Elmer Valo, Senators record-setting pinch-hitter

On May 23, 1960, the Yankees released 39-year-old Elmer Valo, a 20-year major league veteran who had been carving a niche as pinch-hitter and part-time outfielder in the late 1950s. He was signed the next day by the Washington Senators, who immediately anointed the left-hand hitter as the team’s go-to bat off the bench. Valo … Continue reading Elmer Valo, Senators record-setting pinch-hitter

Fact and fiction about Mantle’s “565-foot” homer

Mickey Mantle’s mammoth home run off the Senators' Chuck Stobbs at Griffith Stadium on April 17, 1953, is one of the most famous tape-measure blasts of all time. In fact, most sources credit this homer with creating the  “tape-measure’’ phrase, although obviously no tape measure was used to calculate the distance.  (Mantle was later photographed … Continue reading Fact and fiction about Mantle’s “565-foot” homer

Buck Freeman, first true power hitter

When Babe Ruth set a major league record with 29 home runs in 1919, his total topped what was generally recognized as the previous mark: the 25 home runs hit by baseball’s first real power hitter: Buck Freeman of the Washington Senators. Freeman hit his 25 round-trippers, playing for the 11th-place team in the 1899 … Continue reading Buck Freeman, first true power hitter

George Selkirk molded the expansion Nats

George Selkirk became the expansion Senators second general manager on Nov. 21, 1962. He succeeded Ed Doherty, who had been fired at the end of the 1962 season by then Senators majority owner Elwood R. “Pete” Quesada. As a player, Selkirk, nicknamed “Twinkletoes” because of his running style, had replaced Babe Ruth as the Yankees … Continue reading George Selkirk molded the expansion Nats