Richie Scheinblum personifies the last edition of the Washington Senators.

A college star tarnished by four undistinguished seasons in Cleveland, Richie arrived in Washington in 1971. As a Senator he wore his "unlimited potential" label like a millstone, batting just .143 and covering about as much outfield ground as Daniel Chester French's Lincoln.

But, after being benched and quickly banished by the next-to-last place Senators, Richie hit.300 for the 1972 Kansas City Royals.


SEPTEMBER 24, 2004

Washington needs our new baseball team as an exorcism. Our final hometown baseball memories can't be Tim Cullen hitting .191 or washed-up balloon-baller Denny McClain throwing 31 home run balls in a single season.

But should the city build a stadium on South Capitol Street?

Euphoric as a grizzled Three-I Leaguer at last called up to the majors, the local media lavishes such accolades as "near-perfect" and "sparkling" on the proposed South Capitol Street site and surrounding development. It dismisses the current neighborhood as a wasteland, an "unworthy" market-created hodgepodge of such unsightly (but necessary) urban functions as concrete plants, repair garages, and warehouses intermingled with vacant land. Largely ignored are the19th century rowhouses and vintage industrial buildings that are the surviving traces of the neighborhood's blue collar history.

Hoping to begin the debate with a full set of facts, we've put together a photo tour of the proposed stadium site. Because the media consistently reinforces the "wasteland" motif by presenting vistas of sandpiles, heaps of broken concrete, and chain-link fences, we'll concentrate on showing the landscape's more distinctive elements.