spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC, so if you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. Lusty groupies, ample drug intake, smoky hallways and deafening rock music. One might have thought last night’s ‘Mad Men’ — partially centered around the backstage antics […]

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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 […]

Fight of the Century: Madison Square Garden, March 8, 1971

It might have saturated the media with mountains of preemptive hype (such as the spectular Life Magazine cover above), but few would argue that the ‘Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Garden didn’t live up to its high expectations. On the date of that much anticipated battle, a packed Garden watched as Joe Frazier become the first man […]

Brooklyn baseball: the Superbas and the worst batter ever

The New York Times this morning had an intriguing story about a unfortunate fellow who plays for the Chicago White Sox named Adam Dunn — nicknamed ‘the Big Donkey’.  This has been a banner year for Mr. Dunn as he is about to make the list as one of the worst players in the history of […]

The race is on! Retracing the New York Marathon

The first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967, Kathrine Switzer, meets well wishers during her 1974 run in the New York Marathon. Incidentally, she won the women’s division that year, with a time of just over three hours, the second longest winning time in the marathon’s history. In comparison, last year’s winner in […]

Yes, there really was a FIFTH Madison Square Garden

A packed house at MSGBowl on June 21, 1932, turning out for a prizefight between Max Schmeling and Jack Sharkey Picture courtesy Awesome Stories There was so much to speak about during the Madison Square Garden podcast that we didn’t have time to mention that, for a brief time, the borough of Queens once had […]

Stars of MSG: The deadliest roller skating event ever

People were just wild about skating in the 1880s. STARS OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: Six-day skater William DonovanLOCATION: MSG I People were a touch insane in the 1880s and 90s. One of the most popular sports was the six-day bicycle race, a sport so popular, particularly in Madison Square Garden II (debuting there in 1891), […]