The Polo Grounds was the name of three stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used mainly for professional baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963. The third Polo Grounds, built in 1890 and renovated after a fire in 1911, is the one generally indicated when the Polo Grounds is referenced. It was located in Coogans Hollow and was noted for its distinctive shape, very short distances to the left and right field walls. As the name suggests, the original Polo Grounds, opened in 1876, in baseball, the original Polo Grounds was home to the New York Metropolitans from 1880 until 1885, and the New York Giants from 1883 until 1888. The Giants played in the second Polo Grounds for part of the 1889 season and all of the 1890 season, and at the third and fourth Polo Grounds from 1891 through 1957. The Polo Grounds was also the field of the New York Yankees from 1913 until 1922. It hosted the 1934 and 1942 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, in football, the third Polo Grounds was home to the New York Brickley Giants for one game in 1921 and the New York Giants from 1925 to 1955. The New York Jets of the American Football League played at the stadium from the inaugural season of 1960 through 1963. Other sporting events held at the Polo Grounds included soccer, boxing, the last sporting event at the Polo Grounds was a football game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on December 14,1963. Shea Stadium opened in 1964 and replaced the Polo Grounds as the home of the Mets and Jets, the Polo Grounds was demolished over a period of four months that year and a public housing complex, known as the Polo Grounds Towers, was built on the site. The original Polo Grounds stood at 110th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, directly across 110th Street from the northeast corner of Central Park. The venues original purpose was for the sport of polo, and its name was merely descriptive, not a formal name. For this purpose the ownership built a second diamond and grandstand at the park, dividing it into eastern and western fields for use by the Giants and Metropolitans respectively. Polo Grounds I thus hosted its first Major League Baseball games in 1883 as the stadium of two teams, the American Association Metropolitans and the National League Gothams. George Cricket Grounds on Staten Island in 1886, the original Polo Grounds was used not only for Polo and professional baseball, but often for college baseball and football as well—even by teams outside New York. The earliest known surviving image of the field is an engraving of a game between Yale University and Princeton University on Decoration Day, May 30,1882. Yale and Harvard also played their traditional Thanksgiving Day game there on November 29,1883, New York City was in the process of extending its street grid into uptown Manhattan in 1889. Plans for an extended West 111th Street ran through the Polo Grounds, City workers are said to have shown up suddenly one day and begun cutting through the fence to lay out the new street
Image: No Known Restrictions Polo Grounds during World Series Game, 1913 from the Bain Collection (LOC) (434431507)
Earliest known image of Polo Grounds I, from 1882
Manhattan Field c. 1901 with Polo Grounds outfield in background. High Bridge crossing the Harlem River at about 173rd Street is in the background. The bridge's center spans over the river itself were replaced by a large single span in the 1920s. The tower on the left is Highbridge Water Tower.
Fans on Coogan's Bluff watch the infamous Merkle's Boner game between the Giants and Cubs, September 23, 1908.