Garrett D. Waters, 72, a newspaperman in the Washington area for more than 50 years whose assignments included baseball, the White House and the theater, died Monday at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Gaithersburg following a heart attack.

Mr. Waters, who was born in Washington, began his career in 1927 as a sportswriter on The Washington Post, where he covered baseball. In 1932 he switched to the old Washington Times, where he also covered baseball. He was the official scorekeeper at the 1933 World Series between the old Washington Senators and the New York Giants.

In 1939, when the Times and the Herald combined into one newspaper, Mr. Waters joined the Philadelphia Inquirer in Philadelphia. He returned to the Washington area shortly thereafter and joined the old Washington Daily News.

In 1943 he joined the old International News Service, which now is part of United Press International, and covered the White House. From 1948 to 1950, he ran the Takoma Journal, a weekly that has since gone out of business. Mr. Waters became a copy editor on the sports desk of The Post in 1950.

He then went back to the Times-Herald and later rejoined the Daily News, where he was a feature writer and drama critic until the paper went out of business in 1972 after being purchased by The Washington Star. Since then, Mr. Waters had been a part-time copy editor and theater critic for the Montgomery Journal.

Mr. Waters lived in Takoma Park for most of his life. He moved to Gaithersburg last year. He was a lifetime member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Leary, of Gaithersburg; two sons, Garrett D. Jr., of Silver Spring, and Robert Colin, of Gaithersburg; a brother, Robert L., of Silver Spring; a sister, Elizabeth Waters of Washington, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Trinity Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, Piney Branch Road and Dahlia Street NW, Washington, or to the Heart Fund.