The World Series is in full swing (pun intended!) and this year, the Washington Nationals are battling it out in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1933. The nation’s capital is abuzz with excitement for the hometown team, much as D.C. baseball fans were in 1924, 1925 and 1933 – the only other times Washington played for the title. The excitement spilled over into conversation with fellow reference librarian Hanna Soltys, whose travels through the sports-related images in our collections turned up some of the great images below.
The challenge of getting a ticket to the game is nothing new. In 1924, for Washington’s first appearance in the World Series, Miss Elsie Tydings was one of the lucky ones who got a ticket. In fact, she was at the front of the line, and purchased the first ticket sold!
Those without a ticket had a few options to follow the game, including the three depicted in the photos below. In 1924, temporary bleachers and rooftops gave a view on the field itself. Crowds also gathered at the Washington Star newspaper headquarters to watch a scoreboard tracking a game during the 1925 series in the second photo. And finally, radio listeners could hear pioneering Graham McNamee, credited with originating play-by-play sports broadcasting, bring the game to their own living rooms on the radio. He’s shown calling the second game of the 1924 World Series from Washington’s Griffith Stadium.
The lucky ones were in the stadium for the big games, including President Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge in 1924, when the President threw out the first ball to launch the series against the New York Giants. Other special guests in attendance at the 1924 series were some of baseball’s heavy hitters: George Sisler, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, as seen in the second photo below.
The excitement continues to build, as the series comes to Washington today. Let’s play ball!
- Explore more images related to the baseball World Series in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
- Enjoy hundreds of images related to baseball in Washington, D.C. from our collections.
- Take a trip through the history of the game in the online version of the Library of Congress exhibit Baseball Americana.
- View a film of the Washington Senators winning the 1924 World Series in the collections of the Library of Congress, shared in this 2014 post from Now See Hear!, the blog of the National Audio-Visual Center.
I believe the man directly above Coolidge and slightly to the right wearing a bow tie, is William Wrigley Jr. Owner of the Chicago Cubs.