1920 - Walter Johnson‘s homer in the top of the 7th makes the Sens, and himself, winners, 5-3 over the Browns.
1944 - The A’s fall into the basement, as the Senators are victorious, 7-5 in Philadelphia. Nats CF George Case steals 3 bases and records an unassisted double play.
1947 - On Luke Appling Day at Comiskey Park, the Sens and Sox split 2. Washington takes game one, 1-0 in 18 innings, when Al Evans triples and Sherry Robertson drives in Evans with a sac fly. The White Sox come back in the nite-cap to defeat the Nats, 8-2 behind the pitching of Bob Gillespie.
1965 - In the inaugural major league draft, the Senators use their first ever selection on P Joe Coleman. The Sens sign one of the great characters of baseball, P Ryne Duren, as a free agent. Washington will be Duren’s final destination of his career.
1966 - Another dubious record is set by a Nats player in today’s double header at Baltimore. 2B Bob Saverine sets an AL record by going 0-for-12 in both games.
Meanwhile, the Sens blow a 5-3, 9th inning lead in the opener. The O’s will eventually win, 6-5 in 14 innings when Cam Carreon doubles in the Birds game winner. In the second tilt, Washington once again cannot sustain a lead inning lead, this time a 6-4 advantage in the 8th. Baltimore goes on to score 4 runs in the 8th for an 8-7 victory.
George Stuart (Lefty) Brunet B Jun. 8, 1935 D Oct. 25, 1991
George Brunet had quite a career-however I don’t think the poor guy ever had a chance to settle down in 1 spot for very long.
Starting his major league career with the Kansas City Athletics in 1956, Brunet would appear for 9 teams in his 15 year career. He played for Kansas City in 1956, 1957, 1959 and a part of 1960 before being traded to the Milwaukee Braves. After spending the remainder of 1960 & 1961 in Milwaukee he found himself on the roster of the expansion Houston Colt 45′s in 1962. He spent 1962 and part of 1963 in Houston before being purchased by the Baltimore Orioles where he’d spend the remainder of the season.
In 1964 the Houston club purchased George back from Baltimore but he never appeared in a game for Houston that year before he was purchased once again, this time by the Los Angeles Angels. He remained with the Angels through their move to Anaheim until July of 1969 when he moved way up the coast to become a member of the short-lived Seattle Pilots.
He was traded in the off season to the Washington Senators for Dave Baldwin. While in Washington he posted an 8-6 record with a 4.42 ERA. Late in the 1970 season he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Denny Riddleberger.
He finished the 1970 season in Pittsburgh but was traded once again, this time to the St. Louis Cardinals where he appeared in 7 games before being released in May of 1971.
However his baseball career didn’t end there-he managed to find work in the Mexican League where he played until suffering a fatal heart attack in 1991 at age 56.
George holds the minor league strikeout record in a career with over 3000.
Vibert Ernesto (Webbo) Clarke B Jun. 8, 1928 D Jun. 14, 1970
Panamanian pitcher Webbo Clarke is another “One Season Wonder” who appeared in 7 games for the Senators in 1955, pitching in 21.3 innings and leaving with an ERA of 4.64.
Timothy Cornelius Donahue B Jun. 8, 1870 D Jun. 12, 1902
Catcher Tim Donahue began his baseball career with the Boston Reds of the American Association in 1891. Only appearing in 4 games, he wouldn’t return to the majors until 1895 when he appeared with Chicago, known as the Colts from 1895-1897 and Orphans 1898-1900. Donahue would remain in the Windy City through the 1900 season.
In 1902 he returned to the majors with the Senators, appearing in 3 games, going 2-8 for a .250 BA. This is the mystery I eluded to earlier-published information shows that Donahue died on June 12, 1902, 4 days after his 32nd birthday and in the middle of the baseball season. If anyone could lend any insight to the early death of Mr. Donahue I’d be most appreciative!
EDIT: I’ve been informed that Tim Donahue was suffering from Addison’s disease, which is suspected to have been caused by exposure to tuberculosis. This in turn led to kidney failure which is listed as his cause of death.
Donahue left the Washington team in mid-season and died at the family home in Taunton, Massachusetts. More information here:
Joseph Charles Grzenda B Jun. 8, 1937 Still living
Joe Grzenda was another journeyman pitcher who appeared with 6 teams in a career that spanned 8 seasons over 11 years. First appearing with the Detroit Tigers in 1961, he wouldn’t return to the majors until 1964 when he appeared with the Kansas City Athletics in 1964 & 1966. In 1967 he was with the New York Mets and after another year’s hiatus he returned to the major leagues with the 1969 Minnesota Twins.
Joe was on the mound on September 30, 1971, with 2 outs and Yankee batter Horace Clarke coming to bat, when an almost certain Senators win ended in a 9-0 forfeit to the Yankees when angry fans stormed the field, halting play before the last out could be made.
Joe was on hand for the opening ceremonies in 2005 when the Nationals returned major league baseball to Washington.
I’ve posted this link before on more than one occasion, but in the event you’ve missed it up until now, here’s a great write-up on Joe Grzenda from the Washington Post: Joe Grzenda, The Ultimate Closer