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12/14/07 This Day in Washington Baseball History...

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The Continuing Attempt To Educate A Montreal Fan About DC Baseball History...

     On December 14, 1960, Washington, DC was awarded it's second Senators franchise when a group led by former FAA Administrator Elwood Richard Quesada was awarded an expansion franchise in the wake of the original Senators' move to Minnesota earlier that year.

     In their first year in the American League in 1961, the Second Senators finished 61-100, 47.5 games behind the eventual World Series winning New York Yankees, who were led by Mickey Mantle's .317 AVG, 16 doubles, 54 HR's and 128 RBI's and World Series MVP Winner Whitey Ford, who was (25-4) in 39 starts with a 3.21 ERA in the Regular Season, and (2-0) with a 0.00 ERA in 14.0 innings of the Yankees '61 Series win over Cincinnati. The '61 Senators were led by catcher Gene Green's .280 AVG, 18 HR's and 62 RBI's and pitchers Dick Donovan, (10-10, 2.40 ERA) and Bennie Daniels (12-11, 3.44).

      The second Senators franchise granted to the District played it's first season in Griffith Stadium before moving to the newly constructed District of Columbia Stadium, which later came to be known as RFK, much like the current DC club, the Washington Nationals, have played their first seasons in RFK Stadium, and are now moving into the new Nationals Park...(As of 12/14/07-still under construction).

    On September 16, 1961 Senators' catcher Ken Retzer hit the franchise's last home run in Griffith Stadium off of the Kansas City Athletics' pitcher Jerry Walker. One year later, on April 9, 1962, Senators' shortstop Bob Johnson hit the franchise's first home run in the District of Columbia Stadium in a 4-1 Season Opening win over the Detroit Tigers...(Vinny Castilla hit the first HR for the Nationals in '05)...Q: (The Last HR in RFK for the Nationals?...D'Angelo Jimenez on September 18, 2007...The first Nationals HR in Nationals Park?)...

     The Second Senators would only last a decade in DC, and it was over thirty years before the Washington Nationals brought baseball back to Washington, DC and veteran third baseman Vinny Castilla hit that first home run at RFK Stadium in over three decades...but the return of baseball to the District of Columbia might have never happened, as the date December 14th had once again figured in DC Baseball History one year earlier in 2004...

    After the D.C. Council voted to require at least 50% of the price of the new franchise be paid for by private investors, Major League Baseball President and Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy issued a press release which claimed that the vote went against the existing agreement MLB and DC had arranged, and Mr. Dupuy stated that after December 31, if an acceptable arrangement couldn't be reached, MLB would seek another home for their Montreal franchise.

     One week later, on December 21, 2004, an agreement was reached and the Nationals resumed the preparations for what would be their Inaugural 2005 Season. Luckily as it is just now a minute after midnight, December 14, 2007 has passed without incident for this year in DC Baseball History...