Tag Archives: Ron Menchine

Rooting against the Twins and Rangers; final Senators broadcast and more history

We are 3 days removed from the final 2010 Washington Nationals game of the season. The playoffs are starting up today and two franchises that used to call D.C. home are in. Here is why you should root against the Minnesota Twins (in D.C. 1901-1960) and the Texas Rangers (in D.C. 1961-1971). I’m also rooting against the Twins because they drew the New York Yankees, my AL team.

The end of September and early October is full of history for D.C. baseball, some good, some terrible. The most infamous is Bob Short abandoning Washington for Texas which kept the sports out the Nation’s Capital for 34 years. Steve Ray, a voice and name familiar to Nats fans recently posted the radio broadcast of the Senators final game (151 MB). Tony Roberts and Ron Menchine handle the duties. Roberts is probably best known for football coverage (especially Notre Dame), handles the first half of the game and plays it pretty straight. Menchine, who recently passed away, handles the latter part and spends much of it talking about what Washington had with the Senators and what they were losing. Bob Short was apparently listening via speaker phone in Minnesota and tried to get Menchine off the air, to no avail. I had always figured that Short was being relentlessly pummeled, but that was not hte case. Short just had very thin skin. Menchine was doing the broadcast with a heavy heart, but comes off as a pretty good play-by-play man. Some commercials were left in the broadcast which is also interesting. I think I heard Johnny Holliday in there.

By the way, at Baseball on the Barn, I got to know Steve a little and really enjoyed his company. He has been tweeting about D.C. baseball history for the last week @AMandFM and posting it to his Stinger Steve Ray Facebook page, go check them out.

Other historical events

October 10, 1924
Harris, Johnson Bring Nats Their First Title – The Post
JOHNSON IS HERO AS NATIONALS WIN DECISIVE GAME OF WORLD SEREIS, 4-3; CITY IN CARNIVAL, CELEBRATES VICTORY
In 2004, the Post put together a wonderful section chronicling the 1924 season, the only one that ended with a World Series championship.

October 26, 1960
Calvin Griffith moves the original Senators for Minnesota, D.C. gets expansion Senators. This book excerpt Steve grabbed has some details. I recall reading elsewhere that Los Angeles had the Senators locked up, but when Walter O’Malley expressed interest, they held out for the Dodgers.

September 30, 1971
The final Washington Senators game ever and the reaction in The Post:
Rowdy Fans Hand Senators Final Loss

SHIRLEY POVICH – The Senators’ Final Game

September 29, 2004
Baseball is Back! I was at the CityMuseum (since defunct) for the announcement that the Expos were on their way to D.C.

September 23, 2007
The Nats final game in RFK Stadium — I was there too.

Nationals end RFK Stadium era with victory over Phillies
More about the last RFK game
RFK memories

Now that’s D.C. baseball history, not the stuff that happened in another country like others want us to believe.

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Nats: Nyjer, Lannan, Riggleman, Boswell, Dunn, Menchine

A big project at work and illnesses at home (we’ll be fine) have cut into time for EVERYTHING this week, so I have not been keeping up with blogging. All I have to write about is Nats Blogger Day and a week at Disney World. In the meantime, I have a few observations about the Washington Nationals:

Nyjer Morgan finally got suspended yesterday after what seemed like a month of waiting for an appeal. In reality, it was more like 12 days. He had his 7-game suspension for ball thrown in the stands removed, but gets 8 for the brawl against the Florida Marlins. He also got fined. I’m glad this is over, but I’d be more glad if I didn’t think he would be back because NYJER MORGAN KILLED THE 2010 SEASON. His low on-base-percentage, his high caught stealing, the fly balls going over his head, checking catchers instead of sliding, the temper tantrums have just been miserable. I don’t know what happened, but his head hasn’t been in the right place all season it would seem. Did the endless praise for him coming go to his head? Did he resent having to learn to slide feet first, a practice abanndoned early? Whatever it is, when I think of this latest lost season, I am going to think of him. I am not saying that this would have been a playoff team, but I have no doubt that his arrested development cost the Nats several wins. I am sure once he is gone, somebody will tell a beat writer that Morgan was a clubhouse problem.

That being said, I am still glad he was traded here, if only to get rid of Lastings Milledge who just annoyed me. At least Morgan had a decent 1.5 months last season, about 1.4 decent months more than Milledge ever had.

John Lannan had a very rough first half of the season with a high ERA that got him demoted. He came back has 6 quality starts in 8 attempts and is 8-7. With 2 or 3 starts left it seems to me that no matter what Lannan does, he will always win 9 games. He has the previous 2 seasons.

Lannan’s latest win clinched the latest series against the Atlanta Braves, who are fighting for their playoff lives. The Nats have a winning record against them this season.

Thomas Boswell compares and contrasts Jim Riggleman and Buck Showalter new manager of the hated Baltimore Orioles. Unfortunately, The Post’s dedicated baseball columnist is drinking some of the Showalter Kool-Aid.

More troubling — Boswell seems to be stumping for Adam Dunn to sign with the O’s. I want Dunn here, not there.

Ron Menchine, the final voice of the Washington Senators — I think his voice is heard in the Nats radio broadcast intro lamenting the fate of the Senators, has died. I was looking for a Post obituary, but there is not one yet. Bad form Post. Even The Sun — Baltimore’s paper, give Menchine an obit which includes a drawing of Menchine in a Senators jacket.

Stephen J. Walker, author of A Whole New Ballgame: The 1969 Washington Senators, wrote an obituary for Menchine that you need to read. Menchine spent much of the final broadcast bashing carpertbagging Bob Short. The legend is that Short was listening to the game via speakerphone in Minnesota and ordered Menchine off the air, but no one would do it.

Mark Hornbaker of Nationals Daily News reminisced as well.

It is a shame that Olney, Md. native Justin Maxwell can only hit with the bases loaded. 3 grand slams in 4 ABs with the bases loaded is impressive. One of the biggest regrets I have about the Nats is not following through on going to the last game of the season in 2009 when one of those grand slams ended the game against the New York Mets.

Stan Kasten will probably be quite pleased to learn that I am going to a Nats game with a Phillies fan on the next homestand. I’m going to try and take in the 4:35 p.m. Houston Astros game too.

MissChatter on NatsTown is worth a read and not just caused she linked me. I really wish I had a Blogger Day recap now…

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