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

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

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

Ruth hit his last Yankee homer at Griffith Stadium

Babe Ruth appeared in 171 games at the ballpark that became known as Griffith Stadium, including his last two in a Yankees’ uniform – September 29 and 30, 1934. His homer in the first game of a doubleheader on September 29, a three-run shot, was the last he hit as a Yankee. My 1961 Fleer … Continue reading Ruth hit his last Yankee homer at Griffith Stadium

Ed Walsh, an original Nats owner, recruited Clark Griffith

In October 1911, as the Philadelphia Athletics were playing the New York Giants in the World Series. Edward J. Walsh, a founding owner and director of  Washington’s American League team, met with Cincinnati Manager Clark Griffith at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. That meeting helped determine the fate of Major League Baseball in Washington for nearly … Continue reading Ed Walsh, an original Nats owner, recruited Clark Griffith

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

Gabby Street’s Monumental catch

Charles Everd “Gabby” Street played in the majors for seven seasons as a catcher with the Cincinnati Reds, Boston Braves, New York Highlanders, St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Senators, where he spent four years as Walter Johnson’s personal catcher. In the midst of his playing career, he survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and … Continue reading Gabby Street’s Monumental catch

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

The 1867 Nationals Western Tour

The original Washington National Baseball Club was a top-level, ostensibly amateur, team in the 1860s. But like other highly skilled teams of that era, the team was made up of what are often known as “ringers” brought in from elsewhere and given no-show jobs by wealthy and well-connected baseball enthusiasts. The first professional league, the … Continue reading The 1867 Nationals Western Tour

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

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

The effect of playing time lost to crises

May 9, 2020 (revised Jan. 29, 2021): The Covid-19 pandemic caused the 2020 season to be reduced to 60 games, the first time since the labor contract turmoil of 1994 and 1995 that fewer than 162 games have been played. Prior to that, the 1981 season was cut short by a player strike, and teams … Continue reading The effect of playing time lost to crises

“First in War…”: the myth that never died

Clark Griffith in 1953 March 13, 2020: I remember reading Douglass Wallop’s 1954 novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant in junior high school around 1960, not knowing at the time that it had been turned into  the hit 1955 Broadway musical Damn Yankees. Wallop was born 100 years ago in Washington, attended the … Continue reading “First in War…”: the myth that never died

Social media groups and other Nats sites

January 10, 2020 (updated May 2022): A number of other places on the web are devoted to Washington, D.C., baseball, past and present. Here's are links to some of them: "The Expansion Washington Senators: https://www.facebook.com/groups/463338547208950/ Because the pages is now private, you need an invitation from a current member to join. D.C. Baseball History Yesterday … Continue reading Social media groups and other Nats sites

D.C. and the Homestead Grays

December 2, 2019: The Homestead Grays, a renowned team before baseball’s desegregation, traced its roots to black workers in a steel-mill town across the river from Pittsburgh in 1912. The Grays called Washington home for at least half of their league games, beginning in 1940. The Negro National League team, lead by Buck Leonard and … Continue reading D.C. and the Homestead Grays

Jackie Price at Griffith Stadium in 1950

August 21, 2019: Jackie who? If that was your reaction, you obviously never heard of the man described in 1950 as “America’s Greatest Entertainer.” Price, an amazingly acrobatic baseball player, performed his tricks with bat, ball and glove for a capacity crowd before the Senators’ game on July 22, 1950. He “bowed out to the … Continue reading Jackie Price at Griffith Stadium in 1950

When D.C. nearly got the Padres

February 19, 2019: As soon as it became clear in September 1971 that the Senators would move to Texas, a committee appointed by D.C. Mayor Walter Washington was dispatched to San Diego to talk to the majority owner of the expansion Padres, C. Arnholt Smith. The Padres were about to finish last in the National … Continue reading When D.C. nearly got the Padres