Here’s a not-so-fun reminder: Opening Day would have been March 26. In New York. Max Scherzer versus Jacob deGrom. The defending World Series champions against a division rival projected to fight for a postseason spot. The kookiness of Citi Field. All the good stuff.
Instead, the holding pattern continues. Nationals players are in West Palm Beach, Washington or at their homes. They continue to work out and hope baseball will resume at some point this summer.
There was no such wait back in 1925.
The Senators won the 1924 World Series after winning the American League pennant. The series came down to Game 7 in Griffith Stadium, where the Senators trailed 3-1 in the eighth inning before Juan Soto singled to right...just checking to see if you are paying attention. They did trail 3-1 in the eighth. Bucky Harris, also the team’s manager, hit a grounder to third which, as the lore goes, hit a pebble and went to the outfield, scoring two runs. In his rookie season, Earl McNeely -- yes, the Earl McNeely -- hit another ground ball to third in the bottom of the 12th. Another bad hop supposedly followed. Muddy Ruel scored the winning run. Senators win. Go crazy.
The Senators won 96 games the next season. George Mogridge received the start in New York to begin Washington’s title defense. He made 30 starts in 1924 on the way to the World Series championship. Though, Mogridge and Pinky Hargrave didn’t make it to the end of the title defense. They were traded June 18 for catcher Hank Severeid. It was a shrewd move. Severeid hit .355 for the Senators.
Mogridge lasted seven innings in the opener. He gave up five runs in the 5-1 loss. However, he did hold Wally Pipp to an 0-for-4 outing. Pipp was two months away from the headache that would change his life. When he needed a day off to rest his throbbing skull, Yankees manager Miller Huggins inserted Lou Gehrig to replace him. Pipp was then destined for a lifetime filled with bench time and infamy.
Goose Goslin hit cleanup that day for the Senators. He’s in the Hall of Fame after 18 years in the major leagues, 248 home runs (a lot for his era), 173 triples (a lot for any era), 500 doubles and an .887 career OPS.
The Senators’ home opener came eight days later against the same Yankees crew. President Calvin Coolidge -- the 30th president in the history of the country -- threw out the first pitch at packed Griffith Stadium.
Gehrig was in the lineup and playing right field that day. Walter Johnson was not impressed. He threw a shutout during a 10-1 Washington win. There was another win for everyone involved: the game lasted just 2:15.
No such history exists -- yet -- for the Nationals. It was supposed to arrive Thursday, then at home April 2. Instead, we wait.
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