Tag Archives: stadiums and arenas

A new DC United home may be near (and not a moment too soon)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there may be a new stadium for D.C. United in our time:

Sources: D.C. United and District government finalizing stadium dealThe Post

And not a moment too soon:

Well done X-Men moviemakers, I guess. You just destroyed the most all-time beloved venue of sport in the nation’s capital. There’s no way RFK Stadium would have held up that well in real life too.

In all seriousness, I hope DCU finally gets a new home; I’m withholding any significant emotional investment until I know they’ll be here for the duration. I suppose the Baltimore/Washington/Chesapeake Bayhawks might be interested in that venue as well.

H/Ts

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BeltwayLand beer: History, more on Nats Park beer

It’s time again for my monthly-ish round-up of BeltwayLand and beyond beer news.

WETA has a brief feature on brewing in the D.C. area with Garrett Peck, author of Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C. (I need to get it) which gives the broad history of beer in the area. Fun fact – Robert Portner developed air conditioning to make lager beer year round at his Alexandria brewery. Two of his great-granddaughters are going to open Portner Brewhouse in Alexandria, details TBD. They are also mentioned in Washingtonian‘s Women in Washington’s Craft Beer Scene. Now, on with our feature presentation:

The beer map! The Annual Nationals Park Beer Guide is up on The Nationals Review. Service blogging!

Beergraphs.com also visited Nationals Park recently and gave it an 86 (B).

Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager

Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager won The Post’s Beer Madness, a regional beer tournament (that’s a big region). I’m a fan and have been since I tried it at the behest of Slow States. Once I found it. It’s now my go-to during my now infrequent trips to the Vienna Inn, but I can’t seem to find it in stores of late. Harris Teeter shaved off $2 from the price of a six-pack, so that may be part of the reason. Overall, it seems harder to find local/regional beers in grocery stores of late, is anybody else noticing that?

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District Drafts - Local beers at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

Port City turns 3; DC Brau expands distribution; more local stands at Nationals Park

It’s time for yet another round up of the greater Washington D.C. area brewing scene.

Business is BrewingNorthern Virginia Magazine

PORT CITY TURNS 3
Port City bar
January 31 is the third anniversary for Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Co. They are celebrating with COLOSSAL THREE, a Hellerbock. There are several other events going on.

Some bad news if your like oyster beer though:

DC BRAU INCREASES DISTRIBUTION
Sunday's lunch - chili half-smoke with DC Brau
DC BRAU EXPANDS DISTRIBUTION THROUGHOUT MARYLAND
Brewery Teams with Legends Ltd to Distribute Flagship Brews in 20 Counties & Baltimore City

Washington, DC – Get ready, Maryland, DC Brau is coming! Fans of DC BRAU in Baltimore, Annapolis and even as close to DC as National Harbor won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy the brewery’s offerings at their favorite locals. Starting this week, DC BRAU will begin working with Legends Limited (http://greatbrewers.com/legends-limited) to distribute five of its signature beers in 20 more counties in Maryland, plus Baltimore City.

DC Brau launches Eastern Pennsylvania distribution with Bella Vista next week

MORE LOCAL BEER AT NATIONALS PARK THIS SUMMER
District Drafts

In a press release about the Washington Nationals extending their agreement with Levy Restaurants was buried this good news:

Fan favorite spot, District Drafts, will have two new locations – creating a total of four locations around the park – and feature local taps from DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewing Company, Port City Brewing Company and more.

Now at least $9 beers will be local!

SAVOR

Savor, The “the benchmark event in craft beer and food pairing”, returns to its Washington, D.C. home, at the National Building Museum, on May 9 and 10, 2014″ features several local & regional breweries according to YOURS FOR GOOD FERMENTABLES.

LAST YEAR IN BEER

2013: The Year in Beer

Best Of 2013: The Year In Beer, Reviewed DCist

VOTE YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL BREWERY
I’ve seen at least two breweries tweet a link to the CityPaper’s Best of D.C. Readers Poll already.

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Some details on why Nats postponement took so long

Washington Nationals postpone game after hours of uncertaintyThe Post
More details about the Washington Nationals decision to postpone last night’s game against the Atlanta Braves after the shooting at the Navy Yard yesterday.

District Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in a phone interview that he wasn’t involved with every detail of the postponement, but that he wished the decision had been made earlier. He said he feared letting thousands of people near the area of an ongoing investigation.

Paul A. Quander Jr., deputy mayor for public safety and justice, said he first spoke with the Nationals at 1 p.m., and that the team initially wanted to play the game. Police were confident they could clear South Capitol Street and parts of M Street SE in time to accommodate stadium traffic. “We were going to make it work,” he said.

But as the search for people of interest in the shooting continued, and Lanier warned people to stay away from the Navy Yard area, the Nationals contacted city officials about a possible postponement, Quander said. He said the Nationals informed him they would need the approval of Major League Baseball.

“It was a fluid situation,” he said. “But I think they made the right call.”

To me and seemingly every Nats fan I follow on twitter, postponing the game was the obvious call before 1 p.m. While it police may have been confident they could get M Street cleared before the game, was that the best use of District resources at the time? Additionally, with one of the parking areas being used as a gathering place for families, it seemed to me the Nats should have erred on the side of caution and of consideration for the families waiting in the parking area. Why potentially make it harder for them to arrive and depart?

Another factor to consider, the players on either team were not interested in playing the game last night.

Lastly, there are policies and procedures that need to be re-evaluated by both the District, the team and Major League Baseball. Since Nationals Park is owned by the District, though operated by the franchise, it should have the authority to shut down a game. The Nats should also be able to postpone a game due to unforeseen events and not have to get the backing of MLB or more likely, some old man in Milwaukee.

PREVIOUSLY

UPDATE: Postponed, finally – EARLIER: Nats should just postpone tonight’s game

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A fantastic RFK Stadium appreciation in this week’s CityPaper

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Brokedown Palace: RFK Stadium Is a National Treasure, Cracks and AllCityPaper
Robert F. Kennedy Stadium was the home of three Washington teams – Redskins (1961-1997), Senators (1962-71) and Nationals (2005-2007) and is still the home of DC United (1996- ). The “second act” of its life has been as a soccer stadium and that will be its final act as well. When, we’re not sure as DC United tries to get a soccer specific stadium built somewhere. It is a different soccer team though, the U.S. Men’s National Team that is bringing the multi-purpose stadium prototype its final glory.

What newer stadiums have in modern amenities and creature comforts, they frequently lack in atmosphere and character that can only be attained with age. The dented metal floor that makes up much of the 100-level stands is an outdated relic, with an almost unintentional steel drum appearance (and sound). The construction-orange seats, with terrible sight-lines for football but great for soccer, rise and fall at the whim of the excited fans with a soft boom. So many rowdy fans over the years have stood on the seats that they occasionally come crashing down, cracked from more than 50 years of stress. The arc lighting that’s hung at roof level around the stadium gives it a Latin American feel, a rarity in American sports stadia. Many of the bulbs are out, but even those sway ever so slightly when fans go crazy. A broken digital clock hangs over what was home plate for baseball. The awesome creakiness of the place makes RFK feel like an extension of the emotions of the spectators.

A co-worker was at that USMNT win over German on Sunday. He had never been there when it was truly rowdy, so I enlightened him on how it used to rock for Redskins games:

I can still her Pat Summerall saying “RFK STADIUM IS ROCKING” in my head.

In Barry Svrluga’s National Pastime about the 2005 Nats, he mentions that the broadcasters were caught off guard by the press box shaking.

As lovable as RFK is, the facility is simply falling apart. I am still holding out hope that a new DC United stadium can happen soon. When RFK’s time is done, I hope a great sendoff can be given that celebrates all the sports that were played there. That’s an idea for another post.

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60 years ago today Mickey Mantle hit first “tape measure home run” at Griffith Stadium

Yesterday, Thom Loverro of The Wash. Examiner reminded us that today is the 60th anniversary of Mickey Mantle’s famed 565-feet home run – Thom Loverro: Sixty years later, still feeling Mickey Mantle’s clout in D.C.

Mantle hit the powerful homer off of Chuck Stobbs of the Washington Senators. The ball blasted past an advertising sign out of Griffith Stadium. New York Yankees P.R. executive Red Patterson decided that it needed to be measured and it became known as a “tape measure home run.” It only became known a generation later that Patterson had merely “walked-off the distance.”

In her definitive biography of Mantle, The Last Boy, author Jane Leavy devoted an entire chapter to this homer. She commissioned a report to see how far it probably went on the fly (not 565 feet) and found the man, Donald Dunaway, who had recovered the ball when he was a sixth grader playing hooky. On her Web site, Leavy has a gallery of the area circa 2008 as well as photos of Dunaway, Griffith Stadium and newspaper clippings from the time. Howard University hospital now occupies the stadium footprint.

Stobbs lived until 2008. For a “the lives they lived” issue of the Post Sunday Magazine, Leavy wrote an obituary for him: Chuck Stobbs | 1929-2008.

UPDATE

@ESPNStatsInfo has posted the modern day equivalent of where it would go, presumably from both sides of the plate:

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Emmett Ashford, first black MLB umpire, made debut at RFK Stadium on this day in 1966

On this day in 1966, the first black umpire made his debut, nearly 19 years to the day after Jackie Robinson made his playing debut. Emmett Ashford umpired third base in the Cleveland Indians vs. Washington Senators Opening Day game at RFK Stadium. Cleveland would defeat Washington, 5-2 before 44,468. BoxscoreBaseball Reference. D.C. Baseball History has more about that game.

The SABR History Project feature on Ashford recalled his first game:

Emmett Ashford’s regular season debut took place on April 9, 1966, in Washington’s D .C. Stadium, the traditional American League opener. His first major league hurdle was getting into the ballpark. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey was in attendance to throw out the ceremonial first ball, and the secret service needed to be convinced that a black man was there to umpire the game. Humphrey later kidded Ashford, who had worked at third base, that he hadn’t had any plays to call. “No plays, no boots,” responded Ashford, “but it was the greatest day of my life.” Joe Cronin told his new employee, “Emmett, you made history today. I’m proud of you.”

Ashford’s first home plate assignment came on April 17, 1966 in New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles game (Baseball Reference Boxscore) at Memorial Stadium.

Ashford had been an umpire in the Pacific Coast League for many years and was 51 when his contract was bought out by the American League. From the L.A. Times article Emmett Ashford made history; will he make Hall of Fame?:

Ashford’s dream was to be a major league umpire, a commitment he made when he heard Branch Rickey had signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. But first Ashford had to break the minor league color barrier for umpires, which he did.

There was no mistaking Ashford had style — French cuffs, gleaming cuff links and shoes buffed to a pristine shine. And he always brought a typewriter with him on the road so he could answer fan mail. He signed autographs before and after games.

Ashford stayed on one year past the suggested retirement age, ending his career after the 1970 World Series.

HAT TIP

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