Demolition began Monday on Columbia University's Baker Field, ending the 60- year saga of the nation's oldest wooden major sports stadium. Columbia began playing its home football games at Baker Field in 1923 and the stadium is being razed to make way for a 20,000-seat concrete stadium to be ready for the 1984 season. "It's really a good thing," said Cliff Montgomery, quarterback of the Columbia football team that won the 1934 Rose Bowl against Stanford. "When I played here, many of us on the team worked here in the summer to help maintain the stadium. We would paint it, repair it, nail down the loose boards and clean it up. We also painted the fence on Broadway and the people going to work in the mornings used to ask us when we would finish painting. "What they didn't know was we used to knock off at about 2 o'clock and go up to Yankee Stadium or the Polo Grounds to watch the baseball games." At that time, the New York Giants, now located in San Francisco, played at the Polo Grounds where Columbia also played an occasional football game. "The place was held together by the paint," said Al Barabas, the halfback who scored the only touchdown in Columbia's 7-0 victory over Stanford in the 1934 Rose Bowl. "There were also, I think, a few rubber bands holding it together." Baker Field was also the site of Columbia's famous 1947 victory over Army, 21-20, that ended the Cadets' 34-game winning streak. In 1961, Columbia won the Ivy League football championship but its teams in recent years have been a disappointment, except for the performance of quarterbacks such as Marty Domres and John Witkowski, who last year passed for over 3,000 yards. Columbia officials are hopeful that the $10 million project will improve the school's athletic recruiting. Demolition of the old wooden stands is expected to take about three weeks with preliminary construction work on the new stands beginning this summer. Columbia will play its 1983 schedule on the road or at neutral sites.