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Another Baseball Finale Held at Polo Grounds

Sept. 18, 1963 - For the record: 1.) Roy Sievers of the Phillies today made the last major league putout at the Polo Grounds. 2.) Ted Schreiber of the Mets hit into a double play that led to the final putout. 3.) Siever’s putout at 4:21 p.m. capped a 5-1 victory by the Phils over the Mets, who concluded their tenure in the old ballpark with a seven-game losing streak. 4.) Hardly anyone cared. The smallest crowd to watch the Mets at the Polo Grounds — 1,752 paying customers — turned out for this finale at the Harlem ballyard. Maybe the fact that there had been two previous major league “last games” at the Polo Grounds took a bit from the occasion. The next Met home game is slated for Shea Stadium in Queens. It is hoped that no more Mets games will be played at the Polo Grounds — if only to put an end to the string of finales. The Giants played one “finale” there, but then the Mets came into being. Last year, the Mets played a “finale” there too, but Shea Stadium wasn’t ready on schedule, and they had to play another one today. With luck, it will be the last. So, for those fans who want to see the next Met home game — remember, don’t take the D train to 155th Street; take the IRT to Willets Point. Today, lots of memories were revived at the Polo Grounds, particularly for Casey Stengel, whose string of stories ran the gamut from John McGraw to his beleaguered days with the old Boston Braves. “Didn’t you see me out there with those movie and newsreel guys?” winked a Casey. “Why, I was so choked up so I couldn’t stop crying for two hours.” Turning serious, the Old Man’s eyes quickly toured the park and he added softly: “Yeah, the place has its memories.”

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