The darkest day in D.C. baseball history was 40 years ago today. That night, the Washington Senators played their final game which they forfeit after fans overran the field at RFK Stadium. They appeared to be on their way to a 7-5 win over the New York Yankees when bedlam ensued. The Shirley Povich column in The Post the next morning, “The Senators final game” is one of his most famous:
…Arlington, Tex., which, to embittered Washington fans, is some jerk town with the single boast it is equidistant from Dallas and Fort Worth…
…The mad scene on the field, with the athletes of both teams taking refuge in their dugouts, brought official announcement of Yankees 9, Senators 0, baseball’s traditional forfeit count almost since Abner Doubleday notched the first baseball score on the handiest twig at Cooperstown. But by then the crowd-mood was philosophical, “So what?” Or more accurately, “So whatha hell?” The Senators were finished, even if the ball game wasn’t.
The Post gamer: Rowdy Fans Hand Senators Final Loss
The villain in the matters was Bob Short, the Senators owner who, according to some, planned to move the Senators along. At the very least, Short was under-capitalized and his tactic of selling the highest priced tickets in the league did not help D.C. baseball’s cause or improve his cashflow since he drove fans away.
The final broadcast featuring Tony Roberts and Ron Menchine on the play by play has been updated to YouTube.
Menchine infuriated Short who was listening via telephone speaker back in Minnesota. Menchine’s reaction to “WE WANT SHORT” chants is brilliant.
Washington D.C. Baseball History: SHORT STILL STINKS!
Ghosts of DC: BASEBALL LEAVES THE DISTRICT (AGAIN) (source of the featured photo)