Nobody ever hit a bigger home run in the history of Washington, D.C. baseball than Howie Kendrick.
The utility infielder and professional hitter announced on his instagram account that he was retiring after 15 seasons. Over parts of four seasons, Kendrick played 238 games in a Nationals uniform. He played postseason games and that is where his greatest contribution.
Grand slam to advance to NLCS
Kendrick’s 10th inning grand slam against his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2019 NLDS.
Kendrick had a brutal series up until that point. This was certainly the most important home run in 21st century Nationals history up to that point.
Down by a run in the 7th inning, Kendrick sliced a pitch down and away off the right field foul pole.
The Nats never looked back and piled on to finish off the Houston Astros and win Washington’s second World Series title after a 95 year wait.
For Washingtonians, Kendrick’s feats stand alone. Across baseball though, his game-winner eliminated the Astros, who were exposed as cheaters. Kendrick, the Nats and D.C. fans were denied a “victory lap 2020 season” by the COVID-19 pandemic. As terrible as that is, it’s better than not having the victory.
A Nats legend for all-time
Kendrick’s name belong Nationals Park Ring of Honor (ideally in right field, near the pole) and if they want to retire his number, I’m okay with it as well. I expect it to be at least unofficially retired for some time. He is the best 47 in DC Sports History; Gio Gonzalez and Chris Cooley can argue over who is second-best.