1913 The paths of Jack Bentley and the Washington Senators will cross on a bigger stage 11 years from now. But, on this day, Bentley makes his ML debut for Washington, blanking Philadelphia, 1-0. Bentley will compile a 5-7 mark in 1914 for the Nats before being shuffled off to Baltimore of the International League. Bentley will resurface in the majors in 1923 with the Giants.
1924 An estimated crowd of 100,000 lines Pennsylvania Avenue to greet the new American League champions in a victory parade. The Senators are welcomed at the White House by President Calvin Coolidge, who is not a baseball fan. Nonetheless, the President promises to be on hand for the first World Series game against the Giants.
1928 Clark Griffith announces the dismissal of player/manager Bucky Harris, ending Harris’ first managerial tenure in Washington. Griffith arranges for Harris to become the manager of Detroit, whose owner, Frank Navin, is an old friend of Griffith. Sam Rice, Joe Judge and Walter Johnson are all rumored as possible successors to Harris.
1933 Nick Altrock makes another, season ending, appearance as a player. The 57 year old Altrock pinch hits and becomes the oldest player, at the time, to participate in a ML game. Altrock is the Nats last hope as he faces Rube Walberg of the A’s, with Washington down, 3-0, in the bottom of the 11th with 2 outs. The Washington Post reported what followed:
“Amid such absurdities as Cliff Bolton playing right field‚ and Nick Altrock pinch hitting as the Nats’ dying gesture‚ the American League season came to a close at Griffith Stadium yesterday‚ with the Athletics winning‚ 3 to 0‚ in the eleventh inning of a ball game that had no more bearing on the baseball situation than the NRA code of the buttonhole workers. Three runs behind and two out going into the last of the eleventh‚ the Nats went down fighting‚ leastwise‚ Nick Altrock did. Uncle Nick was the Nats’ last hope. Walberg showed his contempt by calling in all his outfielders. His infielders surrounded the pitching box. Walberg dared Nick to hit the ball‚ and Nick hit it. He hit it back to Walberg and then went down fighting. Walberg fielded the ball‚ ran to the baseline and waited for Nick‚ but he reckoned without the ‘inside’ baseball of the Nats’ clown. Altrock sidestepped Walberg via the dugout and reached first safely. When he was called out for running out of bounds‚ he pleaded in vain with the official scorer to overrule umpire Summers’ decision.”
1946 Maybe it wasn’t Johnny Pesky holding the ball for too long or a “curse” that prevented the Red Sox from winning the 1946 World Series. Perhaps it was Washington P Mickey Haefner. While the Cardinals and Dodgers duke it out in a 3 game playoff, the waiting AL champion Red Sox play a team comprised of AL All Stars in an exhibition to keep focus. In the 5th inning, Nat P Mickey Haefner’s pitch gets away from him and drills Ted Williams in the elbow. The elbow injury will effect Williams in the World Series loss to St. Louis.
1969 Ending the season on a high note by winning 8 of their last 9 games, the Nats wrap up their most successful year with a 3-2 win over Boston. Mike Epstein‘s home run with two on in the bottom of the 1st is all the offense Joe Coleman needs to pick up his 12th win. An 86-76 record has Washington fans hopeful of a run at the AL East title in 1970.
1970 Washington fans are disappointed to say the least. The Sens are never in contention and, in stark contrast to 1969, Washington loses their final 14 games of the year. The high flying Orioles send the Senators packing with a 3-2 defeat in Memorial Stadium. Frank Robinson bashes his 475th career home run, tying him for 12th on the all time list with Stan Musial. Robinson’s shot comes off Dick Bosman in the 2nd inning.
Harold Richard Naragon B Oct. 1, 1928 Still Living
Catcher Hal Naragon was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1947. He’d get his first taste of major league action in late September of 1951, appearing in 3 games for the Indians, going 2 for 8 at bat.
Naragon wouldn’t return to the majors until 1954 when he appeared in 46 games with the Indians that season. He’d appear in 1 World Series game, with no at-bats, in the post season as the Indians were swept by the New York Giants.
Naragon would remain on the Indians roster, sparingly used, until late May of 1959 when he’d be traded, along with Hal Woodeshick, to the Washington Senators for Ed Fitz Gerald. Naragon would have his most active season as a player after the trade, appearing in 71 games for the Senators, hitting .241.
Naragon would remain with the Senators in 1960 and would stay with the franchise as they transformed into the Minnesota Twins after the end of the season.
Playing for the Twins in 1961 & 1962, Naragon would be released at the end of 1962, ending his major league stint, after playing in just 24 games that year.