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This Date in Washington Senators History – Walter Johnson is defeated in his bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
1914 The law prohibiting Sunday baseball in Washington remains intact when the Court of Appeals upholds the ban.
1940 Republican candidate Walter Johnson of Maryland is defeated in his bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
William D. Byron (D) 53.5%
Walter P. Johnson (R) 46.5%
Charles P. Stewart (I) 0.001%
Some of the worst trades are the ones you don’t make.
Every franchise has missed on acquiring players that turned out to be stars, i.e. Pittsburgh passing up on Walter Johnson and the Browns not signing Mickey Vernon. But, it is doubtful that any franchise has ever missed out on so many stars and future Hall of Famers in such a short period of time as the Senators from 1968-1969. Here is a list of the known trade proposals that owner-GM Bob Short turned down.
After the 1968 season, Atlanta offered the Senators C Joe Torre, thought to washed up at 27, for 1B Mike Epstein and C Raul Casanova. Short said no. Atlanta dealt Torre to St.Louis, where the future manager became a 5-time All Star and 1971 NL MVP.
Oakland owner Charlie Finley wanted Epstein at all costs at the 1969 winter meetings. So desperate was Finley for Epstein, he offered “Catfish” Jim Hunter straight up for the Nats first sacker. A crafty GM would have seen if the desperate Finley would have been willing to include more (Reggie Jackson?) before accepting just Hunter. But, craftiness was not part of ol’ Bob’s repertoire, at least when it came to baseball personnel, and Hunter went on to the Hall of Fame. Finley eventually got his wish, acquiring Epstein and relief ace Darold Knowles for 1B Don Mincher, P Paul Lindblad, OF Frank Fernandez and $300,000 in June 1970. Yes, the miserly Finley gave Short $300,000.
During those same winter meetings in 1969, the Mets, looking to fill their perennial void at 3B, had their sights set on Ken McMullen. Short was given a choice of two young pitchers: Tug McGraw and a wild, flame thrower by the name of Nolan Ryan. Short said nay to both options. McGraw would go on to become a premier reliever for 15 seasons with the Mets and Philadelphia. Ryan? He would pitch another 24 years before the “Ryan Express” made its final stop in Cooperstown.
That same 1969-1970 off season, Calvin Griffith came calling. The Minnesota owner was interested in Senators slugging prospect Brant Alyea. Griffith offered unknown 24 year old infielder Graig Nettles for Alyea. Short, not wanting to be distracted from how much he was planning to raise ticket prices, passed on the offer.
Making up for the lull in activity the last 2 days, there are 6 birthdays to report for November 5th. As always, in alphabetical order, we present the following…
John Craig (Sonny) Dixon B Nov. 5, 1924 Still Living
Signed by the Washington Senators in 1941, it would be 12 seasons before pitcher Sonny Dixon arrived on the major league scene. Making his debut as a 28 year old rookie, Dixon’s first season in the bigs would see him post a 5-8 record with a 3.75 ERA, pitching in 43 games for the Senators.
Returning with the Senators in 1954, Dixon would pitch in 16 games for the Senators, going 1-2 before being traded to the Chicago White Sox for Gus Keriazakos in mid-June.
Dixon would never suit up for the White Sox, being traded again on the same day to the Philadelphia Athletics. He’d finish the ’54 season in Philadelphia going 5-7 for the A’s in their final season in Philly. The Athletics would head west to Kansas City for the 1955 season and Dixon would tag along but would only appear in 2 games in a KC uniform, pitching in 1 & 2/3rds of an inning, his ERA swelling to 16.20.
Dixon would not pitch for the Athletics in 1955 but would be traded 1 last time in mid-May to the New York Yankees.
3 games in a Yankees uniform late in the 1956 season would mark the end of Dixon’s major league career.
Charles William (Carl) Fischer B Nov. 5, 1905 D Dec. 10, 1963
Another pitcher, Carl Fischer would first appear with the Senators in mid-July of 1930. Pitching in 8 games in his first season, Fischer would go 1-1 with a 4.86 ERA.
With the Senators in 1931, Fischer would pitch in 46 games, going 13-9. In 1932 he’d post a 3-2 record in 12 games before being traded to the St. Louis Browns in mid-June for Dick Coffman. He’d finish the 1932 season in a Browns uniform, going 3-7 in 24 games.
After the season, Fischer would be traded back to the Senators for, guess who, Dick Coffman. However Fischer wouldn’t stay on the Senators roster long-the very next day he was traded along with Firpo Marberry, to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Earl Whitehill.
Fischer would go 11-15 for the Tigers in in 1933 and 3-6 in 1934. After 3 games in 1935, where he’d post an 0-1 record, Fischer would be purchased by the Chicago White Sox in mid-May. He’d go 4-5 for the remainder of the season.
1936 would not see Fischer in the majors but he’d return in 1937 with the Cleveland Indians. After just 2 games in an Indians uniform, where he would accumulate a 27.00 ERA, Fischer was placed on waivers and claimed by the Washington Senators. He’d appear in 17 games for the Senators, going 4-5 with a 4.38 ERA, making his last major league appearance in early July of ’37. He’d be purchased by the Baltimore Orioles, then of the International League, and would not return to major league play.
Harry Hardy B Nov. 5, 1875 D Sep. 4, 1943
Senators Short Timer Harry Hardy would pitch in 8 games for the Senators in 1905 & 1906. Debuting as a 29 year old rookie in late September of 1905, Hardy would go 1-1 in 3 games with a 1.88 ERA.
In 1906, Hardy would pitch in another 5 games, going 0-3 with his ERA climbing to an even 9.00. He’d make his last major league appearance in late September of 1906, exactly 1 year to the day of his major league debut.
Rogelio Martinez B Nov. 5, 1918 D May 24, 2010
Senators Short Timer Rogelio Martinez, another member of the oft-mentioned Cuban Connection, spent 4 days on the Senators roster in mid-July of 1950. Pitching in 2 games, Martinez would end his short stint with the Senators with an 0-1 record and a 27.00 ERA.
Orlin Woodrow (Buck) Rogers B Nov. 5, 1912 D Feb. 20, 1999
Single Season Senator Buck Rogers pitched 10 innings in 2 games for the 1935 Senators, going 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA.
Richard Alan Scheinblum B Nov. 5, 1942 Still Living
Outfielder Richie Scheinblum got his start in the majors by signing with the Cleveland Indians in 1964. He’d make brief appearances with the Indians, playing in 4 games in 1965, 18 games in 1967 and 19 games in 1968 before making it into 102 games in 1969, hitting .186.
Scheinblum would not play in the majors in 1970 and would be purchased by the Senators in the off-season.
Appearing in 27 games for the Senators in 1971, their last year in Washington, Scheinblum would go 7 for 49 with 3 doubles.
After the franchise shifted operations to Texas, Scheinblum would be purchased by the Kansas City Royals. Scheinblum would have possibly his best season in 1972, playing in 134 games for the Royals, hitting an even .300 with 21 doubles, 4 triples and 8 home runs and would represent the Royals in the All Star Game.
Traded to the Cincinnati Reds for the 1973 season, Scheinblum would play in just 29 games for Cincy before he was traded again, this time to the California Angels, where he’d finish the season hitting .328 in 77 games.
1974 would see Scheinblum on the roster of the California Angels, Kansas City Royals for a second time, finally finishing the season, and his major league career by appearing in 6 games for the St. Louis Cardinals, his last game coming in late September.