Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2024 - Bethesda's 153rd birthday!

Bethesda Big Train Baseball

On a sunny and chilly December morning in 1998, a hearty band of baseball fans and local government officials joined the Walter Johnson Family and the Shirley Povich Family for a groundbreaking ceremony for Shirley Povich Field. A year of planning was completed. It was time to build the ballpark. And there wasn’t much time.

Founder and Chairman John Ourisman took the lead in raising the nearly one million dollars of cash and recruiting nearly another million dollars of in-kind services. Architect Alan Sparber labored long hours to produce this community jewel. Founder and President Bruce Adams conceived the red brick clubhouse with the Doubleday Field-like arch and the Ebbets Field-like hand-operated scoreboard. Peter Kirk, who had built minor league stadiums for his Keys, Baysox, and Shorebirds, served as our mentor on ballpark construction and proposed the idea of Camden Yards quality seats on a concrete grandstand. Hopkins & Porter Construction built the hand-operated scoreboard and the dugout and bullpen benches.

 The 606-seat grandstand was completed in just three months, allowing play to begin that April. The clubhouse opened just days before the Big Train’s June 4, 1999 inaugural contest against the Arlington Senators. 

Read more at “Povich” on the Big Train Baseball website.