Feb 29

And the Winner is!

Fans can easily remember the debate concerning what to name the new National League baseball club. It might be interesting to look back at what they did in 1905. On a side note, the name Grays got some play. Fans might forget that in 1886 the Washington team was nick-named Grays by some because of the large number of Providence players on the roster.

17 February – The American League meeting concludes. The Washington Baseball Club is officially sold to Thomas Noyes, Harry Rapley, Scott Bone and HL Miner.

The new owners of the Washington’s are tired of the nickname “Senators,” and want somebody to suggest something better. President Noyes has offered a season ticket to the person sending in the best nickname for the club. The new owners will mark each entry and place them aside to insure fairness.

Rough Riders, Senators, Capitalists and Nationals are some of the 100 names offered within the first week. One week later more names are received. Some offerings; Pink Stockings,[1][1] and Carnations. President McKinley was an avid fan of the game and Carnations were his favorite flower, seem rather odd. Other feel names like Admirals or Generals relating to the civilian control over the military would be appropriate. Mr. Hayes Buffington suggests “Standards” would show a good example. Others poking fun at the team submit ”Reptiles,” since the team seems to craw along at the tail-end of things and of course there is the name, “Politicians.”

RH “Wud” Wood, sports writer and official scorer for Washington in 1887 and 1888 suggests that “Rough Riders” be the Senators new name and they should wear brown uniforms.  One fan suggested they be called the “Stalwarts.” A play on the name of Jake Stahl.

12 March – in the Washington Times, “The new name for the team will not be selected until next week. There are now 2,305 suggestions, some of which were duplicates, so far as the names proposed were concerned. If they are called Ex-Senators they will not have to improve their position to live up to the name. We are willing to call them anything, so long as we don’t have to call them Down.”

29 March – Hereafter the Washington baseball team will be known as “the Nationals.” The committee of local newspaper men appointed to select a name for the reorganized Washington. Base Ball Club to take the place of the hoodoo nickname, “Senators,” held its first meeting Friday after noon and decided to call the new club “National,” after the once famous National Club of this city that once played on the lot back of the White House.

The committee considered several thousand suggestions from local fans as to the name of the club. Among the suggestions were “Rough Riders,” “Teddyites,” “Has Beens,” “Stahlwarts,” “Tailenders,” etc. A majority of the suggestions were in favor of “National,” so this was adopted by the unanimous vote of the Newspaper men’s Committee. They probably never once thought that the title “Nationals” is hardly appropriate for an American League team, in view of the fact that that is the descriptive title applied to all National League clubs having rival local American clubs.[i][i]


[1][1] Not making this up


[i][i][i][i][i][i] Hail Nationals! The Senators are no more! Cashed in – hopped the twig – they have adjourned sinedie.# After considering the 2800 suggestions made by the local fans the committee to select a new name for the local club, composed of the sporting editors of three Washington dailies, decided to go back to the old designation, under which this city achieved the only base ball glory. Probably they could not have done better. Sporting Life.

# Adjournment sine die (from the Latin “without day”) means “without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing”.[1] To adjourn an assembly sine die is to adjourn it for an indefinite period. A legislative body adjourns sine die when it adjourns without appointing a day on which to appear or assemble again Adjournment sine die (from the Latin “without day”) means “without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing”.[1] To adjourn an assembly sine die is to adjourn it for an indefinite period. A legislative body adjourns sine die when it adjourns without appointing a day on which to appear or assemble again.

The Flynn’s have written two books about baseball in D.C. Click on the links below to learn more about their books.