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Nick Vito: History of The Washington Senators

September 18, 2013
Washington MLB

Washington MLB

I’ve been looking for videos to post about the Washington Senators the original Major League Baseball franchise in Washington before the Nationals arrived in 2005. But I’ve had a real hard time finding videos about the Washington Senators. Partially because for the most part the Senators were like the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians, simply known for losing. And a big reason that Washington despite its size was never a great baseball market which is changing now, but a big reason why Washington has never been a great baseball market is because the Senators were simply known for losing. Because they had real cheap management led by Clark Griffith who was only interested in seeing his franchise make a profit. And spending as little as possible in order to do that apparently not realizing that the more you win. The more you draw as far as fans and the bigger the fan base you create and the bigger the TV. And radio contracts that you get which generates a lot of revenue for the franchise.

No offense to Chicago which is a great city and sports market as far as size and their sports fans. But Washington expects it’s teams to win, or at least be competitive and put quality teams out there and draft well. The Redskins which have an incredible history with this area, are the only team here that can get away with losing in long stretches and still be able to draw well. And even that is changing within in the last 5-10 years. The Redskins sold out practically ever game for the last thirty years at RFK Stadium. And even though they’ve sold out all of their games at Fed Ex Field, the last 5-10 years we’ve seen less than sold out crowds at Fed Ex. Because the teams for the most part post-Joe Gibbs haven’t been good and have had several ten plus loss seasons post-Gibbs. Washington hasn’t and won’t give the same slack to the Nationals. When the Nationals have been good, their crowds have been great. But pre-2011 the crowds at Nationals Park haven’t been great, because the Nationals were consistent losers.

The reason why the Senators have failed twice in Washington, was because of bad ownership and management. Plus Washington didn’t become a large market with a modern transportation system until the early 1970s or so. So bad teams that weren’t committed to winning, were why the Senators failed and why the Nationals have a real shot to do great here is because they’re now in one of the largest markets in America, as well as wealthiest, play in  great modern ballpark, play in a great big city and market and have a management and ownership team that is committed to winning here. The Senators would probably still be here today and not in Minneapolis and Arlington, Texas, had they had a committed ownership team that would not just spend the resources to win, but spend them wisely. The Nationals have a great opportunity to show how baseball can succeed in the Capital of the Free World, by simply running their franchise wisely and being successful. And the fan will follow and show up.

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