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Horace Charles Stoneham is an outstanding current example of a dwindling breed of baseball club owner. To their president, the New York Giants are no diversionary outside business pursuit, followed on the amorphous ground of civic spirit or sportsmanship. Nor does his ball club represent to Mr. Stoneham merely a speculative pawn in a high-stakes game of commercial chance. Baseball—specifically the Giants—is his one business and his consuming interest in life. All his adult years—and a few before he reached voting age—have been spent in the Giants' front office. The 54-year-old president would not have it any other way.
Yesterday he reaffirmed his intention of staying in baseball by informing a House Antitrust subcommittee that he would recommend to his board of directors the moving of the Giants next fall to a West Coast city—probably San Francisco—if the club received a suitable offer.
The Giants have been a Stoneham family enterprise for nearly 40 years. With John J. McGraw and Judge Francis X. McQuade as minority partners, the late Charles A. Stoneham, Horace's father, purchased the franchise in 1919 from the Brush Estate.
The chubby-faced Giant president is alternately sentimental and stubborn—to the occasional despair of his associates. His hobbies are classical music, detective fiction and liquids proscribed for athletes in training. He is also a clubman of sorts.
As a young man, Horace was a sporadic student at the Hun School, Loyola School and Pawling—well-known prep schools. His college career was brief—"four days at Fordham" he recalled. A year spent working in a California copper mine sobered him to some of the realities of adult life.
On his return from mine labor, Mr. Stoneham entered the Giant organization. Starting from the bottom, he made the rounds of the club's administrative department. He now is guiding his son Charles Horace (Pete) along the same path, as a member of the Giant ticket office.
He applied himself to his various chores with such absorbed vigor that he was a knowing and well-rounded baseball man when in 1936, at the age of 33, he assumed the presidency of the Giants after the death of his father.
He still is a do-it-yourself president. He serves, in effect, as his own general manager and keeps an attentive eye on the minutest details....
From his office eyrie above the center field clubhouse of the Polo Grounds, he critically watches every pitch and every play of every Giant home game. He follows the Giants' games away from home on television or radio when he cannot make the trip.
He lives with his wife, the former Vallida Pike, and his son in a Sutton Place apartment in the luxury section of the Upper East Side. His daughter, Mary, is the wife of Major Charles Rupert of the United States Army.