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1970 Washington Senators

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  • 1970 Washington Senators

    I'd like to get some comments about the 1970 Senators. They did well in 1969 but slipped in 1970. I'd like to hear some comments as to what went wrong that year. If they had done well that year maybe that disastrous Denny McLain trade would not have happened?

  • #2
    1970 Senators

    The 1969 team was 86-76 and finished in 4th place. It was very dissapointing when the 70' Senators reverted back to their losing ways and ended up 70-92 and 6th place(last). After Ted Williams had made such great strides with the offense in 69',some of the players did not continue to improve. The team average dropped from .251 to .238 Mike Epstein went from 30 homers,85 RBI's and .278 to 20 homers,56 RBI's and .256. Bernie Allen didn't hit,Del Unser was Injured quite a bit and Ken McMullen was traded to California. That was actually a rare good trade because the Nats aquired Aurelio Rodriguez and Rick Reichardt,who had good years. Howard was great with 44 homers and 126 RBI's,Ed Stroud did a nice job taking over as a regular for the injured Unser and Ed Brinkman didn't slip from his vastly improved year in 1969.
    The team traded some key contributors from the 69' team for players that didn't help very much in 70'. Brant Alyea was traded to the Twins for Joe Grzenda,Hank Allen to the Brewers for Wayne Comer,Denny Higgins and Barry Moore to Cleveland for Dave Nelson and Horacio Pina and Dave Baldwin to Milwaukee for George Brunet. In fairness,Horacio Pina was good and Brunet had his moments but was only 8-6 with a 4.42 ERA
    The Pitching probably suffered more than the offense. The team E.R.A. increased from 3.49 to 3.80 but it was worse than that sounds. Higgins,Moore,Baldwin and Bob Humphries were veteran contributors in 1969. Humphries was released June 4th after pitching in only 5 games and spending time in Denver. Dick Bosman was the ace at 16-12,3.00 ERA. Darold Knowles was an All-Star quality reliever with 27 saves and a 2.04 ERA but his record was 2-14(!!) Joe Coleman slumped from 12-13,3.27 to 8-12,3.58 and Casey Cox was 8-12,4.45 after a great year in 69'(12-7,2.77) Jim Hannan's ERA rose from 3.65 to 4.01 In those days,a 3.50 ERA was high.The bullpen was not nearly as deep as it had been and it showed. Pitchers like Dick Such(1-5,7.56),Jackie Brown and Bill Gogolewski couldn't make up for the loss of the veterans. Only Jim Shellenback improved but it wasn't enough.

    I'm sure other members here have additional memories.

    Comment


    • #3
      It may have taken two years....but we were sold Short!

      Remember that the 1970 Senators played a two game exhibition with the Montreal Expos (how ironic!) in Arlington, Texas at the end of the 1970 spring training season. The memory dims after 36 years, but I do believe that there were already some rumors of the move to Texas circulating.

      JGF has already covered most of the salient points and I really can't add much.

      Bottom line-the hitting tailed off and pitching, never a strong point with the Senators, really fell below the 1969 level.

      Jim Hannan spent 3 weeks on the DL due to a kidney ailment in April and then never regained form, getting his last win on Aug. 17th.

      Frank Howard's BA dipped 14 points (from .296 to .283, still not bad) but scored 21 less runs (111 to 90) and had 15 less hits (175 to 160). Homer production stayed fairly consistent (48 in '69, 44 in '70).

      Del Unser's BA dropped almost 30 points (.286 to .258), Hank Allen's average dropped markedly (.277 to .211) and Bernie Allens' BA went from .247 to .234 but with 29 less hits in '70 (61) vice 90 in '69.

      The Senators had trouble scoring and the pitching staff, even when staked to a rare lead, couldn't seem to hold it.

      While 1970 was a disappointment, 1971 was a disaster. After all these years, I still maintain that Bob Short (whose name I still cannot speak without putting an expletive in front of it) had an ulterior motive to make the team less appealing to the fans and then use that as an excuse to uproot them to Texas.
      Last edited by Aa3rt; 06-01-2006, 06:10 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.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well for sure baseball had taken a hard look at Texas for an expansion team in 1969, and I imagine Short was trying to push things in that direction. After all, that wasn't a decision that could have been made overnight, it took some planning. Thanks for filling in the gaps you guys! Here's a quote from Del Unser on the final game: "“It was eerie and a little scary,” he said. “I grabbed my hat and ran for the dugout. And it was broken-field running, too. They were taking light bulbs out of the scoreboard and smashing them. You just didn’t know what was going to happen.”
        “There was so much animosity toward Bob Short,” he continued. The team had been run on a shoestring. He probably didn’t really want to succeed there because he knew he had a pot of gold waiting in Texas.”


        T.
        Last edited by Timbones; 05-31-2006, 07:31 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's funny what we remember, but when I think back to that time, the rage in spring training was that there was this phenom about to take the A.L. by storm. His name was Tommy Grieve. He wound up with 3 home runs and batted under .200 and his season was a microcosm of the entire 1970 season. Very disappointing. His son Ben, after some success very early in his career, has not had the career he was expected to, either.

          Being a Rochester Red Wings fan as a kid it's still a lot of fun to think back to those years and my memories of Mike Epstien, Frank Bertaina, Darold Knowles (possessor of the most unjust 2-14 record in baseball history), Fred Valentine, Sam Bowens,etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            Most of the season the Senators were only a little below .500. As late as August 17th they were 58-62. Then everything fell apart as they lost 30 of their last 42 games, including all of the last 14. Twelve of the 30 losses were by one run.

            Howard had an outstanding year but no one else hit over .266. The pitching wasn't as bad (7th out of 12 teams in ERA). Knowles, who was 2-14 with a 2.04 ERA, was victimized the most by lack of offensive support.

            Comment


            • #7
              1970 Senators

              All of you have made nice additions here. Aa3rt,I remember that Jim Hannan was pitching very well before his kidney ailment. On Aug.17th,he was 9-5. Tom Grieve was like so many young players that started with the Senators and had their best years elsewhere. My only vivid memory of him was when he hit his first major league triple. That was pretty exciting,until he got picked off third base. I also remember him turning me down for an autograph after a game. I never liked him after that. Other young players like Lenny Randle and Tom Ragland were busts as Senators.
              1971 WAS a disaster. If you look up the transactions they made,it's apparent that Short was preparing to leave town. Howard dropped off at an alarming rate(26 homers) and only Don Mincher hit as many as 10. If you guys remember,Dave Nelson hit third quite often in the second half and he hit 5 homers. Dick(Rich) Billings and Larry Biittner were surprising contributors and their stats weren't exceptional.
              I don't remember the exhibition games in Arlington,Tx. or that their record was acceptable until mid august. That is pretty shocking! Thanks guys!

              P.S.- I think Timbones asked about Fred Valentine in another thread. He'll be appearing at The Collectors Showcase Of America at the Dulles Expos Center in Chantilly Va. on Saturday,July 8th between 12-4 P.M. Chuck Hinton and Jim Coates will be there Friday,the 7th from 4-7,Saturday from 12-4 and Sunday from 11-3. Donations of $10.00 are requested for autographs. This event is in conjunction with the American Cancer Society's breast cancer awareness program. This info was in the May issue of "Nats News" from the Washington Historical Baseball Society.

              Comment


              • #8
                Did You Know?

                Speaking of 1970 players,did you know that Dick Such was 0-16 with a 2.81 ERA in 1967 at York? (it's on the back of his only card) I think he led the league in ERA!! Go Senators!! We sure miss you!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnGelnarFan
                  Speaking of 1970 players,did you know that Dick Such was 0-16 with a 2.81 ERA in 1967 at York? (it's on the back of his only card) I think he led the league in ERA!!
                  Here's a link to Dick Such's "career" record, 1-6 in 1970 with a 7+ ERA. I remember that he was a pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins about 10 years ago. Coming up through the "School Of Hard Knocks" I'm sure he had a lot of knowledge to impart to young pitchers.

                  http://www.baseball-almanac.com/play...php?p=suchdi01

                  Originally posted by JohnGelnarFan
                  Go Senators!! We sure miss you!!
                  Amen to that, brother!
                  "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


                  • #10
                    Dick Such

                    Thanks for the link Aa3rt. Such was a major league pitching coach for a long time. It's a good thing they don't have to be stars to stay in the game. I actually bought a beautiful autographed color photo of him on ebay about 5 or 6 years ago but it never showed up. When I typed in his name in my search box,I couldn't find anything. I clicked on his first game box score and checked out some of the other players in that game. In 1970,Dave Nelson earned $13,500! In 71',Paul Casanova earned $26,000 and he was a starter and ex all-star. In a 1970 program I have,a box seat cost $3.50. What the heck happened? G-R-E-E-D!!
                    Last edited by JohnGelnarFan; 06-01-2006, 07:43 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dick Bosman was the pitching coach here in Rochester for a few seasons. He was a real nice guy when I got the opportunity to talk to him. I asked him if he kept any of his Senators stuff from years ago but he said his jerseys and hats and things like that he sold to a collector in the Baltimore-Washington area. He looked kind of sad like he wished he had it all back.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bosman

                        It's nice when you find out that your boyhood heroes are nice guys,Isn't it? You're lucky to have been able to watch AAA ball. The minor leagues are more fan friendly than the majors. I can't believe he sold his uniforms,especially since the Senators were a defunct team. Those things are pretty rare. He was our ace but there were a few Instances where you'd think he was a total unknown. His name is Richard Allen Bosman and I have two instances where he was called Dave Bosman! I have an audio tape of the 1969 opener and when he was warming up,the announcers called him Dave Bosman. I also have a program that has a picture of fans on the field with a banner that says "Dave Bosman Fan Club"!!



                        Originally posted by Yankwood
                        Dick Bosman was the pitching coach here in Rochester for a few seasons. He was a real nice guy when I got the opportunity to talk to him. I asked him if he kept any of his Senators stuff from years ago but he said his jerseys and hats and things like that he sold to a collector in the Baltimore-Washington area. He looked kind of sad like he wished he had it all back.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They probably got him mixed up with Dave Boswell who was pitching around the same time. Boswell remembers Billy Martin I'll bet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bosman

                            That might be true with the announcers Terry but not his own Fan Club! You're right about Boswell and Martin. Not the best of friends.



                            Originally posted by Yankwood
                            They probably got him mixed up with Dave Boswell who was pitching around the same time. Boswell remembers Billy Martin I'll bet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not quite the 1970 Senators but here's Hank Allen from August of 1969 in Anaheim Stadium.





                              Steve
                              "Steve's Baseball Photography Pages"

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