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This Date In Washington Senators History
Starting today I am going to post This Date in Washington Senators History. 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]).
Paulino Ortiz Casanova B Dec. 21, 1941 Still Living
Paul Casanova, strictly a catcher by trade, would be drafted by the Cleveland Indians prior to the 1960 season. Relased by the Indians in mid-June, Casanova would be resigned by the Indians in December, only to be released again in late April of 1961.
He’d sign on with the Chicago Cubs in September of ’61, only to be released one more time the next April.
Casanova, who hails from Cuba by the way, would be signed by the Senators in the fall of 1962. He’d finally make his major league debut in mid-September of 1965, playing in 5 games, hitting .308.
Casanova would be a regular in the Senators lineup through 1971, playing in at least 94 games per season, his most active year being 1967 when he’d play in 141 games, hitting .248 and being named to the 1967 American League All Star Squad.
After the Senators departed Washington for the Lone Star State, Casanova would be traded to the Atlanta Braves, playing 3 seasons, finishing his career in September of 1974.
Clarence Joseph (Jay) Difani B Dec. 21, 1923 B Dec. 3, 2003
Drafted by the New York Yankees in November of 1944, Jay Difani would be drafted again by the Washington Senators in November of 1947.
Another Senators Short Timer, Difani would play in 2 games each season in 1948 and 1949. He’d go 1-3 at bat and play at 2nd base.
Ralph Anthony Lumenti B Dec. 21, 1936 Still Living
Pitcher Ralph Lumenti was tagged with the nickname “Commuter Ralph”. I can only surmise that he earned the title by commuting between Washington and any of the Senators’ minor league affiliates, given his brief stays in Washington in 1957, 1958 & 1959.
Lumenti would appear in a total of 13 games for Washington over those 3 seasons, compiling a 1-3 W-L record with a 7.29 ERA, his last major league appearance coming in late September of 1959.
Elliott Maddox B Dec. 21, 1947 Still Living
Originally drafted by the Houston Astros in 1966, Elliott Maddox did not sign on with that franchise.
Drafted again, this time by the Detroit Tigers in 1968, Maddox signed this time and debuted with the Tigers in early April of 1970. Splitting his time between the outfield and shortstop and 3rd base, Maddox would hit .248 in his rookie season.
A part of that horrific trade (From a Senators fans’ perspective.) that brought Maddox, along with Denny McLain, Norm McRae and Don Wert to Washington in exchange for Eddie Brinkman, Joe Coleman, Jim Hannan and Auerlio Rodriguez, Maddox would find a home in the outfield in the Senators’ last season in Washington but would see his BA slide to .217.
Packing up with the franchise and heading to Texas, Maddox would play 2 seasons for the Rangers.
Purchased by the New York Yankees before the start of the 1974 season, Maddox would spend the next 3 years with the Yankees, having his only .300 seasons in 1974 and 1975. While in New York, Maddox would get his only taste of post-season play, appearing in the American League Championship and the World Series of 1976.
Traded to the Baltimore Orioles, Maddox would spend the 1977 season in Baltimore.
Granted free agency, Maddox would sign on with the New York Mets, where he’d finish his career from 1978 through 1980.
Stephen Vincent White B Dec. 21, 1884 D Jan. 29, 1973
Single Game Senator Steve White would pitch just 2/3rds of an inning in a Washington uniform in 1912, giving up 2 hits, 2 runs (neither earned), striking out 1 and uncorking 1 wild pitch.
Later in the season, he’d appear in 3 games for the Boston Braves, his brief major league career ending in early July.