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The “A Few Good Men” Softball Field

May 22nd, 2017 | By | Category: Movie Locations

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I don’t know – or care – much about sports.  I do love me some Tom Cruise, though.  So when my friend/fellow stalker Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, sent me his list of Washington, D.C./Philadelphia-area locales prior to my trip back east last September, I was thrilled to see the softball field from the 1992 drama A Few Good Men mentioned.  As noted in his files (which were extensive!), filming of the AFGM softball scenes took place on the baseball fields at West Potomac Park, just south of the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.  When I went to look at the fields on Google Maps, though, I noticed that they did not match to what was shown onscreen.  So I started to do some digging on the subject and came across a comment on the Movie Tourist blog posted by “tahoekid” that cleared things up.  Apparently, Movie Tourist had posted the Potomac Park fields information back in early 2013 and when tahoekid went to stalk the site a little over two years later, he noticed that things didn’t match.  He investigated the matter further and discerned that filming had actually taken place in a since-dismantled field once situated just northwest of Independence Avenue SW and 17th Street SW in an area that is now part of the national World War II Memorial.

I was still having a hard time matching things up, though (I am so not good at pinpointing park locations, let alone a since-dismantled park location from a movie over twenty years old!), so I sent my findings over to Owen to ask his thoughts.  As it turns out, he had come across Movie Tourist’s A Few Good Men page when it was first posted and had jotted down the West Potomac Park fields information, along with the other addresses, in his Washington, D.C. stalking files, but because he had no trips to the nation’s capital planned at the time, had not done any further research.  In looking at the screen captures I sent him in comparison with Street View imagery of the roads outside of the World War II Memorial, he was able to match several things, confirming once and for all that filming took place exactly where tahoekid said it did.

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The softball field pops up twice in A Few Good Men.  It first appears in the scene in which Lt. Dave Spradling (Matt Craven) threatens to not only charge Lt. Daniel Kaffee’s (Cruise) client with possession of marijuana, but to also hang him from a “f*cking yardarm.”

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The field appears once again shortly thereafter in the scene in which Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) informs Kaffee that his new clients, Pfc. Louden Downey (James Marshall) and Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison), have just been imprisoned.

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In that scene, the district’s statue of Revolutionary War naval commander John Paul Jones is visible behind JoAnne.  It is that statue that helped tahoekid determine where the softball field was once situated.

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I was interested in pinpointing the field’s exact former location – Where was first base?  Where was home?  I am nothing if not a stickler for details. – and Owen, along with an assist from Historic Aerials, was able to do so.  As you can see in the 1988 image below (for which Owen provided the graphics), the field was located directly south and slightly west of the Rainbow Pool, which sits at the eastern end of the Lincoln Memorial’s Reflecting Pool.

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An unmarked version of the 1988 image is pictured below.  You may have noticed that the field is a bit hard to see.  As Owen explained to this sports-challenged stalker, “What’s interesting — and I’m guessing you’re not familiar with this — is that most softball fields are completely dirt in the infield and completely grass in the outfield.  A baseball/softball field with an all-dirt infield is pretty easy to spot in Historic Aerials.  The field from A Few Good Men, however, is almost entirely grass.  The only dirt portions are narrow strips between the bases, a small patch for the pitcher’s mound and a larger section near home plate.  That is why the field is difficult to spot on Historic Aerials … but it’s there.”

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A more current aerial from Bing is pictured below.  As you can see, though the Rainbow Pool is intact and looks much the same as it did in 1988, it has since been integrated into the World War II Memorial, which was built from 2001 to 2004.  It was during those years that the A Few Good Men softball field was removed.  You can see an image of what the area looked like prior to the memorial’s construction here (though, due to the angle from which the photo was taken, the softball field is not really visible).

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The World War II Memorial’s information booth is the best marker as to the field’s former location.  It sits pretty much directly on top of where home plate used to be.

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Though Owen noted that “The field is long gone, of course, and almost nothing will be recognizable from the movie,” he did manage to pinpoint some things that remain intact (along with the John Paul Jones statue, which was mentioned earlier).  The line of trees visible in the background of the first softball scene, which borders the southern edge of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, is still there today.  (Because of the information booth and the many buses and cars typically parked in front of the site, the view of the trees from the vantage point from which AFGM was shot is currently a bit obstructed, as you can see below.)

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Owen also noted that four fenced notches visible throughout the softballs scenes on the concrete wall that runs along Independence Avenue are still identifiable from their onscreen appearance.

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As is the small portion of the Kutz Bridge that appeared in the background of the scene with JoAnne.

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A map of all of those landmarks is pictured below.

Current Aerial View A Few Good Men Softball Field

I am hoping all of my sports-minded fellow stalkers had some fun with this locale.  As Owen said after helping me out with it, “I enjoyed looking at this because how often do I get to combine filming locations and softball fields?!”

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For more stalking fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Los Angeles magazine and Discover Los Angeles.

Big THANK YOU to my friend Owen, of the When Write Is Wrong blog, and to tahoekid for finding this location.  Smile

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: The A Few Good Men softball field was formerly located just southwest of where the World War II Memorial is currently situated today, near the spot where the information booth now stands.

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One comment

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  1. Owen says:

    I’m well aware that foul lines pale in comparison to front lines, and that pillboxes are far more significant than batter’s boxes. Still — and with all due respect to those who fought in Iwo Jima or Normandy, among other places — it saddens this dedicated softball player when fields are replaced.

    You may not have wanted the truth, Lindsay, but I hope you can handle it.

    Well, I’ve got to run. I have to get ready for my softball game tomorrow … and my game on Wednesday … and my doubleheader on Sunday.


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