washingtonpost.com  > Print Edition > Sports > Articles Inside Sports
Page 2 of 2  < Back  

From Olympics to Nationals to Statesmen to Senators

In November 1960, the new Washington Senators were bought by 10 local businessmen for $3 million. They were just as bad as the old Senators, losing 100 games or more their first four seasons and never finishing higher than sixth in the 10-team AL.

In December 1968, the treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, Bob Short, bought the team and soon after hired baseball great Ted Williams as the manager. Under Williams the team was a bit better, but still finished no better than fourth in his three seasons in Washington.


Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith shows pitchers Chuck Stobbs, center, Bob Porterfield how he gripped the ball when he used to pitch for the Yankees, Cubs, White Sox. (1953 AP Photo)

_____ Baseball Returns to D.C. _____
 D.C. Baseball
Bud Selig announces that the troubled Montreal Expos will move to Washington, returning baseball to the nation's capital for the 2005 season.
While the Expos aren't very good now, they have loads of potential.
News Graphic: Time to settle down
Q&A on the new team
Graphic: Meet your Expos (PDF).
Survey: What should we call D.C.'s new team?  |  Discuss.
After having RFK to itself for eight years, D.C. United will share.
Details sketchy on how regional sports network would operate.
There was a time when the Expos were the envy of all of baseball.
News Graphic: Coming full circle.
D.C. region has suffered through an endless number of close calls.
 D.C. Baseball
City officials, led by Mayor Anthony A. Williams, gleefully celebrate the end of a generation of frustration.
District's offer described as very generous.
News Graphic: Stadium strategy
A majority of the D.C. Council supports the mayor's stadium plan.
When the hoopla dies down, will D.C. still have baseball fever?
In Virginia, some blame Gov. Warner for failure to lure Expos.
More than 50 years ago, it was Baltimore that needed D.C.'s help.
Orioles management had little to say Wednesday about the news.
Expos final home game is marred by unruly fan behavior.

_____ Post Columnists  _____
Thomas Boswell: We are finally getting exactly what we wished for.
Sally Jenkins: D.C. is getting a bad team and a potential financial mess.
Michael Wilbon: There are only four choices for the name of the new club.
Mike Wise: Talk to the old Nats, you realize baseball never left.
George Solomon: Finally, Shirley Povich is looking down and smiling.
Marc Fisher: Baseball's challenge is to connect with the black kids.

_____ Multimedia  _____
 D.C. Baseball
Video: D.C. residents have mixed feelings about the relocation.
Video: D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams makes the announcement.
Video: In 2003, a D.C. official details improvements to RFK.
Video: The Post's Garcia-Ruiz on what still needs to be done at RFK.
Audio: Ex-Senators announcer Ron Menchine on the proposed move.
Audio: Ex-announcer Bob Wolf says D.C. team, Orioles can thrive.

_____ Live Online  _____
Post's Tom Heath was online Thursday. Read the transcript.
The Post's J.J. McCoy took questions before Wednesday's announcement. Read the transcript.

_____ On Our Site  _____
 D.C. Baseball
The District has been without major league baseball for more than 30 years. Look back at a visual history of the Washington Senators.
Eighty years ago, the Senators won their only world championship.
What's your opinion?


_____MLB Basics_____
Scoreboard
Standings
Statistics
Team index
Music Downloads
MLB Section
_____Padres Basics_____
Padres page
Roster
Schedule
Statistics

In 1969, Williams led the team to its only winning season (86-76) in Washington, but after two more second-division finishes, Short moved the team to Arlington, Tex.

The Senators had been such a failure that during his three weeks in Washington, Bavasi, the Padres former GM, was advised by fans, politicians and the media to "do the direct opposite of what the Senators had been doing and we should be fine."

In trying to find a fan base for the relocated Padres, Bavasi asked a former Senators executive for a list of season ticket holders. The executive chuckled, and then told Bavasi to look in a file cabinet hidden in a storage room in the deepest, darkest part of RFK Stadium.

"I did find that file and after scanning it I know why Joe had chuckled," Bavasi wrote. "The paid season ticket list was less by half than the complimentary ticket list."

Tom Holster, former president of the Washington Baseball Historical Society, said he remembers being able to walk up to Griffith Stadium and buy seats near the field. But he said Washingtonians shouldn't be blamed for not showing up.

"Considering the quality of play on the field, I think we did pretty well," Holster said.

A small, but dedicated group of fans remained angry at Short for several years.

"I was devastated," Holster said. "For about three, four years I was a rabid fan. I think my parents thought I was nuts."

Danzansky never lost hope he could return baseball to his home town. He was so certain he would find another team to play in Washington, he gave his camel-hair winter coat to Bavasi, who had borrowed the garment during his stay in D.C., and sent along the following note: "Peter, keep this coat, you'll need it when you come back east to run our club some day."

Bavasi recalls that Danzansky was half right.

"I did need that coat," Bavasi wrote. "A few years later I signed on as president of the expansion Toronto Blue Jays."

Washington remained without a team for 33 years.


< Back  1 2

© 2004 The Washington Post Company