Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)– At the beginning of 2005, MLB returned to Washington for the first time since 1971. So how was this time going to be any different from the first two times in DC? The Minnesota Twins first moved from the old Washington in 1961 and the Texas Rangers moved in 1971 from Washington a decade later. The Washington Nationals (or Senators in the early 20’s where the won a World Series in 1924. The first and only WS the city of Washington has seen) had hall of fame players such as: Goose Goslin, Sam Rice and Joe Cronin to accompany the great Walter Johnston. By the time the team moved to Minnesota before the start of the 1961 season, the club had young phenoms Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison seen as their nucleus of a young Washington team before moving.
Washington’s second go around (in the American League this time) lasted from 1961-1971. The Washington fans were granted an AL Expansion team by MLB-to hold ontotheir anti-trust exemption status. The Los Angeles Angels were their expansion cousins. These AL Washington teams were awful and only were saved by Frank Howard and his 6 foot 7 frame smashing home runs for the years of 1965-1971 as their first baseman/outfielder. The team only managed one winning season in a decade and that was under the managerial guide of Ted Williams. Bob Short had acquired the team with 9.4 Million Dollars that was all borrowed after the previous owner had died in 1967. Short promptly named himself the General Manager. Finances caught up to him and he eventually traded away some of the best talent before selling the club to the city of Arlington after the 1971 season. Washington would be without baseball for 33 years until the Expos moved back into RFK Stadium and changed their name to the Nationals in 2005.
For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here
For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here
For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here
For Part 5 of the Article Series, 2005-2012 Nats Best 25 Man Roster click here