On this day in 1944, a most unusual baseball game was played at New York City’s Polo Grounds: The Brooklyn Dodgers went up against the New York Giants and New York Yankees in a one of a kind “tri-cornered” baseball game to raise money for war bonds.
The rules of the game were like any other baseball game, except for one minor differences: The game would last nine innings, but each team would only play six innings and then sit out three. It went a little something like this: The Dodgers took on the Yankees in the 1st, as the Giants looked on. In the second, the Giants faced the Dodgers, while the Yankees sat out. Then in the third the Yankees played the Giants and the Dodgers took a breather. This rotation was repeated twice, allowing each team to face each other three times.
In the end, the final score was Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0. Although the Brooklyn nine, led by future Hall of Famers Paul Waner and Leo Durocher, were the winners on the scoreboard, the real winner was the War Finance Committee as $5.5-million in war bonds was raised from attendees of the game. An additional $50-million in bond money was contributed by the City of New York, while the Bond Clothing Company provided another $1-million in exchange for a game day program signed by the members of all three teams.
Now, there’s no cocktail directly tied in to this amazing game, so we have to turn to another bit of Polo Grounds history: Harry M. Stevens was an Englishman who ran the concessions stands at the Polo Grounds in the 1900s. According to a possibly dubious legend, one cold April day in 1901, Stevens noticed that people weren’t buying ice cream, so he ordered his staff to get some dachshund sausages and stuff them in bread rolls. Soon, shouts of “Get your red hots!” were heard from Polo Grounds vendors. Thus Harry M. Stevens might have invented the hot dog.
We can’t verify if this is entirely true, but we can direct you to the Harry M. Stevens Cocktail. First spotted in the 1937 Hotel Lincoln Cocktail Book, published three years after Stevens’ death, It’s a dry but fruity drink that’ll warm you up on a cool day, and thankfully contains no hot dogs.
Harry M. Stevens
- 3/4 ounce White Rum
- 3/4 ounce Dry Vermouth
- 3/4 ounce Apricot Brandy
- 3/4 ounce orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Curaçao
- 1/2 teaspoon grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lime twist.
Tomorrow: We hit up an ATM.