Category Archives: ARCHIVES

June 18-Not again!

1962 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Remember yesterday’s story about Lou Brock being only the second player to hit a home run into the center field bleachers of New York’s Polo Grounds on June 17, 1962? The bleachers were 475 feet from home plate.

Well, it happened again the very next day. Henry Aaron, a more likely slugger, put one into the bleachers in center as the Milwaukee Braves beat the New York G.

What are the odds? Just four players had hit balls into the cent-field bleachers in the 52-year history of the Polo Grounds (Luke Easter of the Negro Leagues also did it) two of them on consecutive days.

The Polo Grounds had some interesting quirks. While the center field fence was a great distance away. The left and right field lines were short. The distance down the left field line varied over the years, but was usually 270 or 280 feet away, never more than 300 feet away, the right field line was even shorter. The upper deck in left hung over the lower deck, meaning a ball that could be caught if it fell all the way to the ground, could end up in the upper deck and be a home run.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Polo_Grounds
http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/national/pologr.htm
http://www.retrosheet.org/

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/04/not_715_ten_other_great_hank_a.html

June 17-Who’da thunk it

*1962 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The centerfield bleachers in the old Polo Grounds in New York, home to the New York Giants before they moved to San Francisco, were 475 feet from home plate. Quite a poke. Before June 17, 1962 only one player had hit a home run into those bleachers – the Milwaukee BravesJoe Adcock. At 6’4″ Adcock looked the part of a slugger. 

On June 17, 1962 a second ballplayer hit a ball into the center field bleachers of the Polo Grounds, but you’d be surprised who. It was Lou Brock, a man known more for his base stealing than slugging. Brock wasn’t exactly unfamiliar with the slow trot around the bases. He finished his career with 149 home runs and over 900 runs driven in.

Brock was still playing for the Cubs on this date, but would be traded to St. Louis two years later where he’d spend the rest of his hall of fame career as a Cardinal.

Bill Grimes is a member of SABR (The Society for American Baseball Research)