4) Polo Grounds (1890-1963)
Home to: Giants, Metropolitans, Yankees, Mets
A: Willie Mays’ famous catch in the 1954 World Series is among the most iconic moments in baseball history. The Polo Grounds itself is a critical aspect of this play and how we remember it, with the distance Mays had to cover traversing its massive center field forming a key element of the story, and the elevated center field wall providing a perfect backdrop to frame the image without any of the details being lost in the visual noise of the cheering crowd.
As these stadiums of old have long since disappeared, they are often best remembered for the players and games they hosted, the architecture simply tangential to the action, and it is as if the surrounding construction has faded away while the proceedings of the vast expanse of green it once sheltered live on.
J: One of the most unique and cherished stadiums during its existence, the departure of the New York Giants from their beloved home devastated fans. An apartment complex currently stands on the Polo Grounds’ former site. The music for this movement borrows the dense quotation collage construction from the third movement of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia and juxtaposes Frank Sinatra’s “There Used to Be a Ballpark” with postpunk group Modern Baseball’s “Apartment”.