A Charity Game Between New York City’s Department of Sanitation and Police Department in 1941

I don’t know how many times groups of New York City public employees took over the city’s stadiums to play contests between themselves, but an account of a cops vs. firemen game has already showed up on this blog. And, NYC’s Department of Sanitation opposed the Police Department in a charity game on September 7, 1941, in the Polo Grounds. The New York Times said Sanitation’s two four-run innings let them “clean up the Police Department nine” before 45,000 fans, to win the game 11-7. There’s one more in a long tradition of punning newspaper headlines and leads.

Walter Holborrow had what must have been his greatest baseball game pitching for Sanitation: a complete game victory, and he went 4-5, with a solo homer. Although it’s quite likely that the Times misspelled his name, and he was actually Walter “Wally” Holborow, a city native born in 1913 who pitched in 21 games for the Senators and A’s in 1944, ’45, and ’48, including a shutout in 1945. The receipts, which must have been well into the tens of thousands of dollars, went to the city’s Welfare Honor Relief Fund. For posterity’s sake, and interested descendants of the participants, here’s the box score:

And the headline:

Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 3:44 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. More good stuff. Amazing to me that public employee workers could have such easy access to pro stadiums in those days. Bet it wouldn’t happen today.
    Keep up the good work,

  2. I wonder if these games played in MLB stadiums were only possible before the end of WWII. My sense is that the Depression and the war were unique moments that encouraged people to put on charity games that attracted mass audiences. It feels like television and mass media, starting in the ’50s, changed the cultural mentality so that tens of thousands of people were no longer willing to see these games, or MLB and stadium landlords were no longer willing to put the games on.

    Although there was Roy Campanella Night at the Los Angeles Coliseum: May 7, 1959, and that may have been the last huge charity game.


  4. I have two tickets, with rain check attached, for the 1949 game between the NYPD and the Department Sanitation played at Yankee Stadium. Always wondered about the history of these tickets and would like to learn more. If anyone has more history they are willing to share, please email me at larryschmidt13@yahoo.com

  5. I have an intact ticket from this game. Anyone know it’s value?

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