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Walter "Big Train" Johnson (Washington Senator 1907-1932)

      So, in spite of the fact that the current Federal Baseball poll shows that the majority of Nationals fans checking in are "New Nationals" fans, the same folks chose Washington Senators legend Walter "Big Train" Johnson as their favorite player in DC/Montreal Baseball history.

     Walter Perry Johnson, born November 6, 1887 in Humbolt, Kansas, was twenty-years old when he made his Major League debut with the Washington Senators, on August 2, 1907. Known as primarily a power pitcher, "Big Train" Johnson has been attributed, through historical anecdote, with a hundred-mile-an-hour fastball, which his long-standing, record-setting, career strikeout total may attest to.

     When Walter Johnson played his final game with the Washington Senators on Septemer 30, 1927, twenty-one years after his debut, "The Big Train" had struck out a total of 3,509 batters in 5,914 innings pitched. Johnson's strike out total, then the largest in Major League history, remained so, until Nolan Ryan surpassed it in on April, 23, 1983.

     With the 417 wins "Big Train" collected in his twenty-one year career, Walter Johnson ranks, behind only Cy Young's 511 wins, as the second winningest pitcher in Major League history. The "Big Train" owns the sixth lowest single-season earned run average recorded in MLB history with the 1.14 ERA Johnson posted in 346 innings pitched in the 1913 season. (36-7) that summer, Johnson was awarded the AL MVP, but "Big Train" would have to wait until eighteen seasons into his career to appear in the Post Season, as he played his entire career in DC where the slogan associated with the team at the time was, "First in War, First in Peace, Last in the American League."

     In 1924, the "Big Train" made the most of that first Post Season appearance coming on in relief in Game 7 to lead Washington to a 4-2 win over the New York Giants for the first World Series win in the DC franchise's history.

     Walter Johnson and the Senators were back in the World Series the next season where they blew a 3-1 series lead to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Johnson retired two seasons later, and went on to manage the Senators from 1929-1932, before finally leaving baseball for good after managing Cleveland in 1935.

     Walter "Big Train" Johnson died on December 10th, 1946 in Washington, DC. Johnson will forever be remembered as one of the greatest pitchers of all time, but more importantly as the player who finally brought the DC area it's first World Series win.