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This Date in Washington Senators History
As we head into the winter months, Senators news is a bit slow in coming, however, the Senators Delivery Room is doing a rush business with 8 births to report this December 23rd. As always, in alphabetical order, we present the latest additions to the Washington roster….
Reuben Alexander (Rick) Adams B Dec. 23, 1878 D Mar. 10, 1955
Senators Short Timer Rick Adams would be on the Washington roster for 2 and 1/2 months in 1905. Debuting as a 26 year old rookie, Adams would pitch in 11 games, compiling a 2-5 record, with an ERA of 3.59.
Alva Warren Cicotte B Dec. 23, 1929 D Nov. 29, 1982
Al Cicotte, grand-nephew of Eddie Cicotte, is another of those journeymen who spent a very brief time on the Senators roster. In Cicotte’s case, he’d play for 6 different teams over the course of 5 seasons, appearing in 102 games. Only 8 of those games would come as a Washington Senator.
Originally signed by the New York Yankees in 1948, Cicotte would finally make it to the majors as a 27 year old rookie in April of 1957 with the Yankees. Pitching in 20 games, Cicotte would compile a 2-2 record with an ERA of 3.03.
Purchased by the Washington Senators in May of 1958, Cicotte would spend about 5 weeks in the Senators lineup, pitching in 8 games, going 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA. Traded to the Detroit Tigers for Vito Valentinetti in late June, Cicotte would finish the season in Detroit going 3-1 in 14 games.
Traded again, this time to the Cleveland Indians, Cicotte would appear in 26 games with the 1959 Indians, once again posting a 3-1 record.
Spending the 1960 season with Toronto, then of the International League, Cicotte would be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals where he’d spend the 1961 season.
Purchased one last time, this time by the Houston Colt 45’s, Cicotte would make 5 appearances with Houston in the spring of 1962, his last major league game coming in early May.
William Roland (Nemo) Gaines B Dec. 23, 1897 D Jan. 26, 1979
Another native of nearby Alexandira, Virginia, Nemo Gaines pitched in 4 games for the 1921 Senators. Appearing in 4 and 2/3rds innings, Gaines gave up 5 hits and 2 walks but no runs, finishing his career with a 0.00 ERA.
Gaines graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1921 and made his only major league appearances during the summer after his graduation. Gaines would eventually rise to the rank of Captain and retire from the U. S. Navy in 1946. He is the only graduate of the Naval Academy to have ever played professional baseball. Gaines is interred in Arlington National Cemetary.
Henry Homer (Doc) Gessler B Dec. 23, 1880 D Dec. 25, 1924
Outfielder and occasional 1st baseman Doc Gessler would make his major league debut with the 1903 Detroit Tigers.
He’d only play in 29 games for Detroit, hitting .238 before he’d join the roster of the Brooklyn Superbas where he’d play through late April of 1906.
Traded to the Chicago Cubs, Gessler would play in 34 games for the Cubs, and have a taste of post-season experience, appearing in his only World Series, as the Cubs lost to the White Sox in the “All Chicago” fall classic.
Out of the majors in 1907, Gessler would return with the 1908 Boston Red Sox, appearing in 128 games, having his best season at the plate, hitting .308 and leading the AL in on-base percentage.
Gessler would play most of the 1909 season in Boston but would be traded to the Washington Senators in early September for Charlie Smith.
Gessler would play in 17 games for the Senators in 1909 and would finish his career in Washington, hitting .259 in 145 games in 1910 and .282 in 128 games in 1911.
Michael William Grady B Dec. 23, 1869 D Dec. 3, 1943
Mike Grady moved around-both on the diamond and with the franchises he played for.
He’d make his most appearances as a catcher but also played a lot of 1st base. He’d also fill in at 2nd, 3rd, shortstop and in the outfield over his 11 year career.
Debuting with the Philadelphia Phillies way back in 1894, Grady would remain in Philadelphia through June of 1897 when he’d be traded to the National League St. Louis franchise, then known as the Browns, where he’d spend the remainder of the 1897 season.
Traded again after the season, Grady would spend 1898 through 1900 with the New York Giants.
Grady would become a truly “original” Senator, jumping to the American League franchise for their first year of play in 1901. While in Washington, Grady would hit .285, stroking 99 hits including 17 doubles, 10 triples, 9 home runs, being credited with 56 RBI’s and 57 runs scored.
Mysteriously Grady wouldn’t appear in the major leagues in 1902 or 1903 but would re-emerge with the St. Louis National League franchise, now known as the Cardinals in 1904. Grady would finish his career in St. Louis, his last game coming in mid-September of 1906.
Anton Ambrose (Tony) Roig B Dec. 23, 1927 Still Living
Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1948, infielder Tony Roig would be acquired by the Washington Senators before the start of the 1950 season.
Making his major league debut with the Senators in September of 1953, Roig would go 1-8 in 3 games.
Roig would not play in the majors in 1954 but would return for 29 games in 1955, hitting .254.
1956 would be Roig’s last season when he’d play in 44 games, hitting .210, his last major league appearance coming in late September.
Daniel Turney Taylor B Dec. 23, 1900 D Oct. 11, 1972
Outfielder Danny Taylor would debut with the Washington Senators in late June of 1926. Playing in 21 games, Taylor would hit an even .300 with 1 triple and 1 home run.
Taylor wouldn’t see the majors in 1927 or 1928 but would return in 1929 with the Chicago Cubs, where he’d play through early May of 1932.
Purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers, Taylor would play with Brooklyn through mid-July of 1936 when he’d be purchased by Indianapolis of the American Association. Taylor would not return to the major leagues.
Alphonse (Tommy) Thomas B Dec. 23, 1899 D Apr. 27, 1988
Tommy Thomas would make his major league debut as a 26 year old rookie with the Chicago White Sox in 1926. Thomas would go 15-12 in his rookie season and 19-16 in 1927.
Thomas would remain in Chicago through mid-June of 1932 when he’d be purchased by the Washington Senators. Thomas would finish the season going 8-7 in 18 games for Washington.
He’d post a 7-7 record in 1933 and see his only post-season action, appearing in 2 games of the 1933 World Series as the Senators lost to the New York Giants in 5 games.
Thomas would go 8-9 for the Senators in 1934.
After 1 game with Washington in 1935, Thomas, along with Ray Prim would be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Snipe Hansen.
Thomas would appear in just 4 games for Philadelphia and would be purchased by the St. Louis Browns before the start of the 1937 season. He’d pitch in 36 games for the Browns in 1936, compiling a 11-9 record with a 5.26 ERA.
1937 would be Thomas’ last season in the majors-he’d start the season in St. Louis, pitching in 17 games. His ERA would continue to swell, now up to 7.04 when he was released in mid-July. Thomas would be signed the next day by the Boston Red Sox where he’d pitch in 9 games, going 0-2, his last major league appearance coming in late September of 1937.
*Baseball historians Art Audley and Jamie Johnson researched and chronicled events, such as daily highlights plus birthdays in Washington Senators’ history (both franchises-the original Senators [1901-1960] and the expansion Senators [1961-1971]).