Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Final Lineup Card In Washington Senators History--The Picture Of The Day
Ted Williams ganders toward the crowd as the final game in The Expansion Washington Senators history is about to begin. Just moments earlier, The Senators Manager handed his final lineup card for D.C.'s American League Team to Home Plate Umpire Jim Odom--who stands alongside 1st Base Umpire Jake O'Donnell in this historical photograph by Jack Rottier. Umpire Lou DiMuro has nearly reached his position at 3rd Base for this "Funeral" of an affair against The New York Yankees--while Umpire Jim Honochick walks slowly to 2nd Base.
As most every baseball fan is well aware--following the end of the 1971 Championship Season, The Senators Carpetbagger Owner--Bob Short--picked up his team and transferred the entire franchise to Arlington, Texas--becoming The Rangers. Major League Baseball would not return to The Nation's Capital for any regular season home game again--until April 14, 2005--when Our Washington Nationals played their inaugural game versus The Arizona Diamondbacks. Over 33 years too long after The Senators sadly played their last game on September 30, 1971.
Anger filled the air that early fall night at The Old Ballyard On East Capitol Street in the early '70's. Venom would erupt later during one of the most memorable and impressionable evenings of my life--"The Night My Washington Senators Died". If you have never read that Nats320 post from 2006, please do so--as you will better understand our passion for Our Washington Nationals these days even more. When I saw this photo earlier this week for the very first time--all those emotions from that awful night in 1971 came flowing back to me.
Honestly, it was like living the entire episode over again. You had to be there 38 years ago. You had to experience the pain of losing your team--PERMANENTLY.
Manager Ted Williams heads back to the 1st Base Home Dugout at RFK Stadium on September 30, 1971 after delivering The Final Lineup Card in Washington Senators History--The Picture Of The Day.
PS--Absolutely love the little boy with The Senators Batting Cap stationed perfectly centered in this photo. He was in the dugout and on the field during that final game and I have no idea who he is today. But I would love to know.
Photograph Credit--Jack Rottier Collection--Former National Park Service & Freelance Photographer