I was taken as a young child to see the Washington Senators by my mother and my aunt while their husbands were off fighting World War II. A friend of my father took me to a Homestead Grays Negro National League game “so you can tell your grandchildren you saw Satchel Paige pitch a game.”
By the fourth grade I was a Senators junkie, and I started going to games by myself on the streetcar — via the Branchville line, with a transfer to the Florida Avenue line — when I was 11. I got to see great players, such as my local favorites Mickey Vernon and Camilo Pascual and future Hall of Famers such as Mickey Mantle, Larry Doby, Bob Feller and Ted Williams. I never saw my team play past the end of the regular season. But I’ve always stayed true to my Washington baseball teams, discontinuous as they might be.
And this is from a guy who, when he found he was “priced out” of the D.C. market when he retired and wanted to move back to the District, ended up moving to Baltimore. I support the O’s as “my American League team,” but I drive past Camden Yards and head south to see a Nats game.
While I love to watch baseball games, I also love reading the great sports columnists of The Post. I was reading Shirley Povich’s This Morning column when I was 11 or 12, and I continued faithfully throughout his life. Without question, he was one of the four or five greatest sportswriters of all time. Then along came Thomas Boswell, who was to become the best sportswriter since Povich, especially when it came to baseball. But unlike Povich, Boswell never got to cover a postseason game for his hometown team — until now.
When the Nats clinched a playoff berth, I said out loud, “Finally, Tom Boswell gets to cover his team in the playoffs.” When I read his Oct. 7 column, “Real-life drama hits right at home,”I got a little choked up.
I still wear my old Senators cap with the “straight W” to let people see how long I’ve been among the faithful. All of us “deserve” this moment, but somehow, Boswell deserves it the most. He has eloquently written about baseball for so many years, had his heart broken who knows how many times over the turmoil of Washington baseball, and has had to support a team from another city and state as if it were his own. This month, he got to cover his own team in the playoffs.
Michael Baker, Baltimore
The praise lavished on the Washington Nationals is well deserved. The organization has done an outstanding job from top to bottom.
But one other person should be recognized: Thomas Boswell, The Post’s outstanding sports columnist. He is cut from the same cloth as Bob Considine and Shirley Povich, who kept us informed during our youth. Boswell correctly recognized the potential of the Nats from spring training to the present day. I hope that he will call upon his keen insight to write a book about this season that we can enjoy for years to come.
George Stathopoulos, Silver Spring
Tracee Hamilton’s homage to Shirley Povich took me back years. The first adult book that I read was his book “The Washington Senators: An Informal History.” I read it as an assignment from my junior high school English teacher. I was one of only two students who admitted that they had never read a serious book. (My mother told me that most of my classmates were in the same boat but knew better than to raise their hands.) My love for the Senators was as great as my disdain for reading. Povich’s wonderful book opened up a love of reading that I have enjoyed ever since.
I am so happy that the Nationals’ success is inspiring so much interest in D.C. baseball history.
John M. Howard, Washington
As a D.C. transplant who has adopted the Nationals as my second team, I enjoy reading The Post’s baseball coverage every day.
However, on Oct. 4, I was disappointed to see the story of Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera wrapping up baseball’s first Triple Crown in 45 years relegated to Page D3.
While I’ll admit to some bias as a Tigers fan, was Cabrera’s historic accomplishment really less important than the Teddy Roosevelt mascot finally winning a staged race — a story about which ran that day on the front page?
Kari Jaksa, Washington
Michael Morse did, indeed, hit a grand slam Aug. 17 against the New York Mets [“Rise of a Nationals anthem,” Style, Oct. 10], and we fans do love to sing his walk-up song, “Take On Me.” However, as many Nationals fans could tell you, the article’s accompanying photo clearly was from a previous season: To Morse’s left was pitcher Livan Hernandez, who left the Nationals for a second time at the end of 2011. Livo spent 2012 with the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.
Lurita Doan, Great Falls