#20 – This Day in D.C. Baseball History – Expansion Senators Debut by Mark Hornbaker
President Kennedy throws out first ball at the opening day of the 1961 baseball season, Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library
On April 10, 1961- Before the Washington Senators and the Chicago White Sox opening day game the crowd of 26,725 watched President John F. Kennedy throw out ceremonial first pitch at Griffith Stadium.
The Senators’ starting pitcher Dick Donovan did his job in the top of the 1st inning by getting Minnie Minoso to line into a double play to end the inning. The young Senators did not waste any time to please the hometown fans as lead-off hitter Coot Veal got a single off of Early Wynn. Coot Veal’s single was the first hit by a member of the Senators team. Two batters later Marty Keough singled to left field and Veal went to 2nd base. After Dale Long struck-out Gene Woodling hit a triple into the gap between center field and right field, Veal came in to score the first run for the new Senators and Keough scored the second run as the Washington Senators took a 2-0 lead. The first inning would end with the Senators leading 2-0 in front of the large cheerful crowd. Continue reading
#19 – Former Senators Don Mincher passes away by John Swol
Donald Ray Mincher a former Minnesota Twin and baseball lifer in every
sense of the word passed away yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama after a
lengthy illness at the age of 73. Mincher was signed by the Chicago
White Sox as an amateur free agent prior to the 1956 season and in the
process passed up a football scholarship to the University of Alabama
and started his pro career by playing for the Duluth-Superior White Sox
in the class C Northern League as he started climbing the minor league
ladder towards a big league career. Mincher who threw right-handed was a
slugging left-handed hitting first baseman who stood 6’3″, weighed about
205. Continue reading
Stanley “Bucky” Harris
Hall of Fame induction 1975
I was very fortunate to have accompanied my father, as invited guests, of the Harris family to the induction of “Bucky” Harris into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1975.
As many of you are aware, Bucky Harris was known as “The Boy Wonder” player-manager for leading the Washington Senators to their ONLY World Series victory in 1924 followed by another American League championship in 1925.
I wanted to give you some insight into my good fortune being the son of a former Washington Senators player. My dad would break into major league baseball in 1937 – Bucky Harris’ first strictly managerial “stint” with the Washington ballclub begin in 1935. My father always believed Bucky Harris to be the best manager in baseball and it was my understanding that my father was considered by Bucky to be one of his favorite players! Continue reading
#17 – Joe Coleman’s Summer of ’69 by Steve Walker
Joe Coleman, all of 22 years-old, trudged to the Senators’ dugout after retiring the Boston Red Sox in order. Coleman glumly walked off the Fenway Park mound because he knew Ted Williams would pinch hit for him when his turn in the order came the next inning. Washington trailed, 4-2 and needed some late game offense.
The runs never came. The Senators lost, 4-2, putting a damper on Coleman’s 1969 Independence Day. Young Joe took the loss that day, surrendering home runs to Carl Yastrzemski and Reggie Smith. Williams trudged through the visitor’s locker room and said nothing to Coleman. The two had a stormy relationship in Washington. Continue reading
#16 – This Date in Washington Senators History / January 17 by Art Audley
Don Zimmer began his major league career in 1954 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Making his major league debut in early July of 1954, Zimmer would remain with the Dodgers through 1959. He’d make it into 2 World Series, first in 1955 when the Brooklyn Dodgers would win their only World’s Championship against the New York Yankees and again in 1959 when the relocated LA Dodgers would win the Series against the “Go-Go” White Sox. Continue reading
#15 – This Date in Washington Senators History / April 13 by Art Audley
Warren Harding, who loved the game and owned a baseball team in Ohio, threw out the first pitch in Washington in 1921. The Senators lost to the Red Sox, 6-3. PHOTO: AP Photo
1921 The Washington Senators lose their home opener, 6 – 3, to the Boston Red Sox. Senators pitcher Walter Johnson leaves after four innings, the first time he has failed to finish an Opening Game. In attendance are new U.S. President Warren G. Harding, former president Woodrow Wilson, and VP Calvin Coolidge.
1926 Thirty-eight year old Walter Johnson thrills an Opening Day crowd of 25,000 in Washington, D.C., by pitching and winning a 15-inning game, 1-0. Johnson allows just 6 hits and strikes out 12 in beating the Philadelphia Athletics and Ed Rommel. The A’s pitcher allows 9 hits, walks 5 and strikes out 1. Player/manager Bucky Harris scores the winning run after his single is followed by a Goose Goslin double and a Joe Harris single. In 14 Opening Day assignments, this is Johnson’s 9th victory. Continue reading
#14 – This Day in D.C. Baseball History – Casanova’s Long Night by Mark Hornbaker
At District of Columbia Stadium the Washington Senators and the Chicago White Sox played in what was the longest night game (22 innings, six hours, and 38 minutes) in Major League history. The Senators win the game 6-5 when Paul Casanova hits a single to left field and Hank Allen scores the winning run in the bottom of the 22nd inning.
The ninth at bat is the charm for the Senators’ catcher, Paul Casanova. After catching the entire 22 innings and going zero for his first eight at bats, Casanova was able to produce the game-winning hit.
Paul Casanova makes the 1967 the American League all star team. Continue reading
Declared “Babe Ruth Day” by Major League Baseball, April 27, 1947 is also a special day in Washington Senators history.
On April 27, Babe Ruth gave a nationally televised speech promoting baseball as the best game in the world to children watching him at Yankee stadium, as well as to audiences across America.
What many don’t realize is that the Washington Senators beat the New York Yankees immediately following Babe’s famous speech. Senators Pitcher Sid Hudson pitched a 1-0 shutout against the Yankees in front of 58,339 fans at Yankee Stadium. The 6’4″ tall Hudson went on to score the only run of the game and pitched a masterful shutout against the Yankees, turning April 24th into “Sid Hudson Day.” Continue reading
#12 – Big Train’s Throw Across the Rappahannock River by Mark Hornbaker
To celebrate George Washington’s 204th birthday the town of Fredericksburg planned a daylong celebration. To cap off the day the city invited baseball legend Walter Johnson to duplicate George Washington’s legendary throw of a silver dollar across the Rappahannock River.
As the story goes U.S. Rep. Sol Bloom, D-N.Y. believed the coin throw was physically impossible. The Congressman felt so strongly the Big Train would fail in his attempt to duplicate Washington’s throw he offered to bet anyone $20 to $1.The Free Lance-Star was quick to take that bet, and asked the citizens of Fredericksburg to take the bet on the understanding all winnings would go towards the purchase of the Ferry Farm, Washington’s boyhood home, so they could turn it into a museum. Continue reading
#11 – This Date in Washington Senators History / January 28 by Art Audley
1968 - Goose Goslin and Kiki Cuyler are admitted to the Hall of Fame by unanimous vote of the Special Veterans Committee. Goslin was a career .316 hitter who played in four World Series. Cuyler was a .321 career hitter with four stolen base crowns.
Goslin was in the majors from 1921 through 1938, playing for the Washington Senators from 1921 through 1930 and returned to the Senators for the 1933 and 1938 seasons, also spending time with the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Browns. (See October 16th birthdays.)
James William (Ducky) Holmes B Jan. 28, 1869 D Aug. 6, 1932
Ducky Holmes career sounds like a travelouge of defunct National League franchises. Holmes first came to the major leagues in 1895 as an outfielder with the Louisville Colonels. Playing in Louisville in 1895, 1896 and the early part of 1897, Holmes would be traded to the New York Giants in early May and would finish the 1897 season in New York. Continue reading
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