This Day in Giants History: August 19, 1917

As part of a benefit for the 69th New York regiment, which is about to depart for France, the Giants move up the date of a game against the Cincinnati Reds. The 2‚100 Europe-bound troops march from the armory on 25th Street and Lexington Avenue to the East River at 34th Street‚ where a ferry takes them to the foot of 157th Street. The troops parade to the Polo Grounds‚ entering through the Eighth Avenue gate‚ and drill on the field. A concert follows. Then the Giants play their first official Sunday game within the city limits. More than 25‚000 fans watch the Reds shut out the Giants‚ 5-0. The Giants circumvent the Sunday law by stipulating that they are charging patrons for the concert‚ then allowing them to watch the game for free (with all proceeds turned over to war charities). But city officials try to prosecute the two managers, Christy Mathewson of Cincinnati and John McGraw of New York, for violating the Sunday Blue Law. Mathewson and McGraw will be called to court two days after the game but the charges against them will be quickly dismissed by Magistrate Frank McQuade‚ who actually praises them. (McQuade‚ a rabid Giants fan‚ later becomes part owner of the team.)

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