The last major league baseball game ever played at RFK Stadium in Washington took place today. The Nationals marked the occasion by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3 in a game the Phillies very much needed to win. Barring a disaster, the Nationals will move into a new stadium next season.
RFK opened in 1962, and I saw at least several baseball games there in every year that it hosted regular season games. Of course, this record isn’t all that impressive, since no non-exhibition baseball games took place at RFK from 1972 until 2005.
I’ve put together an All Star team of players who played in regular season games at RFK. I did this rather quickly, without crunching numbers or consulting numbers that others have crunched (though some such numbers no doubt are floating around in my head). Here’s the team:
Yogi Berra (catcher)
Harmon Killebrew (first base)
Rod Carew (second base)
Alex Rodridguez (shortstop)
Brooks Robinson (third base)
Barry Bonds (left field)
Mickey Mantle (center field)
Frank Robinson (right field)
Roger Clemens (right handed pticher)
Whitey Ford (left handed pitcher)
Mariano Rivera (relief pitcher)
RFK can close up shop for baseball safe in the knowledge that no one was ever a designated hitter there.
Note that I’ve got Rodriguez as my shortstop even though he didn’t actually play that position at RFK. Purists can move ARod to third and insert Derek Jeter at shortstop.
JOHN adds: My wife would approve of that move, but not because she’s a purist.
UPDATE: RFK was also the site of two All Star games — 1962 (in honor of the opening of the stadium) and 1969 (in honor of baseball’s centennial). I was lucky enough to attend the 1969 game. If you include players from these games on my elite team, I think you’d have to find a place for Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Steve Carlton, and probably Johnny Bench.
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