Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Whole New Ballgame

I saw this book about the 1969 Washington Senators in Dan Steinberg's Sports Bog so I had to order it at Amazon.com

In 1969 the Washington Senators had a record of 86-76. They finished 23 games back of the American League champion Baltimore Orioles. I remember seeing the Senators play at RFK Stadium a bunch of times as a little kid. Dad and Mom would take me. My friend John would have his birthday party at his house, then we would all pile into a couple cars and ride down to the stadium for a game. Bat day (they gave you a nice bat from Thompson Dairy before the game) was the best. I can still remember popping empty beer cups in the upper deck of RFK with these.

Stephen Walker interviewed 16 former Senators for the book, including my favorite Frank Howard, pitcher Dick Bosman, outfielder Del Unser and Eddie Brinkman, one of the best fielding shortstops in the game back then.

The manager during that season was Ted Williams, the Hall of Famer and former Boston Red Sox slugger. Bosman led the league in ERA that year at 2.19 and the Senators had third baseman Ken McMullen, who hit 19 homers and drove in 87 runs. Howard hit 48 homers which is the club record.

Sadly the Senators would never approach that record again.

After the conclusion of the 1971 season, owner Robert Short moved the Senators to Texas where they became the Rangers. We all loved baseball back then so all my friends became Orioles fans after that with the exception of BC, who is still a big fan of the Rangers today.

Looking forward to this book and the memories it will bring back.

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