Gehrig’s farewell speech and the Senators

As this is written on July 4, 2019, 80 years have passed since Lou Gehrig gave his heartfelt and heartbreaking speech at Yankee Stadium. He bid farewell to baseball, famously calling himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth” despite being stricken with an incurable illness that would claim his life and come … Continue reading Gehrig’s farewell speech and the Senators

Sept. 12, 1962: Cheney strikes out a record 21 batters

In 2018, for the first time in any season, strikeouts exceeded hits. The top 20 batters who struck out the most in a season have done so since 2009. The top 30 are all since 2000. Dozens of pitchers today average a strikeout or more every inning. In an average game, between 15 and 18 … Continue reading Sept. 12, 1962: Cheney strikes out a record 21 batters

Aug. 9, 1967: Down 7-0, Nats top Twins in 20 innings

The slow climb of Gil Hodges’ Washington Senators teams had brought the 1967 squad to heights unknown: a 55-55 record after shutting out the Twins in Minnesota on August 7. None of the previous expansion Nats in their six years had reached .500 so far into the season. A month earlier on July 8, Washington’s … Continue reading Aug. 9, 1967: Down 7-0, Nats top Twins in 20 innings

Hondo: the expansion Senators’ enduring star

If anyone on the expansion Senators teams is remembered today by casual fans, surely that player is Frank Howard, the massive slugger brought to Washington in what undoubtedly was the best trade longtime GM George Selkirk ever made. The Senators had to give up the team’s best pitcher, Claude Osteen, who helped the Dodgers win … Continue reading Hondo: the expansion Senators’ enduring star

The ‘joke’ game that cost The Big Train a record

Walter Johnson's 1913 season ranks with one of the best ever by a pitcher. The Big Train went 36-7, leading both leagues in victories, complete games (29), innings (346), strikeouts (243), shutouts (11) and earned run average (1.14). That last figure stood as the lowest ever complied by a pitcher who threw 300 or more … Continue reading The ‘joke’ game that cost The Big Train a record

Dean Stone’s weird All-Star victory

Dean Stone had a good enough rookie season with Washington in 1954 that he made the All-Star team, albeit as an injury replacement. Bob Porterfield, a 20-game winner the year before, and Senators first baseman Mickey Vernon were the Nats’ representatives before Stone was added after Ferris Fain of the White Sox was hurt. “He’s … Continue reading Dean Stone’s weird All-Star victory