Kates: A brief history of the Washington Stars

From SABR member Maxwell Kates at the Pecan Park Eagle on August 7, 2017:

Have you ever wondered why Willie McCovey and ten other Padres were identified on their 1974 Topps cards as “Washington National League”?

The history of the American League in Washington was not among the more glamorous chapters in baseball history. In 71 seasons, two franchises called the Senators combined for only three American League pennants and only one World Championship, in 1924. The original American League Senators, who moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1960, ended 24 of 60 seasons in seventh or eighth place. Only once, in 1946, did either Washington franchise draw better than one million spectators. As elected representatives and government official comprised a fair representation of the fans at Griffith and RFK Stadiums, there were likely at least as many cheering for the visiting teams. An expansion franchise was awarded to Washington in 1961, and after eight second division finishes, the Senators showed flashes of brilliance by winning 86 games for new manager Ted Williams.

Earlier that year, the team was sold for $9 million to Minneapolis hotelier and Democratic National Committee treasurer Robert Short. The 1969 Senators proved to be a one-year wonder, returning in 1970 to their habitual doormat as “first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.” Despite high-profile trades, which brought Curt Flood and Denny McLain to the District of Columbia in 1971, the Senators finished 63-96. Only the presence of the Cleveland Indians spared them last place in the American League East.

Read the full article here: https://bill37mccurdy.com/2017/08/07/maxwell-kates-a-brief-history-of-the-washington-stars/

Originally published: August 7, 2017. Last Updated: August 7, 2017.