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

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

The last Senators’ game and Howard’s homer

Every Washington baseball fan old enough can remember it. Those younger undoubtedly have heard about it: the last game played by the Senators, September 30, 1971, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. A week earlier, American League owners had given the financial-cheat owner, Bob Short, permission to move the expansion franchise to Arlington, Texas. Many of … Continue reading The last Senators’ game and Howard’s homer

Expansion Nats’ finale not the only Washington forfeit

The expansion Nats famously had to forfeit the final game, September 30, 1971, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. The Senators, already scheduled to move to Texas for the 1972 season, were an out away from beating the Yankees, 7-5, in an otherwise meaningless season finale. Angry fans stormed the field and made off with the … Continue reading Expansion Nats’ finale not the only Washington forfeit

Former Nats founded the players alumni association

Three former expansion Senators – Chuck Hinton, Jim Hannan and Fred Valentine – helped found the  Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association in February 1982, recruiting more than a dozen other former players. The organization today has more than 8,600 members. Brooks Robinson is the group’s current president and several other Hall of Famers serve … Continue reading Former Nats founded the players alumni association

Ed Roebuck: Fungo hitter extraordinaire

Relief pitcher Ed Roebuck, who spent two months of the 1963 season and another one in ’64 with the Senators, was one of the game’s greatest fungo hitters. As a child, according to Paul Hirsch’s SABR bio essay, Roebuck liked to pass time hitting stones with a stick. The pitcher became so good at making … Continue reading Ed Roebuck: Fungo hitter extraordinaire

A Washington baseball quiz

Try to answer these before looking at BaseballReference.com. The answers to many of them can be found in posts elsewhere on this site. Who played in the last game of the original Senators and in the last game of the expansion Senators?Who in the A.L. finished second in batting average to Ted Williams the season … Continue reading A Washington baseball quiz

George Brunet: one-time Senator, all-time record holder

Jan. 2, 2021: Left-hander George Brunet pitched for the expansion Senators in 1970, near the end of his MLB career, but he went on to pitch in Mexico well into the 1980s. When it was over, he had pitched professionally in a record 33 consecutive seasons, eventually setting the minor league record for strikeouts and … Continue reading George Brunet: one-time Senator, all-time record holder

Four homers in a row? The 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? The Nats have done it twice

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

June 15, 2019: 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 … Continue reading Sept. 12, 1962: Tom Cheney strikes out a record 21 batters

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

May 28, 2019: 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 … Continue reading Aug. 9, 1967: Down 7-0, Nats top Twins in 20 innings

The 1969 A.L. home-run race

April 23, 2019: Harmon Killebrew signed with the Washington Senators in 1954 and appeared in his first major league game in June under the “Bonus Baby” rule that kept him on the Nats’ roster. It took him until 1959 to win a regular job as the Senators’ third baseman. He proceeded to tie for the … Continue reading The 1969 A.L. home-run race

Hondo: the expansion Senators’ enduring star

April 21, 2019: 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. Posting on a Facebook page about the expansion team in May 2020, Russ White, … Continue reading Hondo: the expansion Senators’ enduring star

The reunion of the 1969 Senators

March 21, 2019: On Sunday morning, Nov. 8, 1998, in suburban Chantilly, Va., Tom Holster and members of the Washington Baseball Historical Society sponsored a reunion of the 1969 Senators team. The star of the event was the ’69 team’s rookie manager, Ted Williams. His health weakened by several strokes, the 80-year-old Williams still was … Continue reading The reunion of the 1969 Senators

The expansion Nats’ struggles to reach .500

February 3, 2019: Prior to the sudden improvement under Ted Williams in 1969, the expansion Washington Senators rarely reached the .500 mark beyond the early days of the season. Even the ’69 team struggled to win more games than it lost until a September surge. On July 30, the ’69 Senators’ record stood at 53-54 … Continue reading The expansion Nats’ struggles to reach .500

Two All-Star game slights

January 19, 2019: The rules for the annual MLB All-Star games require that every team, no matter how bad, must have a representative. The expansion Nats were no worse than many bad teams over the years, but Washington's lone "All-Star" twice was given short shrift. Dick Donovan was an obvious and deserving pick in 1961, … Continue reading Two All-Star game slights

May 8, 1963: Rudolph retires 25 in a row; Lock’s slam wins it

November 17, 2018: Left-hander Don Rudolph stood out for two reasons in the early 1960s: He was married to a highly paid exotic dancer, and he worked faster on the mound than any of his contemporaries. Neither of those achievements, however, played a significant part in the performance of his career the evening of Wednesday, … Continue reading May 8, 1963: Rudolph retires 25 in a row; Lock’s slam wins it

Ed Brinkman, an unsung glove record-setter

July 25, 2018: A Gold Glove shortstop but perennial weak hitter, Edwin Albert Brinkman played 15 seasons in the majors, the first 10 of them with the expansion Washington Senators. Traded to Detroit in October 1970 in the infamous Denny McLain deal, he led the Tigers to a division title and was voted Tiger of … Continue reading Ed Brinkman, an unsung glove record-setter

A history of the ownership of the expansion Senators

May 23, 2018: The franchise that became known as the expansion Senators had an 11-year run in the Nation’s Capital from 1961 through 1971 before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to become the Texas Rangers. The expansion team, created as soon as the original Senators departed for Minnesota, essentially had three sets of owners. … Continue reading A history of the ownership of the expansion Senators