For the second series in a row, the Nationals face a franchise that abandoned the Nation’s Capital. This time, it is the Texas Rangers, formerly Senators 2.0. Owner Bob Short moved them to what Shirley Povich (The Post) called “some jerk town with the single boast it is equidistant from Dallas and Fort Worth.”
Before the 1969 season, Short outbid Bob Hope for the Senators with money he really did not have. Short charged the highest ticket prices in the game by a wide margin and made a disastrous trade for washed-up Denny McLain in 1971. Broke, he bolted for Texas, only to be rewarded with lower attendance than the Senators. During a Rangers-Orioles game in 1972, Senators fans, lead by Bill Holdforth, paraded a dummy around him in the stands with photographs of Short and his effigy appearing in sports sections across the country. Even more damaging was Holdforth placing an ad in a Minnesota newspaper during Short’s senatorial run.
In 1978, when Short ran for a Minnesota Senate seat, Holdforth and some friends formed the Committee to Keep Bob Short Out of Washington. They held a beer bash at Holdforth’s apartment to raise $3,000. “We charged $10 a head, and we had auctions,” he said with a chuckle.
The money paid for an ad in the Minneapolis Tribune attacking Short. “Bob Short held our trust for three years, and we were SHORT CHANGED,” read the ad, which ran the Sunday before voters headed to the polls.
Short won the primary but lost the election to David F. Durenberger. The night after his victory, Durenberger came into the Hawk ‘n’ Dove on Capitol Hill, the bar where Holdforth worked, to thank the committee, Holdforth said. “I wasn’t the brains behind the operation, that’s for sure, because it was fairly successful,” he said.
From Still Smarting Over Senators, ‘Baseball Bill’ Looks Ahead – The Post
He killed D.C. baseball for 34 years through his incompetence and avarice. Screech’s Best Friend says that Short made a deathbed confession that moving the Senators was the worst decision he ever made (duh). That decision is why he is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed wing of Hell*, listening to Calvin Griffith go on and on about how much he hates black people and Bob Irsay repeat his introductory speech to Indiana where he said, “it isn’t your team, it isn’t the city’s team, it’s my team.”
Bob Short: loser in baseball, loser in politics.
*He’s awaiting a new member, from Baltimore, to arrive when the time is right.