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This Day in Washington Baseball History...

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

Ossie Bluege was the Washington Senators' starting third baseman when they won their first World Series four games to three over the New York Giants in 1924. Twenty-three years old at the time, Bluege was in his third season with the Senators, and he would remain at third base for most of the next decade, completing eighteen major league seasons in all, all with DC before Bluege's playing career ended on July 13, 1939. Bluege signed with Washington as a free agent three years later on June 15th 1942 and his career officially ended when the Senators released him on November 23, 1942. The next season he took over as Manager of the team, appointed by then-owner Clark Griffith, "The Old Fox", who, according to Mr. Bluege's profile on Baseball, had once asked Bluege, when he was still playing, to give up his offseason job as an accountant because, "...the Senators' frugal owner, feared that poring over figures would ruin Bluege's batting eye."


Bluege started at short in Game 7 of the '24 Series, going 0 for 5 in an extra-inning affair that saw Senators' legend Walter "The Big Train" Johnson take the mound in the ninth inning with the score tied at 2-2 and throw 4.0 scoreless innings in relief for the Series-clinching win two nights after he'd thrown 8.0 long innings in a losing effort against the Giants in Game 5. Bluege ended his first World Series with a .192 AVG, going 5 for 26 in 7 games and knocking in 3 runs. 

Ossie Bluege and the Senators were back in the Series the next season, coming up short in a five-game loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a thirty-two year-old Bluege was there in 1933 as well, when the Washington Senators, led by Joe Kuhel, Joe Cronen and Heinie Manush lost to the Giants four games to one, in what is, quite unbelievably, the last postseason appearance by a DC-based franchise...

In 18 seasons with the Senators, Bluege maintained a .272 AVG and collected 1,751 hits, 276 doubles, 67 triples, 43 HR's and 848 RBI's. In his three postseason series, Bluege hit .200 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI's. As a Manager, Bluege led the Senators to a 375-394 record in five seasons, finishing second in the American League twice before being replaced by his former teammate Joe Kuhel after a 64-90 7th place finish in 1947.


With all he did for the franchise as a player and Manager, Bluege's most impactful contribution may have come in his role as the "Senators' Farm Director", where, according to his somewhat poetic profile, "...his greatest scouting coup was a young Harmon Killebrew." 40 years after joining the DC Senators' franchise in 1922, Bluege was stiil working in the front office when the team became the Twins in 1962, and he lived the rest of his life in the state of Minnesota, passing away in Edina, Minnesota on October 14, 1985.