TUCKAHOE, N.Y. -- Local baseball fans learned fascinating details about the game’s history and New York City roots when The Fountains at RiverVue hosted a talk by special guest Tony Morante, director of Yankee Stadium Tours for the Yankee Foundation, on Thursday, July 10.
Morante leads tours of Yankee Stadium and Monument Park for about 120,000 fans every year, according to NYCTourist.com. In this instance, Morante brought the tour to the fans at home.
“We have a lot of Yankee fans here at The Fountains at RiverVue, obviously, and baseball fans in general, so it was a thrill to have Tony with us,” said Executive Director David Goldsmith.
Morante, who is working on a book about baseball’s New York City roots, fascinated the crowd with tales of politics, gambling and corruption in the early days of the sport. His article “Baseball and Tammany Hall,” published in the spring issue of the Society of American Baseball Research Journal and presented at the SABR Baseball Symposium in Cooperstown, will become a chapter in his book.
“One thing we learned about baseball from Morante that I didn’t know is that from 1913 to 1923, the Yankees shared the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants," said Goldsmith.
"Jealous of the Yankees' higher attendance, the Giants owner and manager John McGraw refused to extend the Yankees' Polo Grounds lease. The Yankees built a new stadium within eyeshot of the Polo Grounds directly across the Harlem River in the Bronx -- Yankee Stadium the 'House that Ruth Built.'"
Goldsmith explained that inviting speakers like Morante to The Fountains is an important part of the community’s philosophy to offer programs that keep residents engaged in lifelong mind and body fitness.
“People here have many different hobbies and passions -- music, art, baseball, you name it," said Goldsmith.
"It’s great to see them light up when we introduce different subjects and they contribute such valuable insight into the discussions. ‘Never stop learning’ is our motto around here.”