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10/5/07 What's Church Worth? Rube Vickers No-Hitter, and Thee "Bull" Durham...

     ...I ran something by my brother Scout, Braves fan and Source For All Things Baseball, "What if the idea is to trade Ryan Church and get prospects in return, and then sign someone like Adam Dunn?" I asked. "What is Church worth?" Scout answered with a question, "Who would you compare Church to?" he continued.

     "I don't know," I reflexively stalled while I thought, "...maybe Aaron Rowand," I offered, "...He hit around .270, like Church, in Chicago before he was traded." "Rowand had just won the World Series," Scout counters. (Rowand batted .270 with 13 HR's and 69 RBI's). "Church hit .272 with 15 HR's and 70 RBI's this season," I tell Scout. "Yeah but Church isn't going to bring a Jim Thome in return." "You're probably right about that?"

     "Maybe Milton Bradley?" I offer another comparison, "The franchise already had him once, the Expos drafted Bradley, traded him to Cleveland, and got Zach Day from the Indians in return." "What are Bradley's numbers compared to Church's?" Scout wondered. (Bradley has averaged a .273 BA, with 19 HR's and 75 RBI's over 8 MLB seasons). "See that's more like it," Scout says of the comparison, "The Nationals can get Day again if they trade Church."

     "Instead of worrying about Church leaving," Scout suggests, "Why not think about what the Nationals should do in terms of free agents for the new stadium, to draw in the crowd...how 'bout your fantasy lineup for Opening Day in the new stadium?"

     "Completely fantasy?" I qualify.

      "I did say 'fantasy lineup' right?"

      I only have to think for a moment, "Okay...around the infield...3B Ryan Zimmerman, SS Alex Rodriguez, 2B Ronnie Belliard, 1B Nick Johnson, with Schneider/Flores catching, Wily Mo Pena in left, Kearn...No! Andruw Jones in center, and Austin Kearns in right."

      "There you go," Scout taunts/states matter of factly, "Spend $300 million to start off in the new stadium with a little excitement and draw in the fans."

      "SHOCK THE WORLD!!" I get a little excited.

      "There you go," Scout says somewhat dismissively.

This Day in Washington Baseball History...(The Continuing Attempt To Educate A Montreal Fan About DC Baseball History)...

     October 5, 1907...according to brainyhistory.com, the Washington Senators were no-hit by Philadelphia A's Rube Vickers in a 4-0, 5 inning win. Harry Porter "Rube" Vickers made his Major League debut with the Cincinnati Reds, and played five seasons in his career with the Reds, the Brooklyn Superbas and the Philadelphia Athletics (A's).

     On the day of his short-no-hitter, Rube Vickers, according to baseballlibrary.com, pitched 12 relief innings in the first game of a double-header against the A's, and then went on to pitch the no-hitter in the shortened second game, for his only two wins in aught-seven.

     So I guess that was This Day in Rube Vickers' history, but I learned/remembered two things about Washington baseball history, 1907 was Walter "Big Train" Johnson's first year in the Majors, as he debuted on August 2, 1907. Also on the Senators in 1907, one Louis Raphael Durham, also known as "Bull Durham."