1960: After years of struggling with attendance, and fighting with baseball, and city officials Calvin Griffith the owner of the original Senators gets approval to move and to promote online sports betting. The approval comes as the American League decides to expand 1 year earlier then planned, as part of a sports betting package. Part of the approval comes because one of the two expansion teams will be placed in Washington to replace gambling the charter AL franchise that moved to Minnesota, for better access to online sports betting. Although the team will pick up the old name Senators, it will be as an expansion team, since the team that moved to Minnesota was allowed to keep its sports betting history.
1961: On April 10th in front of 26,724 at Griffith Stadium, President John F. Kennedy throws out the first pitch, as the "New" Washington Senators lose to Chicago White Sox by a score of 4-3. The team would make losing a habit, as they would finish in last with a record of 61-101. However, one bright spot is pitcher Dick Donovan who captures the ERA title a 2.40.
1962: On April 9th the Senators beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 in their new state of the art ballpark District of Columbia Stadium. The new stadium does nothing to help the team, as they finish in last again with a woeful 60-101 record. The highlight of the season of the season comes in September when pitcher Tom Cheney went 16 innings in a game against the Baltimore Orioles. Cheney would 228 pitches on the way to striking out 21 Orioles. This would establish a new record for strikeouts in an extra inning game. In collecting his record Cheney would strike every Baltimore Oriole out at least once, according to gambling experts. The game would finally end in the Senators favor when Bud Zipfel hit a sports betting home run in the top of the 16th.
1963: The fortunes of the Senators continue to sag as for the 3rd year in a row as they finish in last, and post a horrible record of 56-106. In an attempt to bring an experienced winner to Washington, former Brooklyn Dodgers great Gil Hodges is named manger in the middle of the season, but the move has no effect as the Senators continue to lose.
1964: The Senators hit the century mark in losses for the 4th year in a row posting a 62-100 record while finishing in 9th place.
1965: In a multiplayer deal with Los Angeles Dodgers the Senators acquire OF Frank Howard. The slugger becomes an instant fan favorite as he launches mammoth home runs. However, the move does not improve the team that much and they still finish well below .500, but do avoid 100 losses for the first time finishing in 8th place at 70-92.
1966: The Senators avoid 90 losses for the first time in franchise history while finishing in 8th place with a record of 71-88.
1967: The Senators continue to improve for the 3rd year in a row finishing in 6th Place with a 76-85 record. Leading the charge towards respectability is Frank Howard who slams 36 Homers. One game that sparked interest was on June 12th when the Senators beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 in 22 innings. The game lasted 6 hours, 38 minutes and ended at 2: 43 a.m. This caused the American League to adopt a curfew stating that no inning may start after 1:00 a.m. This rule, which was never adopted by the NL, would last 33 years.
1968: With Gil Hodges leaving to mange the New York Mets, the Senators fall back into last place with a 65-96 record under the leadership of Jim Lemon. Despite the terrible season Frank Howard wins the HR crown by smacking 44 Long Balls.
1969: Opening Day draws one of the largest crowds in Senators history, as DC Stadium is renamed RFK stadium in honor of former US Senator, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 during a run for the presidency, a roll his brother had held until he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. Another draw to RFK Stadium was new Manager Ted Williams, who many consider the greatest hitter of all-time. The move worked out as the Senators finish above .500 for the first time while finishing in 4th Place in the AL East with a record of 86-76. Leading the way is Frank Howard, who finishes with 48 homers and places 4th in the MVP voting. Meanwhile, Dick Bosman wins the era title at 2.19.
1970: Despite another stellar year from Frank Howard, who captures two-thirds of the Triple Crown with 44 homers and 126 RBI, the Senators fall back into last place with a record of 70-92.
1971: In an attempt to help the sagging franchise, the Senators trade several up and coming players to the Detroit Tigers for 2-time Cy Young Winner Denny McLain. McLain, who missed most of the 1970 season because of various suspensions, and injuries, is on a slippery slope that would see his career and life go down in ruins. The move is a big failure as McLain, who won 30 games in 1968, loses 22 in his only year in Washington. The worst news for the fans of the Senators had nothing to do with their 5th Place 63-96 finish. For years the Senators had trouble-drawing fans to their stadium, it t led to the departure of Washington's original team to Minnesota in 1960. The AL did not want to lose its Washington presence expanded right away replacing the old team seamlessly. However, after a decade the new team was on the verge of leaving and baseball, and the city of Washington did not have any quick expansion options. Part of the problem preventing success in Washington was the Baltimore Orioles who cut their fan base in half, and was one of baseball best teams. The Senators meanwhile, who were struggling at the gate, received an offer from Dallas Fort Worth to move to Texas in 1972. Dallas-Fort Worth for years had been trying to lure a Major League team. In 1962 Major League officials halted an attempted move by the A's. In 1969, the metro area fell short in an attempt to gain one of baseball's 4 expansion slots. This left city officials just one option was to lure an existing team. So a Minor League Stadium on the Turnpike in near by Arlington was expanded. With the Senators struggling in Washington owner Robert E. Short began looking for other options. When Dallas offered a reported multi-million dollar up-front payment for TV and radio broadcast rights Short asked AL owners permission to make the move. With Baltimore already entrenched in the area, owners would have no problem with the move, and 10 days before the end of the season it was approved.
1971: With the move to Texas approved a 71-year tradition of American League Baseball in the Nation's Capital was coming to an end. In the 71 years although the teams did not compete much, many fans stuck with them. It was once said "Washington first in war, first in peace, last in the American League". Despite this many fans stood by them, and anyone who played with Senators was a fan favorite. Washington fans did enjoy one championship in 1924, and a whole generation grew up watching Walter Johnson who many consider the greatest pitcher ever. However, most fans had to suffer through 90-loss last place season with players that would never get past the minors in other organizations. Washington Senators baseball was also a popular stop for the law makers of the country in their 71 history 11 Presidents of the United States, 3 Vice Presidents, a Speaker of the House of Representatives, a Canadian Prime Minister, and a "first son-in-law" all helped open major league seasons by throwing out the first ball for Washington baseball. 10 years earlier a similar move took Washington's original team, but expansion kept baseball in old DC, this time that was not going to happen so the September 30th game against the New York Yankees would likely be the final game in Washington baseball. In the final game, RFK Stadium was filled with angry jilted fans that continually interrupted play by throwing things onto the field. This would continue throughout the game, and into the 9th inning where the Senators were leading. The fans would then take a turn for the worse by streaming on to the field, and started a riot with 2-outs in the 9th. Order was unable to be restored and the game was forfeited, bringing an ugly end to a wonderful 71 years.
1972-2005: In an attempt to lure baseball back to Washington, city officials attempted to bring the National League's Padres from San Diego. In fact it looked like the move was close to happening, but Orioles ownership, and NL owners were able to block the move, as McDonalds founder Raymond A. Krok was brought in to buy the team, to keep them in San Diego. Over the next 30 years Washington and its suburbs would try to land several teams even trying to land an expansion team, but they would always come up short. Finally in 2004 the Montreal Expos after years of playing in limbo announced plans to move to Washington where they became the Nationals in 2005, bringing National Pastime back to National Capital.
2005: Baseball finally returned to Washington, DC 34 years after the Senators left for Texas, as the wayward Montreal Expos still without an owner moved to the Nation's capital. Immediately after unveiling their logo Nationals apparel became one of the hottest sellers as baseball starved fans on the Potomac swiped it up, as plans for a new ballpark that is scheduled to open in 2008 were announced, while MLB sought bidders for permanent ownership in Washington. The Nationals would start the season on the road playing their first 9 games and compiling a 5-4 record including an April 6th game in which Brad Wilkerson delivered a cycle in the Nationals first ever win against the Philadelphia Phillies. On April 14th baseball finally returned to Nation's Capital as President George W. Bush keeping with an old Presidential tradition threw out the first pitch as the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 at RFK Stadium, the old home of the Senators. The Nationals would go on to compile a respectable 13-11 record at the end of the first month. The Nationals would remain hot over the next two months and led the NL East by 5 and half games over the Atlanta Braves entering the 4th of July with a record of 51-30. However, hosting the New York Mets for a 4-game series the Nationals began to sputter as the Mets took 3 of 4 games as the Nats went into the second half losing 5 of 7 at RFK Stadium to division opponents. After the break the Nationals struggles continued as their grip on first place quickly slipped away, as by the time they entered a 3-game series with the Braves in Atlanta the lead was gone. The Nats would be swept in the series and would never see first place again. The Nationals continued to struggle in August as they ended losing a total 24 of 32 games over a 5 week period ending on August 11th. The Nationals would stop the sinking with a 3-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies to keep them in the Wild Card Race as all 5 NL East teams had .500 or better records and were in thick of the playoff chase heading into September. However, the Nats would quickly fall off in the race as they began to slip further in the NL East Standings as a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Mets dropped them to .500, and into last place where they would post an 81-81 record. Among the individual highlights for the first year Nationals were Chad Cordero who won the NL Fireman Award with 47 saves, while Livan Hernandez led the team with a 15-10 record. At the plate homers were scarce in cavernous RFK Stadium as Jose Guillen led the team with 24 homers and 76 RBI.
NY Yankees | Boston | Toronto | Baltimore | Tampa Bay
Detroit | Minnesota | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland | Kansas City
Oakland | LA Angels | Texas | Seattle
NY Mets | Philadelphia | Florida | Atlanta | Washington
St. Louis | Cincinnati | Houston | Milwaukee | Pittsburgh | Chicago Cubs
LA Dodgers | San Diego | San Francisco | Arizona | Colorado