On October 27, 1955, Clark Griffith passed away at 85. Griffith, who had been associated with Washington's American League baseball team since 1912, was buried in the Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, Md., and a year later, a monument was dedicated to the "Old Fox" outside of Griffith Stadium.
You know the rest of the story: His nephew - and adopted son - Calvin moved the team to Minnesota five years after Clark's death. Eventually, when Griffith Stadium was razed, the Clark Griffith Memorial was uprooted from its base and moved to a spot in front of then-D.C. Stadium, where it still stands.
Today, with no baseball being played at the East Capitol Street ballpark, it's safe to say that most soccer fans who gather for D.C. United matches pay little to no attention to the structure honoring Clark Griffith. I can't imagine many of them have stopped to read the inscription, or even really know who Griffith was. Isn't it time to move it again, this time to a spot at Nationals Park?
Granted, it's going to cost a few thousand bucks to pull that off, but it just makes sense. Yes, I understand that Griffith has absolutely nothing to do with the current major league occupants, but he had nothing to do with the expansion Senators either. The walkway that runs between South Capitol Street and the home plate gate is festooned with the significant dates in D.C. baseball history, many of which involve the franchise Griffith owned. Nationals Park is simply the best - and most obvious place - for it to reside.
Griffith played a significant role in the cultural history of the city. He's been branded, somewhat unfairly, as racially insensitive because of his foot-dragging on signing black players. His Nationals didn't have a player of color until 1954, and didn't have an African-American player until 1957. He wasn't the last owner to integrate, however, and clearly had a better sense of civil rights than his tenant at Griffith Stadium, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall.
I'm not the first to bring up this subject, and hopefully won't be the last. Moving the Griffith Memorial would provide a nice tribute to another local baseball legend. Whether the Nationals would do it on their own, or some kind of grassroots movement to raise money to have it done is necessary, someone needs to get the ball rolling.