Around this time each year, the cry of “Play Ball!” heralds the start of another season of baseball.
While the Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, and now the Washington Nationals dominate most local discussions concerning America’s Pastime, there is a fascinating, if unheralded, aspect of baseball that took root decades ago in Arlington’s African-American community. The earliest team, dating back to 1910, the Old Virginia Blues, played each Sunday on a field in East Arlington near Arlington Junction.
The two best known teams, the Virginia White Sox and the Green Valley Black Sox, started playing ball in the 1930’s and helped to provide a gathering place for local residents and families to socialize. Starting around May 30th of each year, weekends would see teams competing at a ball field situated near High View Park, on land which is now occupied by the Virginia Hospital Center, near George Mason Drive and Lee Highway. After the land was purchased for development, the teams folded, lacking a place to play.
What About You?
Did you have a family member, or, perhaps know anyone that played for the Virginia White Sox or the Green Valley Black Sox? Let us know what you remember!