War Memorial Stadium
1889 W. Pembroke Avenue
Hampton, VA 23661

Opened June 1948 - Capacity 4,330
Dimensions: 402 Center; 335 Left; 335 Right

For lots more info, see here:  http://jgrahamtwo.tripod.com/peninsulaprobaseballhalloffame/id25.html

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/04/06
Thanks, Dave!

"A hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz."

- Humphrey Bogart
 (25 Dec 1899 - 14 Jan 1957)



 
 


I wonder how many readers are old enough to remember the Newport News Dodgers of the old Piedmont League in the 40s and 50s. They were a farm club of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers ... yes,
that's right: the Dodgers weren't always in LA.

The NN Dodgers played ball at the War Memorial Stadium which is on Pembroke Avenue. 
Of all the places I have listed which no longer exist on Pembroke Avenue, it is a miracle that this
stadium survives. Not only survives, but has been given a new lease on life with some
renovations and current users.

I could have taken some digital images, but this web site has done a far better job with 15
wonderful images and some history along the way.  It seems that this park is among the very,
very few remaining wooden ball parks which somehow did not burn to the ground.  If you are
interested in this piece of Peninsula history, have a look here:

http://www.digitalballparks.com/Carolina/Hampton.html

If you are REALLY a baseball nut, have a look at the home page of the site.
You can take a virtual tour of over 3500 ball parks.

http://www.digitalballparks.com/

Incidentally, I catch about 30 games a season of the Norfolk Tides in our beautiful Harbor Park
on the waterfront in Norfolk.  It is the perfect place to be a little boy again ... among several
thousand other little boys .... only now we can drink beer. Life is Good!!

"PLAY BALL!!!!"
 

 
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/13/03
Thanks, Dave!

THEN: NOW:

 http://www.digitalballparks.com/Carolina/Hampton.html
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/29/06
WOWZERS!!! Thanks, Dave!
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/13/03
Thanks, Dave!


 


Came to me from my cousin. Worth linking in the next newsletter.

 

Greatest Play in Major League Baseball

 It was thirty years ago.

 Turn up the volume.............
 

mms://a1503.v108692.c10869.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/1503/10869/v0001/mlb.download.
akamai.com/10869/library/open/features/monday_flag_350.wmv?media_type=wms&av_type=
video&event_pk=486348&product=gen_video

 
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/23/06
WOWZERONI-ROONI!!! Thanks so much, Dave!

THEN:

As I remembered, home plate and the grandstand behind it was located just about 73rd Street and Warwick Boulevard. The 'vacant' lot across the road is really the navy reserve center's ball field. The gym is partly in view at the extreme left of this photo. The area to the right of the stadium (which I believe was also called back Builders' Stadium then - and also The Home of the Baby Dodgers) was used for parking, and also is where some circus and carnivals set up, in the late 40s/early 50s. During WWII, it was steel plate unloading and interim storage area for the shipyard. The fairly large building to the left of the stadium is where Rulane Gas Co. was located, back then. Or maybe it was called Suburban - I forget.

Across the tracks, the then-largely undeveloped area around Jefferson Avenue can be seen. The white building on the far side of Jefferson is the Dr. Pepper plant (you can even make out its distinctive tower). In the upper left-hand corner you can just barely see a part of the Military Highway traffic circle.

And near that, what looks like a barracks-type building is the area where POW's were located, during the war (I think - but its just a guess on my part - that these were the ones that worked in the port area).

Lastly, part of the then-brand new Huntington Courts apartments dominates the lower right hand quadrant of this image.

Bill Lee (WHS - '54 - of NC) sent this to me yesterday, as a follow-on to our prior discussions about the NN Dodgers and their old stadium on Virginia Avenue at 73rd Street

It's an 8x10 aerial view of the Huntington Courts apartments (and surroundings) from a position over the river and looking towards the railroad tracks. I can pretty much date it based on what appears (and what doesn't!), and also by comparing it with the picture that was in the 1946 book about Newport News.
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/13/07
WOWZERS!!! Thanks, Dave - and Bill!

Centerfield

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We're born again, there's new grass on the field.
A-roundin' third, and headed for home, it's a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

CHORUS:
Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin' it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don't say "it ain't so", you know the time is now.

CHORUS

Yeah! I got it, I got it!

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it's time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch 'em all - a moment in the sun;
(pop) It's gone and you can tell that one goodbye!

CHORUS
CHORUS
Yeah!


(This page was created on 05/13/03 at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs - '64 - of VA - and updated 03/04/06.)


Dave even located the background music for this page:

John Fogarty's "Center Field" midi courtesy of members.tripod.com/~dawright/oldies.html
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/14/03
Thanks, Dave!

"Makes you wanna go see Bull Durham again, doesn't it?"

Yep!  Thanks again, Dave!

"Center Field" lyrics courtesy of http://www.reallyrics.com/lyrics/J016800010001.asp
also at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/13/03
Thanks again, Dave!

Baseball Image courtesy of - uh, well, I don't know, but it's been in my files since 10/30/04

Baseball Divider Line clip art courtesy of geocities.com/Colosseum/Park/4732/baseball.html - 05/14/03

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