Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WASHINGTON SENATORS/WASHINGTON NATIONALS - ALL TIME HOME GROWN TEAM vs. ALL TIME ACQUIRED TEAM











































And now we are on to Extra Innings!

I guess 30 Home Grown vs. Acquired entries weren’t enough… I had to do one more.

But there is a method to my madness. Something occurred to me. Baseball fans in Washington D.C. were denied a chance for an entry of their own.

At least those baseball fans in D.C. who follow the Nationals. I’m sure there are more than a few Orioles fans in our nation’s capitol.

Sure I had listed some original Senators in the Twins post.
And there were some expansion Senators in the Rangers post.
And a smattering of Nationals in the Nationals post.

But mainly I put Twins players in the Twins posts because it was for Minnesota fans.
Same holds true in the Rangers post for Texas fans.
And there just weren’t enough Nationals players to off set the many great Montreal Expos.

So, being Sully, and this being Sully Baseball, I decided to not leave Washington fans out in the cold the way Major League Baseball did from 1972 to 2004.

So I am composing a brand new Home Grown vs. Acquired Team comprised only of players from the three Major League franchises that called Washington home.

There hasn’t been a lot of glory in Washington baseball wise. It’s been since 1924 since a World Series has been won in D.C. and there hasn’t been a stretch of great years to pick from.

I covered why I think Washington fans deserve to mentioned among the “long suffering.”
But maybe the Nationals can pull it together and build a solid team and give D.C. a winner. (Judging from last year’s 102 loss season, it might be a while.)

As always the rules of the rosters can be found here.

And I am making one more rule:
A player who was Home Grown in Montreal and moved to D.C. I am still counting as home grown. Otherwise it just gets confusing!

Joe Hardy isn’t listed here… but Washington fans, this one is for you!


ALL TIME HOME GROWN WASHINGTON TEAM


STARTING CATCHER
BRIAN SCHNEIDER

Schneider came over with the team from Montreal. In his three years (’05-’07) in Washington he gave the Nats a cannon behind the plate. He threw out more than 40% of would be base stealers, the best ratio in the big leagues between ’03 and ’05.

And he had some big days at the plate for the Nats in their first season. On July 3rd, 2005, he scored the go ahead run in the 11th inning in a game in Wrigley Field. When the Cubs tied it in the bottom of the 11th, Schneider came up again in the 12th and cracked a go ahead homer to win it.

He was later dealt to the Mets for prospect Lastings Milledge. If Milledge gets his head together, he might end up on a future version of this list.


STARTING FIRST BASEMAN
JOE KUHEL

Even though the Senators had a lot of bad teams, they seemed to have good fortune developing their own first basemen.

Joe Kuhel gets the start. In his first tour with the Senators, he got MVP consideration twice including when he batted .322 and drove in 107 runs for the 1933 American League Champs.

After a few years with the White Sox, he came back to the Senators during the War Years and was among the league leaders in RBIs in 1945.

I believe his last name is one syllable… making his name pronounced “Joe Cool.”
Try and resist that.


STARTING SECOND BASEMAN
BUCKY HARRIS

Harris was a scrappy leader on the Senator teams of the early 1920s. In an era of great power, he got MVP points for his hard nose play, stolen bases and getting hit by pitches.

After a losing 1923 season, Senators management got rid of their manager Donie Bush and gave the reins to their 27 year old second baseman.

As a player, his offensive numbers went down but as a manager the wins went up. A 10 game winning streak in June put the Senators in first place. They spent the end of August and all of September holding onto a thin lead against the Yankees, clinching the pennant on the second to last day of the season.

Then Harris the hitter showed up in the World Series, batting .333 and was a hero in Game 7. He went 3 for 5, driving in 3 runs including the 2 run “off the pebble” single with two outs in the 8th to tie the game.

Anyone who can manage AND get the clutch hits in the World Series should be considered a God in Washington!


STARTING SHORTSTOP
CECIL TRAVIS

Travis was putting together a Hall of Fame career… but nobody should be prouder for having his Cooperstown bid interrupted.

A solid 300 hitter, he broke in with the 1933 team but did not play in the World Series. Maybe they could have used him. Throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s he was a batting title contender. And despite having little home run power (he never hit more than 7 in a season) he posted a .930 OPS in 1941.

Then World War II broke out. Travis fought in the Battle of the Bulge and suffered a severe case of frost bite and almost had his feet amputated.

He returned to baseball after the war but was not the same player and retired after the 1947 season.

He may not be in Cooperstown but he has something better: He earned the Bronze Star for Military Service in World War II.


STARTING THIRD BASEMAN
HARMON KILLEBREW

How perfect was it that one of the most devastating power hitters of his generation had a name that literally began with “Kill?”

It’s slightly more intimidating than say “Strawberry.”

Killebrew first broke in as an 18 year old with the 1954 Senators but didn’t become a regular until the ripe old age of 23, when his 42 home runs led the league.

He became a solid hitter in Washington, but emerged as a Hall of Famer in Minnesota.

I wonder if Senator fans grumbled “Thanks for leaving!”


STARTING LEFT FIELDER
GOOSE GOSLIN

Goslin was the greatest hitter of the original A.L. Senators team and was a World Series hero for two different franchises. I recounted his heroics for the 1935 Tigers in my Detroit post.

But his role in the lone Washington championship should be noted. He hit 3 homers and drove in 7 in the 1924 World Series. And he batted .344 with an OPS of 1.000. His three run homer in Game 4 put the Senators ahead and helped tie the series at 2.

And in the 11th inning of Game 7, he hit a 2 out double. He was stranded there but if he was driven home, he would have been the only person to score a World Series ending run in one series and drive home a World Series run in another series.

Ahhh… to be a master of “Trivia that didn’t happen!”


STARTING CENTER FIELDER
BOB ALLISON

The AL Rookie of the Year in 1959 gave Washington fans some much needed hope for the future. He hit 30 homers his first year out of the gate including a 2 homer day against the White Sox on June 9th.

The Senators improved by 10 games in 1960, his second year, giving Senator fans more reason to hope, especially with the prospect of an Allison/Killebrew 1-2 punch.

But the team moved to Minnesota, Allison played in the 1965 World Series and all Washington fans got was a lousy expansion replacement team!



STARTING RIGHT FIELDER
SAM RICE

Of course I spoke about Rice’s famous “Did he or didn’t he?” catch in the 1925 World Series. But he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame based on that mystery.

He was a terrific hitter and master base stealer. And he was a late bloomer in the big leagues, not making the majors until age 25 and not establishing himself until age 29. He had other priorities.

He was in the Navy (and was on a Naval baseball team) in his early twenties and then enlisted in the Army during World War II.

He served in TWO branches of the military and won a World Series title and got elected to the Hall of Fame.

Maybe that’s why he didn’t feel so bad that he finished 13 hits shy of 3,000!



TOP PINCH HITTER OFF OF THE BENCH
JOE JUDGE

I said Joe Hardy, the slugger who had a deal with the devil in the musical Damn Yankees, isn’t on this list. I may have spoken too soon.

Joe Judge was a 5’6” first baseman without a lot of power but sprayed the ball to all fields and finished with 2,291 hits. In the 1924 World Series he hit .385 with an OPS of .907. That Senators team won the pennant after the Yankees had won 3 straight AL Titles.

And he had a daughter named Dorothy who dated a playwright named Douglass Wallop who wrote a book and then a musical called “Damn Yankees” about a short first baseman who leads the Senators past the Yankees with a little help from the Devil.

I wonder if Joe Judge was the inspiration for Joe Hardy.
I guess the Devil put those pebbles on the field that caused the Senators to win their only World Series!


THE STARTING ROTATION

WALTER JOHNSON

No less an authority than Ty Cobb called Walter Johnson “the most powerful arm turned loose in a ballpark.”

Then he probably grumbled something racist.

He wasn’t a head hunter and considered the bean ball the equivalent of attempted murder. I wonder what he thought about Carl Mays killed Ray Chapman with a pitch.

Johnson was a likable guy and according to the great Shirley Povitch, sports writers were thrilled when he finally got a chance to pitch in the 1924 World Series.

And his kindness inspired a Jonathan Richman song.

Johnson hasn’t pitched since 1927 and yet remains the single biggest figure in Washington baseball history. Nobody is even close.


EARLY WYNN

Wynn is best known for helping pitch both the Indians and White Sox to the pennant in the 1950s and winning a Cy Young Award at age 39.

But he made his debut with the Senators in 1939. He won 18 games for the 1943 Senators, the first Washington team with a winning record in 7 seasons.

He put up a 17 win season for a 90 loss Senators team in 1947 and got some votes in the MVP race. After the 1948 season he was mercifully dealt to Cleveland and given a chance to contend. He learned the knuckleball and became a Hall of Famer.

The Senators should have taught him the knuckler!



ALVIN CROWDER

Crowder broke in with the Senators, was dealt to the Browns and the Senators acquired him back in a deal involving future Hall of Famers Goose Goslin and Heinie Manush.

He became one of the aces of the 1933 AL Champs, winning 24 games, throwing 299 1/3 innings and making 35 starts and 17 relief appearances and was named to the All Star team.

Crowder, an Army veteran, was nicknamed “General.” Actually he was an enlisted man, but the person who devised the draft was named General Crowder, to the nickname stuck.

I guess it was an edgy and topical nickname at the time. We’ll see more of that with Firpo Marberry.


MONTE WEAVER

Monte Weaver was a smart man. He was nicknamed Prof because he was a mathematics professor at Emory and Henry College. But his curiosity may have led to his downfall.

He was a 22 game winner his rookie year and helped lead the 1932 Senators to a 93 win season. But he got interested in vegetarian diets and lost a tremendous amount of weight between the 1932 and 1933 seasons.

He also lost velocity on his fastball and wasn’t nearly as effective. But he did pitch in the 1933 World Series and dueled Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell in a classic Game 4. Through 9 innings he had let up 1 run on 8 hits to the Giants. But Hubbell also only let up a single run and the game went into extra innings.

He pitched into the 11th, but the Giants rallied and won the game to take a 3-1 series lead.

I wonder if he went out for ribs after the game.


CAMILO PASCUAL

Carlos Pascual was an obscure pitcher for the 1950 Senators. But a suggestion he made paid dividends to two different Washington franchises. He told management to give his younger brother, Camilo, a look.

They did and they liked what they saw, especially his devastating curveball. The Cuban native made the 1954 team as a 20 year old. He struggled his first five seasons (so did the Senators for that matter) but in 1959 it all clicked together. He went 17-10 and posted a 2.64 ERA over 238 2/3 innings.

He brought his winning ways to Minnesota with the team but in 1967 he was dealt to the expansion Senators. Manager Ted Williams said he had the best curve ball in the AL. Pascual won 13 with a 2.69 ERA over 201 innings for a 96 loss Senators team in 1968.

I am sure the Senators asked “Do you have any more brothers?”


THE BULLPEN

FIRPO MARBERRY

In my Twins post, I wondered how Frederick Marberry picked the name Firpo.

Well it turns out he resembled a popular boxer at the time named Luis Firpo. And I also found out he hated the nickname. It’s funny that it would stick to the point that Baseball-Reference and WikiPedia and Baseball Almanac… and now Sully Baseball… all officially refer to him as Firpo.

Well, Washington fans should call him a hero as he saved Games 2 and 4 of the 1924 World Series.

That being said, Firpo as a nickname is pretty cool.


DICK HYDE

Kent Tekulve before Tekulve, Hyde had the glasses and the submarine style that made him the top reliever in the AL for 1958. He had the best winning percentage in the AL with a 10-3 record. He posted a 1.75 ERA that year over 103 1/3 innings, all in relief.

With his 18 saves and 10 wins, Hyde could take credit for 46% of the hapless Senators 61 wins.

He was involved in a trade with the Red Sox in 1959. But was sent back to the Senators three days later because the Red Sox found out he had a sore arm.

It’s always good to find out stuff like that BEFORE you make the trade!!!


CHAD CORDERO

Cordero’s 5th place finish in the 2005 Cy Young voting is the closest a Washington National has ever got winning the award.

He saved 47 that year and kept his ERA at 1.82 as the Nationals played .500 ball their first season in Washington. He is still in Washington… but now it’s Washington state as he tries to make the 2009 Mariners squad.

When referring to Chief Bender in one of my earlier posts, I implied that the days of calling pitchers with Native American blood “Chief” had ended.

I was wrong. Chad Cordero, who is part Cherokee, has been dubbed Chief by his teammates and was introduced with “Hail to the Chief” when he entered Nationals games.

Go figure.



BOB GROOM

Groom was a solid pitcher who won 24 games in 1912 and had a 2.62 ERA over 316 innings. On any other team he would be the ace, but there was a fellow named Walter Johnson who won 33 games, had a 1.39 ERA over 369 innings, 303 strikeouts and 13 relief appearances.

So he was a good #2 starter! And like Johnson, who made 13 relief appearances that year, Groom would pitch out fo the pen as well.

His save total in 1911 was tied for 6th in the AL. Granted his total was TWO! But still he was statistically one of the best.


CONNIE MARRERO

One of these days the pipeline of baseball players from Cuba to the United States will be open and there will be a flood of great talent.

It’s true now and it was true in the 1950s.

Conrado (Connie) Marrero was a legendary pitcher in Cuba during the 1940s. He was a baffling junk baler whose nickname was “El Curvo.”

How great is that nickname?

He didn’t see the majors until 1950 when he was 38 years old, but still had some life in the tank. He made the 1951 All Star team and got MVP votes in 1952 when he helped pitch the Senators to a surprise winning season.

He had some life in his own tank as well. Baseball’s oldest player in 1954 is alive today.



THE BENCH

RESERVE INFIELDER
EDDIE YOST

The Walking Man would be worshipped by OPS guys. As his nickname suggests, he led the league in walks 6 times (4 times as a Senator.) And while everyone was still gushing about batting average, Yost would often lead the league in an obscure yet important category: TIMES ON BASE!

In his day he made a single All Star team.

Today? He’d be fought over by Fantasy Baseball owners!


RESERVE INFIELDER
RYAN ZIMMERMAN

Zimmerman remains on her mainly as a hope for the future. But the 4th pick in the 2005 draft has the chance to be the first legit home grown star for the Washington Nationals.

The one depressing thing for Nationals fans is his numbers have actually regressed each year since finishing second in the Rookie of the Year vote in 2006.

Actually there are many depressing things for Nationals fans, but that is one of them.

But he was hurt last season and he’s only 24!
Not to be confused with 1924… the last title for Washington.


RESERVE OUTFIELDER
CLYDE MILAN

Anyone with the nickname Deerfoot should be a terror on the base paths and Milan certainly was.

He stole 88 bases in 1912, briefly the single season record. He wound up with 495 stolen bases total and each year from 1911 to 1913 finished in the top 10 for the MVP vote.

He was the player manager for the 1922 Senators but was let go after the season after 16 years with the club… and two years before their only World Championship.



RESERVE OUTFIELDER
GEORGE CASE

Like Milan, George Washington Case was a speed demon. He stole 51 bases in 1939 and 61 in 1943 and led the league each year in between.

Named to four All Star teams, he was considered the fastest player in the game.

Later, while with the Indians, Bill Veeck staged a race between Case and Jesse Owens.

Owens won of course, but man baseball could use a Bill Veeck!



RESERVE CATCHER
JAKE EARLY

Early had two tours with the Senators in the 1940s and had his best year in 1943. His average wasn’t eye popping (.258) and neither was his OPS (.708) and neither was his home run total (5).

But his defense and the handling of the pitching staff gave him the starting spot in the All Star Game and some points in the MVP vote.

And more importantly, it helped the Senators improve by 22 games and post a surprise second place finish.

And then off he went to the war.

Evidently he was also hilarious. He used to chat up the batters in the box and got Ted Williams of all people to laugh and drop his bat.


25TH MAN
EARL McNEELY

There may be other Senators and Nationals I can mention here… but none gave Washington fans a thrill like a 26 year old rookie who only played in 43 games in 1924. He was actually unpopular with Senators fans because the team got rid of the popular Wid Matthews to make room for him.

But in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series, McNeely came up to bat with Muddy Ruel on second base. He hit a drive that struck a rock and went down the left field line. Ruel scored and the Senators were World Champs.

And if you think for a second that I was going to ignore the man whose walk off hit clinched the only ever World Series title in Washington, then you haven’t been reading Sully Baseball!!!





There’s some nice depth there and a solid combination of Killebrew power and Deerfoot Millan speed.

Plus any rotation with Walter Johnson as the #1 can’t be too bad!

So what does the acquired team have in store?
They’ve had three different organizations to pick up other players. How did they do?

Well there are a few Hall of Famers, a few All Stars and the last ever loved player in Washington baseball history.

Read on.




ALL TIME ACQUIRED WASHINGTON TEAM

STARTING CATCHER
MUDDY RUEL

In the Twins post I already broke down Ruel’s amazing lumber home. And I already link Shirley Povitch’s incredible recollection of the game.

What else is there to say?

How about this factoid? He studied law after his playing days and became the only former Major Leaguer to argue a case before the Supreme Court.

He might also be the first person named “Muddy” to argue before the Supreme Court. I’ll have to look that up.



STARTING FIRST BASEMAN
DMITRI YOUNG

Young must NOT have gotten along with Jim Leyland! “Da Meat Hook” wasn’t having that bad a 2006, but his alcohol and drug abuse (not to mention the charges of abusing a woman) made Leyland give him the boot with a month left in the season.

Young had been in Detroit during the bad years, but now was being denied the chance to play in the post season.

He landed on his feet in Washington and became the Comeback Player of the Year. He had a torrid first half and finished with a .320 average and a big fat contract extension.

Speaking of big and fat, Young showed up to camp the next year diabetic and looking like he spent all $10 million of his contract at Carl’s Jr.


STARTING SECOND BASEMAN
GEORGE MYATT

Myatt was playing for a minor league team in San Diego when the Red Sox scouted him. In the process they became enamored with and signed his teammate, Ted Williams. That scouting trip was a success for the Red Sox.

Myatt may not have been Ted Williams (who else was?) but Foghorn Myatt had a nice career in the bigs himself.

His best year was 1945 when he batted .296 with 30 steals and finished 5th in the MVP race.

How did his old teammate Ted Williams do in 1945? He didn’t play. He was too busy kicking Japan’s butt in World War II.

(I couldn't find a picture of Myatt as a Senator. If anyone has one, send it along, OK?)



STARTING SHORTSTOP
JOE CRONIN

Everything about the acquisition of Joe Cronin worked for the Senators.

The former Pirates bench warmer was acquired for $7,500. For that $7,500 they got a legit superstar and MVP candidate.

He drove in 126 runs in back to back seasons, was named to the first three All Star teams and was the runner up in the 1933 MVP race.

Plus in 1933 he was the Senators manager when they won the pennant. He saved the Senators money… only one hotel room for the star and the manager!

And when it was time to save some money, he was sent to Boston for Broadway Lyn Lary and $225,000.

Not bad for a $7,500 investment.



STARTING THIRD BASEMAN
KEN McMULLEN

In 1965 McMullen came over from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the deal that also brought Frank Howard to D.C. While not a star like Howard, he did provide some solid power numbers from third base in the late 1960s.

He put together a 19 game hitting streak in 1967

In 1969, the Senators put together a surprising winning season and McMullen hit 19 homers and a career high 87 RBI. He had a 5 RBI day against the defending World Champion Tigers on September 13th, including a 3 run homer. He also led the AL in double plays and putouts.

The Dodgers must have liked what they saw because they pulled a trade to reacquire him.


STARTING LEFT FIELDER
FRANK HOWARD

Washington’s last superstar came over from LA in a deal that sent Claude Osteen to the Dodgers. He was already a Rookie of the Year, had a World Series ring and clocked a homer off of Whitey Ford in the clinching Game 4 of the 1963 World Series.

But he blossomed into a four time All Star in Washington. He won a pair of Home Run titles (1968 and 1970) and led the AL with 126 RBI in 1970.

In one six game stretch in 1968, he hit 10 homers in 20 at bats including four 2 home run games.

When the Senators climbed over .500 in 1969, Howard was the star. He hit 48 homers, 111 RBI, batted .296 and had an OPS of .976.

He left with the team in 1971 and Washington still hasn’t had a star as beloved as Hondo since.



STARTING CENTER FIELDER
FRED SCHULTE

When the Senators reacquired Goose Goslin from the Browns, they also got Schulte in the deal… and the result was two starting outfielders for a pennant winning team.

Schulte batted .294 and drove in 87 runs despite only having 5 homers.

And in Game 5 of the World Series, the Senators, down 3-1 in the series, looked like they were going down without much of a fight. But with two outs in the 6th, Schulte hit a three run homer to tie the game.

The game went into extra innings and when the Giants scored in the 10th, the Senators were down to their last out. With a man on, Schulte extended the game with a walk. Joe Kuhel struck out to end the series… but Schulte made the Giants sweat every pitch out.



STARTING RIGHT FIELDER
JIM LEMON

There was nothing special about Jim Lemon. He couldn’t hold a job in Cleveland or in Washington in his first four years in the big leagues (and he lost two seasons serving in Korea.)

Then, suddenly, in 1956 he put it together. He hit 27 homers and continued his hot power stroke over the last five seasons of the original Senators.

In 1960 he finished third in the home run chase, only two homers behind Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

Billy Crystal never made a film about Lemon.



TOP PINCH HITTER OFF OF THE BENCH
ALFONSO SORIANO

Jim Bowden never did live down holding onto Soriano. I’m sure they could have a piece or two to help the team out right away.

But there is a slight ray of hope for Nationals fans. One of the draft picks acquired from the Cubs after Soriano split was used on Jordan Zimmerman, who is now considered to be the top pitching prospect in the Washington system.

Maybe the combination of Ryan and Jordan can mean a Zimmerman/Zimmerman pennant in DC.

Of course, Bowden no longer has a job, so it doesn’t help HIM any.


THE STARTING ROTATION

STAN COVELESKI

One of the last remaining legal spitballers and a future Hall of Famer joined the Senators in 1925 as part of their World Championship defense. He won 20 games and made a formidable 1-2 punch with fellow 20 game winner Walter Johnson.

However his World Series luck (he was 3-0 in the 1920 series for Cleveland) ran out in the 1925 series against the Pirates. He lost Game 2 and a potential clinching Game 5 as the Pirates came back.

The baseball stadium in South Bend Indiana is named after Covelski.


DICK BOSMAN

As I wrote in the Rangers entry, Bosman put together an unexpected 14-5 season for the 1969 Senator squad.

On May 2, 1969, he fired a 1 hit shutout against Luis Tiant and the Cleveland Indians. He drove in 2 of the runs himself on a two out single.

Later, as a member of the Indians he did one better… he threw a no hitter against the A’s on July 14, 1974.

A car collector, he has sold some of his classic cars to current major leaguers. I am guessing he charges more for the cars than an autograph.


EARL WHITEHILL

After 10 seasons of solid knuckleball pitching for the Tigers, he was dealt to the Senators for Firpo Marberry and Carl Fischer.

He fit right in, going 22-8 with a 3.33 ERA over 270 innings, completing 19 games and getting a save as well. And in Game 3 of the 1933 World Series, he threw a complete game five hit shut out.

To date it is the final post season win for a Washington team.

He also had a celebrity wife. Violet Geissinger was well known as the Sun Maid Raisin model.

I guess they were the Tom Brady/Giselle Bunchen of their day.


BOB PORTERFIELD

Here’s an interesting question for you baseball fans.
Which would you rather be?

A backup on a champion or an All Star on a bad team.

The Bob Porterfield trade is an illustration of that conundrum.

He was a product of the Yankees farm system and played for the 1949 and 1950 World Champs. But he never got to play in the World Series those years and was not a big contributor.

Then he was dealt for future World Series hero Bob Kuzava and he hit his stride in Washington.

He went 22-10 for the .500 1953 Senators. He finished 7th in the MVP vote that year and was named the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year.

Meanwhile his old team won their fifth straight World Series title (with Kuzava clinching two of the Series.)

Who would you rather be? Porterfield? Or Kuzava?


LIVAN HERNANDEZ

Despite being an NLCS and World Series MVP, Livan Hernandez never made an All Star team until he was an Expo and then moved with the team to Washington.

He finished 15-10 in 2005 and gave the Nationals fans a thrill with the possibility of a Pennant Race. The team finished at .500, but thanks in part to Hernandez, the Nationals were in first place after the All Star Break and had a winning record with one game left to play.

My dad still can’t stand him.


THE BULLPEN

RON KLINE

I wrote in my Rangers piece how Ron Kline had a remarkably unusual two seasons for the 1964 and 1965 Senators squads. He regularly pitched more than 1 innings and had a slew of three inning saves and victories.

In fact on August 23, 1964 he pitched 2 innings of shutout relief in the first game of a double header against the A’s. Then in the night cap, he threw 2 1/3 innings of shut out ball for the save.

I’d say it was a shame he wasted such great seasons with lousy clubs, but he never pitched well anywhere else!


JACK RUSSELL

Russell toiled for the years in the wreckage that was the post Babe Ruth Red Sox. He lost, lost big and had butt ugly stats. After a cameo with the Indians he joined the 1933 Senators.

Manager Joe Cronin put him in the bullpen and suddenly he became the best reliever in the league. He saved 13, won 12 and posted a 2.69 ERA. He led the league in saves in 1934 as well and made the AL All Star team.

The minor league stadium in Clearwater was named for him.

Good luck finding a picture of him without wading through 1,000 pictures of Jack Russell Terriers!



GEORGE MOGRIDGE

Manager Bucky Harris started Curly Ogden for the game 7 of the 1924 World Series… but he lasted only two batters.

He was hoping that John McGraw would start more lefties against the right handed Ogden. When future Hall of Famer Ross Youngs came to the plate, George Mogridge a 16 game winning lefty was brought into the game.

He threw 4 1/3 solid innings out of the pen to put the Senators in the position to win the World Series. Firpo Marberry blew the save but the Senators won in extra innings. Mogridge pitching into the 6th in the last game made him one of the underrated heroes of the game.

Mogridge is also the answer to an impossible trivia question: Who threw the first no hitter in Yankees history?


DENNIS HIGGINS

Senators manager Ted Williams must have scared the tar out of the 1969 Senators. The team went from a 65-96 record under Jim Lemon to 86-76 under the Splendid Splinter.

A big reason for the turn around was the deep bullpen, anchored by Dennis Higgins. Higgins was already a solid reliever in 1968 when he saved 13 games with his unorthodox wind up and solid fast ball.

In 1969 he raised his save total to 16. His last save was a 2 inning shutout performance against the Red Sox, which I am sure pleased his manager.

He was traded in the off season and the Senators win total plummeted in 1970. Coincidence?


DAROLD KNOWLES

Knowles was the counterpart to Higgins in the deep bullpen. His solid year probably gave Washington the confidence that they could deal one of their closers.

He went 9-2 with 13 saves and a 2.24 ERA in 1969 and made his lone All Star team.

With Higgins gone in 1970, the team slid and Knowles loss total ballooned to 14. And yet he saved 27 of the Senators 70 wins, pitched to a 2.04 ERA over 119 1/3 innings of relief. I have no idea if that is a good year or not. It’s quite confusing.

Later as a member of the A’s he got the highlight all relievers want: He closed out Game 7 of the World Series (in his case the 1973 World Series against the Mets.)

While pitching for the Phillies, his manager said “He has the gut of a daylight burglar.”

That is an incredible description.



THE BENCH



RESERVE INFIELDER
CRISTIAN GUZMAN

Guzman appears to be having a rough spring this year and maybe his All Star performance in 2008 was a fluke. Maybe his contract extension he signed last year was a fluke.

Or maybe he’s getting warmed up and is ready to be the same hitter who can hit for the Cycle like he did on August 28th, 2008.

If he gets off to a hot start, he might be dangled as trade bait. Just STAY OFF OF THAT DL!!!


RESERVE INFIELDER
ROGER PECKINPAUGH

Peckinpaugh, a former Yankee Shortstop, was one of the offensive heroes of the 1924 World Series. In all he batted .417 with an OPS of 1.045. Plus had big hit after big hit.

He had a one out RBI double in the bottom of the 9th to tie game 1.
He hit a walk off RBI double in the bottom of the 9th to win game 2.
He got two hits and scored on the winning hit and made a key defensive play in the 9th to win Game 6.

He kept up his production the next year when he was named the American League most valuable player and homered in the World Series.

And of course his last name always brings back memories of the Salad Days sketch on Monty Python. Sorry… one dorky obsession at a time.



RESERVE OUTFIELDER
ROY SIEVERS

The 1949 Rookie of the Year with the Browns had his career ravaged by injuries. St. Louis dumped him off to the Senators in 1954 and he found his game. In his six year first tour with the Senators, he made three All Star teams, finished third in the 1957 MVP vote.

That year he hit 42 homers, drove in 114 (tops in the league) hit .301 and posted a .967 OPS.

He finished in the top ten in the MVP vote in 1958 as well and found an unlikely fan:

Vice President Richard Nixon.
(I bet Sievers was careful pouring his beer around Nixon!)



RESERVE OUTFIELDER
HEINIE MANUSH

I mentioned the Manush for Goslin trade in the Alvin Crowder bio. Manush was already a star with Detroit and St. Louis when the Senators dealt for him.

And he continued to play wonderfully with the Senators, finishing third in the 1932 and 1933 MVP race, making the All Star team and playing in his only World Series (1933.)

But I wonder how many trades have been made in history where one Hall of Famer was dealt for another.

I don’t have enough time to ponder that now… just know there is a Sully Baseball entry coming about it sometime in the future.



RESERVE CATCHER
RICK FERRELL

I was originally going to put Paul Casanova here. He was a one time All Star catcher during the 1960s whose card I somehow had. Having a card of a Senator (a team that didn’t exist in my lifetime) felt like a relic to me.

But Ferrell was a better player… offensively at least. A member of 8 All Star teams (four with the Senators) he played against his brother Wes in the 1933 game. He walked a lot, rarely struck out, was adept at catching knuckleball and held the record for most games caught before Carlton Fisk passed him.

In 1984 he was elected to the Hall of Fame.

Paul Casanova can’t say that!



25TH MAN
BOBO NEWSOM

I originally was going to put Spec Shea here. The Naugatuck Nugget was a former 12 game winner for the Senators who taught Robert Redford how to pitch with an old style wind up while shooting The Natural.

But even as a kid, Bobo Newsom’s career fascinated me. I used to study the backs of baseball cards, more specifically what teams a player played with. And the more cluttered with different teams the back of a card was, the most fascinated I was.

Well, save for Mike Morgan, nobody’s card was cluttered like Newsom.

He broke in with the 1929 Dodgers. He finished with the 1952 A’s, spanning the era of Babe Ruth to integration.

And along the way (follow me here), he had two tours with the Dodgers, three tours with the Browns, one tour with the Red Sox, one tour with the Tigers, two tours with the A’s, one tour with the Yankees, one with the Giants and five, count ‘em, FIVE tours with the Senators.

He won 17 games for the 1936 Senators and won another one in 1952. He was undoubtedly talented (winning 20 games three times) he just couldn’t keep a job.

Or maybe he was just always in demand.

Either way, I remember as a kid being relieved when I found out he had a World Series ring with the 1947 Yankees. A jumbled 20 year career like that deserves some hardware!



WHO WOULD WIN A HEAD TO HEAD SERIES?

The Acquired Team would have Hondo’s bat and Covelski’s spit ball. But the key to the match up is the unmatched king of Washington baseball… The Big Train

VERDICT: THE HOME TEAM WINS… JOHNSON STRIKES OUT HONDO AND THEN THE WINNING RUN IS HIT OFF OF A PEBBLE


Now I am done for real.

CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO THE HOME PAGE


That's the Washington Teams!


And the Cardinals
And the Braves
And the Rays
And the Phillies
And the Cubs
And the Indians
And the Tigers
And the White Sox.
And the Royals
And the Brewers
And the Reds
And the Dodgers
And the Blue Jays
And the Pirates
And the Diamondbacks
And the Mariners
And the Nationals
And the Angels
And The Padres
And The Twins
And The Orioles
And the A's
And the Astros
And the Giants
And the Rockies
And the Mets
And the Rangers
And the Marlins
And the Yankees
And the Red Sox

That's it!


I am done!

I mean it!!!


I'll come up with a new series soon... but the season is starting and I've written enough about baseball's past!
Let's focus on the present and the future!

But don't worry... I've got a billion ideas in my head for new lists involving all 30 teams.

I'M JUST GETTING WARMED UP!!!!















10 comments:

  1. Hey Paul...really enjoyed all these posts.... great blog. Check out my 2009 MLB predictions on my MySpace page myspace.com/wesjoke

    - Wes

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Paul, Ian Koski forward your link to me. I like your all time Washington teams. Here is something I did last year.

    http://www.nationalspride.com/columnists/post.cfm?blog=mark&id=26&story=this-day-in-dc-baseball-history&s=rss

    You can also check out the all time Washington statistics.
    http://www.nationalspride.com/history/alltimebatting.cfm

    http://www.nationalspride.com/history/alltimepitching.cfm

    http://www.nationalspride.com/history/singleseasonbatting.cfm

    http://www.nationalspride.com/history/singleseasonpitching.cfm

    We are currently updating the statistics to add the 2008 stats.

    Another gentleman named Scot Johnson over at Coffeyville Whirlwind comprised his all time Washington team. His team did not have any of the Senators from 1961 - 1971.

    Paul, keep up the great work. I know you must of put a lot of time into these lineups.

    Mark Hornbaker
    History's Perspective @ MationalsPride.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Regarding Cristain Guzman, it was written:
    "Or maybe he’s getting warmed up and is ready to be the same hitter who became the first ever National to hit for the Cycle like he did on August 28th, 2008."

    That is incorrect. Brad Wilkerson hit for the cycle against the Phillies in the first series of the season in 2005.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:39 PM

    Ickey Vernon?

    ReplyDelete
  5. You made an old man very happy. Today I received an e-mail from Rogelio Marrero, the grandson of Conrado "Connie" Marrero, forwarding me the link to your blog. Marrero turns 98 tomorrow (or in August) and is the last major leaguer residing in Cuba. I last visited him in February. He has lost most of his eyesight, but his mind is as alert as it was when he threw sliders and knuckleballs for Bucky Harris from 1950-54.

    Marrero remembers every pitch he ever threw. I recently brought him a letter from Harmon Killebrew in which Killebrew recalled a home run that Bill Wilson of the Philadelphia A's hit against Marrero in a game in June 1954. I asked Marrero whether he remembered the game and he nodded in the affirmative. "It was the last home run I gave up in the major leagues" he said in Spanish. "I struck him out, but the umpire called two of the strikes balls.

    Marrero, a junkballer a la Eddie Lopat, struck out Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial (Musial in an exhibition game). There are few in that company.

    Marrero, despite playing five years in the major leagues, does not receive a major league pension and MLB has been resistant to my urgings to help this remarkable old-timer. He is looked after by participants in my Cubaball tours that visit Cuba and Marrero annually. Let's hope that the recent overtures between Havana and Washington DC remedy this.

    Kit Krieger

    ReplyDelete
  6. Washington Nationals should be always competitive enough to keep pace with the others. I really like them; they’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB. Just read about them here:
    http://www.nationalsclub.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those images reminded me when my uncle played baseball, it was so exciting for me because he used to invite me to every game he played.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello my friend, i think that your post is ok i love sports but you should add some images like:
    Invertir en oro

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello,
    Its an amazing blog post here.... Keep posting..... Thanks very much!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I gave up in the major leagues" he said in Spanish. "I struck him out, but the umpire called two of the strikes balls with the Browns, one tour with the Red Sox, one tour with the Tigers, two tours with the A’s, one tour with the Yankees, one wi

    ReplyDelete