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

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 University of Maryland in … 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 page 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