The Giants’ Move to San Francisco

On August 20, 1957, when the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the approval of the New York Giants’ board for the plan to move over to San Francisco, it went into the streets for some man on the street opinions.

One from Fidel Sabilla: “I’ll go to see every game, even if I have to cut work. Only I wish it was the Brooklyn Dodgers.”

Another from a native of Buffalo who got a jump on the Giants on moving from New York to S.F.: “The New York Giants and Joey Giambra [a middleweight boxer] are the best things that ever happened to San Francisco.”

Another from youth baseball sponsor Walter Schulken: “We should have had major league ball here 25 years ago. Some of the kids should have been playing right here in the city. I think it’s mighty fine.”

And one from Peninsula builder Ed Mardell: “I had hoped they would decide on the Peninsula, but when the big games come along I’ll drive up the Bayshore.”

An accompanying article surveying the Giants’ talent talked about Jackie Brandt, Bill White, “a powerful Negro,” Willie Kirkland, Jim Davenport, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Antonelli, and Daryl Spencer, and Willie Mays, who “of course, is baseball’s best show.”

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Horace Stoneham, the Giants’ owner, said “there was every likelihood of ‘immediate pay television’ in San Francisco.” He added: “Business reasons forced the decision [not enough fans were watching the Giants play in the Polo Grounds]. Baseball is a sport, but you need money to operate it. I am very sorry to be leaving New York. I am very sentimental about New York, but conditions were such that we had to move soon or have no chance to make as good a deal as this one.”

The vote by the Giants’ board finalized plans for the move, which was already approved by the National League on May 28. People weren’t certain yet about the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles. The Chronicle’s front page:

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As a p.s. here’s Stoneham talking to author Peter Golenbock: “I had intended to move out of New York even before I knew Mr. O’Malley was intending to move. I had intended to go to Minneapolis. We had a [Class AAA] ballclub there, and so I had the rights to the area. … And then Walter called up and said, ‘Why don’t we go to the Far West together?’ “

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Published in: on October 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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