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This Date in Washington Senators History
Today we present a quartet of birthday boys who, with one exception, all played for over 10 years in the major leagues but spent short stints in a Senators uniform.
Samuel Richard Coffman B Dec. 18, 1906 D Mar. 24, 1972
Our first example is pitcher Dick Coffman who would spend 15 years in the major leagues, appearing in 472 games and compiling a 75-95 record. Only 27 of those games came in a Senators uniform.
In fact, Coffman would debut with the Senators in 1927, pitching in 5 games, posting an 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA.
Coffman would play for the Browns from 1928 through June of 1932 when he was traded back to the Senators for Carl Fischer. He’d finish the 1932 season in Washington, going 1-6 in 22 games. Incredibly, Coffman was traded back to the Browns after the end of the 1932 season for the same Carl Fischer.
Back with the Browns for 1933 through 1935, Coffman would finally escape Browns purgatory when he’d be purchased by the New York Giants after the 1935 season.
Coffman would spend 1936 through 1939 with the Giants, appearing in the World Series of 1936 and 1937.
Coffman would play for the Boston Braves in 1940 and then was out of the major leagues for 4 years before making a return with the 1945 Philadelphia Phillies where he’d pitch in 14 games, posting a 2-1 record, making his last appearance in late June.
Lance Clayton Richbourg B Dec. 18, 1897 D Sep. 10, 1975
Lance Richbourg would debut with the 1921 Philadelphia Phillies playing in 5 games as a 2nd baseman, going 1-5.
Richbourg would not return to the majors until 1924 when he’d return as an outfielder, playing in 15 games for the Washington Senators. He’d hit .281, going 9 for 32 with 2 doubles, 1 triple and 3 runs scored.
Richbourg would then disappear from the majors for another 2 years, returning this time with the 1927 Boston Braves. Richbourg would be a regular in the Braves outfield through 1931, his best year at the plate coming in 1928 when he’d hit .337.
Picked up by the Chicago Cubs after the 1931 season, Richbourg would finish his career playing in 44 games for Chicago.
William Joseph (Moose) Skowron, Jr. B Dec. 18, 1930 D Apr. 27, 2012
Anyone baseball fan living in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s remembers Moose Skowron as part of the power-packed lineup of the seemingly invincible Yankees.
Beginning his career in New York in April of 1954, Skowron was a mainstay of the Yankees lineup through 1962, hitting over 20 home runs 4 times, his best season being 1960 when he clouted 34.
Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 1962 season, Skowron would spend just 1 season in LA before being purchased by the expansion Senators prior to the start of the 1964 season.
For Washington, Skowron would play in 73 games, hitting .271 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI’s before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in mid-July, along with Carl Bouldin in exchange for Joe Cunningham and Frank Kreutzer.
Skowron would play in another 73 games for the White Sox in 1964, hitting .293 with 38 RBI although his home run production would drop to 4 for the remainder of the season.
Skowron would remain with the White Sox through early May of 1967 when he’d be traded to the California Angels where he’d finish the season and his career.
Skowron would play in 7 World Series and collect 4 series rings, 3 with the Yankees and 1 with the Dodgers. He’d be named to the All Star team 8 times, 7 times representing the Yankees, his last appearance representing the White Sox.
Zoilo Casanova Versalles B Dec. 18, 1939 D Jun. 9, 1995
Another member of the oft-mentioned Cuban Connection, Zoilo Versalles would debut with the original Senators in 1959.
Making brief appearances in 1959 and 1960, Versalles wouldn’t really come into his own until 1961-unfortunately for Senators fans, the team was then known as the Minnesota Twins.
Varsalles was strictly a shortstop for the majority of his career and would bolster the Twins infield from 1961 through 1967, never playing in less than 129 games. His best year at the plate would be 1961 when he’d hit .280.
Traded to the LA Dodgers after the 1967 season, Versalles would play in LA for the 1968 campaign.
After the season, he was drafted by the expansion San Diego Padres but ended up joining the roster of the Cleveland Indians as part of a trade.
Versalles would play in 72 games in Cleveland, hitting .226 before being purchased by the expansion Senators in late July. Versalles woud play in 31 games for Washington, hitting .267.
Released by the Senators just before the start of the 1970 season, Versalles would end up in the Mexican League where he’d spend 1970 and a portion of 1971 before being picked up by the Atlanta Braves at the end of May. 66 games in a Braves uniform in 1971 would mark the end of Versalles major league career.