A map of Worden Field, as it appeared in 1924
|Full name||Worden Field|
|Location||Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland|
|Owner||United States Naval Academy (USNA)|
|Operator||United States Naval Academy|
|Navy Midshipmen football (NCAA) (1924–1959)
Naval Academy parade and drill exercises (1900s–present)
Worden Field is a large, grass field located within the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. First mentioned in 1890, the field served as the home stadium for the academy's Midshipmen football team from that year until 1924, when it was replaced by Thompson Stadium. Since the early 1900s, the field has hosted all of the academy's various yearly parades and many of its drills. It has progressively grown smaller, due to the addition of buildings and roads within the academy.
The field is bordered on all four sides by small academy roads. On two of its sides, it is surrounded by officers' quarters and is bounded by a parking lot and the Severn River on its other two borders. It has rows of bleachers located along its south side and has long contained a small gazebo on its east side. A small historical marker is located on the southwest corner. It is used regularly for drills and important parades.
The field is named for Admiral John Lorimer Worden, who joined the navy in 1834. He was captured by the south at the start of the American Civil War, but was freed in 1862. He became captain of the ironclad USS Monitor and received considerable fame after its battle with the CSS Virginia at the Battle of Hampton Roads. He suffered eye injuries in the battle and gave up his command, instead supervising ship construction for the rest of the war. He served as the superintendent for the Naval Academy for five years, dying in 1897, a few years after the field was named after him.
Usage and replacement
The Navy Midshipmen football team played its first game against the Baltimore Athletic Club in 1879; it ended in a 0-0 tie. From that year throughout the 1880s, Navy played all but one of their games at home.[A 1] Writers Taylor Baldwin Kiland and Jamie Howren stated that all of the games played at Annapolis were likely hosted on an unused parade or drill field. During that time period, the team amassed a record of thirteen wins, twelve losses, and two ties, including a 6-3 lead over rival Johns Hopkins. Sometime around 1890, Worden Field began operation as the football team's home field. In that year, Navy went 4-1-1 at home, ending its season with a shutout victory of Army in the first annual Army-Navy Game, held at West Point. The following year, the team played its entire seven-game schedule at home, winning the first five games and dropping the final two, including a 32-16 loss to Army.
In 1892, coach Ben Crosby lead Navy to a 4-2 record in games played on the field. The next year, the team, coached by John A. Hartwell, hosted its entire season on the field, amassing a record of 5-3. The final game of that season, the fourth Army-Navy Game, made national news at the time because of the events which took place. During the game, numerous violent fistfights occurred in the field's stands, and after the contest finished, president Grover Cleveland banned further playing of the competition. It was not reinstated until 1899, at the insisting of Theodore Roosevelt, but the game would not return to Annapolis, expect for special reasons in 1942.
Location and facilities
Worden Field is located on the western side of the Naval Academy, very close to both the Severn River and College Creek. It is bordered on its west and south sides by the school's officer's quarters. A small gazebo is located near the center of the field's east side.
The field is bordered by through roads on all four sides. A small parking lot is located across a road on the field's east edge.
- Royston (2009), p. 215
- D'Impiero (2007), p. 160
- United States Naval Academy staff (1879). "Navy's First Football Squad". The Team of 1879. United States Naval Academy. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- Naval Academy Athletic Association (2005), p. 154
- Staff (2013). "Navy Yearly Results–1885-1889". Yearly Results–Navy Midshipmen. College Football Data Warehouse. 1889: 4-1-1. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- Kiland et al., p 191
- The New York Times (1891), p. 9
- United States Army (Improvements to June 30, 1924). United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (Map). Cartography by C.E. Miller (1924 ed.). Section L31-M33.
- Arbuthnot (2012), "Worden Field"
- Arbuthnot, Nancy (2012). "The Yard: A Brief Architectural History". Guiding Lights: Monuments and Memorials at the U.S. Naval Academy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-6125-1242-6. OCLC 824118089.
- D'Impiero, Chuck (2007). "Admiral John L. Worden". Great Graves of Upstate New York: Final Resting Places of 70 True American Legends. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc. pp. 159–161. ISBN 978-1-935278-30-6. OCLC 169947392.
- Kiland, Taylor Baldwin; Howren, Jamie (2007). "Part IV: Outside the Yard". A Walk in the Yard: A Self-Guided Tour of the U.S. Naval Academy. Annapolis, MD: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 1-59114-436-1. OCLC 72799100.
- Naval Academy Athletic Association (2005). "Navy: Football History". 2005 Navy Midshipmen Football Media Guide. United States Naval Academy Athletics. p. 154. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- Roberts, Randy (2011). "Lost Teeth and Lost Chances". A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game That Rallied a Nation. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-547-51106-1. OCLC 706021684.
- Royston, Mark W. (2009). "Worden Field". The Faces behind The Bases: Short Biographies of Those for Whom Military Bases are Named. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse. p. 215. ISBN 978-1-4401-3712-9. OCLC 475622904.
- Staff writer (November 20, 1891). "Military Cadets Versus Naval Cadets" (PDF). The New York Times (New York City). p. 9. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved April 24, 2014.