WASHINGTON – The Washington Nationals, of course, have never played a game on a February 3.
And neither did the Washington Senators.
But both franchises have former players who have a birthday today or were born on this day.
One of them is former pitcher Mike Wallace, who was born in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1951.
His family eventually moved to Virginia and he was a standout pitcher at James Madison High in Vienna before he was drafted in the fourth round by the Phillies in 1969.
Wallace is one of four Madison High alums to appear in the Majors, including pitcher Jay Franklin, outfielder Bob Brower, and catcher Jim McNamara.
“We moved from Gastonia to Vienna in 1959, when I was 9,” Wallace told Federal Baseball last week. “I still have relatives on both sides of the family from Gastonia.”
Franklin was the second overall pick in the 1971 draft, going to the Padres, and he pitched in his only three Major League games that year for San Diego.
Brower went to Duke and played for the Rangers and Yankees from 1986-89. McNamara went to North Carolina State and played for the Giants in 1992-93.
A lefty, Wallace broke in with the Phillies in 1973 and also pitched for the Yankees and Cardinals before ending his career with the Texas Rangers – formerly the Senators – in 1977.
In his career, Wallace was 11-3 with an ERA of 3.91 in 117 games with four starts and three saves.
After his playing days, Wallace was an assistant coach at George Mason University, in the Clark Griffith League and has appeared in the past on baseball shows with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) as he discussed the Nationals and the majors. He lives in Northern Virginia.
At least two former Senators have birthdays today: one-time outfielder Wayne Comer and former pitcher Joe Coleman.
Coleman was born in 1947 in Boston and was a first-round pick out of nearby Natick High by the Senators in 1965.
He made his debut in the majors later that year at age 18 and was with the Senators through 1970.
In his first year with the Tigers the next season, he won 20 games then won a career-high 23 games three years later.
Coleman ended his career with the Pirates in 1979 and he won 142 games in the majors.
Wallace remembers one spring training when Coleman was almost hurt seriously. “Ted Simmons hit a line drive off his head; Coleman was with the Tigers at the time,” Wallace said.