November 2013 archive

Nov 27

Shires Goes to Senators in Big Trade

We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. This is an interesting tale about another unique player. 17 June 1930, Washington acquires Art Shires from the White Sox in exchange for Garland Braxton and Bennie Tate. Of the trade one paper wrote, “Arthur (The Great) Shires, first baseman, ex-box fighter and after-dinner speaker of no …

Continue reading »

Nov 25

Baltimore vs. Washington 1885

The rivalry between Washington and Baltimore goes back many years, of course. Here is the first part of the 1885 version. Baltimore, managed by Billy Barnie played in the American Association while Washington found itself in the Eastern Association. In April Mark “Wud” Wood of the Sporting Life writes, “Billy Barnie of Baltimore has not …

Continue reading »

Nov 24

Ted Sullivan (Almost) Signs Waddell and other Tales from 1899

Rube Waddell got his two cups of coffee in 1897 for Louisville having been released by Pittsburgh. As related in his biography by Dan O’Brien, “Rube sat beside Manager Patsy Donovan,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. “Patsy heard him talk and released him as soon as breakfast was over.” The next year he pitched for Detroit …

Continue reading »

Nov 22

“That will cost you $5.”

The year is 1899 and people are staying away from the ballparks. The popularity of the game is in decline. Syndicate Baseball. Cross ownership allows the owners to strip the best players from Cleveland and Baltimore. The Spiders go into a death spiral and are nicknamed the Exiles when the owners transfer games out of …

Continue reading »

Nov 18

Anson Declines to Score

Washington is in its second year in the National League. It is 13 July and Anson’s nine is in town to play the Grays. The result a 4 to 0 whitewash of Washington. The visitors were completely shut out for the first time this season. The Chicago’s made desperate efforts to score throughout the contest, …

Continue reading »

Nov 15

Washington Walks Away

Wednesday, 3 May 1899. Brooklyn is in Washington playing the final game of their series. Under the competent hands of Ned Hanlon the Brooklyn Superbas are off to a fast start. Thanks in part to the influx of talent from Washington they will go on to win the pennant. Good pitching, timely hitting, sharp fielding …

Continue reading »

Nov 14

Hot Stove topic – Team Review

The anemic offense seemed to be the Nats primary issue in 2013. But checking the stats gives us pause. Washington finished 13th in the National League in fielding percentage, Defensive Efficiency, 12th and in very low most of the other fielding categories. Shocking for a team that was going to be built on pitching and …

Continue reading »

Nov 14

Foul Balls and Diamond Rings

It was customary during this period to return the ball to the club so it would continue to be used in the game. First two tales about foul balls in Washington from 1899. A little humorous by-play occurred in the grand stand in the eighth inning. An old ball was fouled into the seats, and …

Continue reading »

Nov 13

Tom “Fido” Daly

Originally a catcher, Daly reached the majors with the Philadelphia Keystones of the Union Association in 1884, playing in two games (which for many years were erroneously attributed to Con Daily). After two years with the Chicago White Stockings, he played for the Washington Nationals in 1889 and hit .300. Daly stayed in the National …

Continue reading »

Nov 12

Mercer Unbound

9 October 1899, Washington splits a doubleheader with the visiting Orioles, but Win Mercer is the story today. The second game lasted only six innings, and the sensational episode between Win Mercer and umpire Al Mannassau took all the life out of the local players, an easy victory going to the visitors. Dan McFarlan began …

Continue reading »