- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 3, 2004

The Sunday Column would like to welcome the Expos, the Pride of Puerto Rico, to Washington.

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Today Major League Baseball, tomorrow World Team Tennis.

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Or maybe even professional hockey, if the NHL can ever get its act together.

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Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the National League East. (But only temporarily.)

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The New Nats: They put the Baltimore back in Baltimore Orioles.

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Some other names of former Washington baseball teams — besides the Senators and Nationals, that is — that might be considered for the Expos:

Olympics — National Association, 1871.

Ruby Legs — National League, 1880-82.

Quicksteps — Alternate name for the Nationals of the Union Association in 1884.

Statesmen — NL, 1886-89, American Association, 1891.

Elite Giants — Negro League, 1936-37.

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Came across a Senators program from 1959. What a bargain baseball was back then. A bleacher seat at Griffith Stadium cost 75 cents (boxes were $2.50), and concessions were equally reasonable. Soft drinks went for 15 cents, popcorn for 20, hot dogs for 25 and beer for 35 or 40.

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Of course, there was a tradeoff: You had to watch the Senators play.

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Something I didn’t know: In 1959, a ball that hit the foul pole and landed on the field was in play.

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Speaking of playing fields, here’s hoping it’s not 405 feet down the left-field line in Washington’s new stadium (as it was in Clark Griffith’s ballyard), or even 350 (as it was in Calvin Griffith’s after reconfiguration in the late ‘50s).

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A 41-foot scoreboard like Griffith Stadium’s would be a nice touch, though.

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We tend to forget how many relocated teams have won titles in recent years. The rather lengthy list:

MLB — Twins (1987, ‘91), A’s (1989), Braves (1995).

NFL — Raiders (1983), Rams (1999), Ravens (2000).

NHL — Flames (1989), Devils (1995, 2000, ‘03), Avalanche (1996, 2000), Stars (1999).

NBA — Pistons (1989-90), Rockets (1994-95), Spurs (1999, 2003), Lakers (2000-2002). (Not to mention the Bullets in 1978.)

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Perhaps the Cubs should consider moving. I’m sure Mesa, Ariz., would take them (though the Diamondbacks might balk).

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Original Senators trivia (1901-1960):

1. What do Ed Delahanty, Goose Goslin, Buddy Myer and Mickey Vernon have in common?

2. Who hit the most home runs by a rookie?

3. Who had the most extra-base hits in a season?

4. Who was caught stealing 30 times in 1920, a club record?

5. What pitcher had a 16-game winning streak over two seasons?

6. Who matched Walter Johnson’s feat of striking out 15 in a game?

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Expansion Senators trivia (1961-71):

1. Who played in the most games?

2. Who had the most home runs in a season by a switch-hitter?

3. Who posted the highest batting average for his Senators career?

4. Who had the longest hitting streak?

5. What pitchers won and lost the most games?

6. Who whiffed the most batters in a nine-inning game?

(Answers below.)

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Here’s how bad the original Senators were: The club record for home runs in a season (42, by Roy Sievers in 1957 and Harmon Killebrew in ‘59) is less than the record for home runs allowed by a pitcher in a season (43, by Pedro Ramos in ‘57).

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So I’m reading about this Indians pitcher being saved from a serious bullet wound by a pair of cheerleader boots, and I’m thinking: Funny, I would have thought he played for the Angels — Charlie’s Angels.

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I don’t know about you, but I never expected the Redskins to be facing a Must Game in Cleveland four weeks into the season.

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But then I never expected Navy to be 5-0 either — ever again.

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In response to a recent Sunday Column item on the antics of the Stanford band, colleague Dave Fay e-mailed: “You missed the absolute low point in the history of the Leland H. Stanford University marching band. That came at some point in the ‘70s, or maybe the ‘60s, when the Indians (that was still their nickname) were playing at Penn State.

“My paper had done a story on how the hundred or so members of the band raised money to pay for their cross-country trek — Stanford kicked in zip for the band’s trips — and how they were a fun-loving bunch of kids. I bumped into the drum major at some function the night before the game, one thing led to another and he wanted to know if I wanted to march with the band the next day. The answer was obvious.

“I was given a triangle to play. ‘When should I hit it?’” I asked.

“‘Whenever you get the urge,’” came the reply.

“‘What about marching formations?’” I asked.

“‘Just follow the guy in front of you,’” I was told.

“I never had so much fun in my life.”

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Ever wonder who makes the biggest killing in those Other Events on the PGA Tour — the ones played at the same time as More Important Tournaments like this week’s American Express Championship? I’m talking about the Chrysler Classic of Tucson (opposite the Match Play Championship), the B.C. Open (British Open), the Reno-Tahoe Open (NEC Invitational), the Texas Open (Ryder Cup) and the Southern Farm Bureau Classic (AmEx).

Well, this year’s Other Events leader is Vaughn Taylor, who won at Reno, tied for seventh at the B.C. Open, and also cashed checks at Tucson and the Texas Open. Total earnings: $680,000 — nearly two-thirds of his 2004 winnings of $1,054,271.

Taylor missed the cut in Mississippi this week, though, and could be overtaken by Heath Slocum. Slocum has pocketed $624,000 in Other Events (a victory at Tucson, a T2 in the Texas Open) and was five strokes off the lead going into the third round of the Southern Farm Bureau.

Also in the picture:

Harrison Frazar — Tied for third at Tucson and shared the second-round lead at the Southern Farm Bureau. If he wins today, he’ll have rung up $696,000 in Other Events.

Patrick Sheehan — Finished second in the Texas Open and was tied for third after two rounds at the Southern Farm Bureau. A victory this afternoon would give him a whopping $938,400 in Other Events.

Whoever comes out on top should get a trophy and a parade — like Mr. Irrelevant, the last player picked in the NFL Draft.

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Original Senators trivia answers:

1. They were the four Original Senators who won American League batting titles — Delahanty in 1902 (.376), Goslin in ‘28 (.379), Myer in ‘35 (.349) and Vernon in ‘46 (.353) and ‘53 (.337).

2. Bob Allison, 30 homers, 1959.

3. Stan Spence, 76 extra base hits, 1946 (50 doubles, 10 triples, 16 homers).

4. Future Hall of Famer Sam Rice.

5. Alvin Crowder (his last 15 in 1932 and his first in ‘33).

6. Camilo Pascual racked up 15 Ks against the Red Sox on April 18, 1960, the club’s last home opener. (President Dwight Eisenhower threw out the first ball.)

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Expansion Senators trivia answers:

1. Eddie Brinkman, 1,142 games.

2. Fred Valentine, 16 homers, 1966.

3. Chuck Hinton, .280.

4. Ken McMullen, 19 games, 1967.

5. Dick Bosman (49 victories) and Bennie Daniels (60 defeats).

6. Jim Duckworth, 13 strikeouts, Sept. 25, 1965 (in a 5-3 loss to the Twins).

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And finally …

News item: Interstate Bakeries Corp., maker of Twinkies, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Comment: What’s Shaquille O’Neal going to have for his pregame meal now?



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