Dec 04

This Date in Washington Senators History – Walter Johnson accepts an advance from the Chicago Whales

December 4


Walter Johnson accepts an advance from the Chicago Whales of the Federal League. Claiming he has paid Johnson for the reserve option on his contract, Clark Griffith threatens to take Johnson to court.

Griffith then travels to Johnson’s home in Coffeyville, Kansas to talk to Johnson and persuade him that his contract is legal and binding. Joe Tinker, manager of the Whales, says he has signed Johnson for $16,000 and given him a $6000 bonus.

Two weeks later, Griffith signs Johnson for 3 years at $12,500 per year and returns the bonus to the Whales.

Senators BirthdaysWashingtonSenators1227

Richard Arlin Billings B Dec. 4, 1942 Still Living

Rich Billings would play for 8 seasons with 3 different teams. Originally a 3rd baseman and outfielder, Billings would eventually find his niche as a catcher.

Debuting with the Senators in 1968, Billings would play in 12 games hitting .182. 1969 would see him in 27 games with his BA dropping even further, to .135. Billings would play in just 11 games in 1970, however he’d manage to raise his average to .250.

1971 would be the first season where Billings played regularly, appearing in 116 games, mainly as a catcher but also spending some time in the outfield, hitting .246.

Heading southwest to Texas when the expansion Senators departed Washington after the 1971 season, Billings’ most active season would be 1972 when he’d play in 133 games. He’d stay in a Rangers uniform until mid-August of 1974 when he was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.

1 game with St. Louis in 1974 and another 3 in 1975 would mark the end of Billings major league career.

Dick Billings career record

William Ronald Bryan B De. 4, 1938 Still Living

Debuting with the Kansas City Athletics in September of 1961, catcher and occasional 1st baseman Billy Bryan would spend 8 years in the majors, his final year spent with the Senators in 1968.

Bryan would be sparingly used, his most active season being 1965, when he appeared in 108 games. That would also be his best year at the plate when he’d hit .252.

With the A’s through mid-June of 1966, Bryan would be traded to the New York Yankees where he’d spend the remainder of 1966 and would appear in 17 games in 1967.

Drafted by the Senators after the 1967 season, Bryan would play in 40 games for Washington, hitting .204, making his last major league appearance in late July of 1968.

Billy Bryan career record

George C. (Scoops) Carey B Dec. 4, 1870 D Dec. 17, 1916

Scoops Carey would have a brief and sporadic major league career, playing with 3 teams in 4 different seasons over the span of 9 years.

Debuting with the National League Baltimore Orioles way back in 1895, Carey would play in 123 games, mainly as a 1st baseman, hitting .261.

He wouldn’t return to the majors until 1898 when he’d appear in 8 games for the Louisville Colonels.

Carey’s final crack at the major leagues would come in 1902 when he’d play in 120 games for the Washington Senators, hitting .314.

Carey would be back in a Senators uniform for the 1903 season, but would only play in 48 games as his BA tumbled to .202, playing in his last major league game in early July.

“Scoops” Carey career record

John Sebastian Farrell B Dec. 4, 1876 D May 13, 1921

John Farrell was truly an “original” Senator, playing in 135 games during the inauguaral season of the American League in 1901. A 2nd baseman who could also patrol the outfield, Farrell would hit .272 for Washington with 32 doubles, 11 triples, 3 homers and 63 RBI.

Jumping to the St. Louis Cardinals for the 1902 season, Farrell would play for the Cardinals through late April of 1905.

John Farrell career record

William Denton (Dolly) Gray B Dec. 4, 1878 D Apr. 4, 1956

Pitcher Dolly Gary would spend 3 years with the Senators, from 1909 through 1911. During those 3 years he’d post records of 5-19, 8-19 and 2-13, appearing in a grand total of 98 games.

“Dolly” Gray career record