When the New York Yankees open their Major League Baseball season today in Washington, D.C., under Covid-19 measures, some fans will still be able to have a direct view of the game. The luxury comes thanks to a new apartment complex that overlooks center field.
The optics were different on opening day for New York Giants fans in Upper Manhattan 125 years ago, as one fewer place than the year before was available to watch Giants action at the Polo Grounds. A view from a perch outside the stadium was blocked in time for the Giants-Brooklyn Bridegrooms National League opener played on April 18, 1895.
Under a headline that reads, “Viaduct Deadheads Shut Out,” New York’s The Evening World reported from the game, “A screen of mammoth canvas, stretched on lofty poles along the right-field fence, killed the vantage ground of the viaduct for those who last year saved money by viewing the game at long distance.”
Accompanying the story were iIlustrations of the new and previous setup, and a view of how the field could be seen from aboard an elevated train that passed the Polo Grounds.
The fans “couldn’t or wouldn’t stand off the ‘L’ road tracks, and every engineer looked out upon the field as he pulled the throttle to slow up,” The Evening World noted. “The well-trodden path which lead from the ‘L’ road station to the entrance of the grounds was lined with men and boys who know that crowds like to buy, and who filled the air with their cries.”
Brooklyn defeated the hosts, 7-4.
View a virtual New York Sports Tours experience at Vimeo On Demand here.