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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

World Series: 1933

World Series: 1933

Washington, D.C. "World Series of 1933, Nationals-Giants. View of diamond, first game at Griffith Stadium." Which would be Game 3 on October 5. In the team's only win of the Series, Washington shut out New York 4-0, with President Roosevelt in the stands. Nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.

 

In praise of vintage ballparks

What a difference from, say, the new Nationals Park in DC! First off, there's absolutely no advertising visible here. I don't have to describe what modern ballparks look like, but they make clear that every every square foot of vertical surface not occupied by a paying customer is up for sale. I fully expect future ballgames to sell ad space on the field, dubbed in with CGI.

Although these spectators' view was obscured by support pillars of the upper deck, that's a small price to pay for proximity. I attended a game in Tiger Stadium, where the upper deck hung over all but the first 6-10 rows of seats downstairs. With the unaided eye, sitting in the upper deck behind home, I could count the batter's shoelaces. These spectators didn't enjoy instant replays on the big screen, but they had an excellent opportunity to see the play as it happened.

Tiger Stadium was cramped, crudely constructed and the only "decorative" element was a flagpole oddly placed in center field, in play. It was a lousy place to buy food or souvenirs, but a helluva a place to watch a ballgame. Looks like this was similar.

The First Baseman

is playing far too deep to make an out at first! And, I love the rounded grass cut-outs at first and third.

How many fans did they lose a season?

No backstop behind home plate? I do see some sort of screen but it looks to be behind the gentleman in the first four rows.

I can smell the cigar smoke

And I'm 10 years old again, in the bleachers at Briggs Stadium.

Third Deck!?

Griffith Stadium had only two decks. There was just an announcer's booth up there behind home plate where the stadium announcer sat (that was Charlie Brotman in the mid-50s until the stadium was replaced).

So it looks like there were some temporary stands built up there for the series. Too far away to tell if these were fans or sportswriters who couldn't fit in the existing press box at the rear of the second deck stands behind home plate.

My dad covered the Nats for the Washington Post in the late 40's - early 50's and later worked for the team. My earliest baseball memories - I was about 4 or 5 - are taking the streetcar to the stadium with him, playing with the sports tickers in his office, then watching the game from that second deck press box or sitting with Charlie in his aerie. My favorite player from that era was Roy Sievers.

Game of the century?

My nine-year-old dad was at the game that day. Perhaps somewhere in the picture?

I know later in his youth, he worked the scoreboard there, along with his schoolmate Bowie Kuhn.

Early in the Game

Judging by the shadows and the pristine condition of the field I'm going to say this is early in the game. The Nationals had all kinds of activity in the bottom of the first inning which would have messed up the infield. So my guess is Bill Terry is getting ready to ground out 4-3 to end the first inning.

A Milliner's Dream

When men still had class, even at the ballgame. On a side note I think in those days Washington's team was known as the Senators.

[They were officially the Nationals 1905-1956; in common parlance they were Senators to some, but more often, and in newspaper reportage, the Nationals or Nats. -tterrace]

Ground Rules

Note the open seating behind home plate; wonder what the rules would be concerning a passed ball or wild pitch that wound up back there?

He didn't get a hit.

The Giants are at-bat (you can tell because the first baseman is #2, Joe Kuhel for the Senators), and though I can't make out the uniform number, none of the Giants' left-handed batters had a hit that day. (Jo-Jo Moore, Bill Terry, and Mel Ott).

It might be Mel Ott about to draw a walk from pitcher Eddie Whitehill though.

At least one Hall of Famer is pictured on the field though in shortstop Joe Cronin. And 66% chance a Hall of Famer is at bat (Bill Terry or Mel Ott).

Any other clues?

Field of hats.

And only the players wear baseball caps.

I assume there was a hipster convention at the game

How else to explain the sea of fedoras?

Presumably, the concession stands were selling PBR.

 
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