In Jonathan Yardley's re-review of "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," ["A Deal With the Devil That Still Pays Dividends," Aug. 11, Style] he justifiably sang the praises of "Damn Yankees," the movie made from the book. He said that the movie has "a ballpark that looks for all the world like good old Griffith Stadium."
There was a good reason for that: It is Griffith Stadium. The long background scenes were filmed there in 1957.
The movie's close-ups of Joe Hardy in the outfield showed him playing in a stadium with ivy on the outfield walls. Those scenes were filmed in old Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. As Casey Stengel would have said, "You can look it up."
PHILIP R. HOCHBERG
As a native Washingtonian and a Senators fan of 50 years I would like to clarify a few statements in Jonathan Yardley's review.
Prior to Opening Day 1956, it had been documented that Babe Ruth was the only player to have hit a ball over the tree beyond the centerfield fence at Griffith Stadium, more than 420 feet from home plate.
But on Opening Day in 1956 Mickey Mantle homered twice over the tree off my favorite Senators pitcher, Camilo Pascual. I attended the game as a 17-year-old.
For the record, Larry Doby never accomplished this feat. He did hit a famous Griffith Stadium homer several years earlier that lodged in a speaker on the top of the center field wall.
The movie version "Damn Yankees" uses actual highlights from a Senators-Yankees game at Griffith Stadium. A critical scene has Pascual pitching to Mickey Mantle, who smashes a long drive that Joe Hardy pursues to make a fantastic game-saving catch.