1910 A rumored trade of Walter Johnson for Ty Cobb headlines The Washington Post. Tigers president Frank Navin denies the rumor saying he would never trade Cobb. Navin, nonetheless, salutes Johnson as “the best pitcher in the country.”
1934 Having lost money this season and owing banks about $125,000, Clark Griffith sells his son-in-law, Joe Cronin, to the Red Sox for $225,000 and prospect Lyn Lary. Griffith places provisions in the transaction that Boston owner Tom Yawkey must meet, including an unheard of 5 year contract for Cronin with a guaranteed salary. One last stipulation is that Cronin must be agreeable to the sale. Griffith phones Cronin, just back from his honeymoon, in San Francisco. Cronin gives his okay to the deal and the Senators begin their permanent descent into mediocrity.
1960 The American League grants Calvin Griffith his long time wish by allowing him to move the Senators to Minnesota, where the team is rechristened the Twins. Mainly to fend off a possible probe into their cherished anti-trust exemption, AL owners quickly grant Washington an expansion team along with Los Angeles.
Eldred William (Bud) Byerly B Oct. 26, 1920 Still Living
Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1940, pitcher Bud Byerly would make his major league debut in late September of 1943. Pitching in 2 games, Byerly would finish the season with a record of 1-0. He’d pitch in 9 games in 1944, going 2-2 and would appear in 1 World Series game in the All St. Louis World Series as the Cardinals defeated the Browns in 6. In 1945 Byerly would spend his first full season in St. Louis, posting a 4-5 record in 33 games.
Byerly would take a hiatus from the major leagues after 1945, being released by the Cardinals in May of 1948. He’d be signed by the Cincinnati Reds within a week and would spend 1951 and a portion of 1952 in Cincinnati.
Traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers and then the New York Giants, Byerly would not reappear in the majors until 1956 when he was picked up by the Washington Senators. Byerly would spend 1956, 1957 and a portion of 1958 pitching for the Senators. 1957 would be the most active season of his career when he’d pitch in 47 games, posting a 6-6 record.
Traded to the Boston Red Sox in late June of 1958, Byerly would pitch in 18 games for Boston, going 1-2.
Byerly would not play for the Red Sox in 1959 but would be traded to the San Francisco Giants in late July. Byerly would finish his career playing for the Giants, appearing in 11 games in 1959, going 1-0 and posting an identical 1-0 record in 18 games in 1960, his last major league game coming in late July.
Grier William (Skipper) Friday B Oct. 26, 1897 D Aug. 25, 1962
Single Season Senator Skipper Friday would pitch in 7 games for the 1923 Senators, posting an 0-1 record with a 6.90 ERA. Making his major league debut in mid June, Friday would be on the Senators roster until early August. Bon Voyage Skipper!
William Joseph Gogolewski B Oct. 26, 1947 Still Living
Drafted by the expansion Washington Senators in the amateur draft of 1965, Bill Gogolewski would make his way to the majors in September of 1970. Pitching in 8 games in his inaugural season, Gogolewski would go 2-2 in 8 games. Staying with the Senators in 1971, Gogolewski would post a 6-5 record in 27 games with a 2.75 ERA for the Senators in their last season in Washington.
Moving to Texas as the Senators transformed into the Rangers, Gogolewski would have the most active season of his career in 1972, pitching 150 and 2/3 rds innings in 36 games but would see his W/L record drop to 4-12. He’d appear in 49 games for the Rangers in 1973, going 3-6.
Gogolewski would be traded to the Cleveland Indians where he’d pitch in just 5 games in 1974, being released at the beginning of the 1975 season. He’d be signed for 1 last campaign by the Chicago White Sox where he’d appear in 19 games, his last major league game coming in early August.
Colbert Dale (Toby) Harrah B Oct. 26, 1948 Still Living
Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966, Toby Harrah would be selected by the Washington Senators in the minor league draft of 1967.
Harrah would make his major league debut with the Senators in September of 1969, appearing in 8 games, primarily as a pinch runner. He’d be back with the Senators in 1971, when he’d play in 127 games, mainly as a shortstop, hitting .230.
Another player who found himself headed to the Lone Star State when the Senators pulled up stakes in Washington, Harrah would spend the next 7 seasons as a Texas Ranger. He’d have some good years in Texas, hitting .293 in 1975. He’d eventually be transitioned from shortstop to 3rd base during his stay in Texas.
In 1979, Harrah was traded to the Cleveland Indians where he’d play from 1979 through 1983. He’d be traded to the New York Yankees for the 1984 season. The Yankees would trade Harrah back to Texas where he’d finish his career in 1985 and ’86.
Harrah’s career would end with him having played 1099 games at 3rd base, 813 at shortstop and 244 games at 2nd base. Harrah would lead the American League in walks in 1977 and would represent the Texas Rangers in the All Star Games of 1972, 1975 & 1976 and the Cleveland Indians in 1982.
John Wesley (Jock) Sommerlot B Oct. 26, 1882 D Apr. 21, 1965
Senators Short Timer Jock Sommerlot would debut as a 27 year old rookie in September of 1910. Playing at 1st base in 16 games, Sommerlot would go 14 for 63, working out to a .222 BA. Back with the Senators in 1911, Sommerlot would play in another 13 games but would see his BA drop to .175. He’d play in his last major league game in late May of 1911.