Griffith Stadium

Washington, DC

Please note: As I have mentioned before, instead of getting silly with parks, I only count a park once per site. There were three parks heren, but since it is only one site, I only count it once. I have broken down each site below.

Park Name: Boundary Field Team: Washington Statesmen (AA 1891), Washington Senators (NL 1892 - 1899)
Opening Day: April 13, 1891 Closing Day: October 14, 1899
Capacity: 6,500

When this site was chosen for baseball, the oak forest that stood on it was not a deterrent. The forest was cleared and trees hung out over the outfield fences, sometimes causing homeruns to fall back into play and interfere with pop ups. Baseball would be played on this spot for the next 70 years. In 1891, the Statesmen had a restaurant on the grounds so people could come straight from work to see a game. This park, sometimes called National Park, was owned by the National League, which is why no American League team played on this site until 1903. In 1897 the Senators tried a "Ladies Day" where women could get in for free. The starting pitcher, Winnie Mercer, was handsome and knew how to play the crowd. When he got into an argument and tossed by the umpire, the women stormed the field, tackled the umpire, and tore apart the stadium. The umpire was rescued by the team and escorted from the ballpark in disguise.

Park Name: American League Park (II) Team: Washington Senators (AL 1904-1910)
Opening Day: April 14, 1904 Closing Day: October 6, 1910

Memorable Moments:

In 1904, the stands from American League Park I were moved onto the old Boundary Field and the American League Senators moved in. E. Lawrence Phillips, the first megaphone man to announce starting lineups before a game, made his debut here. President William Howard Taft became the first President to throw out an opening day pitch here. The Senators also gave a gold season pass to the President. Theodore Roosevelt became the first recipient. The grounds crew had a doghouse in center field where they stored the flag. One day a grounds crewmember forgot to shut the door and a ball hit to center rolled into the house. Philadelphia Athletics outfielder, Socks Seybold, got stuck trying to retrieve the ball and this resulted in an inside the park home run. On March 17, 1911, the flame from a plumber's blowtorch burned this stadium to the ground.

Park Name: Griffith Stadium Team: Washington Senators (AL 1911-1960), Washington Senators (AL 1961), Washington Potomacs (ECL 1924), Washington Pilots (NEWL 1932), Washington Elite Giants (NNL2 1936-1937), Homestead Grays (NNL2 1937-1948), Washington Black Senators (NNL2 1938)
Opening Day: April 12, 1911 Closing Day: September 21, 1961
First Night Game: May 28, 1941 Demolished: January 26, 1965
Architect: Osborn Engineering AKA: American League Park, Beyer's Seventh Street Park, League Park, National Park
Capacity: 32,000 (1921) 27,550 (1961) Dimensions: LF 386 CF 421 RF 320 (1956)

Memorable Moments:

This park had an odd layout. Center field was detoured around some houses and a huge tree. Supposedly, it was downhill to first base to help the slow Senators. Presidents continued the tradition of throwing out the first pitch here. The only men to hit a ball over the left field bleachers were Mickey Mantle and Josh Gibson, who did it twice. Mantle's ball landed 565 feet from home. Memorials to Clark Griffith and Walter Johnson were constructed here. In 1920, they double decked the park from the bases to the foul poles.

2005-12 Paul Healey. Black and white photographs its owner. Used without permission.