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Fans Root, Root For the 'Senators'

Tuesday, November 9, 2004; Page A04

Maybe the third time is the charm for the Senators.

Or at least that's what area baseball fans might have been thinking when they chose the Senators as their favorite name for Washington's new baseball team in a Washington Post survey.

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Forty percent of all self-described baseball fans thought the team should be called the Senators, while 14 percent supported naming the team the Nationals and 10 percent favored calling it the Grays. The remainder wanted one of several dozen other names or had no preference. Major League Baseball reportedly will name the new team the Nationals, which can be changed when a new team owner is selected.

About half of local residents describe themselves as baseball fans, according to the poll.

Each of the three favorite names has deep Washington connections. The Washington Nationals played in Washington's Griffith Stadium from 1901 to 1956, when they changed their name to the Senators. The team moved to Minneapolis after the 1960 season and became the Twins. The name Senators was adopted by the expansion team that played in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium from 1961 to 1971 before it moved to Texas.

The Homestead Grays were one of the storied teams of the old Negro Leagues. The Grays played at Griffith Stadium and in Pittsburgh, winning nine league championships from 1938 to 1948.

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