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This Date in Washington Senators History – The dismantling of the ’24 & ’25 World Series teams
1901 The National League is rocked when 4 players from the Phillies jump ship to Washington: 3B Harry Wolverton, pitchers Al Orth and “Happy” Jack Townsend and the great Ed Delahanty. Phillies owner John Rogers seeks a court injunction preventing the players from playing for any other team except the Phillies. The Pennsylvania Supreme court eventually rules that the players cannot play baseball in the state of Pennsylvania except for the Phillies. Like Nap Lajoie of Cleveland, Delahanty, Orth, Townsend, and Wolverton take impromptu vacations when the Nats are scheduled to play in Philadelphia. Delahanty will lead the AL in hitting in 1902 with a .376 average, while Orth wins 19 games. Townsend goes a disappointing 9-16. Wolverton will jump back to the Phillies in July.
1927 The dismantling of the World Series teams of 1924 and 1925 continues. OF Earl McNeely and pitching prospect Dick Coffman are traded to the Browns for pitchers Milt Gaston and “Sad” Sam Jones. Gaston would post a ghastly 5.51 ERA in one season in Washington before being shipped to Boston as part of the package to reacquire Buddy Myer. Jones will fare better, going 17-7 in 1928, and would play 4 years with the Senators. McNeely would conclude his career in 1931 as a reserve and Coffman would not blossom until being traded to the Giants in 1936 and finding his niche in the bullpen.
Oswaldo Gonzalez Alvarez B Oct. 19, 1933 D Mar. 8, 2008
Acquired by the Senators in 1955, Ossie Alvarez, another member of the much noted “Cuban Connection,” debuted with the Senators in mid-April of 1958. Playing in 87 games for Washington that season as a utility infielder, Alvarez would have 41 hits with 3 doubles and 5 RBI’s.
Traded to the Cleveland Indians for Jay Porter in October, he’d be a part of the Indians organization for less than a month before he was traded again, this time to the Deroit Tigers.
Alvarez would appear in 8 games for the Tigers, his major league career ending in late April of 1959.
Donald George Leppert B Oct. 19, 1931 Still Living
Catcher Don Leppert was originally signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1955. Picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 1960 season, Leppert would make his major league debut in mid-June of 1961. He’d play in 22 games for the Pirates that year and another 45 in 1962, hitting .267 and .266 respectively.
Traded to the Washington Senators for minor leaguer Ron Honeycutt and cash, Leppert would have his most active season with Washington in 1963, playing in 73 games, hitting .237 with 11 doubles and 6 home runs and would be selected to the 1963 All Star Team.
Leppert would play in another 50 games in 1964 but his batting average would drop to .156 and he’d make his last major league appearance in mid-September.
Carl Everett Sawyer B Oct. 19, 1890 D Jan. 17, 1957
Carl Sawyer, another utility infielder, qualifies as a Senators Short Timer having played in just 26 games over the span of 2 seasons.
Coming up with the Senators in September of 1915, Sawyer would play in 10 games hitting .250.
He’d return for another 16 games in 1916 but his BA would drop to .194 and he’d play in his last major league game in October.