Archie and Edith singing, "Those were the day-y-y-y-s"
I love what the Nationals have done with RFK Stadium. While the building isn't in the same "ballpark" as other stadiums currently in use, it still is a serviceable place to play ball. Having that said, I prefer the older version of RFK. It is where my dreams still reside.
Has any other major league ballpark used chain link fence in the outfield? I doubt it. From purely an aesthetic point of view, I prefer the chain link. Using it made the lower bowl seem much larger, with the back wall, and not the outfield fence, being the farthest focal point. The Chain link created problems, though. Carl Yastremski hit his head while leaping to snare a Tim Cullen would be homerun and knocked himself silly for several minutes. Frank Howard did the same thing against Sal Bando when he robbed a homerun from the Athletics' third baseman.
I always enjoyed the Longines clock in right centerfield. Longines was short for the "Longines Symphonette Society," an organization that produced and sold symphonic music. Most every ballpark in the 1950s had a "Longines" clock with the same face place as the one at RFK.
The Scoreboard was my favorite part of the stadium. In its day, it was the most modern scoreboard in the major leagues, and only one of two [Minnesota was the other] that had an area that featured fans names and promotions, called the "Magic Message" board. Across the scoreboard's arched top was panel ads for People's Drugs, the Washington Post and one of many banks [American Security was the bank in this picture].
Quite a place, RFK. Then. Now. Until the new park is built, a new generation of Washington baseball fans will fondly remember its waffle roof and endless ramps. And that's a very good thing.
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