Lou Norbeck, Ellicott City, MD -- Jan 09, 2007 15:36 PM
1 visit(s). My rating: 5
In 1961, I saw a game between my Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators. I was ten-years-old and in the company of my Little League teammates,the Fort Meade Falcons. Included among the Falcons was Elvis Presley's brother-in-law to be, Pricila's brother, Bobby Belieu. We sat on the thirdbase side under the protection of a roof. The stadium, at that time, didn't impress me nearly as much the Orioles home, Memorial Stadium. I do remember the Orioles won the game, a door kept popping open in the outfield that had to be slammed shut by groundskeepers and the scoreboard was manual and men actually peared out of the open windows where later inning scores would be displayed. Thanks for the memories.
Lou Norbeck, Ellicott City, MD -- Jan 09, 2007 15:37 PM
1 visit(s). My rating: 7
In 1961, I saw a game between my Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators. I was ten-years-old and in the company of my Little League teammates,the Fort Meade Falcons. Included among the Falcons was Elvis Presley's brother-in-law to be, Pricila's brother, Bobby Belieu. We sat on the thirdbase side under the protection of a roof. The stadium, at that time, didn't impress me nearly as much the Orioles home, Memorial Stadium. I do remember the Orioles won the game, a door kept popping open in the outfield that had to be slammed shut by groundskeepers and the scoreboard was manual and men actually peered out of the open windows where later inning scores would be displayed. Thanks for the memories. Lou Norbeck
John Shaeffer, Edinburg, VA -- May 28, 2007 16:02 PM
6 visit(s). My rating: 7
There was a Wonder Bread plant near the ballpark on Florida Ave. in the 50's and you could smell the bread baking. You could take streetcars to the stadium. First game I went to, Ted Williams hit a long home run right after my dad told me he was the greatest hitter in baseball--I guess it was proof. I sat in those bleachers mentioned in the article a few times out in LF and that was a long way out there. In August in the heat and humidity of DC it could test your meddle as a fan of a pretty bad team--but it was still fun to see sluggers like Roy Sievers and Jim Lemon and later Harmon Killebrew. Sitting in the upper deck was fun as a kid along the left field line. The team would be behind and they wouldn't do the wave. Fans would try to hit cops on the field on the top of their hats with cups full of beer or soda--there was always something entertaining going on :). Some great pitchers I remember: Camilo Pascual, Pedro Ramos, Dick Hyde. I think Pascual was the best Senator pitcher of the late Griffith era--he won 17 games in 1959 with a BAD team. He later ptiched for the Twins in the World Series in 1965 against the Dodgers and won one of his starts.
Wes K, Franklin, TN -- Oct 04, 2007 14:19 PM
6 visit(s). My rating: 6
My uncle was a major league scout, and I accompanied him to most of the parks during the summers. I remember watching the old Senators play here in the late 1950's up to just before they moved to Minnesota. Here is what I remember about this park: 1. It smelled funny, sort of like skunky beer. 2. The bathrooms were rather dirty. 3. The distances shown in the diagram were not the way the park was laid out. I guess because Harmon Killebrew, Roy Sievers, and Jim Lemon were there, they brought in the left field fence. I think it was only 350 down the line when I saw them play. 4. They had the prettiest ice cream concessionaire around. I always called her Paulette, because she looked like Paulette Goddard. I never knew her real name. The right field wall looked different also. I think they brought in the deep right field wall some; it wasn't a straight line all the way across.
Keith Brescia, Falls Church, VA -- Dec 01, 2007 21:18 PM
2 visit(s). My rating: 7
This has been a nice nostalgia trip for me, having attended two games at Griffith Stadium around 1960 as an impressionable 12-year-old. Harmon Killebrew hit monster shots deep into the bleachers in both games. Being relatively close to the field, even in the upper deck behind first base, was a nice contrast with the greater setback at the newer parks in later years. From my child's point of view the place was big but not overpoweringly so. In its quirky way it remains my sentimental favorite of all the major league ballparks I have visited. I saw the oddly shaped right-center corner come into play twice in the same game. With a runner on first, old Elmer Valo hit one into the gap that bounced into the bullpen for a ground rule double, stranding the runner at third. Later, light-hitting Reno Bertoia hit one to the same place but the ball stayed in play, and he legged it out for an inside-the-park homer. Thanks for the memories.
Dan Hermann, Banning, CA -- Jan 10, 2008 17:52 PM
2 visit(s). My rating: 3
I took our nine year old son to a game in 1961. We got seats behind one of the many posts, not surprisingly, but right adjacent to third base. The Senators had just acquired Chuck Hinton from Cleveland, I believe. Our main memories were: Chuck coming into third base and rounding it with his body leaning to a 45 degree angle to maintain his speed as he touched the bag; Bennie Daniels pitching, not too well, but an ardent fan of his continually yelling "Strike the bum out Bennie." We also learned at that game that hot dogs were "...nutrutious and delicious.." from an insistent hot dog vendor. We followed the Senators to DC Stadium, as it was called in those days. Later in the sixties we saw the third iteration of the Senators, managed by Ted Williams with the main attraction being the pitching of Detroit's former thirty something game winner, Denny McClain. We also saw the team move to Texas after seeing the Minnesota Twins being "born". As a note of historical interest, I went to a Washington Nationals game at Petco Park in San Diego in the Spring of 2007 with two young Nationals fans. They were astonished to learn the Senators were in the American League for many years! (
Jack Toomey, Poolesville, MD -- Sep 15, 2008 17:20 PM
10 visit(s). My rating: 5
My first recollection of Griffith Stadium was when I was in about the fourth grade when my father used to take me to George Washington Univ. and Catholic League high school football games that were played usually on Friday nights. St. John's, John Carroll, and Gonzaga would play at least half of their games there. Senators games were amazing because there was nothing like the sight of that green grass when you walked up the first ramp from the Georgia Avenue side of the stadium and could peer between the lower and upper decks. Of course when you approached the stadium you were alerted because of the smell of baking bread from the Wonder Bread factory which was just up the street. When I got a little older I was allowed to explore the stadium on my own and was able to discover some of the more secret sections of the stadium. The visiting baseball team did not have a bathroom in the bullpen so they had to use the bathroom under the left field grandstand. It was a good place to hang out between innings to get autographs. I am over my word limit so I will try to add more later.
Jack Toomey, Poolesville, MD -- Sep 16, 2008 11:43 AM
10 visit(s). My rating: 9
I am going to continue because there is so much to say about this great old stadium. There was a huge oak tree in far centerfield and they had to build the stadium around the tree and the houses on the other side of the wall because the property owner wouldn't sell his property. It was into this tree that Musial and Williams hit homers during the '56 All-Star game. The right field wall was a huge green structure that had a tin surface and balls banging off that wall could be heard anywhere in the park. The Senators bullpen was in far right-center field and after the game I sometimes just wandered out into the outfield and walked around and a few times climbed into the bullpen to see what the players had left around. I also got into the scoreboard which was inside the right field wall and helped the scoreboard operator put away his numbers into a cardboard box.
ken whitaker, Falls Church, VA -- Sep 16, 2008 12:10 PM
10 visit(s). My rating: 5
Griffith Stadium was the first major league park that I ever saw a game in. I first went with my Dad, my Mom might have been there, in 1954. Until it closed in 1961 I was there at least 10 times a year. My Dad shared season tickets with his Uncle and so we went quite often. The highlight for me was the 1956 All Star Game. My Great Uncle, who was a Judge, had great seats on the third base side. They were box seats right behind the National League dugout. We sat within 25 feet of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Roy Campanella and Stan Musial. The most impressive was Ted Kluszewski. He came out into the on deck circle with his sleeves cut off and the biggest biceps in the history of the world to a ten year old boy. He had four bats in each hand and he was swing them around and around. The Nationals won which bothered me because I was an AL fan. It was the greates baseball memory, not only of Griffith Stadium, but in all the years since including world series games that I have attended.
Jack Toomey, Poolesville, MD -- Sep 17, 2008 17:42 PM
10 visit(s). My rating: 9
I will conclude with some recollections of football games. When I was about twelve my parents allowed me to leave our seats at Redskins games about the fourth quarter and I would simply walk down to the lower level and step over the low wall onto the field. I'd watch the rest of the game standing just behind the end zone at the first base end of the field. I never recall anyone asking me why I was there or telling me to get off the field. When a player kicked a field goal I would try to stand behind the goal posts but never touched a ball. After the game was over the Redskin players would run to the first base dugout and I'd try to get chin straps as souveniers and I did get a few. Players would tend to stand around on the field and fans would circle around them listening them talk to players on the other team that they knew. When I was a teenager the Red Sox were in town the last year that the stadium was over. One of my friends began shouting at Ted Williams in right field and the next time up he turned and looked at us and hit a screaming line drive right over our heads. No doubt that it was on purpose. So I could go on and on but I am probably out of space.
Martin Cole, Davidsville, PA -- Feb 28, 2009 12:58 PM
10 visit(s). My rating: 7
My Dad took me frequently in late 50s/early 60s. The Nats were finally getting a competitive team together (Killebrew, Allison, Pascual, etc.) and we had the feeling that they would soon be going places. Sadly, they did - to Minnesota in 1961. Two memorable games in 1960 stand out. We beat White Sox 2-1 in 15 innings on a Becquer sac fly. There was an open area in LF corner by the visitors bullpen and Early Wynn autographed my scorecard. On a hot July night Maris of the Yanks hit a 3-run homer over the RF '30 fence, which everybody except the umpire thought was foul. Sweet payback, though, as Bob Allison hit a game-winning homer in the bottom of the 10th!
Charles Williams, Ft. Wash.,, MD -- Jun 01, 2009 16:16 PM
1 visit(s). My rating: 8
As a young kid, I visited Griffith Stadium many times. Saw many old Senators play there including Cecil Travis, Stan Spence, Ed Yost, Mickey Vernon, George Case, Harmon Killebrew & many others a/w/a Sam Dente their great fielding, light hitting shortstop. Saw Josh Gibson of the Homestead Grays play there & other Negro National League stars such as Satchel Paige & Buck O'Neil. As kids, we use to go to the Wonder Bakery on Georgia Ave. & buy day old donuts for .10 cents a bag. The aroma from the bakery was wonderful. The Stadium was made of concrete & steel girders and had some blind spots, but was great for baseball. The outfield bleachers was where a number of fans liked to sit particularly on warm, humid summer night. It was great enjoyment. I had the luxury of a pro tryout at Griffith Stadium in the early 50's along with many local area players. Wasn't selected, but it was a great experience & thrill for a high school ballplayer. One of my high school colleagues, Maury Wills, was selected by the tnen, Brooklyn Dodgers. The old Stadium brings back many youthful memories.
Jim Jenkins, Honolulu, HI -- May 15, 2010 15:19 PM
1 visit(s). My rating: 9
the smell of wonder bread from across the street. I use to go out to Griffith Stadium as a 12 year old and shag fly balls for anyone that would come to take batting practice. I would simply take a chance. never knowing if anyone would show up. i use to lean on the right field wall, next to the scoreboard. just hoping someone would show up. reno bertoia, gary geiger, vic wertz, pete runnels, were some of the players who took extra b.p.in 1958 i think i went to 33 games that year. the senators were just starting to develop. albie pearson, bob allison, killebrew. in 1961 i pitched in the high school city championship game as a sophomore from anacostia. coolidge with bobby bilbo beat us 2-1. i went on to play with the mets in 1965 and played on three different teams with nolan ryan. i saw the first pitch he threw in professional baseball in harlan, kentucky. i also saw the first pitch tom seaver threw in professional baseball. i also played with jerry koosman. three of the all time mets. i remember two announcers for the old senators. bob wolff and arch mcdonald. i remember roy sievers hitting 42 h.r in 1957. griffith stadium. nothing like walking onto a big league ball yard.
Brad Fox, Columbia, MD -- Jun 20, 2011 23:23 PM
1 visit(s). My rating: 5
My Dad took me to see all the greats, Killebrew, Allison, Lemon, Sievers, Yost, Lenny Green, Plews, Pascual,and Ramos (me no throw spitter). And even Frank Gifford for the Giants. $.75 cents in the bleachers. Then, at Calvin Coolidge High School, in 1961, we played for the City Championship=Phelps in the playoff game,and Anacostia in the Championship. Coolidge won; our shortstop Frank Williams, tripled against the left field wall on one bounce to drive in the go-ahead run.He batted left but threw right. WE second-stringers got to take fielding practice and it was a beautiful outfield, but huge! Miles to the bullpen in Center (426 ft). We had a ball sitting in the dugout, chewing bubble gum like it was real tobaccy and spitting. We were Washington DC City Champs for 1961. I still get that buzz you get when you walk into the stadium and see green, green everywhere. It's that old feeling of wanting to run and catch in the wide open spaces. And even though there are many people around, you are in that small, tight, little circle of the world-18 guys doing their thing and oblivious to any thing else for 2 hours.
Mark Mason, Bronx, NY -- Jun 17, 2015 10:03 AM
10 visit(s). My rating: 5
My Father introduced me to Griffith Stadium in 1954, I think. I remember taking a Trolley car which left you off in front of the entrance. You could smell the Wonder Bread cooking. My first game was opening day and Dwight Eisenhower threw out the first pitch. The men in those lower sections wore hats and jackets. Games of note that I saw: 1. There was a monumental Oak tree over the center field wall. Mickey mantle hit a ball 500' over the tree. 2. Eddie Yost " the walking man " was a beloved lead off man and 3rd baseman for the Senators. 18 year old Harmon Killebrew replaced him in the later innings of a game at 3rd and made an error to boos from the crowd. Killebrew gets up in the bottom of the inning and hits a line drive "rope" to left and puts a dent in the left field wall. He winds up at second. You knew he was going to be something special. It was Killebrew's first major league game. 3. Last game of 1958 and Boston is in town . Ted Williams and Pete Runnels are in the AL batting title race neck and neck down to the last day Williams edges Runnels out by 6 pts.
Andy Moursund, Kensington, MD -- Feb 11, 2020 20:23 PM
1 visit(s). My rating: 7
My first game at Griffith Stadium was against the Tigers in May of 1952, and my last games were in late August of 1961, a doubleheader against the Tigers in which Rocky Colavito hit 3 home runs in the second game, tying a feat previously held by Joe Dimaggio. Out of the nearly 30 stadiums I've been to, it's right below Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in my heart. Run down, but family, if you know what I mean. In between I went to a 22 to 1 loss to the Yankees, back-to-back walkoff wins over the Yankees in 1960, the 1956 All-Star game with homers by Mays, Musial, Williams and Mantle, a 1953 game with a long Ted Williams home run after he'd just returned from Korea, a 1957 game where Chuck Stobbs beat the Indians to break his personal 16 game losing streak, and opening days from 1955 through 1958, the highlight of which was the 1956 opener where Mantle hit 2 monster home runs over the high CF wall, a spot previously reached only by Ruth and Larry Doby, and subsequently reached only by Williams, also on an opening day in 1960. That home run and both of the Mick's were hit off the same pitcher, Camilo Pascual.
Zach LaFleur, Fowlerville, MI -- Aug 23, 2020 09:04 AM
1 visit(s). My rating: 5
Man, does this page on Griffith Stadium ever need an update since it was last done in September of 2011, Mr. Andrew Clem. The same thing is true for Yankee Stadium from 1923 as well as that was last updated on the last day of 2012. Crosley Field has been redone really nice back in January of 2019, but not these two other parks because it appears that you don't have much of anything new to add or modify on them? Now, Griffith Stadium is well before my lifetime, so I haven't ever been there, only have seen pictures from back then.
Gregory Runyan, St. George, UT -- Nov 14, 2023 22:34 PM
5 visit(s). My rating: 7
I went to opening day at Griffith Stadium at the age of eight in 1960 to watch the Washington Senators play the Boston Red Sox. We sat in the left field bleachers. Washington easily won the game 10-1 behind the pitching of their star hurler Camillo Pascual. The most memorable thing about the game, however, was the one run Boston scored that day. It came from the bat of Ted Williams, who hit a monster home run over the tall fence in right field. He absolutely crushed the ball, and it left the park very quickly in a line drive. The ball was still going up when it left the park, and it's estimated that the homer measured 500 feet. That image was imprinted on my mind and I can still see the ball taking a straight line at about a 30 degree angle from William's bat until it disappeared over the fence.