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

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, was 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, was 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

The self-inflicted wounds of the 2021 season

After concluding in late July that the Nationals were not going to compete for a post-season berth, team president and general manager Mike Rizzo jettisoned eight key players on the 2021 team: future Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer, all-star shortstop Trea Turner, record-setting slugger Kyle Schwarber, veteran utility man Josh Harrison. starting catcher Yan Gomes, closer Brad … Continue reading The self-inflicted wounds of the 2021 season

First umpire to wear glasses did it at Griffith Stadium — in 1956

Ed Rommel, a knuckleballer who won 171 games in 13 seasons beginning in 1920, later spent 22 years as an American League umpire. On April 18, 1956, he became the first umpire in the 20th Century to wear eyeglasses during a game. His groundbreaking move, unnoticed at the time, came at Griffith Stadium on a … Continue reading First umpire to wear glasses did it at Griffith Stadium — in 1956

July 31, 2018: Nationals score a record 25 runs

The 2018 season at the trade deadline hadn’t gone as Dave Martinez had hoped in his first year managing the Nationals. His team, the preseason favorite to repeat as N.L. East champions, were in third place, a game under .500, on July 31. Other than dumping reliever Brandon Kintzler’s salary on the Cubs, General Manager … Continue reading July 31, 2018: Nationals score a record 25 runs

May 8, 2016: Harper’s seven times up with no at-bats

On May 8, 2016, at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the Nationals’ Bryce Harper became the first player in major league history to reach base seven times without an official at-bat. He also became the fourth player to be walked six times in a game. Harper was hit by a pitch the one time he didn’t walk. … Continue reading May 8, 2016: Harper’s seven times up with no at-bats