Wrong team. The Washington Nationals have only existed since either 1969 or 2005. Pick one.
- Washington had professional baseball teams from about 1870. One was the Washignton Nationals.
- Our teams in thew 1880s were called the Nationals, although Washingtonians began to called the "the Senators" in the mid-1880s. Nobody knows why. The name was popular.
- I believe that the last National League teams, run by a pair of crooks called the Wagner brothers, were the Senators.
- The NL contracted out of Washington, and in 1901 the Senators were among the founding teams in the AL. I believe that the team was the Kansas City team in the Western League, moved east because the AL needed an east coast presence.
- Around 1905, the owner changed the name to the Nationals, perhaps to break the connection to the string of bad AL and NL teams. Fans still called the team the Senators.
- Gary Sarnoff's book on the '33 "Wrecking Crew" sometimes calls tghe team the Natkionals and sometimes the Senators. Always the Nats for short. Buddy Myer, a good 2B, was traded to Boston (I think), and Griffith traded and paid to get him back. Myer is quoted a couple of times as being happy to be back with the "Griffmen".
- In the '5os, Topps sometimes labelled our players as belonging to the Washignton Nationals, and sometime to the Senators.
- Bob Wolff, the TV announcer, always carefully welcomed us to watch "your Washington Nationals".
- Calvin Griffith changed the name to the Senators about 1956, and so it stayed.
- MLB pretended that the 1961 expansion Senators were actually our old Senators. The records were supposed to transfer over, as if the Twins were a new team. fans still called the team the Nats, as did Shirley Povich and Bob Addie, who covered the team for the Post. Same with Morrie Siegel, who covered them for the Daily News.
What matters to me is that we have a Washington baseball team. and it has one of the historical names.