SABR member Moe Resner still has to pinch himself when he realizes the treasure he brought home from the New York Giants’ final game at the Polo Grounds on September 29, 1957.
No, not the Eddie Grant memorial plaque.
Resner, a member of the Casey Stengel Chapter and Elysian Fields Chapter, captured amateur home video of the Giants’ season-ending 9-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates with his 16-millimeter camera. A crowd of just 11,606 witnessed the game, which included an emotional pregame ceremony with such Giants greats as Willie Mays and Bobby Thomson, Hall of Fame pitchers Carl Hubbell and Rube Marquard, manager Bill Rigney, broadcaster Russ Hodges and Mrs. John McGraw.
But Resner got it all on film — and in color. Filming the game was a complete accident, he said.
“My hobby was photography and I just happened to bring this camera. I was living in the Bronx at the time,” said Resner, of Edison, New Jersey. “I paid five cents to ride the subway up to the Polo Grounds. I went down to the box seats and climbed over the railing. They just let me in! I was on the field for three hours, including the whole game.”
Resner said many of his favorite players — including Hank Sauer, Sal Maglie, Hank Thompson, Sid Gordon — were friendly and posed for him as he walked around with his camera.
“I met everybody,” he said. “I shot Bobby Thomson pointing to the left-field stands, where he hit his famous home run. Marquard and Hubbell, the two Hall of Fame Giant left-handers, had never met each other until they shook hands on the field that day.”
“I think I was the last one out (of the stadium). I stayed very late.”
The Pirates knocked out Giants starter Johnny Antonelli after two innings, and piled up 17 hits to back Bob Friend’s complete-game effort.
You can watch a short excerpt from Resner’s 40-minute film on our YouTube channel:
Resner, a former coach in the Giants and Montreal Expos organizations who has spent 25 years as chief statistician for the semipro Pelham Mets club in New York, has also donated a DVD copy of the film to the San Francisco Giants and to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York.
The edited footage, narrated by Resner, includes an introduction by sports radio host Ed Randall, music composed and performed by Perry Lee Barber (one of the few professional female umpires in baseball history) and an interview with retired Air Force Lt. Col. Ed Logan, who was the Giants’ batboy in 1957.
This article was originally published October 5, 2011.
Originally published: October 5, 2011. Last Updated: October 5, 2011.