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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yankees in Washington: where are the Senators? And Joe Hardy?

Initially there was Washington the man: George, father of our country; first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.

Then there was the nation's capital, named after the man.

Then there was the American League (AL) team, which was known by the joke line: first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.

The team left after 1960 and renamed itself the Minnesota Twins.  The team had been known at the end as the Senators but newspaper headlines still often referred to them as the Nats, short for Nationals.

Pitcher Walter Johnson had been the most famous Washington player but Harmon Killebrew tied Cleveland's Rocky Colavito in 1959 for the AL home run lead with 42 each.

In 1961 an expansion team was created and was also known as the Washington Senators.  They left and became the Texas Rangers in 1972.

The Montreal Expos were created in 1969 in the National League but were almost contracted.  The Expos in 2005 moved to Washington and were renamed the Nationals.  It was deja vu all over again as the great Yogi would say.  Except that Washington could no longer be last in the American League.

And speaking of Yogi Berra: he won the AL MVP in 1951, 1954, 1955.

The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant is a 1954 novel by Douglass Wallop. 

As a kid I remember stumbling upon a Reader's Digest book with a chapter about this.  I didn't read it but interpreted the title literally and thought it referred to 1954 when the Cleveland Indians won the AL pennant and not the Yankees who won every other year from 1949 through 1958.

Damn Pirates: 1960 World Series Game 7 was the work of the Devil. Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bill Mazeroski, of course, hit the final  Pittsburgh home run in the bottom of the ninth (against the Yankees) to ostentatiously win the World Series and if you look closely at the grainy video you can see a distinct resemblance between Mazeroski and Tab Hunter who played Joe Hardy in the movie version of that Communist play "Damn Yankees", which even included actual footage of Mickey Mantle.


Damn yankees 1955.jpg
Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C., during a time when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball. The musical is based on Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant...

Middle-aged ... long-suffering fan of the pathetic Washington Senators baseball team ... gives up his soul ... (to) become "Joe Hardy," the young slugger the Senators need

For Joe Hardy read Bryce Harper.  How else to explain that neither Harper nor Angel Mike Trout are Yankees?  It must be the work of the devil.

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