Open Field Left Untouched
Posted at 9:37 p.m. on June 19, 2012
(Aaron Guerrero/CQ Roll Call)
A chief complaint of many teams this season has been the difficulty of finding an available playing field.
As of this week, the real estate crunch seems to have worsened, at least on the National Mall. Come out the the Smithsonian Metro Station, and you’re greeted by a long line of white tents, similar to ones used at outdoor weddings, on each side.
The Smithsonian website reveals that the tents are connected to the annual Folklife Festival, which kicks off June 27.
On Tuesday, however, something rare happened: The softball field sandwiched in between the Monument and the Vietnam Memorial on 20th and Constitution was vacant. Indeed, just before 7 p.m., the space was devoid of a single aluminum bat or set of players arriving early to stake out the territory.
The night before, the field played host to a great Congressional Softball League game between the All Vols and the Howard Bitewings. In weeks past, teams such as Deep Space 9 have used the field as well.
There’s a possibility that a pair of teams made a last-minute venue change. Or a game was scheduled but then canceled because of an unforeseen circumstances. Teams may have even arrived later than we stayed.
But in our time there, the sole occupants were ducks from a nearby pond. At a time when open fields on or around the Mall are reaching near-extinct status, such an occurrence may never happen again. In the future, teams finding themselves in a pinch for a field may try their luck on 20th and Constitution.