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Griffith Stadium from the Chronology
Nov 13, 1998 - The Babe hits new heights today: $126‚500. That is the price paid for the ball he hit in 1923 for the first home run in Yankee Stadium. Mark Scala found the Ruth ball two years ago in the attic of his grandmother's house. The bid was $110‚000 and the total price includes the auction house's 15 percent commission. Two year ago‚ the ball Eddie Murray hit for his 500th home run was sold for what one day could be $500‚000. Michael Lasky‚ the founder of the Psychic Friends Network‚ paid $280‚000 that was put in an annuity to be paid over 20 years. With interest‚ the annuity will be worth about $500‚000‚ according to a spokesman for Lasky‚ who also operates as syndicated handicapper Mike Warren. The previous record for an auctioned baseball was $93‚500 for the ball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series. That ball was bought by actor Charlie Sheen in 1992. Other auctioned items include: the bat Pete Rose used for his 4‚191st hit‚ which tied Ty Cobb's career record‚ was sold by an unidentified Rose associate for $21‚096; an autographed ball from President Franklin Roosevelt that he used to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 1941 season opener at Griffith Stadium sold for $17‚255‚ and a personal check signed Henry Louis Gehrig sold for $15‚306.
Apr 9, 1962 - President John F. Kennedy throws out the first ball to open the 1962 baseball season at new District of Columbia Stadium. Despite rain a record Washington crowd of 42143 shows up to see Bennie Daniels stop Detroit with a 5-hit 4-1 win in the new park. This is a switch for Daniels who had lost the last games played at both Ebbets Field in 1957 and Griffith Stadium last year.
Aug 12, 1961 - At Griffith Stadium Roger Maris belts his 43rd homer off Dick Donovan but its New York's only score as they lose 5-1 the Yanks first loss in 10 games. For Washington it is their first win in 8 games. Gene Green's pinch grand slam off Luis Arroyo is the big blow for the Nats.
Jul 3, 1958 - At Griffith Stadium Mantle homers twice off Russ Kemmerer to lead New York to an 11-3 veto of the Senators. The first clears the 31-foot high wall over the 372-foot marker in right CF and is still rising when it leaves the ball park. Whitey Ford coasts to his 12th straight win.
Aug 9, 1956 - The Senators get a license to sell beer at Griffith Stadium and the Yankees celebrate with a 15-7 pasting of the Nats. Mantle is walked three times before his slices a two-run homer in the 7th.
Apr 17, 1956 - President Eisenhower throws out the first ball in Washington-actually two balls both replicas of Spalding's 1876 ball and the Yanks and Senators each hit 3 HRs the only time this has happened on Opening Day. Hitting LH Mickey Mantle has 2 tape measure CF blasts over 500 feet off Camilo Pascual as the Yanks win easily 10-4. Berra is 4-for-4 with a double and homer and 5 RBIs to ease the way for winner Don Larsen. Camilo Pascual takes the loss. Karl Olson has two homers for Washington the only time in history a Senator has gone deep twice on opening day and rookie Dick Tettelbach hits another his only major league round tripper. All but Mantle take advantage of the new shortened dimensions of Griffith Stadium. For the 3rd consecutive opener President Dwight D. Eisenhower throws out the first ball and stays for 9 innings.
Apr 17, 1953 - In New York's 7-3 win Mickey Mantle clouts the longest HR in Griffith Stadium history a 565-feet shot off lefty Chuck Stobbs of the Washington Senators. The 5th inning blow with Berra on first base clears the stadium in left center just ticking off the huge Ballantine scoreboard standing 60 feet higher than the grand stand bleachers. The ball lands in the backyard of Perry Cool a block away from the ball park. The Mick adds a stolen base to his day's total.
Sep 10, 1950 - Joe DiMaggio becomes the first player to hit 3 HRs in one game at spacious Griffith Stadium as the Yanks beat Washington 8-1. Joe also adds an RBI double to pass the 100-ribbie mark for the 9th time. The Senators lead the 2nd game 6-2 when rain washes it out in the 4th. New York is now a half-game in back of the leaders with Boston a half game behind the Yankees.
May 7, 1950 - In Washington The Senators double the Indians 10-5 overcoming two homeruns by Tribe rookie Al Rosen his 1st two in the ML. Connie Marrero serves up the homers. Washington wins in the 7th on Gil Coan's grand slam off Bob Lemon hit into the new LF stands at Griffith Stadium. The temporary stands in left and left-center were put up to take advantage of the Senators' new power hitters but they will come down in two days. Coan is the only Nat to reach the stands but nine visitors hit homers there prompting the take down. The stands hold 854 customers but no one sits there while the stands are up.
May 8, 1948 - At Griffith Stadium Larry Doby pounds a 408-foot homer to CF which hits the loudspeakers 35 high to help the Indians top the Senators 6-1. Larry's ball bounces back onto the field and was initially declared in play. The 8th-inning three-run homer is the longest HR in the Stadium since Ruth's shot in 1922 and is the first of Doby's four career inside-the-park homers. World War 2 veteran Gene Bearden makes his first start allowing just three Nat hits. He walks 4 in the 9th inning to allow the lone run as Washington finally scores after three straight shutouts.
Apr 21, 1948 - At Griffith Stadium the Senators overcome a DiMaggio homer to beat the Yankees 6-3. DiMag's blast is a 450-foot shot.
Apr 19, 1948 - At Griffith Stadium President Harry Truman tosses out the first ball. Fans might've thought Truman stayed on the mound as the Yankees bat around in the opening inning against Nats starter Early Wynn. The second man up Tommy Henrich belts a two run homer and a few batters later Allie Reynolds hits his first major league homer a three run shot that makes the score 7-0. Wynn gives up 16 hits and all 12 runs before leaving in the 9th for Ramon Garcia. Reynolds wins 12-4 allowing 11 hits four by Leon Culberson. The Yanks like what they see in Culberson acquiring the first baseman on May 13th but he will never play another game in the majors.
May 8, 1946 - At Griffith Stadium Detroit 2B Eddie Mayo snags a 3rd inning liner off the bat of Gil Torres to start a triple play. The ball was deflected by P Hal Newhouser but Mayo grabbed it before it hit the ground. It is the 2nd time in a year that Mayo has started a triple play off Gil Torres: in the 2nd inning of a nitecap on July 20 1945 Mayo grabbed a Torres line drive to start the TP.
Sep 23, 1945 - To make Griffith Stadium available for pro football the Senators finish their season early playing their last 2 games of the year in Philadelphia. The A's tie the Nats 3-3 in the 8th then win it in the 12th 4-3 on a fly ball that OF Bingo Binks loses in the sun and it drops for a double. Bingo neglects to don sunglasses after the sun breaks through the clouds. Kell singles home the winner. The Senators win the night cap 4-3 but their season ends with them one game behind the Tigers at 87-67.
Sep 7, 1945 - Facing the Brown's Bob Muncrief Joe Kuhel hits an inside-the-park HR into the CF corner the only homer hit by a Senator all season at Washington's cavernous Griffith Stadium. The Nats hit 26 more on the road. The Senators win 3-2 behind Roger Wolff's 4-hitter. Muncrief also tosses a 4-hitter. George Case scores the 1st run on a steal of home and also steals 2B and scores just before Kuhel's HR in the 3rd inning.
Jun 15, 1945 - At Griffith Stadium the Senators and Red Sox play 27 innings of baseball in a doubleheader that finally concludes at 1:02 a.m. Boston wins the opener in 14 innings then the two teams struggle through a 13-inning tie before time is called. This is the first post-midnight game recorded in the majors.
May 31, 1942 - Before 22000 at Griffith Stadium Satchel Paige pitches 5 innings to defeat the Dizzy Dean All-Stars 8-1. Dean pitches just the first inning giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. Private Cecil Travis plays 3B. The game a week earlier in which Paige won 3-1 at Wrigley Field drew 29000. Judge Landis will prohibit a scheduled July 4th matchup because the first 2 games outdrew ML games.
May 28, 1941 - The New York Yankees edge the Washington Senators 6-5 before 25000 in the first night game at Griffith Stadium. George Selkirk twinkles with a pinch grand slam and DiMaggio triples against Sid Hudson.
Apr 14, 1936 - At Griffith Stadium Vice-President James Garner makes the march to the flagpole for the President. Then to a standing ovation from 31000 Franklin Roosevelt tosses out the first ball (but misses the catcher) in the Senators opener against New York. Nats starter Bobo Newsom pitches a masterful game surviving a 5th inning beaning when he is hit by a throw to first by 3B Ossie Bluege to shut out the Yankees 1-0 on 4 hits. Lefty Gomez loses his second straight 1-0 Opener. Roosevelt stays till the 9th muchning peanuts and keeping his own scorecard.
Oct 1, 1933 - Amid such absurdities as Cliff Bolton playing right field and Nick Altrock pinch hitting as the Nats' dying gesture the American League season came to a close at Griffith Stadium yesterday with the Athletics winning 3 to 0 in the eleventh inning of a ball game that had no more bearing on the baseball situation than the NRA code of the buttonhole workers. Three runs behind and two out going into the last of the eleventh the Nats went down fighting leastwise Nick Altrock did. Uncle Nick was the Nats' last hope. Walberg showed his contempt by calling in all his outfielders. His infielders surrounded the pitching box. Walberg dared Nick to hit the ball and Nick hit it. He hit it back to Walberg and then went down fighting. Walberg fielded the ball ran to the baseline and waited for Nick but he reckoned without the 'inside' baseball of the Nats' clown. Altrock sidestepped Walberg via the dugout and reached first safely. When he was called out for running out of bounds he pleaded in vain with the official scorer to overrule umpire Summers' decision.
Jul 3, 1927 - In Washington Ruth crushes a 1st-inning home run into the far centerfield seats the longest clout ever seen at Griffith Stadium and tips his cap the applauding crowd. Not till Mantle will a ball be hit there farther. Goslin matches him in the first inning and Lazzeri in the 8th. Washington beats the Yanks 6-5 to run their win streak to 10 games. Ruth and Gehrig are now tied for the AL lead with 24 homers.
May 4, 1920 - At Griffith Stadium the Senators edge the Tigers 9-8 as Walter Johnson in relief records his 300th win. He pitches the last 3 2/3 innings allowing 9 runs and going 2-for-2 at the plate. The Nats score a run in the 9th for the win.
May 7, 1918 - In Washington Babe Ruth hits his 3rd homer in three games a tremendous blast over the RF wall to account for all of the Red Sox scoring in a 7-2 loss to Walter Johnson. It is the first homer in Griffith Stadium this year and the 6th ever over the barrier (Eddie Murphy reportedly hit the 1st which hit the top and bounded over) and earns Babe a big ovation. For Ruth it is the first of 10 homers he'll hit off Walter Johnson. Ruth plays first base today for the 2nd game in a row and will be in the outfield for the first time in his career on May 10th.