Thursday, January 23, 2020

Stew Thornley Speaks to the New York Giants Preservation Society

Yours truly with Stew Thornley

I have been acquainted with Stew Thornley's baseball expertise from my activity in SABR.  Stew lives in Minneapolis but is very familiar with the New York Giants and the Polo Grounds.  I originally thought tonight's talk would focus on this book:

The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City's Historic Ballpark, 1880-1963 (McFarland Historic Ballparks)

He did discuss this, but his talk turned out to be a "mixed bag" of his many interests in baseball.  I did not take notes at the meeting so I'll list some of the points he made.  Most of the talk was devoted to answering questions from the audience.
  • He knew much about the Minneapolis Millers that was a farm team of the New York Giants in the 1950s.  There was some speculation back then that the Giants would move to Minneapolis, but of course, that never happened.
  • He spoke about Metropolitan Stadium, also known at the Met, where the Twins played after the franchise moved from Washington, DC.   The minor league Millers played there from  1956 until the Twins came.  That stadium was built to try to attract a major league team to come there.  He said that the people in Minnesota did not have much "affection" for the Washington Senators.
  • There was some discussion of the strange dimensions of the Polo Grounds and Willie Mays catch in the 1954 World Series.  One gentleman in the audience attended that game.  Many of the people in the audience have attended games there.  I went to two games in 1962-3 with my dad to see the Mets.
  • Stew spoke of his experiences as an official scorer for the Minnesota Twins.  He is on the MLB Official Scoring Advisory Committee. He is in NYC for their annual meeting at MLB Headquarters.
Stew Speaks to the audience

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