Phoenix Public Library's
Phoenix Municipal Stadium I

Former Home of the Phoenix Stars
Phoenix Senators
Phoenix Giants

Former Spring Home
of the
New York Giants
New York Yankees

The merger between the Sunset and AZ-Tex League did not go well. By 1952 the AZ-Tex League went solo again with Juarez, El Paso, Phoenix, Tucson, Bisbee-Douglas and a new franchise… the Chihuahua Dorados coming into the league. The Senators played good quality ball finishing at 78-62 behind the shocking move of the former 24 and 22 game winner Ed Graham putting down the pitchers glove (well he still pitched in 28 games) to instead, pick up a bat. Graham's newly discovered occupation as a slugger startled everyone as he slammed 27 2Bs and 29 HRs while batting .317. Never knew he had it in him! Lefty Lewis was also great at 40 2Bs, 10 3Bs, 22 HRs and a .356. Robert Melton added 22 HRs as well along with 26 2Bs and a .312 and Gil Hawkins returned for another fine season with 30 2Bs, 23 HRs and .341… giving the Senators 4 20+ HR hitter for the first time ever… and none of them were the best player on the team. That honor belonged to Richard Steinhauer who, after breaking Billy Martins all time doubles record, went for his batting title. He would fall short but was awesome with 47 2Bs, 16 HRs and a .378. On the mound, Don Cantrell (19-9) Tony Ponce (19-12) and John Smith (13-4) provided some excellent pitching but somehow the team fell short behind all this talent, finishing in 3rd. As for the Major League front, the bizarre switch of New York teams between Phoenix and St. Petersburg Florida was over. The New York Giants came back to Phoenix Muni I where they would remain for the rest of this stadium's lifecycle. Unfortunately the Say Hey Kid was still not ready for prime time… and wasn't a big part of the Giants 1952 season (he hit only .236 in 127 At Bats) and didn't even play during the 1953 season. So it wasn't until 1954 that Phoenix Muni got to fully experience the smile behind Willie Mays… who after not playing for nearly two years, had nearly become an afterthought. The forgotten Mays would quickly steal the spotlight again as he took over the entire National League, slamming 33 2Bs, 41 HRs and 110 RBIs, all while batting .345. At the age of only 23… Mays came out of practically nowhere to win the National League Most Valuable player award… and that was just the beginning. Willie Mays practically singlehandedly (look at the lineup and you'll see what I mean) took the Giants to the absolute peaks of the world and won them the World Series Championship…  and it all started here at Phoenix Municipal!