Griffith Stadium was named for Clark Griffith, the manager/owner of the Senators baseball team, in 1924. It was constructed in 1914 as American League Park. The stadium was a social center for the city. It was not only used for sports events, but the annual cadet corps drills, baptisms, and lectures were also held there. The stadium stands out as one of the few public spaces that did not operate on a segregated basis. The stadium was razed in 1965, and Howard University Hospital was built on the site in 1975.
Griffith Stadium was home to the Washington Senators, the white American League baseball team, and the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues. The Washington Redskins football team, also white before 1962, played here as well. All Washingtonians were welcome as fans at the stadium. In addition to professional teams, DC colleges and high school teams also played there. The annual Howard-Lincoln game held on Thanksgiving Day was a favorite event.
The annual drill competition between Armstrong and Dunbar High schools drew enormous crowds. Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, leader of the Church of God located across the street, held large baptisms there. Billy Sunday gave lectures there. Griffith Stadium was also a place for young people to make money. Duke Ellington, for example, sold peanuts there during the summer.
The last baseball game in Griffith Stadium was played on September 21, 1961.
Robert G. Ainsworth, Sports in the Nation's Capital (Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA: Donning, 1978).
Sandra Fitzpatrick and Maria R. Goodwin, The Guide to Black Washington, rev. ed. (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1999).
Jacqueline M. Moore, Leading the Race: The Transformation of the Black Elite in the Nation's Capital, 1880-1920 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999).
"The Heritage Trails which you create are such gifts to DC.
H Street NE will be enhanced immeasurably by the addition of its guiding signposts of the past and point us towards the future."