The Washington Post

Washington, eager to embrace the Nats


I couldn’t find it.

But while looking, and in between cursing, I stumbled upon a column by Bob Addie that ran in the Sports section 45 years ago this week. The Nats were 12-11 at the time, which doesn’t seem like much, but it was enough to prompt the headline “Nats Generating Enthusiasm,” and prose like this.

It has come as an astonishing surprise to many that baseball still is played in the United States. The recent surge of enthusiasm for soccer, and the never-ending items of interest about the Redskins, seem to have obscured a local baseball team valiantly performing....

Statistics are like eating crackers without something to wash them down. But consider that Washington hasn’t won a pennant since 1933 (even the Republicans have won a pennant since then)....

Can you imagine a boy in a major-league city growing up without ever having a pennant winner? All the other clubs, excluding the new franchises and the expansion clubs, have won pennants in the majors since 1933...

The enthusiasm is blooming around town. It always blooms and lasts about as long as the cherry blossoms. People have been saying for years that if Washington had a good team the fans would come out....

Whatever the Nats do this year depends on the pitching staff. Thus far, the staff has been sensational....

The Washington public is eager to embrace the Nats but for many years this love has been unrequited. There is evidence of the yearning the local fans have for a good team.

And so on and so forth. Substitute the word “hockey” for “soccer,” and get rid of the Republicans quip, and you’d be able to print this column verbatim, 45 years later. Of course, I excised a whole lot of Gil Hodges paragraphs, but still.

As for the story I was searching about, I’ll try again on Wednesday. If I can’t find it, I will post an 1895 staff editorial in favor of the whipping post. That one could probably not be printed verbatim today.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing