Just a beautiful shot of the Polo Grounds during a Friday afternoon contest between the Philadelphia Phillies and the hometown Giants in front of a sparse crowd of 5,391.
In this photo the game is in the bottom of the fourth frame with the Phillies up 4-0 and the Giants batting, Jim Konstanty is on the rubber facing Wes Westrum with two outs, the runner on first base is Hank Thompson who got on board with a two-out single. Thompson would advance to second on a pass ball and Westrum’s keen eye got himself on first with a walk then he would come around to score on a Davey Williams base hit for the Giants first run of the game. Now with two outs and two on George Wilson would deliver on a pinch-hit to cut the lead to half.
The score would stay 4-2 until the eighth inning when the Giants bats exploded with long ball power.
First it would be the legendary Bobby Thomson with his 20th home run of the season to trim the deficit to a single run. Then after Westrum’s two-out base hit it would time for heroics from another Giants pinch-hitter in the form of Clint Hartung, a pitcher by trade. The gigantic native (he stood 6’5”) from Texas would wallop Konstanty’s 1-2 pitch against the upper of the left field stands for his third home run of the year and giving the Giants a hard fought 5-4 lead.
In the ninth inning the Phillies started to rally with two hits against Giants reliever Al Corwin and were now threating with the tying run at third and the go ahead sitting at first base. But Giants skipper Leo had an ace card to play with pitcher Sal Maglie, who made a rare appearance from the bullpen. And Magle proved to be brilliant in striking out Johnny Wyrostek for the second out and then whiffing Richie Ashburn for the final out of the game.
It would be Maglie’s only save on the year.
History was also recorded in the game, when Giants rookie pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm relieved starting pitcher George Spencer in the fourth inning, this marked Wilhelm’s 58th appearance of the season, establishing a modern record for rookie pitchers.
Do take note of the bullpen in fair territory in left-center field.
-Ron A. Bolton