This weekend’s Nats opponent, the San Diego Padres nearly moved here in 1973, but the D.C. syndicate that was granted approval could not come up with the finances and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s bought them instead. Topps had been so certain of the move, they had started printing “Washington Nat’l League” baseball cards.

Some specific history:

May 28
C.A. Smith, owner of the San Diego Padres, announces that he has sold the baseball team to a Washington, D.C. based syndicated. The group, led by Joseph Danzansky, president of Giant Foods, an area food store chain, plans to move the team to Washington.

September 7
At Danzansky’s request, Nixon sends a letter to Charles Feeney, president of the National League of professional baseball, supporting the return of a major league team to Washington, D.C.

December 6
In a unanimous vote, the National League tentatively approves the sale and relocation to Washington of the San Diego Padres, provided that the Danzansky syndicate meets certain financial requirements.

Nixon sends Danzansky a telegram, congratulating him on bringing professional baseball back to the nation’s capital.

December 21
The Danzansky group fails to meet the financial requirements of the National League.

December 29
C.A. Smith announces he has sold the Padres to a California based syndicate.

Source: Nixon and Sports Chronology

It is worth noting that the Danzansky bid failed exactly 31 years prior to the D.C. Council approving ballpark funding.

Author: WFY

Yet another Washingtonian pushing the ubiquitous Nats/DC sports, Penn State, commuting, bicycling, kayaking, broomball, skiing, gin & tonic agenda.


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