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This Date in Washington Senators History
Clyde Milan, 1922
Record as Senator manager: 69-85, .448 Pct.
1922, 69-85 .448 Pct. 6th
Based on his temperament, former Senator great Clyde Milan was ill-suited as a manager. Milan was too much of a nice guy and a chronic worrier to effectively lead a team that had hopes of contending in 1922. Often, many players on the 1922 Senators would take advantage of Milan’s passive approach, knowing that Milan would not reprimand them.
Clark Griffith had high hopes for 1922. Bolstered by the acquisition of SS Roger Peckinpaugh and the emergence of rookie Goose Goslin in spring training, the Nats were expected to finish high in the first division. After an opening day victory over the Yankees, the Nats lost 8 of their next 9 decisions. The Senators bounced back from the sluggish start to climb into 3rd, a game above .500, on June 8. Whatever visions of contending evaporated when the Senators lost 6 of their next 7 games to begin a gradual fall into their final resting place of 6th place at 69-85. It was no shock when Griffith pulled the plug on the easy going Milan after the year.
Over the course of the season, Milan developed ulcers watching the second worst offense in the AL. The 21 year old Goslin provided a preview of things to come with a .324 average in only 101 games. Peckinpaugh, the best SS in baseball in 1921, hit a disappointing .254. While the offense struggled to put runs on the board, another piece of the 1924 world championship puzzle made his debut in 1922: Ossie Bluege. Bluege did not immediately set the world on fire, hitting .197 in 19 games.
The pitching staff did what it could. Walter Johnson started 9-3 and pitched 3 straight shutouts in late June, but slipped to 15-16 on the year due to the lack of run support. Former Yankee George Mogridge led the staff with 18 wins, followed by Johnson’s and Tom Zachary‘s 15 victories. The other two starters, Ray Francis and Eric Erickson, were found wanting, losing 18 and 12 games, respectively.
After his dismissal, Milan would serve as player-manager for New Haven in 1924 and with Memphis in 1925 and 1926. Milan would return to D.C. in 1928 as one of Walter Johnson‘s coaches for two seasons before managing Birmingham from 1930-1935. Griffith, forever loyal to his former players, lured Milan back first as a scout in 1937 and then as a Senator coach from 1938-1952. On March 3, 1953, Milan had a fatal heart after hitting fungoes in morning and afternoon workouts in humid temperatures. Clyde “Deerfoot” Milan was 65.
Albert Earl (Jerry) Akers B Nov. 1, 1887 D May 15, 1979
Senators Short Timer Jerry Akers spent 3 weeks on the Washington roster in May of 1912. Pitching 20 & 1/3rd innings in 5 games, Akers would post a 1-1 record with a 4.87 ERA.
Russell Paul Kemmerer B Nov. 1, 1931 D Dec. 8, 2014
Another pitcher, Russ Kemerer was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1951. He’d make his major league debut in late June of 1954 and would compile a 5-3 record with a 3.82 ERA in his first season in the majors.
Kemmerer would only pitch in 7 games for the Red Sox in 1955, compiling a 1-1 record, his ERA swelling to 7.27. Kemmerer would not play in the majors in 1956 but would return with the Red Sox in 1957.
After pitching in 1 game, 4 innings, Kemmerer would be traded in late April, along with Milt Bolling and Faye Throneberry to the Washington Senators for Bob Chakales and Dean Stone. Kemmerer would finish the 1957 season in a Washington uniform, appearing in 39 games, posting a 7-11 record.
Kemmerer would remain in Washington through early 1960 when he’d be purchased by the Chicago White Sox in mid-May. Kemmerer would remain with the White Sox through late May of 1962 when he’d be traded to the expansion Houston Colt 45’s, coincidentally crossing paths with Dean Stone once again, as Stone was the player he was traded for.
Kemmerer would pitch in 36 games for Houston in 1962 and another 17 in 1963, making his last major league appearance in late June of 1963, 1 year and 1 day after being traded to Houston.