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This Date in Washington Senators History
Woodson George (Woodie) Held B Mar. 25, 1932 D June 11, 2009
Another “baseball nomad”, utilityman Woodie Held would play for 7 different teams during 14 seasons in a career that spanned 16 years. Only 1 of those seasons would be spent with the Senators.
Originally signed by the New York Yankees before the start of the 1951 season, Held would make it to the Yankees in September of 1954, appearing in 4 games.
Held wouldn’t be back with the Yankees until 1957 when he’d appear in 1 game and then be traded to the Kansas City Athletics. (This is the trade that sent Billy Martin to the A’s as well, after the infamous “Copa” incident.)
Held would finish the 1957 season appearing in 92 games for the Athletics.
Starting the 1958 season in Kansas City, Held would be on the move again in mid-June when he was traded to the Cleveland Indians.
Held would be able to settle down for a while, staying with the Indians through the end of the 1964 season. Held would hit over 20 home runs for the Indians in 1959, 1960 and 1961.
Held’s 1 season in Washington would see him playing in 122 games, hitting .247 with 82 hits, including 16 doubles and 16 home runs and being credited with 46 runs scored and 54 RBI.
After the 1965 season, Held headed up the Washington-Baltimore Parkway to Memorial Stadium in a trade that sent John Orsino to the Senators.
Held would only play in 56 games for the Orioles in 1966 and would not see any post-season action when the Orioles swept the Dodgers in 4 games.
Starting the 1967 season in Baltimore, Held would only see action in 26 games for the Orioles when he was traded in mid-June to the California Angels. Held would finish the 1967 season with the Angels and start 1968 there but after appearing in only 33 games he was traded one last time to the Chicago White Sox in late July.
Held would finish the 1968 season in Chicago and would be with the team in 1969, his last major league appearance coming in late September.
Alan Goodman Koch B Mar. 25, 1938 Still Living
Signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1960, Alan Koch’s 2 year major league career began with a late July call up to the Tigers in 1963. Pitching in 7 games, Koch would go 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA.
Starting the 1964 season with the Tigers, Koch would pitch in only 3 games for Detroit when he was sold to the Senators in early May.
Koch would finish the 1964 season appearing in 32 games for Washington, posting a 3-10 record with a 4.89 ERA, his last major league appearance coming at the end of September.
Emil John (Dutch) Leonard B Mar. 25, 1909 D Apr. 17, 1983
Just to ensure that there’s no confusion-there have been 2 major league pitchers known as “Dutch” Leonard. The first was a left-handed spitballer who pitched for the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers from 1913-1925.
The Dutch Leonard we’re interested in is a right handed knuckle baller who began his major league career in 1933 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Purchased by the Dodgers from York (PA) of the New York-Pennsylvania League (Not to be confused with the current class A New York-Pennsylvania short season league.) Leonard would make his big league debut on the last day of August 1933.
Pitching in 10 games for the Dodgers that season, Leonard would go 2-3 in 10 games with a 2.93 ERA. The following season, Leonard would post a 14-11 record in 44 games.
Leonard would remain with the Brooklyn franchise through 1936. After the season he’d be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals but would be sold to Atlanta of the Southern Association where he’d spend the 1937 campaign.
Drafted by the Washington Senators, Leonard would spend the next 9 years in a Senators uniform. Arguably his best year would be 1939 when he’d post a 20-8 record in 34 games with a 3.54 ERA. During his tenure with the Senators, Leonard would be selected to the American League Al Star teams of 1940, 1943, 1944 and 1945. In 1945, Leonard would post a 17-7 record with a 2.13 ERA.
Purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1946 season, Leonard would spend 2 years with the Phillies, going 17-12 in 1947 and reversing that by going 12-17 in 1948.
Traded to the Chicago Cubs, Leonard would finish his career pitching in 5 seasons in Chicago, his best season with the Cubs being 1951 when he’d post a 10-6 record in 41 games at the age of 42, once again being selected to the All Star team.
Leonard’s last game would come in late September of 1953 and he’d be released by the Cubs at the end of the season, finishing his career at the age of 44.
Jesse Clyde Milan B Mar. 25, 1887 D Mar. 3, 1953
Clyde Milan is another of those rare players who spent his entire 16 year career with the Washington Senators. Milan came to the Senators in mid-August of 1907 when he was purchased from Wichita of the Western Association. Playing in 48 games, Milan would go 51 for 183, good for a .279 BA.
Outfielder Milan’s average would slip in 1908 and 1909 but he’d rebound in 1910 with a new manager (Jimmy McAleer) at the helm of the Senators and would hit over .300 from 1912 through 1914 and again in 1920. Milan would finish his career with a .285 BA in 1982 games.
In Milan’s final season, 1922, he’d serve as a player/manager. Unfortunately the Senators would finish in 6th place with a 69-85 record and he was fired at the end of the season. Reportedly Milan suffered from ulcers during his managerial stint.
Milan would remain in baseball in both the major and minor leagues, serving as a coach for the Senators in 1928 and 1929 and again from 1938 through 1952. He’d suffer a heart attack during spring training in 1953 at age 65, just 3 weeks away from his 66th birthday.
Milan’s younger brother Horace would also play briefly for the Senators in 1915 and 1917, appearing in a total of 42 games. He will be covered on April 7th.