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The Day War Came to the Polo Grounds
Frank Graham Jr.
October 24, 1966
In the early morning hours after Harry Greb had outpointed Mickey Walker in 1925, the two fighters were reported to have met again outside a New York speakeasy and resumed hostilities, this time without benefit of padded gloves. The story was quickly repeated, usually by someone who claimed to have been an eyewitness. At the end of a couple of weeks it became apparent that if all of these night owls had actually been on the spot the unsanctioned Greb-Walker brawl was the best-attended sports event in history.
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October 24, 1966

The Day War Came To The Polo Grounds

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The Giants, in fact, were being racked up. Parker, passing occasionally, slanting off the tackles more regularly, kept them off balance. Manders was all over the field. In the second period he intercepted a pass, spun up the middle for a first down on the Giants' four, then took two more cracks at the line, finally hitting right guard to score from the three. In the third period Leemans, who was to gain only 18 yards rushing all day, tried to change his luck with a pass. The ball tipped off Len Eshmont's fingers into the arms of Manders, who returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.

Meanwhile a steady hum of curiosity could be detected under the roar that distinguishes an assemblage of professional football fans. An urgent call for Colonel William J. Donovan to get in touch with his office was relayed over the public-address system. There were several other calls for military and government officials. The boys in the press box saw the bulletin of the Japanese attack on their ticker, but the fans, who were obliged to follow a game in those days without transistors, were left to speculate on the nature of the crisis. Many of them did not learn of the attack until they reached home. Perhaps the management feared that an announcement during the game would cause an exodus before the stocks of hot dogs and beer had been consumed.

On the field, the slaughter continued unabated. A threat mounted by the Giants early in the fourth period came to nothing, when Manders intercepted one of Hank Soar's passes. A few minutes later the Dodgers, set in motion by Parker's 19-yard run, drove 59 yards for a touchdown. Manders scored from the two. The Giants finally scored with 23 seconds to play, when Soar passed 38 yards to Kay Eakin.

The final score was 21-7. Three Giants, Hein, Falaschi and Franck, were taken to the hospital, half a dozen others were put under doctors' care. The Dodgers remained in second place, but they had softened up their old tormentors to the extent that the Giants were pushed over 37-9 by the Bears in the NFL championship game. I have never talked to anybody who saw that one.

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