Johnny Tells Ryan About the
Former NY Giants (August 1977)
Johnny is babysitting Ryan in the bar. There are no customers, presumably because it is the morning, and Johnny begins talking aloud to Ryan as he is putting glasses away, "You know where I wan't to be on an afternoon like this, don't you? At the ballpark!" He chuckles. "Only, not the Stadium and not Shea. Now, we happen to have two of the finest baseball facilities in the world right here, one of them only ten minutes away. But you know what I mean when I say the ballpark? Still, after fifteen years, the Polo Grounds." He smiles at Ryan. "And, the funny thing is, it was really one of the worst - technically one of the worst - baseball fields in the country.
"I mean, when you sat up there in the last row of the last grandstand - the only place we could afford to sit, unless of course Ed Coleridge's dad had tickets, in which case we sat in one of the boxes in short left field, and that was some treat, let me tell you - well, from that last seat in lower grandstand, what you saw was girders, pigeon's nests, way out there, past the darkness all around you, was a blinding, bright little patch of green!" He begins putting some bottles on the shelves. "And that's where some of the greatest ballplayers that ever lived played the game.
"John McGraw himself, Mel Ott, Paul Hubble, Bobby Thompson, Willie Mays..." He goes over to Ryan. "Well, that one summer day we found out the Giants were moving west - it was a Saturday - I went to Mr. Donnell and I said I want the whole day off! Your mother was four then, your Aunt Siobhan only two. Well, your grandmother and I took all your aunts and uncles up to Coogan's Bluff, and we sat there a whole nine innings..." Johnny has turned to face the bar and does not see Mary walk through the door. "...because I wanted every single child of mine to be able to say that they saw the New York Giants play baseball in the Polo Grounds!"
"They won, too," says Mary. Johnny turns to see her. "Willie had three for four and a three-run homer in the seventh." She goes over and kisses Ryan. Johnny and Mary go on to discuss her pending divorce/annulment and Pat's malpractice suit.
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