1969 The last-place Washington Senators name former Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams as their new manager. Williams signs a five-year contract worth a reported salary of $75,000 per season. In Williams’ inaugural season as a manager, the Senators will finish with a record of 86-76, the best mark (and their only over .500 season) in the franchise’s history during their 11 year stay in Washington.
Curtis Charles Flood B Jan. 18, 1938 D Jan. 20, 1997
3 time All Star Curt Flood was originally signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. He’d make his major league debut later that year as an 18 year old rookie, appearing in 5 games. He’d play in 3 more games with the Reds in 1957.
Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals after the 1957 season, Flood would establish himself as one of the premier center fielders in the National League winning 7 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1963 through 1969. Always a threat at the plate, Flood would hit over .300 in 5 seasons and would lead the league in hits in 1964 with 211 and and also lead the league in singles in 1963, 1964 and 1968.
Flood would appear in 3 World Series with the Cardinals in 1964, 1967 and 1968 and would be selected to the National League All Star Team in 1964, 1966 and 1968.
Traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1969 season, Flood would refuse to report to his new team and begin his well known legal battle against baseball’s reserve clause.
He’d return to the major leagues for just 13 games in 1971, hitting .200, going 7 for 35 with no extra base hits. Flood would play in his last game on April 25th of 1971. He’d leave the team and fly to Spain. After his departure, Flood would send Senators owner Bob Short a terse 22 word telegram stating: “I tried. A year and a half is too much. Very serious problems mounting every day. Thanks for your confidence and understanding.”
Jose Miguel (Mike) Fornieles B Jan. 18, 1932 D Feb. 11, 1998
Another member of the oft-mentioned Cuban Connection, Mike Fornieles debuted with the Washington Senators in early September of 1952. Pitching in 4 games, Fornieles would compile a 2-2 record with a 1.37 ERA.
Traded to the Chicago White Sox for Chuck Stobbs, Fornieles would pitch for Chicago from 1953 through late May of 1956 when he’d be traded again, this time to the Baltimore Orioles where he’d finish the 1956 season.
Starting 1957 in Baltimore, Fornieles would be on the move again in mid-June of 1957 when he was traded again, this time to the Boston Red Sox where he’d pitch through mid-June of 1963. Perhaps his best season was 1960 when he’d go 10-5 in 70 games with a 2.64 ERA. While with Boston, Fornieles would be selected to the American League All Star Team of 1961.
Purchased by the Minnesota Twins in mid-June of 1963, Fornieles would spend just over 1 month with the Twins before being released in late July.