Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Washington Senators (officially named the Washington Nationals during the 1905–1956 seasons) were an American League baseball team based in Washington, D.C. from 1901 to 1960. The franchise then moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul and became, and still remains, the Minnesota Twins. The Senators won one World Series (1924) and lost two (1925 and 1933). Among its stars included Hall of Famers Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Heinie Manush, and Walter Johnson. Up and coming Washington star Harmon "Killer" Killebrew was a young phenom in the late 1950s and early '60s who went with the team to Minneapolis and spent all but one year of his career with the Senators/Twins.
Team nickname: Nats, short for Nationals.
The Washington Senators were also an American League baseball expansion team from 1961 to 1971. The franchise then moved to Dallas-Fort Worth and became, and still remains, the Texas Rangers. In eleven seasons, the Senators posted only one winning season (1969). Frank Howard was the team's most accomplished player. Ted Williams of Boston Red Sox fame managed the team from 1969 to 1971, and moved with the franchise to Arlington, Texas in 1972.
Team uniform colors: Red, blue and white, with script "Washington" across the player's chest
Because the original Senators' relocation to Minnesota and the expansion Senators' arrival occurred in the same year (1961), it is a very common mistake to combine the two franchises into one, as they both had the same name.
On September 29th, 2004, Major League Baseball announced that the Montreal Expos would move to Washington, D.C., bringing baseball back to the town for the first time in 33 years. However, the Texas Rangers retain the rights to the name "Washington Senators." On November 22, 2004, the team was given a moniker, the "Nationals." See: Washington Nationals
19th Century baseball in Washington
There were several National League teams called the Washington Nationals, Washington Senators and Washington Statesmen in the 19th century. The National Association Washington Nationals played in 1873 and 1875; the Union Association Washington Nationals played in 1884; the American Association Washington Nationals played in 1884 and the Washington Statesmen played in 1891; and the National League Washington Statemen played 1886–1889 and the Washington Senators played 1892–1899.
The Washington Senators in popular culture
The longtime competitive struggles of the team inspired a humorous saying about both franchises: "First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." This was a parody of "Light Horse Harry" Lee's renowned eulogy of George Washington: "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
The team was portrayed in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the Broadway musical and movie Damn Yankees. The plot features a middle-aged man, Joe Hardy, who sells his soul to the Devil so the Washington Senators could win the pennant. One of the songs from the musical, You Gotta Have Heart, is frequently played at baseball games.
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