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  • Pere
    replied
    Originally posted by bryanac625 View Post
    I don't know that the Washington Nationals are actually claiming the 1924 World Championship , the '25 and '33 AL pennants, and the success of Walter Johnson Goose Goslin and Frank Howard as their own.
    You may be right about this. My earlier comment was just based on something that I read somewhere, possibly from someone who didn't really know what he was talking about. I have now attended three games at Nationals Park, and, in fact, I did not see any actual pennants flying for these years. Of course, several planned "historical" features, like the centerfield plaza statues, have yet to be installed.

    Rather curiously, they do have images of a whole assortment of players on pillars around the main concourse, just behind the last row of seats on the lower level. A few are old Senators, but many have no connection whatsoever with the city of Washington, and appear under a generic heading, "Washington Nationals Salute Hall of Famer..."

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  • bryanac625
    replied
    Franchises acknowledging their histories has not been an exact science, as some teams relocate and only change their city, while others completely change their identity. The first question is, why did these teams relocate in the first place? Many of them were very bad teams, such as the St. Louis Browns or the Philadelphia Athletics, but the bottom line in all cases is a business decision, because the teams were not making enough money where they were (i.e. the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants were at the top of their games but moved to make more money).

    In the case of the Montreal Expos, the retired numbers of that team are hanging from the rafters at Bell Centre in Montreal. This is exactly where they belong until that city gets another baseball team. Honestly, except for being the same franchise, I really don't even see the Expos and the Washington Nationals having anything to do with each other, even to the point of the retired numbers. In other words, leave the Montreal Expos numbers retired, but the Washington Nationals should have access to all numbers, 0 through 99. This would be a unique situation... there are no retired numbers of the St. Louis Browns, the only former team (besides the Senators) of any significant time period that moved and completely lost its identity. BTW, there are no Browns players in the Orioles HOF (George Sisler in the MLB HOF would be eligible), nor should there be.

    I think the Nats should do everything to celebrate the history of baseball in DC- a museum, statues of Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson and Frank Howard and banners celebrating 1924, 1925 and 1933. But I think they should make it no secret that the team today is not the same franchise. This whole thing is very simple to me.

    Originally posted by freedougsisk View Post
    but because the traditional moniker/colors/logo were ditched by minnesota and texas, and because they have now been revived by washington d.c., i feel that the franchise should unify the three fragmented sections of the city's baseball history so that they're officially one and the same.
    GREAT POINT!
    Last edited by bryanac625; 04-02-2008, 03:00 AM.

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  • freedougsisk
    replied
    Originally posted by spark240 View Post
    But Walter Johnson is no more a part of the history of present Washington Nationals club than is Josh Gibson, who also played in the city once upon a time. Both men, as I understand it, are expected to eventually have statues at the DC ballpark, and this is great. For that matter, I think the recognition of general baseball history can also include players who were from a city or region, but actually played elsewhere, the way Georgian native Ty Cobb is recognized in Atlanta... not as if he played for the Braves.
    i disagree; i think walter johnson should be honored with a banner in the outfield (since he never wore a uniform number, there's no "number" to be retired) and recognized as part of the nats' history, due to the reasons i outlined in my previous posts.

    josh gibson and ty cobb are a different story, though; unlike the big train, gibson never played for the nats/senators and cobb never played for the braves (and of course retired decades before the braves moved to atlanta). johnson, on the other hand, did play for the historical washington baseball team - a team with which the modern-day nats share a name, colors, and logo.

    Consider the flip side of the Nats identifying only with Washington baseball history, which is that they apparently do not embrace the franchise's time in Montreal. This is sad, because it deprives great Montreal players and teams of recognition (particularly while Montreal goes without a team) and it deprives Nats fans of the opportunity to enjoy this history. If you're a Nats fan, why not savor both Walter Johnson playing "in the city" and Gary Carter playing "for the team"? (Some Montreal Expos fans may still be too bitter to see that this doesn't take Gary Carter away from them.)
    as mentioned in my first post, i actually think it would be a good thing if the montreal expos' name, logo, colors, and history were officially retired, with the option to be revived in the unlikely event that baseball returns to montreal someday. in my opinion, it would be the proper sendoff for a team that had some great players and a handful of good years throughout its existence. it would also allow mlb, the city of montreal, and the current nats franchise to finally gain some closure:

    -the fans in montreal get to hold onto the expos' retired numbers and history with the knowledge that their team isn't off in some other city playing under a different name. while this might not erase the sting of losing their team, at least they can say that all of those great memories will stay in montreal permanently, since this provision would preclude the current nats team from acknowledging any expos players or history.

    besides, the expos aren't going to get their proper due in d.c.; why not allow the people of montreal to officially retire the franchise on their own terms? i feel this affords the montreal fans more dignity than the current situation in which their team technically exists elsewhere, but has completely stripped itself of its expos identity. i mean, that team is dead to 99% of the fans now that they're gone, so i don't think mlb and the nationals are doing them any favors by holding on to their history.

    -meanwhile, the nats shed themselves of the stigma of being a relocated or "poached" franchise (just like the baltimore ravens) and at the same time make the link with their historical predecessors an official one. this provides closure to old nationals/senators fans who were devastated by the relocations of 1961 and 1972 (the latter of which was especially ugly) and relieves the franchise of any responsibility to honor the expos. i mean, how awkward would it be to have a "gary carter night" at nationals park? or to show on the scoreboard, "on this day in franchise history, dennis martinez pitched a perfect game!"
    Last edited by freedougsisk; 04-01-2008, 03:25 AM.

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  • freedougsisk
    replied
    Originally posted by spark240 View Post
    I have probably given this more thought than a lot of people, because I'm a history-minded fan, of a team, the Braves, which has relocated twice. My view is that there is a (perhaps subtle) difference between recognizing the history of a baseball franchise and the history of baseball in a city. See this A's thread for some other interpretations.

    The old Washington AL franchise histories belong, in separate pieces, to the teams that now play in Minnesota and Texas. Those are the franchises with the right to actually fly the pennants and hang the player numbers as their own, if they wish to. Okay, the Minnesota club has the right to three pre-1961 AL flags, anyway; the franchise now in Texas never won anything in Washington.

    Those players and pennants are simultaneously part of the history of baseball in the city of Washington, and it is both right and classy for any team that plays in Washington to acknowledge that with galleries on the concourse, statues on the plaza, and things of this nature. But Walter Johnson is no more a part of the history of present Washington Nationals club than is Josh Gibson, who also played in the city once upon a time. Both men, as I understand it, are expected to eventually have statues at the DC ballpark, and this is great. For that matter, I think the recognition of general baseball history can also include players who were from a city or region, but actually played elsewhere, the way Georgian native Ty Cobb is recognized in Atlanta... not as if he played for the Braves.

    Consider the flip side of the Nats identifying only with Washington baseball history, which is that they apparently do not embrace the franchise's time in Montreal. This is sad, because it deprives great Montreal players and teams of recognition (particularly while Montreal goes without a team) and it deprives Nats fans of the opportunity to enjoy this history. If you're a Nats fan, why not savor both Walter Johnson playing "in the city" and Gary Carter playing "for the team"? (Some Montreal Expos fans may still be too bitter to see that this doesn't take Gary Carter away from them.)

    I treasure the history of the Braves organization in Boston and Milwaukee, and I love that Turner Field has displays that cover these periods, as well as #21 (Warren Spahn, who never played in Atlanta) hanging over the field. At the same time, I think it's appropriate that the Braves' Milwaukee years are recognized--not claimed--by the Brewers.

    To put it another way, the 1957 championship belongs to fans in both Milwaukee and Atlanta, but only to the team in Atlanta.
    i think you make some great points. but i believe there's a distinction between the braves' and athletics' situation versus the modern-day nationals.

    each time the braves or athletics relocated, they retained their moniker - thus signifying a continuation of the franchise from boston/milwaukee or philly/kc. so i totally agree that the braves' championships won in boston (1914) and milwaukee (1957) belong to the current franchise in atlanta rather than the red sox or brewers, and that the athletics' five championships in philly still belong to the team that currently plays in oakland. same team, same name, different city - all with a single history/lineage.

    but when the twins and rangers moved, they created fresh identities for themselves. while they were technically continuations of the senators, they did get rid of everything from the d.c. franchises other than the players and management. and up until baseball returned to d.c. in 2005, i didn't really think much of the twins and rangers "owning" the nats/sens history.

    but that all changed once the expos moved to town and made a conscious decision to resurrect the name, colors, and logo of the historic washington nationals. had the franchise decided to keep the expos' name or create a completely new moniker and logo, i would not be making this argument; in fact, the situation would've been similar to the st. louis browns becoming the orioles or the seattle pilots becoming the brewers.

    similarly, if either of the two original nats/sens incarnations had retained its moniker, colors, and logo when moving to minnesota or dallas, i wouldn't be feel the way i do. in other words, if the original senators had become the "minnesota senators/nationals" rather than the minnesota twins, or if the 2nd senators team became the "texas senators", i'd have no basis for my argument.

    but because the traditional moniker/colors/logo were ditched by minnesota and texas, and because they have now been revived by washington d.c., i feel that the franchise should unify the three fragmented sections of the city's baseball history so that they're officially one and the same.

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  • freedougsisk
    replied
    Originally posted by bryanac625 View Post
    It appears that the fans and the teams (the Twins and the Rangers) couldn't care less about their histories as DC baseball teams. I do recall that the Rangers held a turn-back-the-clock game in 2001 with Senators '61 uniforms. I have to wonder how Texas Rangers/Dallas Cowboy fans felt about that one.

    I suppose the real question is, does the history of Major League Baseball in DC from 1901 to 1971 belong to the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, or does it belong to the city of Washington, DC? You can't have one without the other. And since the Rangers and Twins don't do a lot to celebrate thaty part of their pasts, I say let the Nationals, their fans and Washington, DC embrace and honor it.

    As a native Washingtonian, I'd rather see the history of baseball celebrated all the time rather than occasional rememberances by teams that aboandoned the city and its fans.
    exactly - i agree with you 100%. the twins and rangers have no use for their washington heritage, so why not relinquish it to the current nats? i'm sure some sort of compensation can be arranged for minnesota and texas.

    i'm not a nationals fan nor am i from d.c., but as a die-hard baseball fan in general i've long been intrigued by the city's baseball history. i think it's because i was born after the expansion senators had moved to texas and thus had never seen baseball in washington. it always seemed odd to me that a major city with such a long baseball history was devoid of a team (unless you count the orioles, being in the region and all), so i was thrilled to see baseball return to the district.

    when the expos moved, the franchise made a conscious decision to restore the nationals moniker, logo, and colors, so why can't the team work with the twins and rangers to claim the old d.c. baseball history?

    again, i bring up the example of the cleveland browns - technically they were reborn as an expansion team in 1999, but officially they're one and the same with the franchise that played in town from 1946-1995 and won 8 titles (4 AAFC, 4 NFL) while the ravens were instead designated as the expansion franchise. i realize there's that ugly three year hiatus from 1996-1999, but the nfl did the right thing for the people of cleveland by not allowing art modell to take the franchise history, logo, and colors with him to baltimore. because once he announced his plans to leave, that's all the fans in cleveland had left, and fortunately they were able to claim these things as belonging to their city.

    had modell succeeded in taking the logo/colors/history to baltimore, cleveland wouldn't have been able to use the "browns" moniker upon receiving an expansion franchise, which would've been unfortunate. the fans in cleveland are crazy about the browns, so a team by any other name and without the 50 years of history wouldn't have been the same.

    i realize that the nats' situation is different, but the bottom line is that both the twins and rangers created completely new identities when they arrived in their new cities, other than the players and management being transplanted. both teams scrapped the senators logo and colors, both lost virtually all of their d.c. fanbase, and both regard their history in d.c. as incidental, at best.

    the nats can do what the browns did - restore the history of the previous team in town to the current one so that they're regarded as one and the same. it worked in cleveland, and it would work in d.c., too. besides, it seems that retaining a team's name, colors, and logo for the jilted city might become more common with future franchise relocations - the city of seattle may end up doing the same if the sonics end up moving to oklahoma city.
    Last edited by freedougsisk; 04-01-2008, 01:16 AM.

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  • 1995hoo
    replied
    There's a display on the 100-level concourse in the new ballpark, down towards the entrance from the Douglass Bridge, that's entitled something like "A History of Baseball in Washington DC." There's a good picture of the 1924 World Series championship team. That's a very good way to address it, IMO—acknowledge that Washington won the Series and has a history without claiming that this club did it.

    The Nationals have a ways to go in addressing team history, though. When I looked at the "history" section of the team's site last week, I found a page of retired numbers. All, of course, were Expos. While I think having a section of the "history" page devoted to Montreal is a GOOD thing, I think the way the site is laid out is misleading (and I know it was done by MLB during their "stewardship" and that the Lerners/Kasten just haven't gotten around to fixing it). The principle is the same as the article I saw this evening saying that Washington are 2–0 for the first time since 2003. Hmm, Washington had a team in 2003? That's news to me!

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  • bryanac625
    replied
    Originally posted by spark240 View Post
    The old Washington AL franchise histories belong, in separate pieces, to the teams that now play in Minnesota and Texas. Those are the franchises with the right to actually fly the pennants and hang the player numbers as their own, if they wish to. Okay, the Minnesota club has the right to three pre-1961 AL flags, anyway; the franchise now in Texas never won anything in Washington.

    Those players and pennants are simultaneously part of the history of baseball in the city of Washington, and it is both right and classy for any team that plays in Washington to acknowledge that with galleries on the concourse, statues on the plaza, and things of this nature. But Walter Johnson is no more a part of the history of present Washington Nationals club than is Josh Gibson, who also played in the city once upon a time. Both men, as I understand it, are expected to eventually have statues at the DC ballpark, and this is great. For that matter, I think the recognition of general baseball history can also include players who were from a city or region, but actually played elsewhere, the way Georgian native Ty Cobb is recognized in Atlanta... not as if he played for the Braves.

    I treasure the history of the Braves organization in Boston and Milwaukee, and I love that Turner Field has displays that cover these periods, as well as #21 (Warren Spahn, who never played in Atlanta) hanging over the field. At the same time, I think it's appropriate that the Braves' Milwaukee years are recognized--not claimed--by the Brewers.

    To put it another way, the 1957 championship belongs to fans in both Milwaukee and Atlanta, but only to the team in Atlanta.
    I don't know that the Washington Nationals are actually claiming the 1924 World Championship , the '25 and '33 AL pennants, and the success of Walter Johnson Goose Goslin and Frank Howard as their own. I look at it (I am also very history minded) as the team is celebrating the history of baseball in Washington, DC. I understand there may be (and I strongly hope there will be) plans for a museum at Nationals Park. This could tell the complete story of baseball in the Nation's Capital. In that case, tell the truth about the three separate franchises and the Negro League teams of the city.

    And as I said before, a team is part of its city as a city is part of its team. The history of the Walter Johnson Senators and the 1960s expansion Senators are also part of the history of DC. That said, the city has a right to embrace the past. As a historian, I love that the Nationals are celebrating the history of the other two franchises in their DC tenure... besides, the other teams don't really seem to care.

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  • Pere
    replied
    Originally posted by bryanac625 View Post
    I understand your point. Maybe a child could get confused, thinking the franchise that won the '24 World Series is the same franchise.
    ...
    I suppose the real question is, does the history of Major League Baseball in DC from 1901 to 1971 belong to the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, or does it belong to the city of Washington, DC? You can't have one without the other. And since the Rangers and Twins don't do a lot to celebrate thaty part of their pasts, I say let the Nationals, their fans and Washington, DC embrace and honor it.

    As a native Washingtonian, I'd rather see the history of baseball celebrated all the time rather than occasional rememberances by teams that aboandoned the city and its fans.
    I have probably given this more thought than a lot of people, because I'm a history-minded fan, of a team, the Braves, which has relocated twice. My view is that there is a (perhaps subtle) difference between recognizing the history of a baseball franchise and the history of baseball in a city. See this A's thread for some other interpretations.

    The old Washington AL franchise histories belong, in separate pieces, to the teams that now play in Minnesota and Texas. Those are the franchises with the right to actually fly the pennants and hang the player numbers as their own, if they wish to. Okay, the Minnesota club has the right to three pre-1961 AL flags, anyway; the franchise now in Texas never won anything in Washington.

    Those players and pennants are simultaneously part of the history of baseball in the city of Washington, and it is both right and classy for any team that plays in Washington to acknowledge that with galleries on the concourse, statues on the plaza, and things of this nature. But Walter Johnson is no more a part of the history of present Washington Nationals club than is Josh Gibson, who also played in the city once upon a time. Both men, as I understand it, are expected to eventually have statues at the DC ballpark, and this is great. For that matter, I think the recognition of general baseball history can also include players who were from a city or region, but actually played elsewhere, the way Georgian native Ty Cobb is recognized in Atlanta... not as if he played for the Braves.

    Consider the flip side of the Nats identifying only with Washington baseball history, which is that they apparently do not embrace the franchise's time in Montreal. This is sad, because it deprives great Montreal players and teams of recognition (particularly while Montreal goes without a team) and it deprives Nats fans of the opportunity to enjoy this history. If you're a Nats fan, why not savor both Walter Johnson playing "in the city" and Gary Carter playing "for the team"? (Some Montreal Expos fans may still be too bitter to see that this doesn't take Gary Carter away from them.)

    I treasure the history of the Braves organization in Boston and Milwaukee, and I love that Turner Field has displays that cover these periods, as well as #21 (Warren Spahn, who never played in Atlanta) hanging over the field. At the same time, I think it's appropriate that the Braves' Milwaukee years are recognized--not claimed--by the Brewers.

    To put it another way, the 1957 championship belongs to fans in both Milwaukee and Atlanta, but only to the team in Atlanta.
    Last edited by Pere; 03-31-2008, 04:40 PM. Reason: added link

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  • bryanac625
    replied
    Originally posted by spark240 View Post
    While it's appropriate for any team to acknowledge baseball history (major league and otherwise) in their city, I think it's ridiculous that the present Nationals essentially are claiming the old Senators (both of them) as if they were a direct descendant. For example, one of the clubs in the new stadium has an ostentatious display of the line score from Game 7 of the '24 Series, and I read somewhere that the Nats will actually be flying a '24 World Championship flag, as if they had won it.

    The present team does not have direct lineage to the Senators. Honor the history of baseball in Washington, yes, but don't pretend that you were there.
    I understand your point. Maybe a child could get confused, thinking the franchise that won the '24 World Series is the same franchise. Although I would imagine there are explanations of the true history in Nationals Park.

    But on the other hand, it appears that the fans and the teams (the Twins and the Rangers) couldn't care less about their histories as DC baseball teams. I do recall that the Rangers held a turn-back-the-clock game in 2001 with Senators '61 uniforms. I have to wonder how Texas Rangers/Dallas Cowboy fans felt about that one.

    I suppose the real question is, does the history of Major League Baseball in DC from 1901 to 1971 belong to the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, or does it belong to the city of Washington, DC? You can't have one without the other. And since the Rangers and Twins don't do a lot to celebrate thaty part of their pasts, I say let the Nationals, their fans and Washington, DC embrace and honor it.

    As a native Washingtonian, I'd rather see the history of baseball celebrated all the time rather than occasional rememberances by teams that aboandoned the city and its fans.

    Go Nats!

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  • Pere
    replied
    While it's appropriate for any team to acknowledge baseball history (major league and otherwise) in their city, I think it's ridiculous that the present Nationals essentially are claiming the old Senators (both of them) as if they were a direct descendant. For example, one of the clubs in the new stadium has an ostentatious display of the line score from Game 7 of the '24 Series, and I read somewhere that the Nats will actually be flying a '24 World Championship flag, as if they had won it.

    The present team does not have direct lineage to the Senators. Honor the history of baseball in Washington, yes, but don't pretend that you were there.

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  • freedougsisk
    started a topic nats/senators team history

    nats/senators team history

    i realize that the current incarnation of the nationals is technically the same franchise as the montreal expos and thus owns the rights to the expos' history. and that the twins are a continuation of the original nats/senators while the rangers are the relocated expansion senators.

    but doesn't it seem odd to some of you that the 21st century nats are considered a completely separate franchise from the previous nats/senators teams? i really don't see the point of the twins and rangers "owning" the washington portion of their respective franchise histories; as far as i know those two teams have rarely acknowledged their d.c. roots, and when they do (for turn-back-the-clock uniform days and whatnot) it all seems so forced and awkward.

    not to mention, neither the twins nor the rangers display the retired numbers of old nationals/senators players in their ballparks - at least not for those who played exclusively in washington (e.g. walter johnson). similarly, the current nationals franchise made a conscious decision to leave the expos' retired numbers in montreal.

    so my question is, why can't the modern-day nats claim the histories of the two previous d.c. baseball franchises as their own, as if all three incarnations were a single franchise from 1901 through the present (with a 33 year hiatus)? you know, kind of like the cleveland browns situation in the nfl.

    considering that the twins and rangers have little to no use for their previous incarnations, why don't they relinquish the washington years of their franchise history to the nats? then the expos franchise name, colors, and history can be officially retired (as they should be), while the 1961 twins and 1972 rangers can be retroactively designated as expansion franchises (just like the 1996 baltimore ravens) - because for all intents and purposes, that's what they were.

    given the long baseball history in d.c., it seems ridiculous to me that the current nationals franchise can't claim direct lineage to the previous incarnations. resolving this situation makes a lot of sense to me. why hasn't mlb addressed this issue? i'd imagine it wouldn't be that difficult - perhaps the nationals can compensate the twins and rangers in some way?
    Last edited by freedougsisk; 03-17-2008, 01:06 PM.

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