NEW YORK: Seat 3, Row C

That morning, burly Barney Doyle went to early Mass, hurried through breakfast and left the house at 8:30—to get a good seat for the doubleheader between the Giants and the Dodgers. Doyle, 53, a ship's carpenter, was a faithful Giant fan; whenever he could, he went to watch his favorites. He took along a friend's son, freckled Otto Flaig, 13.

From their seats in the upper grandstand of Manhattan's vast Polo Grounds, they faced home plate and, above it, rising over the top of the oval grandstand, a row of dingy apartment houses on Coogan's Bluff. In one of these...

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