Riding Baseball's Coattails
In 1919, football was still considered a college pastime, though some cities were forming professional squads to highlight former college stars. That year, the baseball New York Giants sponsored a pro squad to play their games at the Polo Grounds, and hired former Harvard football star Charles Brickley to form and run the team. The Giants kept the name to remind fans that they were a spinoff of the wildly popular baseball team. When Mara bought the team in 1925, he kept the previous franchise's name.
Baseball Mascot's Origin
The New York Giants baseball team was actually known as the Metropolitans when they joined the National League in 1881. But coach Jim Mutrie once praised his squad by calling them "my big fellows, my giants." The term of endearment stuck as the team's name, and still stands today -- though that team relocated and is now the San Francisco Giants.