Granddaughter of World War I hero visits ballfield named in Navy Cross recipient’s honor

Published: 22 March 2024

By Mike Gooding
via the WVEC-TV television station (VA) web site 

An adult granddaughter got to visit a more than 100-year-old ballpark at the base, named in honor of her World War I hero grandfather

Mclure Field at Naval Station Norfolk, named after Navy Cross recipient and World War I hero Captain Henry McClure, USN, was visited by his granddaughter Patricia McClure Romano.

McClure Field at Naval Station Norfolk dates back to 1918. On Friday, the granddaughter of the field’s namesake visited for the very first time.

NORFOLK, Va. —  James Earl Jones may have summed it up best in Field of Dreams: “The one constant through all the years has been baseball.”

The hallowed grounds at Naval Station Norfolk’s Chambers Field have seen the likes of baseball immortals Bob Feller, Phil Rizzuto, and Pee Wee Reese.

But none of those legends achieved more in their lives than the man for whom the diamond was named.

Built in 1918 as part of the Navy’s effort to build up Naval Operating Base Hampton Roads – what’s now Naval Station Norfolk – it was known in the beginning, simply as “the athletic field.”

Eventually, it got a name: the stadium was dedicated as “McClure Field” on May 4, 1944, in honor of Navy Cross recipient and World War I hero Captain Henry McClure.

On Friday, all these decades later, Henry’s granddaughter Patricia McClure Romano and her husband Vincent of Annandale got to take it all in for the very first time.

They were blown away.

“It’s awesome, it’s really awesome. It’s so exciting to be here and see all of this because I’ve heard about it all of my life. And I can see my grandfather here. Because he loved baseball, family, and the Navy. That was him,” said Patricia.

Added Vincent: “I actually was surprised that the name was still the same. I just think it’s wonderful. We’ve been waiting for this for a while to take place, but it’s amazing.”

Read the entire article on the WVEC-TV web site.
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