Bert Shepard, a Washington Senator, an American hero

Dec. 1, 2020: Thanks to the 1949 film starring Jimmy Stewart, Monty Stratton remains the most famous ballplayer who came back after a leg amputation to play professionally again. Yet longtime Washington baseball fans know that an even more inspiring story is that of a man who pitched for the Senators. On August 4, 1945, … Continue reading Bert Shepard, a Washington Senator, an American hero

Sanchez and Scherzer: a pair of historic performances

Nov. 1, 2020: Twice in MLB playoff history, a team has had two of its pitchers carry no-hitters into the sixth innings or later in back-to-back games. The two teams were different – the Detroit Tigers in 2013 and the Washington Nationals in 2019 – but the two pitchers were the same: Anibal Sanchez and … Continue reading Sanchez and Scherzer: a pair of historic performances

Stevenson’s outside- and inside-the-park homers

When Andrew Stevenson’s fly ball got past the Mets left fielder in the first game of the Sept. 26, 2020, double-header, the result was an inside-the-park home run, the least common hit in modern baseball. What made Stevenson’s race around the bases even more unusual was what had happened in his previous at-bat: He had … Continue reading Stevenson’s outside- and inside-the-park homers

Four homers in a row? Nats have done it twice

Sept. 3, 2020: After it happened for the first time ever in 1961 and then again in 1963 and 1964, no team would hit four consecutive home runs for another 42 years. Then in 2006, the Dodgers began what has become part of an overall homer barrage that has included back-to-back-to-back-to-back clouts six times. Until … Continue reading Four homers in a row? Nats have done it twice

Soto’s Citi Field blasts and a look at long homers

Aug. 13, 2020: Two days after Juan Soto hit a 463-foot homer to dead center at New York's Citi Field, the Nationals young slugger topped that with 466-foot blast to right against the Mets, one of two he hit in an 11-6 loss on Aug. 12. Soto's blast, the third longest hit at Citi Field … Continue reading Soto’s Citi Field blasts and a look at long homers

TV’s ‘Home Run Derby’ was heavy on the Senators

July 1, 2020: Home Run Derby, which I watched in reruns in the early 1960s, was a syndicated TV show originally broadcast from January to July in 1960, with half-hour segments filmed in 1959 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The show gave MLB's top slugger's three outs each for nine innings to see which … Continue reading TV’s ‘Home Run Derby’ was heavy on the Senators

15 years in, here’s where the Nationals stood

June 13, 2020 (updated, Oct 9, 2020): The 2019 World Series victory was the triumphant culmination of the Nationals’ 15th season since Major League Baseball returned to the Nation’s Capital in 2005. In eight of those full seasons, all of them in a row since 2012, the Nats finished with a winning record, but it … Continue reading 15 years in, here’s where the Nationals stood

May 11, 1919: The Big Train’s 12-inning, 2-hit, shutout ends in a tie

June 5, 2020: The Yankees were expecting a huge crowd at the Polo Grounds on May 11, 1919, for the first American League game to be played on a Sunday in New York. After all, the Giants had played to a full house in the same stadium the week before for the first Sunday game … Continue reading May 11, 1919: The Big Train’s 12-inning, 2-hit, shutout ends in a tie

Sept. 7, 2005: Zim’s first start turns into a milestone for Dontrelle Willis

June 1, 2020: The Washington Nationals had seen their 2005 season go south after a 50-31 start kept them in first place in the N.L. East as late as July 25. About to send John Halama, a reclamation project, to face 23-year-old Dontrelle Willis on the Wednesday night after Labor Day, the Nats were five … Continue reading Sept. 7, 2005: Zim’s first start turns into a milestone for Dontrelle Willis

The unlikely story of a baseball fan from Scotland

A guy born in Glasgow, Scotland, hit a home run often called “the shot heard 'round the world.”  It sent the New York Giants to the 1951 World Series. As a Scot by birth, I would like to say that Bobby Thomson (no “p” by the way), known as the “Flying Scot,” inspired me to … Continue reading The unlikely story of a baseball fan from Scotland