Navy goes back to 1943 with throwback softball game at McClure Field

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Naval Station Norfolk is winding the clocks back the Friday with an old-school styled softball game.

The Navy World Series Throwback Softball game was held at historic McClure Field — and featured throwback uniforms and concessions priced like it’s 1943. It’s a part of the base’s centennial celebration.

Naval Station Norfolk | 100 Years

And to kick off the game, a McClure Field legend, Eddie Robinson, was on hand to help. He threw out the first pitch on a field he played on 76 years ago as a 21-year-old ball player.

During World War II, Robinson wore a uniform much like the throwback ones you see today — only he was playing for a team trying to keep morale high as sailors shipped off for war.

“Well you thought if you didn’t go well, you might have to go to sea. so that was a good incentive to do well,” Robinson told 10 On Your Side as he signed autographs for adoring fans.

After three years of service, Robinson went back to the majors, playing for the Cleveland Indians. He eventually played on two World Series winning teams. Now, he’s back in Norfolk as part of the centennial celebration.

“It’s exciting to be back. It brings back a lot of nostalgic memories. I just think all these guys I played with are gone. I think about them. I can picture them and we had a good team. We had a lot of fun. But we did a good job for the Navy, too.”

Naval Station Norfolk brings new glory to historic old ball field

With throwback uniforms and throwback prices, the game seems to be a hit.

“It was fantastic. I waited in line an hour to get a 15 cent hot dog!” one spectator said.

The game also got the approval of the base Commanding Officer Captain Rich McDaniel.

“No pun intended, it’s a home run. Really, the stadium looks great, how they preserved the stadium, updated the stadium. Really you go here and it’s like going back in history,” McDaniel said.