Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington DC
First game: August 16, 2006 (Nationals 9, Braves 6)
RFK Stadium is no longer in use for baseball as of the 2008 season.
(Click on any image to see a larger version.)
Last game: August 17, 2006 (Braves 5, Nationals 0)
I never got to Montreal (although I did make it to San Juan). When the Expos finally headed to DC, I admit I was grateful…for while my chances
The ballpark suffers from the same problems as other multi-purpose stadiums: it’s simply not meant for baseball, and it shows. Like Dolphin Stadium, this is especially football-oriented. From the many football players honored on the wall of fame to the George Marshall plaque on the outside, it’s clear that the football memories do and always will dominate this place.
Even beyond this, RFK Stadium is simply not a nice place to watch a baseball game. For starters, there is an expansive batch of first-level seats that are below the second deck. Scoreboards and fly balls are invisible from here, so a good deal of the game is spent looking at the televisions hanging beneath the second deck…and their screens are so small that one cannot really see the ball-strike count. Additionally, the PA system is almost unhearable back there. During a hot sunny day game, I can see the appeal, but at night, I’d rather be under the stars. After about four innings, my kid sister (with whom, by the way, I have now enjoyed ballgames in four different major league ballparks…approaching the record set by my dad, but which will surely be eclipsed by my wife) and I moved up to the upper deck. Highly recommended. If you’re going
Once up there, stretch out (there will be plenty of room) and look around to section 535. There, find the white seat up surprisingly high. That’s the seat where Frank
After a marvelous time with my kid sister, I returned area natives and longtime buddies Tom and Elizabeth. I like hanging out with locals at the ballpark who might be able to tell me something about the team’s history. Of course, the Nationals don’t have any history, so it’s a bit more of a challenge here.
Of course, Tom and Elizabeth are two of the very few people who are from the DC area. As a result, it’s tough to play the “regional feel” game. However, RFK stadium does well. The bust of RFK himself joins the monuments to Griffith and Marshall (perhaps serving as a liberal anchor situated between the two). And rather than a Milwaukee sausage race or
On the whole, there’s not a whole lot going for RFK Stadium–it’s a charmless relic, more so even than several other multipurpose stadiums of its era. But the company can’t be beat, and I can’t wait to take in the new ballpark with them.
BASEBALL STUFF I’VE SEEN HERE:
Brian Schneider and Ryan Zimmerman hit home runs to lead a big Nationals assault on John Smoltz.
Oscar Villareal combines with three relievers on a 4-hit shutout for Atlanta.
Ryan Langerhans manages to walk four times in four at bats. He scores twice.