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George Solomon


Sunday, April 17, 2005; Page E02

It should have been enough for Washington sports fans that the Wizards clinched an NBA playoff spot for the first time since 1997 by beating the up-and-coming Chicago Bulls at MCI Center Wednesday night. But one night later, something even more unthinkable occurred: Major League Baseball returned to Washington.

My dad, John Rowley Harvey, took me to the last Senators game at RFK back in 1971, when I was 10. I remember the fans rushing the field in the bottom of the ninth, the chaos that ensued -- frightening for a 10-year-old.

My dad died six months later in Vietnam. So that was the last baseball game he ever took me to. I grew up loving the O's but missing the old Senators.

Now, 34 years later, I'm taking my 7-year-old son, Rowley Harvey, to opening night at RFK.

I paid a ridiculous amount to scalpers for two tickets -- but it's worth it to close the circle. Seeing this game with my son is something I'll remember my whole life, and hopefully something that will strengthen the spark of my father's spirit for my son to carry.

Michael Harvey, Chestertown, Md.

Who knew so many here cared? Not MLB.

I brought my dad and son to the home opener, so three generations of Farleys were on hand for the return of baseball to Washington. My dad especially enjoyed seeing Mickey Vernon, one of his heroes. I brought my ticket stub to the game from the last Senators game in 1971 and held it as the Nats took the field. I wore the 26-year-old Senators cap that a friend sent me the day my son was born. The night was more than grand; it was perfect.

John Farley, Potomac

Can't top your remarks, so I won't try.

Baseball's return to Washington reminds me of my teenage years at Griffith Stadium during the '40s. I operated the baseball scoreboard for six years, beginning in 1944. My most memorable year was 1945, when I came close to working the scoreboard for the World Series. However, it wasn't to be; the Senators lost the pennant to Detroit.

I'm excited about becoming a National League fan now that we have the Nationals.

Stan Ehrlich, Silver Spring

Okay, Stan, enough with the nostalgia; go to RFK this summer.

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