Griffith Stadium was home to baseball's Washington Senators
from 1903 until the team relocated to the Twin Cities
in 1961 to become the Minnesota Twins
. The park was originally built in 1891 to house the Washington National League
team, and was named National Park
. When the Nationals folded, the American League
moved in, and after two years playing in (fittingly named) American League Park
, the Senators moved into National Park. Senators owner Clark Griffith
tried to rename the old field American Park, but the old name stuck until 1920, when it was offically renamed Griffith Stadium.
Griffith Stadium was never a architectural marvel, but it did have several nice idiosyncracies. Just to the right of centerfield, the wall was indented towards home plate, because the owner of a large tree behind the wall refused to remove it; the tree became a landmark for Washington, D.C. baseball fans. The left field line was a remarkable 402 feet long; much further than the left center fence. The field also featured a 50 foot high National Bohemian beer bottle above the scoreboard in right-center.
The Senators never enjoyed much popularity, despite George Will's current nostalgia. They failed to win a pennant after 1933, and most of their tenure in Washington, they had no geographical rival. The closest American League team was the Philadelphia A's until they left for Kansas City. The Baltimore Orioles moved east from St. Louis in 1954, but by then the Senators were all but gone. They officially moved after the 1960 season, but Washington received an expansion team to begin the 1961, and the second generation of the Washington Senators began their life in Griffith Stadium. These Senators, though, moved out after only one season to play in the football-friendly RFK Stadium, later moving south to become the Texas Rangers.
Left: 407 ft.