Halloween is a month away, but I’m getting started early on tales of macabre this year. (Editor’s note: And then what happened?)

I call it the “Historic DC postseason baseball videos” playlist.


It’s been all downhill since Friday, October 10, 1924 when Muddy Ruel crossed Griffith Stadium’s home plate in game 7 to win Washington’s first and only World Series.

Walter Johnson lost two starts, but pitched in relief to win it all.

The good Lord just couldn’t bear to see a fine fellow like Walter Johnson lose again,” said losing pitcher Jack Bentley.

New York Giants losing pitcher Jack Bentley.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 1924 World Series – Washington Senators over New York Giants (4-3)]


The Senators would again play in 1925, falling seven games to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Walter Johnson won two games, but lost game 7.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 1925 World Series – Pittsburgh Pirates over Washington Senators ]


The Giants eliminated the Nats in five games in 1933. That was the last time the World Series was played D.C.

The Giants eliminated the Nats in five games in 1933. That was the last time the World Series was played D.C.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 1933 World Series – New York Giants over Washington Senators ]

After 1933

The closest the Senators came again was 1945 (WBUR), but were two games back of the Detroit Tigers.

Twenty-seven Octobers later, a different kind heartbreak — the Senators moved to Minnesota because Calvin Griffith was a racist.

The second American League Senators didn’t wait until October to move away in 1971, they played their last game on the final day of September having merely one winning season and no postseasons.


In 2005, baseball returned to the nation’s capital and after several dreadful seasons the 2012 Nationals took the National League East comfortably. Following a game 1 win, the Nats faltered to St. Louis and stayed alive with a Game 4 walk-off home run by Jayson Werth. They even went on 6-0 in the decisive game 5 before losing 9-7 to the Cardinals.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 2012 NL Division Series – St. Louis Cardinals over Washington Nationals (3-2) ]


Two years later, facing the now-San Francisco Giants, the 2014 Nats fell in four games that felt like five — Game 2 was an 18-inning affair at Nationals Park, won by the visitors. They fell in Game 4 in San Francisco.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 2014 NL Division Series – San Francisco Giants over Washington Nationals (3-1) ]

2014 Washington Nationals: Denouement


Continuing a pattern of winning the division every other year, the 2016 Nats faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in another NLDS that went the distance, but that also ended in a loss at home.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 2016 NL Division Series – Los Angeles Dodgers over Washington Nationals (3-2) ]


The 2017 Nats won their second-consecutive division title and faced the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. A wild game 5 once again broke the hearts of home crowd.

[ BASEBALL REFERENCE: 2017 NL Division Series – Chicago Cubs over Washington Nationals (3-2) ]


After a 19-31 start, the Nats caught fire and finished a shocking 93-69. In the end, the were still 4 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Now, as the first Wild Card, they host the surging Milwaukee Brewers, who went 18-2 down the stretch. It’s a whole new experience for the Nats as it’s their first time in a play-in game. Hosting an elimination game — well, that’s a core competency.

Wild Card

The Nats came back to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the play-in game, 4-3. Juan Soto’s 8th inning single drove in 3 to shock the Brew Crew and DC fans.


Another NLDS goes the distance, but in game 5 Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto hit back to back homers off of Clayton Kershaw in the 8th. Howie Kendrick overcomes a brutal series start with a grand slam in the top of the 10th to win DC’s first playoff series since 1924 and end the Los Angeles Dodgers 2 year reign as NL champions.


The Nats revenge tour took out the St. Louis Cardinals in a sweep. Pete Kozma isn’t around to break Washington’s heart this time. Dominate pitching by Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg gets the Nats to a game 4. The Nats hang on after building a big lead and win DC’s first pennant in the NL and first World Series since 1933.


It seven games, but the Nationals ended a 95 year World Series championship drought for Washington, D.C. The road team won every game for the first time in a seven game World Series. Stephen Strasburg was MVP with two wins in two starts. Howie Kendrick went the other way and clanged the series-winning homer in Game 7. The victory was made even more sweeter when the Houston Astros were found to be cheating.

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