New York Giants
1883: John B. Day and Jim Mutrie, owners of the American Association’s New York Metropolitans, form a National League team called the New York Gothams. On May 1st, they play their first game at a field once used for polo matches at 110th Street and Sixth Avenue. The Gothams would go on to finish in sixth Place with a 46-50 record, in their inaugural campaign.
1884: In their second season the Gothams post their first winning record finishing in fourth place with a record of 62-50.
1885: Manager Jim Mutrie makes his boast, and the Gothams become the Giants. Despite “being Giants”, New York falls short of the pennant by two games with an 85-27 record.
1886: In their first full season known as Giants the team post a solid 75-44 record, but ends up with an ordinary third place finish.
1887: The Giants look ordinary again as they slide to a fourth place posting a record of 68-55.
1888: After two seasons of .550-plus records that nevertheless result in finishing more than ten games back, the Giants capture finally their first National League Championship, with an 84-47 record. The Giants would go on to defeat the American Association’s St. Louis Brown Stockings in the 19th century version of the World Series 6-games-to-4.
1889: The city of New York evicted the Giants from the original Polo Grounds, so the team played two games at Oakland Park in New Jersey and 23 games at Staten Island’s St. George Grounds before moving in to the Second Polo Grounds at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue in July. Despite being evicted the Giants went 83-43 for a narrow one-game victory over the Boston Beaneaters for the pennant. The Giants would go on to beat Brooklyn’s American Association in a series played after the season. This would be the beginning of one of baseball’s historic rivalries as the Bridegrooms would move to the National League in 1890 and would eventualy become the Dodgers.
1890: The Giants are ravaged by the loss of players to the rival Players League, the Giants finished sixth place with a 63-68 record. They would recover several players when the Player’s League folded at the end of the season. They also moved into the Player’s League ballpark, and renamed it The Polo Grounds, in keeping with a tradition. They would play at that location for the next 67 years, except in 1911 when the stadium was nearly destroyed by a fire.
1891: With several of the lost star players returning after the failure of the Players League the Giants recover and finish in third place with a record of 71-61.
1892: The Giants are a non-factor in the pennant race as the National League experiments with a split season, struggling to finish with a combined record of 71-80.
1893: George Davis’ 33-game hitting streak establishes the franchise record as he leads the team with a .355 average and 119 RBI. Davis would also get a team record 27 triples, which still remains the franchise record. Despite the hitting of Davis the Giants would only finish in fifth Place with a 68-64 record.
1894: The Giants finish three games behind the Baltimore Orioles with an 88-44 record. Following the season the top two teams lock horns in a postseason series for the Temple Cup. The Giants would sweep the series, and would earn the right to be called National League Champions.
1895: Cy Seymour pitches both games of a doubleheader, and wins both. He allows seven hits total in the two games. The achievement is especially remarkable because of Seymour’s reputation for wildness; he would issue 13 walks in a game two years later and led the league in free passes for three straight years. Prior to the season the Giants named shortstop George Davis manager making him at the age of 24 the youngest skipper in baseball history. However, the Giants would struggle, and Davis would be relieved of managerial duties in the middle of a disappointing ninth Place 66-65 season.
1896: The Giants struggle all season finishing in seventh place with a terrible 54-77 record.
1897: The Giants make a run for first place finishing nine and half games short of the pennant while finishing in 3rd place with a solid 83-48.
1898: The Giants play inconsistent baseball all season going through three managers on the way to finishing in seventh place with a mediocre 71-63 record.
1899: The Giants struggle all season finishing in tenth place with a miserable 60-90 record.
1900: The Giants begin the 20th Century on a sour note finishing in last place with a 60-78 record.
1901: The Giants continue to struggle finishing in seventh place with a lousy record of 52-85.
1902: Off to a terrible start the Giants quickly churned through two managers, both of who considered shifting emerging star pitcher Christy Mathewson to another position. Owner Andrew Freedman managed to snag the aggressive John McGraw, the club’s third Manager of the season, away from the fledging Baltimore Orioles of the AL and signed him as player-manager of the Giants in mid-season. Upon assuming the reins of the Giants, McGraw came up with an innovative solution for the problem of what to do with Luther “Dummy” Taylor, the only deaf-mute person to play in the majors in the 20th century. McGraw made his entire team learn sign language so they could communicate with him, and when they started using the skill in games, the earliest form of “signs” in baseball. Despite the innovative ideas from McGraw the Giants still finished in Last Place 53 and half games out of first with a 44-88 record.
1903: In John McGraw’s first full season at the helm the Giants make a dramatic improvement reversing their record and finishing in second Place with an 84-45 record, finishing only six and half out of the top spot in the National League.
1904: After crushing the rest of the league with a franchise-best 106 victories to capture the National League title, the Giants decline to participate in the newly created World Series because manager John McGraw and owner John Brush consider the American League a minor league. After crushing the rest of the league with a franchise-best 106 victories to capture the National League title, the Giants decline to participate in the newly created World Series because manager John McGraw and owner John Brush consider the American League a minor league. In truth McGraw and Brush had issues with American League President Ban Johnson when both were involved with American League franchises.
1905: Satisfied with the adoption of certain postseason rules, the Giants agree to play in the World Series after successfully defending their National League Championship with a 105-48 record. In the series played against the Philadelphia Athletics Christy Mathewson authors one of the greatest pitching performances in World Series history. The 25-year-old right-hander, who had 32 wins that season to register his third straight 30-win season, shut down the Athletics in the Giants five-game series victory. In the space of just six days, Mathewson pitched three shutouts and permitted just 14 hits overall.
1906: The Giants follow up their first World Championship with an impressive 96-56 record, but finish 20 games behind the Chicago Cubs, who set an all-time single season win record.
1907: Despite another solid 24-win season from Christy Matthewson the Giants are non-factors in the National League Pennant Chase, finishing in fourth place with a record of 82-71.
1908: The New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs finished the regular season with identical 98-55-1 records and needed to play a decisive makeup game to determine the National League Championship. The Make up was need due to a play that has been termed Merkle’s Boner. In a September 23rd Cubs-Giants game with runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, New York’s Al Bridwell delivered an apparent game-winning hit. When fans stormed the field, Fred Merkle, who was on first, retreated to the dugout and failed to touch second base. The Cubs eventually retrieved the ball and doubled up Merkle at second. Since order could not be restored, the game was declared a 1-1 tie. The “Merkle Game” was replayed on October 8th with the Cubs posting a 4-2 victory.
1909: Despite an impressive 92-61 record the Giants finish in thid place, and a distant 18 and half games out of first place.
1910: The Giants finish 13 games out of first despite another impressive record of 91-63 while finishing in second place.
1911: The “running” Giants, establish a league record with 347 stolen bases, and persevered through the rebuilding of the Polo Grounds to post 99 wins good enough to capture the National League Pennant. The Giants had to play its home games through early June at the park of the American League’s New York Highlanders after the Polo Grounds burned to the ground in April. The World Series was a rematch against the Philadelphia Athletics. The Giants donned menacing black uniforms like they had in their 1905 championship run. The previous series hero Christy Mathewson still anchored John McGraw’s pitching staff, going 26-13 during the regular season. The Hall of Famer got New York off to a great start vs. Philadelphia in Game 1 by tossing a six hitter in the 2-1 Giants triumph. The Athletics rebounded to take Games 2 and 3 with Frank “Home Run” Baker clubbing dramatic home runs in both outings. In Game 4, Mathewson was outdueled by Chief Bender in 4-2 decision that gave the Athletics a commanding three-games-to-one lead. The Giants escaped the inevitable in Game 5 and scored a 4-3 triumph in ten innings before getting clobbered 13-2 in the series’ sixth and final game.
1912: The Giants, bolstered by lefty Rube Marquard’s 19-game winning streak, lived a storybook campaign winning 103 games. However, the Giants magic would run out in the 10th inning of the final game of the World Series, when usually reliable centerfielder Fred Snodgrass dropped a fly ball that opened the door for a two run rally that gave the Boston Red Sox the World Championship. The Giants would fall behind 3-1 in the series, which included a Game 2 tie, but battled back to force an 8th, game. The Series came down to the tenth inning of the eighth and final game, as the Giants and Red Sox were deadlocked at 1-1 after nine innings. The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the top half of the tenth inning and then all hell broke loose. Red Sox pinch hitter Clyde Engle opened the bottom half of the inning with a routine fly ball that Snodgrass was camped under and then dropped. Boston eventually won the game on a sacrifice fly in the tenth inning and ruined the Giants’ magical season.
1913: Christy Mathewson pitches a phenomenal 68 straight innings without walking a batter before issuing a free pass to the Ed Konetchy of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants are led by three 20-game to another Natioanl League Pennant with a 101-51 record. However, the Giants fall short in the World Series for the third straight season losing in five games to the Philadelphia Athletics.
1914: The Giants fall ten and half games short of a fourth straight National League Pennant, finishing in second with an 84-70 record.
1915: The Giants stumble from the start of the season, and finish in last place with a 69-83 record.
1916: In a season characterized by dips and surges, the Giants go on a 17-game winning streak in May and a Major League Record 26-game winning streak in September. However the inconstant Giants finish no better then fourth place with an 86-66 record.
1917: The Giants would win 98 games to cruise to their fourth National League Pennant of the decade. However, the Giants’ run of bad luck in the fall classic continued with their fourth straight World Series defeat as they fell to the Chicago White Sox in six games. Famed Olympian and footballer Jim Thorpe was on the Giants’ team, but made only one appearance during the Series in Game 5. In the sixth and deciding game, the Giants were in a scoreless deadlock with the Chisox heading into the fourth inning. That’s when the Giants’ penchant for mistakes at inopportune times reared its ugly head again. This time, White Sox 2B Eddie Collins led off frame with a grounder to Giants 3B Heinie Zimmerman, who made a two base throwing error on the play. Joe Jackson’s ensuing fly ball was then dropped by RF Dave Robertson, positioning White Sox at the corners. Sox CF Happy Felsch then grounded back to the pitcher, Rube Benton, who saw Collins break from 3rd and threw to Zimmerman in an attempt to get Collins hung up. Zimmerman ran Collins toward the plate, but the runner bounded past catcher Bill Rariden to make it a Zimmerman-Collins race to the plate. The White Sox 2B won the footrace and distracted the Giants’ defense enough to allow the base runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd. Both runners would score on an ensuing base hit. That’s all the White Sox would need to salt away the World Championship as they went on to win Game 6 by a 4-2 count.
1918: The Giants follow up their World Series appearance with a 71-53 record, good enough for second Place, ten and half games out of the top spot.
1919: The Giants fall short of the National League pennant again finishing in nine games out while landing in 2nd place with a solid record of 87-63.
1920: The Giants and Brooklyn Robins duel for the National League Pennant. However, the Giants fall seven games short with an 86-68 record.
1921: After several turbulent years, which included the dismissal of two players for throwing games and the death of Eddie Grant (the first major leaguer killed in World War I); the Giants capture the pennant with a 94-59 record, and face the Yankees in the first Subway Series. In the World Series, the Yanks jumped out to a two-games-to-none lead after posting consecutive 3-0 victories. The Giants roared back from an early 2-0 deficit in Game 3 to post a 13-5 victory. John McGraw’s club knotted the Fall Classic at two games apiece when it logged a 4-2 triumph in the fourth game, despite Babe Ruth’s first World Series home run. Ruth, hobbled by knee and arm aliments, spirited the Yankees to a 3-1 victory in Game 5 when he started the go-ahead rally with a bunt base hit. However, the Bambino couldn’t continue and the Giants took advantage of the situation to run off three straight victories to give the franchise its first World Championship since 1905. Art Nehrf got the National Leaguers over the top with his four-hit, 1-0 victory in Game 8. Following the Series, John McGraw had the Yankees evicted from the Polo Grounds, leading to the construction of Yankee Stadium, which opened two years later.
1922: The Giants, earned a trip to their the second consecutive World Series, by taking the National League pennant with a 93-61 record. John McGraw’s club brought home its 2nd straight World Series Championship after defeating its fellow Polo Grounds tenants, the Yankees, in a four-victory sweep that actually took five games to complete due to a tie. The Giants managed to post 4-3 and 5-3 victories in the fourth and fifth games, respectively, to shut down the Yanks. It also helped that the Giants’ pitchers shut down Babe Ruth over the final three outings, holding him hitless in nine at-bats.
1923: Following the enclosure of the Polo Grounds, the Giants’ dynasty rolls on with their third consecutive National League Championship, and a 95-58 record. It was an all-New York World Series for the third straight year, but there were a few changes. First, the Yankees moved into their own ballpark, Yankee Stadium. The result looked like it would be the same for a while as the Giants took a 2-1 series lead after Game 3 in Yankee Stadium. The Giants won that World Series Game in the Bronx with a homer by Casey Stengel, which led the Giants and pitcher Art Nehrf to a 1-0 shutout. However, that would be the last shinning moment for the Giants, as the Yanks won the next three games to take the series in six games.
1924: For the Giants, the year is like the past three, culminating in a trip to the World Series. It was also the was the eighth time in 14 years, that the Giants had won the National League pennant, winning the flag by one and a half games over the Brooklyn Dodgers with a 93-60 record. George Kelly led the league with 136 RBI; while Frankie Frisch tied for the league lead with 121 runs scored and contributed 22 stolen bases. In the World Series the Giants would be matched up against the Washington Nationals, and the two teams would split the first 6 games setting up a dramatic Game 7 conclusion. In that seventh game, bad memories of Merkle, and Snodgrass returned to longtime Giants fans. Despite making three errors in the final contest, the Giants were done in twice by the infield at Washington’s Griffith Stadium. The Giants took a 3-1 advantage into the eighth inning of that final contest. With 2 outs and the bases-loaded, Nats Bucky Harris hit a grounder that skipped over the head of 18-year-old 3B Freddie Lindstrom, two runs scored on the bad-hop single to tie the game. The contest remained deadlocked until the bottom of the 12th inning, when Giants catcher Hank Gowdy tripped over his mask and dropped a Muddy Ruel pop. The Nats catcher responded with a double down the 3rd base line. One batter later with runners on 1st and 2nd, CF Earl McNeely grounded to third, but once again, the ball skipped over Lindstrom’s head and Ruel came around to score the winning tally.
1925: The Giants bid for a fifth straight National League Pennant falls eight and a half games short, as the Giants 86-66 record is only good enough for second Place.
1926: The Giants suffer their first losing season in 11 years finishing in fifth place with a disappointing record of 74-77.
1927: After a sub .500 season the Giants get back in the Pennant race, and battle down with two other teams until the final week of the season. However, the Giants 92-62 record was only good enough for third Place, two games in back of the National League Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.
1928: The Giants battle down to the final week of the season, but fall two games short again, finishing in second place with a solid 93-61 record.
1929: The Giants quest for a return to the World Series falls 13 and half games short as they finish in third place with a record of 84-67.
1930: With baseball experiencing an offensive explosion (the National League batted .303 for the season), the Giants’ .319 team average sets a baseball record. Bill Terry establishes a franchise record with a .401 average, making him the last National Leaguer to hit .400 or better. He also sets a franchise record and ties for the league lead with 254 hits. However, the Giants finish five games back in third place with an 87-67 record.
1931: The Giants put together another solid, but unrewarding season as they finish 13 games out of first place while finishing in second place with a record of 87-65.
1932: John McGraw’s 30-year reign as the Giants’ skipper comes to an end, as the frustrated and ailing manager steps down in June. He turns the team over to 1B Bill Terry, who would manage the team for the next ten years. In the year of transition the Giants would finish in a tie for sixth Place with a disappointing 72-82 record.
1933: In its first full season under new manager Bill Terry, the Giants won the National League pennant, with a 91-61 record, on the strong pitching of National League MVP Carl Hubbell and Hal Schumacher. Hubbell established a franchise record with 46 1/3 consecutive shutout innings. The Giants entered the World Series as the underdog to the high-powered offense of the Washington Nationals. However, the Giants pitchers tacked up a 1.53 ERA en route to their four-games-to-one series victory. Hubbell and Schumacher, who had combined for 17 shutouts during the regular season, were selected to start the first two contests vs. the Nats. Mel Ott would deliver the series winning home run in tenth inning of Game 5 at Washington’s Griffith Stadium.
1934: Carl Hubbell strikes out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in order in the first two innings of the All Star Game played at the Polo Grounds. The Giants were once again in the thick of the race of the pennant but fell two games short with a 93-60 record.
1935: The Giants finish in third place, finishing just eight and half games out of first place with a record of 91-62.
1936: Carl Hubbell again wins the MVP Award and leads the league in wins and ERA, while Mel Ott bashes a league-best 33 home runs, to lead the Giants to a 92-62 record good enough for the National League Championship. In a Subway Series match up against the Yankees, King Carl was on the mound for the Giants in Game 1 and got the National Leaguers a 6-1 victory. However, the Yankees would go on to win each of the next three games, outscoring the Giants by a cumulative 25-7 count. Staving off elimination, the Giants scored a 5-4, 10-inning victory in Game 5. Manager Bill Terry, playing in the next-to-last game of his playing career, drove in the game winner with a sacrifice fly. However, the Yanks would finish off the Giants in Game 6 with 17 hits en route a 13-5 Series clinching victory.
1937: Bill Terry drops the player part of his player-manager title and leads the Giants to a 95-67 pennant winning record, for a World Series rematch against the Yankees. Carl Hubbell, who won his last 16 decisions the previous year, strings together eight more wins for a record 24 straight victories. However none of it seemed to work in the World Series as the Giants lost the first three games of the World Series. The Giants would avoid the sweep by winning Game 4 7-3, but would eventually lose the series in five games.
1938: The Giants quest for a third straight National League Pennant, falls five games short as the Giants finish in third Place with an 83-67 record.
1939: The Giants play mediocre baseball all season finishing in fifth place with a record of 77-74.
1940: Aging group of Giants struggle all season, and finish in sixth Place with a 72-80 record.
1941: In Bill Terry’s final season of manager the Giants post their second straight losing season finishing in fifth place with a record of 74-79.
1942: Mel Ott takes over the reigns of Manager, as the Giants improve to 85-67 after two sub-par seasons. However, the Giants would only finish in third place 20 games out of 1st.
1943: In the midst of a terrible 55-98 last place season, pitcher Carl Hubbell retires after posting 253 career wins.
1944: The Giants continue to struggle during wartime as they finish in 5th place with a lousy record of 67-87.
1945: Player-Manager Mel Ott hits career home run number 500. The Giants, who begin to get players back for World War II, would manage to finish with an improved 78-74 record, after two miserable sub .500 seasons.
1946: The first post-war season should have been bright for the Giants, but the rogue Mexican League lures away many of the top New York players. The exodus hits the Giants harder than any other team, as they finish in last place with a 61-93 record.
1947: The Giants rebound off their last place finish to post a record of 81-73, good enough for fourth place.
1948: In 1946, Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher had declared, “nice guys finish last”, referring to Giants skipper Mel Ott. When Durocher’s Dodgers struggled early, in the 1948 season Dodgers management dismissed him. This led to one of the most stunning developments in baseball history. In July Giants manager Ott was dismissed by owner Horace Stoneham, and replaced by the hated ex-Dodger Manager Leo Durocher. With Durocher taking over the Giants who finished with a 78-76 record, were a home-run machine, with seven regulars smacking at least ten, Durocher felt wholesale changes were necessary. Over the next few years, he would shape a team built on speed and aggressive hitting instead of power.
1949: In Leo Durocher’s first full season at the helm the Giants struggle all season and finish in fifth Place with a 73-81 record.
1950: Leo Durocher’s aggressive style begins to work as the Giants come with in five games of the National League Pennant, with a solid 3rd Place 86-68 season.
1951: Willie Mays makes his debut, after being called up from the minors where he was batting .477. Mays got off to a slow start going 0-for-12 to start his inaugural major league season. He then crushed a pitch from Warren Spahn of the Boston Braves to get his first hit and, the first of 20 long balls he would stroke in his Rookie of the Year campaign. After trailing the Brooklyn Dodgers by 13 and a half game on August 11th, manager Leo Durocher’s troops rattled off 16 straight victories and won 37 of their final 44 regular-season contests to force a tie with Brooklyn with a 96-58 record. The Giants and Dodgers would split the first two games of the tiebreaker series to set up an unforgettable Game 3 in the Polo Grounds. With the Giants trailing 4-2 with one out and two on in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe, removed himself from the game in favor of reliever Ralph Branca. Thomson drilled a 0-1 pitch to left field and jumped onto home plate to put an exclamation on “the Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff.” The momentum seemed to carry over to the next day for the opener of the World Series as Monte Irvin stole home in the first inning to register the first swipe of home since 1928. The Giants LF finished the contest 4-for-5 and spearheaded a 5-1 victory over the Yankees. Irvin would once again lead the Giants offense in Game 2, but his three hits weren’t enough to overcome the Yankees in a 3-1 defeat, the Giants would bounce back to win Game 3 win 6-2. Despite holding a two-games-to-one Series lead, the Giants couldn’t finish off the Yankees as the American Leaguers ran off three straight victories to claim the title.
1952: The Giants battle the Brooklyn Dodgers for the National League Pennant again, but fall four and half games short with a 92-62 record.
1953: With Willie Mays serving in the military, and Monte Irvin recovering from a broken leg the Giants fall to 5th place, struggling to finish with a 70-84 record, without two of their most vital cogs.
1954: With the return of Willie Mays, and Monte Irvin, the Giants are once again at full strength and capture the NL Pennant with a 97-57. In the World Series the Giants were matched up against a Cleveland Indians team that won 111 games. In Game 1 Willie Mays got the Giants off to a great start when he made perhaps the greatest catch in baseball history. With the Giants and Indians tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, with and two Indians on base, Mays made an over-the-shoulder catch of a 460-foot smash off the bat Vic Wertz. The Giants went on to win 5-2 when pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes hit a three run, home run in the tenth inning off Indians starter Bob Lemon. Ironically, the game-winning clout went only 260 feet down the line. The Giants would go on to sweep the Indians in four games to register their last World Championship of the 20th Century.
1955: Despite 51 homers from Willie Mays, the Giants slip to third place with an 80-74 record in Leo Durocher’s final season at the helm.
1956: The Giants struggle in the stands and on the field in Bill Rigney’s first season as manager of the Giants. With attendance faltering at the run down Polo Grounds, only 629,179 fans show up all year to watch the sixth place 67-87 play.
1957: With the Polo Grounds slated to be demolished and replaced by housing projects, Giants owner Horace Stoneham began looking for a site to which to relocate. The Giants attendance had fallen from way off from 1.2 million they drew in 1954. In the meantime; San Francisco mayor George Christopher had designs on luring a Major League Baseball team to his city. He heard about Stoneham’s unhappiness and Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley’s threats to move, and through conversations with O’Malley and the mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Christopher discovered the Dodgers were considering a move to Los Angeles O’Malley and Christopher convinced Stoneham that the two clubs should move to the west coast together, and on August 19th, Stoneham announced that the Giants would be moving to the Bay Area for the 1958 season. In their final season in New York the Giants would finish in sixth place with a 69-85 record.
1958-1962: Immediately after the Giants and Dodgers head out to California, the City of New York began pressuring the National League to bring another team to New York, while initial efforts failed, a Cooperate Lawyer named William Shea formed a third Major League called the Continental League with teams in several locations, including New York. Fearing a third league the American and National Leagues both decided to expand with the New York return to the National League with an expansion team known as the Mets in 1962.
©MMXIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, statistics, logos, and team names are property of Major League Baseball. This site is not affiliated with the New York Giants or Major League Baseball. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 18, 2001. Last updated on March 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm ET.