“Story Of The Washington Nationals”
“The Last Out”
A Eulogy Of Griffith Stadium
Another beautiful COLOR 1950’s team promotional film is now available as part of a new one hour, 17 minute DVD from “Rare Sportsfilms”! The nostalgic and very rare 1955 Washington Senators film titled “Story Of The Washington Nationals” was the only film done by the original club during all the years in the nation’s capitol. Plus, a special bonus has been added to the original film — a 1959 live interview with Senators’ sensational bonus rookie Harmon Killebrew! Narrated by team radio broadcasters Bob Wolff and Arch McDonald, the film covers a short speech by “The Old Fox”, club owner Clark Griffith, and views of his office, then moves to spring training 1955, before finishing with the ceremonies and color that always made Opening Day in Washington something special! You’ll see great color shots of both the outside and inside of Griffith Stadium, the diamond, and the old National Bohemian Beer Scoreboard in right field!
This was the first baseball team promotional film featuring live interviews, and as the film moves to spring training, Arch McDonald chats with Farm Director Ozzie Bluege, one of the all-time great Senator players. Shown is the top triple-A team, the Chattanooga Lookouts in camp at Winter Garden, Florida. Next you’ll see the big league club in Orlando, working out at old Tinker Field. Owner Clark C. Griffith is interviewed by Arch McDonald, along with young Calvin Griffith. Also looking forward to the upcoming season is new manager Chuck Dressen, and McDonald interviews Charlie about his managing philosophies, team speed, the pitching staff, etc. There’s the action of training and intersquad games as the club rounds into shape. The players you’ll see throughout the film are: Bruce Edwards, Mickey Vernon, Eddie Yost, Bob Porterfield, Johnny Schmitz, Pete Runnels, Mickey McDermott, Roy Sievers, Ernie Oravetz, Bob Oldis, Jerry Snyder and Tom Umphlett. On an off-day, the team gets together for the annual Clark Griffith-National Bohemian golf tournament. You’ll see the players, including bonus baby Harmon Killebrew, competing for prizes shown being given away at the banquet later that evening.
Perhaps the highlight of the DVD is Opening Day 1955 at Griffith Stadium, Washington, as Paul Richards’ Orioles furnish the opposition. Covered are pre-game and pre-season preparations at the park and pre-game ceremonies with President Eisenhower throwing out the first ball, and Pete Runnels scrambling for it, and getting it signed by the President! Nats starting pitcher Bob Porterfield begins a rally to break up a scoreless game in the third inning off O’s starter Lou Kretlow, and when it’s over the Senators have a 12-5 win over the Orioles who use four more pitchers in relief, including Don Johnson, Don Faressee and Bob Alexander.
At the end of this first film is a special bonus – an August 1959 B & W interview with young Harmon Killebrew! Phillies announcer Gene Kelly interviews Harmon at old Connie Mack Stadium before a benefit game between the Senators and Phils. “Killer” is currently leading the A.L. in homers and talks about his first major league game, batting, playing time, etc.
“THE LAST OUT”
“The Last Out”, a 1965 Television documentary on the history of Griffith Stadium which aired a few weeks before the demolition of the old ballpark, is a eulogy of the old home of the Senators in Washington. This vintage TV show is now available to baseball fans everywhere as part of this one hour, 17 minute DVD from Rare Sportsfilms! As a bonus, Senator fans will also see several player interviews from spring training 1961 and 1962 plus highlights of the “new” Washington Senators first game: Opening Day, 1961! This DVD is truly a must for ballpark historians and especially fans of the baseball Senators in Washington!
This second half of the DVD begins with three 1961 spring training interviews by Morrie Siegel of WMAL TV-7, Washington. At Pompano Beach Florida, spring home of the new “expansion” Senators, Siegel interviews catcher Pete Daley and pitchers Dave Sisler, Pete Burnside and eventual Opening Day starter Dick Donovan! Then, silent footage shows the highlights of Opening Day 1961, as 35,000 fans (including President Kennedy) watch the Senators play Chicago to a 3-3 deadlock through seven innings. In the 8th, Roy Sievers’ sac fly scores Minnie Minoso from third with the winning run in a 4-3 White Sox victory. Next, you’ll see shots from spring training 1962, as the new Senators get ready for their second season: Bennie Daniels, Pete Burnside, Joe McClain, Jim Hannan, Claude Osteen, Jim King, Dale Long, Danny O’Connell, Chuck Hinton, Willie Tasby and Jimmy Piersall. Seigel then interviews young infielders Eddie Brinkman and Ron Stillwell, catcher Pete Daley and manager Mickey Vernon.
“The Last Out”, narrated by a young Jim Simpson, makes up the rest of this DVD. Standing near the old Senator dugout, now in ruins, Simpson talks about the history of the old park, which is soon to be demolished to make way for the expansion of nearby Howard University. Shown are many views of the ballpark from the inside, showing seats torn out, holes in the roof and waist-high weeds covering the playing field, all the way out to the broken clock atop the rusted outfield fence signs. Simpson then introduces Hall-Of-Famer Sam Rice, former Senator during the pennant-winning glory years 1924, 1925 and 1933. Rice comments on the 1924 World Series and Earl McNeely’s winning hit which hopped over Fred Lindstrom’s head and won the series for Washington. Rice continues on a variety of subjects, such as the longest homer he ever saw hit at Griffith Stadium, his at-bat in the 1933 World Series, “Boy Manager” Bucky Harris and Joe Judge, and what the park looked like before Babe Ruth re-juvinated baseball in the early 1920’s. Also shown are action clips from the 1933 W.S., with actual radio play-by-play of the highlight of the series for Washington fans – Fred Schulte’s 3-run 6th inning game-tying homer!
You’ll take a trip to Clark Griffith’s office in 1954 and hear him name his all-time Washington Senator lineup. Then “The Old Fox” talks about the Opening Day tradition of the President throwing out the first ball and describes each one. More film clips show action from the 1937 and 1956 All-Star Games at Griffith Stadium, as well as the park as used for other events throughout the years (primarily for Redskins football). All-time NFL passing great Sammy Baugh describes owner George Preston Marshall, the “inventor” of half-time shows for pro football and the Washington Redskins marching band. Film clips of the famous 1940 and 1942 NFL Championship Games at Griffith Stadium are shown with commentary.
Get all of this rare footage on one 77-minute DVD by sending $29.95 +$4.00 S & H to:
“RARE SPORTSFILMS FL”
1126 Tennyson Lane
Naperville, IL 60540