WASHINGTON – Who knows if there will be any Spring Training games this month.
But on this day in 2005, the Nationals played an historic Grapefruit League contest in Florida.
“In the Washington Nationals’ first game since moving from Montreal, pitcher Tony Armas, Jr. tosses two hitless innings and Jose Guillen hits a two-run home run as the Nationals post a 5-3 triumph over the [New York] Mets in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams. The Expos played their first regular-season game against the Mets in 1969 and their last game against the Mets on October 3, 2004. In the first regular-season game between these franchises, Tom Seaver started for the Mets at Shea Stadium and Coco Laboy powered the Expos to an 11-10 victory. In their last meeting, Tom Glavine started for the Mets at Shea Stadium and Todd Zeile hit a home run to deal the Expos an 8 - 1 defeat,” according to baseballreference.com.
The Nationals trained in Viera, Florida – the former home of the Montreal Expos – before making the move about 110 miles southeast to West Palm Beach, the site Washington now shares with the Houston Astros.
“Wearing their regular-season home uniforms instead of the traditional batting practice spring training jerseys, the Nationals defeat Glavine this time,” baseballreference.com wrote of that Spring Training game 17 years ago.
This date in 2019 doesn’t have good vibes for Washington fans.
On March 2, 2019, the Phillies introduced free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper during Spring Training in Clearwater.
Harper was the No. 1 draft pick of the Nationals (in 2010) and played for Washington through the 2018 season.
In an interesting quirk, pitcher Pete Broberg was born in West Palm Beach on March 2, 1950.
He was a first-round pick of the Washington Senators in 1971 out of Dartmouth and posted a record of 41-71 in the majors.
Former Orioles’ pitcher Sammy Stewart died on this day in 2018.
The right-hander from North Carolina played for the Orioles from 1978-85. He fanned seven straight batters in the first game he pitched for Baltimore.