Sept. 26, 1964: At D.C. Stadium, Mel Stottlemyre became the last pitcher to get five hits

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the designated hitter became universal for 2022. Pitchers, unless another Shohei Ohtani emerges, will no longer routinely bat in either league. So it’s worth looking back at a memorable game 58 seasons ago: September 26, 1964, the last time a pitcher actually had – and will ever again have … Continue reading Sept. 26, 1964: At D.C. Stadium, Mel Stottlemyre became the last pitcher to get five hits

April 11, 1966: Emmett Ashford’s debut came at D.C. Stadium

Emmett Ashford had trouble getting into D.C. Stadium on April 11, 1966, to become the first Black umpire in the Major Leagues. A Secret Service detail protecting Vice President Hubert Humphrey, there to throw out opening day’s ceremonial first pitch, stopped Ashford under the grandstands as he entered the stadium. “Listen, there are no Negro … Continue reading April 11, 1966: Emmett Ashford’s debut came at D.C. Stadium

Chick Gandil, before the Black Sox

Before he became the key figure in the Black Sox scandal, Arnold “Chick” Gandil played a leading role in lifting the Washington Senators to respectability in the American League. While Walter Johnson’s pitching is rightly seen as the most important element of Washington’s rise, Gandil’s  bat and glove can’t be overlooked. From 1912 to 1915, … Continue reading Chick Gandil, before the Black Sox

In 1933, Joe Cronin had a record 13 hit in 3 games

In his first year as a playing manager, Joe Cronin had a charmed season. Already an established star, he had doubts that he could both manage and play at the level he had become accustomed to. He needn’t have worried. Cronin led the Griffith franchise to its third – and last – pennant, hit .309 … Continue reading In 1933, Joe Cronin had a record 13 hit in 3 games

Ted’s poor 1946 World Series: “The Curse of Mickey Haefner” 

Mickey Haefner was a decent lefty pitcher for an up-and-down Washington team from 1943 to ’49.  He won 10 or more games five seasons in a row, topping out at 16 in 1945.  No taller than 5-foot-7 (not 5-8, as he himself confirmed in 1943), his nickname was “Itsy-Bitsy.” Despite the “last in American League” … Continue reading Ted’s poor 1946 World Series: “The Curse of Mickey Haefner” 

George “Bingo” Binks and 1945

As a 30-year-old in 1945, George Alvin “Bingo” Binks was the American League’s top rookie batter. He hit .278 in 145 games. His 32 doubles ranked second in the A.L. His 81 runs batted in, tops on the Senators, were fifth in the league. Yet he is best remembered for a fielding blunder that critics … Continue reading George “Bingo” Binks and 1945

Charlie Brotman, voice of the Senators and the inaugurals

Charlie Brotman grew up in D.C. and graduated from McKinley Tech High School in 1946. After two years in the Navy, he decided he wanted to be a sports announcer. “Who didn’t?”  he once told an interviewer, so he enrolled at the National Academy of Broadcasting in the District, in addition to attending classes at … Continue reading Charlie Brotman, voice of the Senators and the inaugurals

Record of 12 straight hits reached at Griffith Stadium July 15, 1952

Does any individual achievement deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak? Given that nobody before or after his 1941 record has come near it, the answer is clearly "no." Yet of all the multi-game records of shorter duration, another far less heralded feat continues to stand the test … Continue reading Record of 12 straight hits reached at Griffith Stadium July 15, 1952

Soto, at 23, is in a class by himself

Juan Soto turned 23 on October 25, 2021. Although he finished second to Bryce Harper for the National League 2021 Most Valuable Player award*, he set or extended a number of statistical marks during a trying season for the Washington Nationals. In November, for the second year in a row, fans helped vote him onto … Continue reading Soto, at 23, is in a class by himself

A hospital’s mini-tribute to Griffith Stadium

After Washington's Griffith Stadium was torn down in February 1965, nearby Howard University acquired the 8.5-acre property for $1.5 million, to build what is now a 250-bed teaching hospital. A historic marker noting existence of the stadium from 1911 until its demolition finally was placed outside the hospital in 2011, but nothing more. In 2013, … Continue reading A hospital’s mini-tribute to Griffith Stadium