in the Garden of Eden
Secret History of the Early Game
When the Giants and Cubs tied for the National League pennant in 1908, as a result of the “Merkle Boner” no-decision game of September 23, a one-game playoff, the first in baseball history, had to be played in New York on October 8. The Giants lost, as Three-Finger Brown outpitched Christy Mathewson, but the game attracted a frenzied 250,000 fans to the Polo Grounds, which at that time could seat not even 30,000. Although some overflow fans could be accommodated in roped-off sections of the p[laying field, most would-be spectators were turned away, some 40,000 watched the game gratis from behind home plate, atop Coogan’s Bluff. The Giants played to a record 910‚000 attendance in that remarkable year, a figure that would be unmatched in major league baseball until 1920.