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This Date in Washington Senators History
Earl Jesse Battey B Jan. 5, 1935 D Nov. 15, 2003
Catcher Earl Battey was signed by the Chicago White Sox prior to the 1953 season. He’d make his major league debut in September of 1955. Battey would remain on the White Sox roster through 1959. Sparingly used, his most active season with Chicago would be 1958 when he’d play in 68 games, hitting .226.
Traded to the Washington Senators along with Don Mincher and $150,000 for Roy Seivers, Battey would make it into 137 games for Washington, hitting .270 with 24 doubles, 2 triples and 15 home runs and would receive consideration for the MVP award.
Heading northwest when the original Senators franchise pulled up stakes, Battey would don the uniform of the Minnesota Twins, where he’d play for 7 seasons, finishing his career in 1967.
He’d have some good year with the Twins, being named to the American League All Star Team in 1962, 1963, 1965 and 1966. His best season at the plate would come in 1961 as he’d hit .302 although he’d approach that again in 1965, hitting .297 as the Twins would make it to the World Series, losing to the LA Dodgers in 7 games. Unfortunately Battey would only manage to hit a paltry .120 in World Series play, going 3 for 25 while playing in all 7 games.
A good fielding catcher, Battey would win Gold Gloves in 1960, 1961 and 1962.
Joseph Laverne Grace B Jan. 5, 1914 D Sep. 18, 1969
Joe Grace, an outfielder and occasional catcher, made his big league debut with the St. Louis Browns in late September of 1938. Playing in 12 games, Grace would go 16 for 47 with 4 RBI’s and 7 runs scored.
Back with the Browns in 1939, Grace would make it into 74 games, hitting .304. He’d remain with the Browns through 1941, perhaps his best season coming in 1940 when he’d hit .309 in 115 games.
Missing the 1942-1945 seasons during World War II, Grace would return to the Browns in 1946, playing in 48 games, hitting .230. In mid-June of that season, Grace would be traded, along with Al La Macchia to the Washington Senators for Jeff Heath.
Finsihing the 1946 season with the Senators, Grace would hit .302 in 77 games. He’d be back with the Senators in 1947, hitting .248 in 78 games. Released by the Senators, he’d be selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates but would not appear in the majors again.
Harry C. (Izzy) Hoffman B Jan. 5, 1875 D Nov. 13, 1942
Outfielder Izzy Hoffman would make his way to the major leagues as a 19 year old with the 1904 Senators. Playing in 10 games, Hoffman would hit an even .100 before departing Washington.
He’d make his way back to the majors in 1907, playing in 19 games for the Boston Braves.
Fred Francis Marsh B Jan. 5, 1924 D Oct. 26, 2006
Originally in the Chicago Cubs organization, Freddie Marsh would make his major league debut as a One Game Wonder with the Cleveland Indians in mid-April of 1949.
Out of the majors in 1950, Marsh would be traded to the St. Louis Browns before the 1951 season. Playing primarily at 3rd base, Marsh would appear in 130 games for the Browns, hitting .243, scoring 44 runs, and compiling 43 RBI’s.
Something in Washington must not have agreed with Marsh-he’d hit a microscopic .042 (1 for 24) in 9 games before he was traded back to the Browns for Earl Rapp. Marsh would respond to the more familiar surroundings by hitting .287 in 76 games for St. Louis.
After the season Marsh would be on the move again, this time to Chicago, where he’d play for the White Sox in 1953 and 1954. He’d have the best season of his career, batting average wise in 1954 when he’d hit .306 in 62 games.
Traded one last time after the 1954 season, Marsh would be back with a familiar franchise, now in new digs, as he joined the Baltimore Orioles. Marsh would hit .218 in 89 games for the Orioles in 1955. He’d start the 1956 season in Baltimore but would play in just 20 games, making his last major league appearance in late May.
Robert Carl Oldis B Jan. 5, 1928 Still Living
Signed by the Washington Senators in 1949, Bob Oldis would play briefly for the Senators in 1953, 1954 and 1955, making it into a grand total of 24 games over those 3 seasons.
Out of the majors in 1956, catcher Oldis would be purchased by the New York Yankees. He’d never play for the Pinstripers and would be drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 1959 season.
Oldis would spend parts of the 1960 through 1963 seasons on the Pirates roster, his most active season being 1963 when he’d make it into 47 games.
James Luther (Luke) Sewell B Jan. 5, 1901 D May 14, 1987
Here we go again-another long time player who spent a short time in the uniform of the Washington Senators. In today’s example, catcher Luke Sewell would spend 20 years in the major leagues with 4 different teams, playing in 1630 games. However, only 2 seasons and 213 games were as a Washington Senator.
Luke Sewell would make it to the majors in late June of 1921 with the Cleveland Indians. He’d remain in Cleveland though 1932. Sewell would not play 100 games in 1 season until 1926 when he’d make it into 126 contests.
After 12 seasons in Cleveland, Sewell would be traded to the Washington Senators for Roy Spencer. Sewell would catch 141 games for the Senators in 1933 and would hit .264, making it to the only post-season appearance of his career, as the Senators lost to the New York Giants in 5 games.
Sewell would return with the Senators in 1934 but would only play in 72 games, hitting .237.
After the season, Sewell would be traded to the St. Louis Browns for Bump Hadley. He’d be purchased that same day by the Chicago White Sox where he’d play the next 4 seasons (1935-1938), being named to the American League All Star team in 1937.
After the 1938 season concluded, Sewell would be purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers but would be released before the start of the 1939 season. 3 days later Sewell would be signed by his original team, the Cleveland Indians, although he’d only appear in 16 games, hitting .150.
Out of the majors the next 2 years, Sewell would return to play in 6 games for the St. Louis Browns in 1942, his last major league appearance coming in early August of that year.