Washington Nationals

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 20:28

The history of the Washington Nationals

Information about the MLB team Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals are an American professional baseball team located in Washington, D.C., United States. The “Nationals” name came from the two previous Washington baseball teams who had the similar name (used interchangeably with “Senators”). An abbreviated adaptation of the Nationals name “Nats” was also used by the previous D.C. teams. After playing their earliest three seasons in RFK Stadium, Washington Nationals relocated to the newly built Nationals Park in 2008. The innovative park is found in Southeast D.C. close to the Ancostia River. The Nationals is an affiliate of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball’s National League.

The Washington Nationals: The early years

Founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1969 the league called Montreal Expos was an expansion franchise. They were the primary major club players in Canada, and played their home playoffs at Jarry Park Stadium, then afterward, in Olympic Stadium. When the season was cut short by the year of 1994, they had the finest record in baseball, and was known by numerous to have been the team to hit that year.
Even though the team did continue in Quebec for 10 additional periods, this was extensively considered to be the death blow for baseball in Montreal. Major League Baseball considered finishing the team off after the 2001 season (along with either the Tampa Bay Devil Rays or the Minnesota Twins). The team at last left sooner than the 2005 season, moving to Washington to be converted into the Nationals. Since 1972, this was the first total name transformation for a relocating team in Major League Baseball, when the Washington Senators left D.C. to be converted into the Texas Rangers. They are one of three teams (the others being the aforementioned Rangers and the Seattle Mariners) to not legitimately win league finals, and to have by no means played in a World Series. They advanced to the National League Championship Series after winning a division championship, in their single last game appearance, which was under the odd situation of the 1981 season.
In 1969 along with the San Diego Padres, the Montreal Expos joined the National League. The team became successful in the early 1980s after a decade of losses, winning their single division championship in the strike-shortened split season of 1981. In the National League Championship Series, Montreal Expos didn’t win to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team rebounded in the early 1990s after numerous ordinary years in the late 1980s. The Expos, in 1994, headed by a brilliant group of players such as Moises Alou, Pedro Martinez, Marquis Grissom and Larry Walker, had the most excellent record in the major leagues earlier than the 1994 Major League Baseball strike forced the cancellation of the rest of the season. The Expos started to lose money, fans, and players, following the disappointment of 1994. Complicatedness in advertising broadcasting rights, the decimated fan base, possession squabbles, and in 2002 many other issues led to the team being bought by MLB.

Many specialized baseball teams have called Washington D.C. home. A founding associate of the American League, the Washington Senators, played in the nation’s capital from 1901 to 1960. Clark Griffith was the founder and owner of these Senators which played in Griffith Stadium. The Senators won the 1924 World Series and pennants in 1925 and 1933, with famous stars counting Joe Cronin and Walter Johnson; however they were more regularly defeated and moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season.

A second Washington Senators (1961-1971) had a winning record just once in their 11 years, even if bright spots, like slugger Frank Howard, earned the love of fans. The second Senators went to Texas for the 1972 season, and Washington spent the following 33 years with no baseball players. MLB started actively looking for a replacement site for the Expos, after a number of years in a holding pattern. Various choices included Norfolk, New Jersey, San Juan, Oklahoma City, Puerto Rico, Portland, Monterrey, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Charlotte, North Carolina and Virginia. Commissioner Bud Selig added Las Vegas, Nevada to the list of possible Expos homes.

History of the Washington Nationals: From 2004 until today

MLB formally announced on September 29, 2004 that the Expos would move to Washington, D.C. in 2005. On December 3, the move was agreed by the owners of the other teams in a 28-1 vote (Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos cast the sole dissenting vote). Additionally, a lawsuit on November 15, 2004 by the past team owners against MLB and previous majority owner Jeffrey Loria was struck down by arbitrators, finishing lawful moves to keep the Expos in Montreal. Even though there were a few responses to restore the name Senators, political considerations factored into the choice of Nationals, a revival of the first American League franchise’s “official” nickname used from 1905 to 1956. Politicians in the District of Columbia objected to the name Senators for the reason that the District of Columbia does not have voting representation in Congress. One more cause was the Texas Rangers (the second Washington Senators team) still owned the privileges to the “Senators” name.

The Orioles had been the only MLB franchise in the Baltimore-Washington area since 1972, which Peter Angelos considered a solitary market in spite of greatly unlike cultures and populations in the two cities. The move was announced regardless of resistance from Peter Angelos, possessor of the close by Baltimore Orioles. Orioles would suffer monetarily if an additional team were allowed to go into the market. Critics objected that the Orioles and the Washington Senators had shared the market fruitfully from 1954 through 1971. This analysis troubled many in Washington who remembered that is were the Griffith family, owners of the Washington Senators, who permitted the St. Louis Browns to move to Baltimore in 1954 in the first place. Angelos and Major League Baseball struck a contract to guard the Orioles against any monetary damage the Nationals may present on March 31, 2005.

Under the conditions of the contract, radio and television broadcast privileges to Nationals sports competition are handled by the Orioles franchise, which created a new network (the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network) to make and distribute the games for either franchises on both local affiliates and cable/satellite systems. But MASN was not, instantly accessible on all cable providers, addition to the annoyance of Nationals fans. In fact, nearly everyone in the D.C. part missed nearly the entirety of the Nationals initial two seasons. The contract with Angelos makes the Nationals the only main league baseball team which doesn’t possess their own broadcasting rights.

The team’s replacement to Washington was dependent on a financing plan for the Nationals’ new stadium; this idea immediately became the topic of much argue on the D.C. Board. Choosing from a finalized group of three possible ownership syndicates, in July 2006 Major League Baseball announced that it had selected the Lerner Enterprises group, headed by billionaire real-estate developer Theodore N. Lerner. The ultimate sale price of the team was $450 million and the relocate of ownership was finished July 24, 2006. In late September 2006, Comcast at last approved to broadcast the Nationals games. The Nationals ended the 2007 season 73-89, improving their record by two additional wins than in 2006. The Nationals won five out of six sport events with the New York Mets, contributing to the Mets’ fall out of first place.