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36 Years Ago Today-September 30, 1971

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  • 36 Years Ago Today-September 30, 1971

    36 years ago today the expansion Washington Senators played their last game at RFK in front of 14,460 paying customers.

    As an 18 year old, I was away at my freshman year of college and unable to attend the farewell. That was probably a good thing, because as most folks know, with 2 outs in the top of the 9th inning, the "fans" stormed the field interrupting play, and eventually what looked like an almost certain 7-5 victory for the Senators turned into a 9-0 forfeit to the New York Yankees. :dismay:

    The box score for the last Senators game:

    Sep. 30, 1971 Yankees @ Senators

    Joe Grzenda was the Washington pitcher on the mound, Horace Clarke was the next scheduled batter when the fans stopped play. I've posted this link before, but it's a great writeup, and worth the repeat for those of you who may not have seen it previously.

    Joe Grzenda-The Ultimate Closer

    In a happy postscript to the article, Joe Grzenda was in RFK to throw out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals in 2005 and the baseball in the article is now rightfully enshrined in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

    The 1971 Senators would finish 63-96 (including the forefeit) and would draw 655,156 patrons. After moving to Texas to resume play as the Texas Rangers in 1972, they would finish 54-100 and draw 662,974-an increase of 7,818 fans.

    Ted Williams ended his managerial reign of the franchise after the 1972 season.

    The Rangers wouldn't draw over 1 million until the 1974 season.

    36 years later, I still miss the Senators. Sure, we have the Nationals now and I'm faithfully following them. However, the Nationals in the National League (and that detestable inter-league play) is no replacement for those matchups with the hated Yankees and the almost as dislkeable Orioles, as well as the other American League teams I followed as a youngster.
    Last edited by Aa3rt; 09-30-2007, 08:21 AM.
    "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Aa3rt View Post
    36 years ago today the expansion Washington Senators played their last game at RFK in front of 14,460 paying customers.

    As an 18 year old, I was away at my freshman year of college and unable to attend the farewell. That was probably a good thing, because as most folks know, with 2 outs in the top of the 9th inning, the "fans" stormed the field interrupting play, and eventually what looked like an almost certain 7-5 victory for the Senators turned into a 9-0 forfeit to the New York Yankees. :dismay:

    The box score for the last Senators game:

    Sep. 30, 1971 Yankees @ Senators

    Joe Grzenda was the Washington pitcher on the mound, Horace Clarke was the next scheduled batter when the fans stopped play. I've posted this link before, but it's a great writeup, and worth the repeat for those of you who may not have seen it previously.

    Joe Grzenda-The Ultimate Closer

    In a happy postscript to the article, Joe Grzenda was in RFK to throw out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals in 2005 and the baseball in the article is now rightfully enshrined in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

    The 1971 Senators would finish 63-96 (including the forefeit) and would draw 655,156 patrons. After moving to Texas to resume play as the Texas Rangers in 1972, they would finish 54-100 and draw 662,974-an increase of 7,818 fans.

    Ted Williams ended his managerial reign of the franchise after the 1972 season.

    The Rangers wouldn't draw over 1 million until the 1974 season.

    36 years later, I still miss the Senators. Sure, we have the Nationals now and I'm faithfully following them. However, the Nationals in the National League (and that detestable inter-league play) is no replacement for those matchups with the hated Yankees and the almost as dislkeable Orioles, as well as the other American League teams I followed as a youngster.
    You know, Aa3rt, when I first read your post I couldn't believe that it has been 36 years since the Senators left Washington. Time sure flies, but it flies even faster in "baseball years". It's been 50 years since WE lost OUR Dodgers.

    I am sure it is not easy for you, and other loyal Senator fans, to take to the new Nationals team, but at least MLB somehow saw fit to bring our great game back to the DC area. BROOKLYN DODGER FANS know that that will never happen to US.

    Never forget what you loved and enjoyed about being a Senator fan and watching them play, but, now you have a team in your own back yard...one that you can go to the ballpark and see play, if you choose.

    c.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DODGER DEB View Post
      You know, Aa3rt, when I first read your post I couldn't believe that it has been 36 years since the Senators left Washington. Time sure flies, but it flies even faster in "baseball years".
      Hello Deb, So nice to see you check in in our little corner of BBF.com. Yes, time certainly does fly. The Senators left not long after I graduated from high school. The return of baseball to Washington, with the relocation of the Expos, came 33 years later. Suddenly I was an over-50 year old man. What happened?!?


      Originally posted by DODGER DEB View Post
      Never forget what you loved and enjoyed about being a Senator fan and watching them play, but, now you have a team in your own back yard...one that you can go to the ballpark and see play, if you choose.

      c.
      Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't want to sound like an ingrate. Prior to the return of baseball to DC, I was most vehement on this forum, arguing that Washington, DC was not the same city it was in 1971 and that DC WOULD support another team, contrary to many of the nay-sayers, who kept chanting that same old mantra "You've lost 2 teams, what makes you think it will work this time?"

      I'm thrilled that DC has a team again, attend games when I can and have numerous Nationals shirts, hats, pennants, posters, etc. However, something just doesn't seem the same-couldn't be the fact that I've changed-could it? :blush:

      Thanks again for stopping in Deb!
      Last edited by Aa3rt; 10-02-2007, 05:19 PM.
      "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

      "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

      Comment


      • #4
        September 30, 1971

        I remebmer listening to the game on WWDC AM 1260. The broadcasters were Ron Menchine and Tony Roberts. I was a junior in high school. I actually taped the final game but lost it soon afterwards.

        I remember hearing the call on Frank Howard's home run.

        I've never followed baseball with the same passion since that day.

        Comment


        • #5
          A Great Link!

          I just came across this link while looking for information on another subject.

          The Night My Washington Senators Died
          Last edited by Aa3rt; 10-20-2007, 03:58 PM.
          "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

          "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

          Comment


          • #6
            I never understood why baseball allowed Bob Short to buy the Senators in the first place. He seemed to operate on a shoestring plus he was the guy who moved the Lakers out of his own state. Why would the other owners think having this guy in their club would be a good idea?

            I have this game on audiotape-pretty amazing how the announcers restrained themselves. They should have ripped Short to shreds since they had nothing to lose anyway.:grouchy

            Five clubs that never should have left:the 2nd Senators, the Kansas City A's, the Milwaukee Braves, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. Naked greed and/or terrible ownership killed them all needlessly.

            Comment

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