Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Polo Grounds
The Polo Grounds was the name given to three different stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used by many professional teams in both baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963. In baseball, the stadiums were home to the New York Metropolitans from 1880 until 1885, the New York Giants from 1883 until 1957, the New York Yankees from 1913 until 1922, and the New York Mets in their first two seasons of 1962 and 1963. In football, the third Polo Grounds was home to two National Football League franchises: the short-lived New York Brickley Giants, for one game in 1921, and the New York Giants (football), from 1925 to 1955. Later, it was home to the New York Jets of the American Football League from the league’s inaugural season of 1960, when the team was known as the New York Titans, through the team’s first season as the Jets in 1963. It also hosted the 1934 and 1942 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.
The third Polo Grounds was the most famous, the one generally indicated when the Polo Grounds is referred to. It was noted for its distinctive bathtub shape, very short distances to the left and right field walls, and an unusually deep center field. The name “Polo Grounds” did not actually appear prominently on any of the stadiums until the Mets posted it with a large sign in 1962.
The last sporting event at the Polo Grounds was a football game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on December 14, 1963.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
13 May 1936, New York (NY) Post, “Ott, Terry and Giant Fans Know Jackson’s Still Master in Clutch” by Harold C. Burr, pg. 18, col. 5:
He desperately kept himself in the ball game by lifting a Chinese home run into the short right field seats to tie up the game.
The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (Third Edition)
By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Chinese home run 1 A derogatory term for a home run ver the portion of the outfield fence closest to home plate, often one that lands just inside (or hits) the foul pole in a ballpark with small domensions. The most famous locale for Chinese homers was the Polo Grounds, which had 280- and 258-foot foul lines. “The Polo Grounds where a player might hoist an outfield fly close to the foul lines and watch it drop into the not-so-distant pews for a cheap (or Chinese) home run—but legal nonetheless (Gay Talese, The New York Times, March 3, 1958). Syn. “CHinese homer”; Pekinese poke. 1ST USE. 1930. “[Harry Hellman’s homers] were real home runs. One of them went over the left field bleachers, and the other was hit high up. They were not Chinese home runs in that short bleacher in right [at the Polo Grounds.]” (Cincinnati Reds manager Dan Howley, quoted by Brian Bell in The Washington Post, June 22).
Common in the 1950s, the term has been used sparingly since the demolition of the Polo Grounds.
ETYMOLOGY. When pinch hitter Dusty Rhodes hit a three-run home run at the Polo Grounds that won the opening game of the 1954 World Series for the New York Giants, it was described as a “260-foot pop fly” or Chinese home run.” Joseph H. Sheehan (The New York Times, Oct. 1, 1954) attempted to trace the term: ‘According to Garry Schumacher of the Giant’s front office, who in his baseball writing days was a noted phrase-coiner, ‘Chinese homer’ was one of the numerous Thomas Aloysius ‘TAD’ Dorgan contributions to the lexicon of American slang.