Tag Archives: Washington Senators

Posts about the Washington Senators, a pair of of Major League Baseball teams. The original played in the American League from 1901-1960 before Calvin Griffith moved them and they become the Minnesota Twins. The second Senators franchise played from 1961-1971, until Bob Short moved them to the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex where they became the Texas Rangers.

Frank Howard enters Nationals Park Ring of Honor

On Friday, Washington, D.C.’s all-time home run leader, Frank Howard was added to the Ring of Honor. He’s the only non-Hall of Famer in the ring which is no longer restricted to just that membership. Howard is also immortalized in a statue (that the D.C. Fine Arts Commission installed) and in the Hall of Stars (Events DC) all of which are around Nationals Park. It’s a bit confusing, particularly when Montreal Expos are included.Signing his rookie photo

I was hoping his #33 (worn 1969-1971, before that he wore #9 which he gave up for Ted Williams) would be retired as well. Back in 1992, his #33 was “retired” before an (rained out) exhibition game between the New York Yankees (he was hitting coach) and the New York Mets (whom he managed for a season). My wife and I met him in 2007 a Maker’s Mark event in Northwest.

There were tributes to Hondo in the D.C. media this week that are worth a read:

DAN STEINBERG: Senators legend Frank Howard is humbled and thrilled to enter the Nats’ Ring of HonorThe Post

THOM LOVERRO: Frank Howard was a gentle giant, but fearsome at the plateThe Wash. Times

Howard also appeared on nationals.com beat writer Bill Ladson’s podcast:

I’m glad to see that the Nats found a way to give Hondo a night, though they erred when they didn’t hire for a goodwill ambassador job when they arrived.

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Nats sweep Cardinals: First D.C. sweep in St. Louis since 1951

Bryce Harper went hitless for the weekend and the Washington Nationals still swept the St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium III. #cantpredictball

Here’s some historical perspective that I tweeted out on Sunday:

Yes, Senators vs. Browns, the golden age of baseball indeed. That was Sportsman’s Park too, Anheuser Busch hadn’t bought the Cardinals yet.

Oh, there’s more:

Take that Neil Lomax!

I don’t know if the Capitals have ever swept the Blues though. Washington and St. Louis weren’t ever in the NBA together, at least not for very long.

When the Rams were in St. Louis (which was really weird), they played the Redskins almost annually, but never twice.

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Nats Opening Day videos from Hoover to Obama

Despite the spring equinox, the season never really arrives in the U.S. until the familiar cry of “play ball!” rings out. In Washington the grand and ancient tradition is carried out as President Johnson arrives to throw out the first ball as a thousand shutters click…”

To celebrate the home opener, I’ve put together a youtube playlist of Opening Days in Washington over the years, starting with a silent movie featuring Herbert Hoover. There’s some more highlights of recent vintage as well:

For generations, the traditional start of the American League season begin in the District of Columbia, frequently with the President throwing out the first ball to the assembled Washington Senators. Presidents Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson included in black and white newsreels included on the playlist. Footage of Richard Nixon, a big Senators fan, couldn’t be found — newsreels were over by then and the Senators were by the end of Nixon’s first term. Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush (the elder) and Clinton would throw out the first ball elsewhere, while oddly enough softball player Jimmy Carter never did, at least for Opening Day.

The tradition resumed, albeit sporadically and not always on true Opening Day, in 2005 when the Washington Nationals were reborn as a National League team. Now, it’s a first pitch, from the mound to a specific player rather than the first ball from the stands to a group. George W. Bush made two home opener appearances – 2005 at RFK Stadium and 2008 on Nationals Park Opening Night. Barack Obama, wearing a Chicago White Sox cap and Nats jacket threw an eephus pitch in 2009.

Hoping for a return to an annual Washington Presidential Opening Day is unfortunately a fool’s errand. Between other presidential duties and MLB stretching out Opening Day into Opening Week, the tradition is unlikely to return. At the very least, MLB could award Washington a regular Opening Day slot, but they tend to be more sympathetic to Baltimore on such matters.

There are a few other on-field highlights as well as a pregame hype video. Hopefully, more Opener video will find it’s way onto youtube.

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Bryce Harper wins redundant award

Bryce Harper was voted most valuable player of the National League for 2015. It was self-evident. How self-evident? Even baseball writers voted him unanimously.

Harper joins Roger Peckinpaugh as the only baseball player awarded MVP in D.C. and as Frederic Frommer noted in his Washingtonian piece, teammate Goose Goslin probably should have won in 1925. We’ll just have to guess that Goslin lost because he name, while pretty good, isn’t as cool as PECKINPAUGH. Then again, Peckinpaugh had 8 errors in the 1925 World Series which the Washington Senators (or Nationals) lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Has anybody asked Harper what it’s like to be in the same company as Mark Moseley? There’s a good Bog post in that question.

Joe Theismann also won that award for the 1983 season, and had a Peckingpaugh-esqe championship appearance, but even with that the Super Bowl XVII win, he’s still best remembered for his leg getting broken.

Back to the modern day the question is — does Harper stick around past 2018? Thomas Boswell invokes the comparison to Alex Ovechkin, another D.C. wunderkind thought to be a goner after he left club control.

Ovechkin, by the way, just became the NHL’s all-time leading Russian-born goal scorer.

Would have been nice if the Capitals had won…

Maybe we ought to just enjoy having the two-best players in two different sports in the same era for now.

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