Abandoned Before It Was Empty


Screenshot-2017-10-23 Instagram post by Andy Saavedra • Oct 20, 2017 at 1 35pm UTC
This photo doesn’t quite capture the peeling paint and ugly green fence around the stadium, nor does it show the overgrown parking lots all around RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

I drive past RFK Stadium nearly every day on the way to my day job (except for those days I decide to take the route that goes by Nats Park instead). It always makes me sad to see the once proud stadium in front of me with its peeling paint and overgrown parking lots. I feel as though its been calling out for help for quite some time now.

On Sunday, my friends and I made a pilgrimage to say our goodbyes to the beautiful, circular stadium that once was home to the Washington Senators, the Washington Nationals, and other teams of the Nation’s Capitol. Here are some of the appalling things we saw on the inside:

The first thing I noticed was weird stuff hanging off of the ceiling – is this peeling paint? weird dust bunnies? This was apparent before we even entered the stadium.

 

Once inside, the concrete and metal walkways immediately took me back to some of my favorite stadiums – like Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and Municipal Stadium in Cleveland – stadiums that no one else seemed to appreciate much. Even the then-state-of-the-art video screen on the concourse was pretty darn cool.

 

The peeling paint and nearly rotting seats, however, were quite appalling.

 

And the abandoned media suite – or whatever that was way up there – was just downright creepy.

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But perhaps saddest of all, were the dugouts left over from the stadium’s baseball days – no longer used for their original purpose, but still proud of their history.

 

 

The conspiracy theorist in me naturally assumes this was all done on purpose: “If You Don’t Fix It, They Won’t Come.” In other words, don’t bother with upkeep, because folks want a fancy new stadium anyway and the sooner the old one falls apart, the sooner we can have a new one. But even if its big and outdated, its still a perfectly good stadium. Its not the stadium’s fault that its been treated rather shabbily since the Washington Nationals moved out.

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing sadder than an abandoned ballpark. Whatever the reasons for its virtual abandonment before it ceased to be used, my heart aches for RFK Stadium, whom I will always miss.

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

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Goodbye, RFK Stadium


800px-RFK_Stadium_aerial_photo,_looking_towards_Capitol,_1988
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, DC, ca. 1988 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
On Sunday, we said goodbye to Washington, D.C.’s RFK Stadium. For now, it’s future is unclear, but at least for the next year or so it will still house the practice fields of the D.C. United soccer team, who will be moving to their shiny new soccer-only stadium next year.

It’s always hard to say goodbye – especially to a baseball stadium. Of course, baseball hasn’t been played there in a while, but I will always remember it for the baseball games and rock concerts I attended there in my youth.

RFK opened on October 7, 1961. It was home to the Washington Senators from 1962 to 1971, and the Washington Nationals from 2005 to 2007. (And other sports that aren’t nearly as important as baseball.) It also hosted the occasional pre-season exhibition game in the 1980s and 1990s (before the Nationals came to town), as well as Congressional Baseball games. Sadly, I only ever saw one Nats game there before they moved across town to Nats Park.

This past week, several media outlets published sentimental send-offs for our beloved RFK Stadium. Below are links to just a few:

  • Baseball Digest, “End of an Era at RFK Stadium”
  • WTOP, “‘Best Day Ever’: Baseball’s best moments at RFK from the Senators to the Nats”
  • Cut4, “Looking back at five great baseball moments at RFK Stadium”
  • The Washington Post, “At beer-soaked, grimy old RFK Stadium, one last hurrah”

Speaking of grimy and old, tomorrow I’ll share pictures of just how poorly the stadium has been treated over the past few years.

~ baseballrebecca

 

Hurricane Maria 


News of the devastation from Hurricane Maria is slowly coming in, but here are a few scenes from the baseball angle: 

https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/video/maria-damages-iconic-baseball-stadium

To help in the relief efforts on the island, former New York Yankee Jorge Posada and others have set up a relief fund. Although they’ve already reached their initial goal, every additional amount can only help. 

Best of the Week, 9/3-9/2017


Garabez Rosa of the Bowie Baysox was named Eastern League MVP this week! Congrats, Garabez!!

MiLB Postseason 


Generally, the week after Labor Day is one of the saddest of the entire year. I’m always sad when the Minor League Baseball season ends. Sure, some of our guys might get called up for the end of the season. But it’s just not the same without them playing in down the street and in other towns and cities across the U.S.

This year, however, is different. Both the Frederick Keys and the Bowie Baysox, the Baltimore Orioles single A and double A affiliates, are in the playoffs. Game one for both teams is tonight – and they’re both playing at home.

Two years ago, the Bowie Baysox were the Eastern League champions. We’re hoping to take home the trophy again!

Good luck to both the Keys and the Baysox!

~ baseballrebecca 

Bowie Baysox, 2015 Eastern League Champions (photo courtesy of milb.com)

 

This is Where the Twins Play


I love it when you see the local team represented immediately upon arriving at a new location. Recently, I had a layover in Minneapolis. As I stepped off the airplane into the walkway, the first thing I saw was a Delta ad stating they were the official airline of the Minnesota Twins. 

Then I found this cool restaurant in the airport: 

I love a town that loves its baseball team!

~ baseballrebecca