1953 American League owners turn down a bid made by Bill Veeck to move the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore. The “reason”-not enough time before the start of the season. Led by Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith, the owners vote 6 – 2 against the move. (The move would be made 2 days after the end of the 1953 season on September 29th. when Bill Veeck sells the franchise for $ 2,475,000 dollars-the other American League owners are successful in getting the Browns out St. Louis and Bill Veeck out of baseball.)
Years later, Bill Veeck would write in his autobiography “Veeck As In Wreck” that the “Old Guard” met many of his stunts with hostility. “The others, like Clark Griffith, looked upon my little entertainments as a disgrace to the game and an insult to their persons-although I never noticed any of them, Mr. Griffith in particular, looking quite that insulted when I handed them their share of the receipts.”
Don Lee Blasingame B Mar. 16, 1932 D Apr. 13, 2005
Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1953 season, 2nd baseman Don Blasingame would make his major league debut in September of 1955 with the Cardinals. Blasingame would remain in St. Louis through 1959, being named to the National League All Star Team in 1958.
Traded to the San Francisco Giants after the 1959 season, Blasingame would spend the 1960 season in the City by the Bay.
Starting the 1961 season with San Francisco, Blasingame would only play in 3 games for the Giants before he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. Blasingame would appear in his only World Series that year as the Reds fell to the New York Yankees in 5 games.
Blasingame would remain with the Reds through 1962 and the first half of the 1963 season before he was purchased by the Washington Senators. He’d hit .256 in 69 games for the Senators in 1962 and would be the regular 2nd baseman in 1964 and 1965, hitting .267 in 1964.
Starting the 1965 season in Washington, Blasingame would only make it into 68 games, hitting .215, before he was sold to the Kansas City Athletics in early August. He’d finsih the season, and his career, hitting .158 in 12 games, getting released in early September.
Clinton Dawson Courtney B Mar. 16, 1927 D Jun. 16, 1975
Most baseball fans of a certain age remember Clint “Scrap Iron” Courtney if for no other reason than the fact that he was the first major league catcher to wear glasses. He also lived up to his nickname of “Scrap Iron” by rarely backing down from a lively discussion.
Signed by the New Yrok Yankees before the 1947 season, Courtney would make it into 1 game with the Yankees at the end of the 1951 season. (Seems that the Yankees had some fellow named Berra that they thought rather highly of.)
Courtney would be traded to the St. Louis Browns where he’d play in 1952 and 1953 and would move east with the franchise when they transformed into the Baltimore Orioles in 1954.
After the 1954 season, Courtney would be headed west again when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. However Courtney would play in only 19 games with the Pale Hose when he was on the move again, traded this time along with Bob Chakales and Johnny Groth to the Washington Senators for Jim Busby. Courtney would finish the 1955 season playing in 75 games for the Senators hitting .298.
Courtney would have his best year at the plate with the Senators in 1956, hitting an even .300 in 91 games. He’d remain with the Senators through the 1959 season.
Just before the start of the 1960 season, Courtney would be on the move again, this time traded back to the Baltimore Orioles along with Rom Samford for Billy Gardiner. Courtney would play in 83 games for the O’s in 1960, hitting .227.
Traded again, this time to the Kansas City Athletics in January of 1961, Courtney would play in just 1 game for KC before he was returned to the Orioles. Courtney would appear in 22 games for the O’s in 1961 before he was released in early July.
Patrick Joseph (Patsy) Donovan B Mar. 16, 1865 D Dec. 25, 1953
Born in Ireland during the last year of the American Civil War, outfielder Patsy Donovan would make his way across the Atlantic and pick up the Great American Game, debuting with Boston in April of 1890. He’d spend time with both Boston and Brooklyn in his rookie season.
1891 would see Donovan playing in the American Association, when that league had major league status, for both Louisville and Washington.
Starting the 1892 season with the National League Washington Senators, Donovan would play in 40 games before heading west to join the Pittsburgh Pirates where he’d finish the 1892 season. Donovan would remain with Pittsburgh through 1899.
Donovan would join the St. Louis Cardinals in 1900 and would remain there through 1903. Jumping to the Washington Senators before the start of the 1904 season, the 39 year old Donovan would play in 125 games, hitting .229. This would be Donovan’s last full year in the majors. He’d play in 7 games for Brooklyn in 1906 and 1 last game in October of 1907.
Edward Joseph Edelen B Mar. 16, 1912 D Feb. 1, 1982
Senators Short Timer Ed Edelen would spend 2 days on the Washington roster in late August of 1932. Pitching in 2 games, Edelen would leave with a 27.00 ERA.
Hobert Neal Landrith B Mar. 16, 1930 Still Living
Catcher Hobie Landrith is another of those players who finished his career in a brief stint with the Washington Senators. In Landrith’s case, he’d play 14 seasons, with 7 different teams, appearing in 772 games. Only 42 of those games were with Washington.
Landrith was first signed by the Cincinnati Reds before the start of the 1948 season. He’d make brief appearances with the Reds in both 1950 and 1951 and would get a longer look in 1952 when he appeared in 15 games.
Landrith would play in 52 games for the Reds in 1953 hitting .240. He’d remain with the Reds through 1955. Traded to the Chicago Cubs, Landrith would spend just 1 season with the Cubs but would have his first season where he appeared in over 100 games.
On the move again after the 1956 season, Landrith would spend 1957 and 1958 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Traded again, this time to the San Francisco Giants, Landrith would play 3 seasons with the Giants. In 1959 he’d have his second, and last, year where he appeared in over 100 games.
Selected by the New York Mets in the expansion draft after the 1961 season, Landrith would play in just 23 games for the Mets when he unwittingly contributed to baseball legend when he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry.
Landrith would finish the 1962 season in Baltimore, hitting .222 in 60 games. He’d start the 1963 season with the O’s as well, but after appearing in 2 games was sold to the Washington Senators in early May.
For the Senators Landrith would hit .175 in 42 games and would receive his release at the end of the season.
Charles Solomon (Buddy) Myer Mar. 16, 1904 D Oct. 31, 1974
2 time All Star Buddy Myer first debuted with the Washington Senators in late September of 1925. This late debut would allow Myer to play in the 1925 World Series as the Senators lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 7 games. Myer would play in 3 of those games, going 2 for 8 with 1 walk.
Originally signed as a shortstop, Myer would find his niche at 2nd base. He’d play in 132 games for Washington in 1926, hitting .304.
Myer would get off to a slow start in 1927, hitting .216 in 15 games. This would prompt a trade sending Myer to the Boston Red Sox for Topper Rigney. Myer would finish the season hitting .288 in 133 games for the Red Sox. He’d follow up that performance by hitting .313 for Boston in 1928.
Clark Griffith, the Senators owner, regretted trading Myer and wanted him back. After the 1928 season, he’d get his wish but would have to give up 5 players-Ed Bigelow, Milt Gaston, Grant Gillis, Hod Lisenbee and Bobby Reeves in exchange for Myer.
Myer would return to Washington for the 1929 season and would remain in a Senators uniform until his retirement at the end of the 1941 season. During his second stint with Washington, Myer would be selected to the All Star teams of 1935 and 1937 and would appear in his second World Series in 1933 when the Senators lost to the New York Giants in 5 games. For his part, Myer would hit an even .300 in the World Series.
Myer would hit .300 or better in 8 of his 17 seasons, finishing with a .303 career batting average. He’d lead the American League with a .349 average in 1935. During his time in Boston he led the league in stolen bases in 1928 with 30.
Frederic Carl (Rick) Reichardt M Mar. 16, 1943 Still Living
Signed by the Los Angeles Angels before the 1964 season, outfielder Rick Reichardt would make it into 11 games at the end of the 1964 season. Reichardt would remain with the Angels through late April of 1970. During his time with the Angels, Reichardt would paly in over 100 games in 1967, 1968 and 1969. His best year at the plate would come in 1966 when he’d hit .288 in 89 games. He’d hit 21 home runs in 1968.
After 9 games with the Angels in 1970, Reichardt, along with Aurelio Rodriguez were traded to the Washington Senators for Ken McMullen. Playing in 107 games for the Senators, Reichardt would hit .253 with 14 doubles, 2 triples and 15 homers among his 70 hits.
Before the 1971 season, Reichardt was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Jerry Janeski. Reichardt would spend 1971, 1972 and a portion of 1973 with the Chicago White Sox, being released in mid-July.
12 days later he’d be signed by the Kansas City Royals where he’d finsih the season hitting .220 in 41 games. Reichardt would appear in 1 game for the Royals in early June of 1974 before receiving his final release.