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Washington Nationals
Established 1969
Based in Washington since 2005
Washington Nationals.svg
Team logo
Washington Nationals Insignia.svg
Cap Insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
NLE-Uniform-WAS.PNG
Retired Numbers 42
Colors
  • Red, Navy Blue, Gold, White

                   

Name
  • Washington Nationals (2005–present)
Other nicknames
  • The Nats
Ballpark

[2] - The Expos played twenty-two home games in San Juan during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and the remainder in Montreal.

Major league titles
World Series titles (0) None
NL Pennants (0) None
East Division titles (1) 1981
[3][4]
Wild card berths (0) None

[3] - In 1981, a players' strike in the middle of the season forced the season to be split into two halves. Montreal won the division in the second half, despite having the second best record in the division when considering the entire season, two games behind St. Louis.
[4] - In 1994, a players' strike wiped out the last eight weeks of the season and all post-season. Montreal was in first place in the East Division by six games when play was stopped. No official titles were awarded in 1994.

Owner(s): Ted Lerner
Manager: Jim Riggleman
General Manager: Mike Rizzo
For current information on this topic, see 2010 Washington Nationals season.

The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball (MLB). The team moved into the newly-built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium. The new park is located in Southeast D.C. near the Anacostia River and with views of the Capitol.[1]

The Nationals name derives from the two former Washington baseball teams which had the same name (used interchangeably with Senators). Their nickname is "the Nats" — a shortened version that was also used by the old D.C. teams.

An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1969. The then-Montreal Expos were the first major league team in Canada. They played their home games at Jarry Park Stadium and later in the Olympic Stadium. The Expos had its highest winning percentage in the strike-shortened season of 1994, when it had the best record in baseball. The team's subsequent shedding of players caused fan interest to drop off. After the 2001 season, MLB considered revoking the team's franchise, along with either the Minnesota Twins or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[2][3] After being purchased by MLB in 2002, the team was moved before the 2005 season to Washington and renamed the Nationals. This was the first complete name change for a relocating team in MLB since 1972, when the Washington Senators left D.C. to become the Texas Rangers.

The franchise is one of three teams (along with the Rangers and Seattle Mariners) never to have played in a World Series. As the Montreal Expos, the team won a division championship, and advanced to the National League Championship Series in their only playoff appearance during the strike-shortened 1981 season.

Contents

Montreal Expos (1969–2004)

Bronfman era (1969–1990)

The Montreal Expos joined the National League in 1969, along with the San Diego Padres, with a majority share held by Charles Bronfman, a major shareholder in Seagram. Named after the Expo 67 World's Fair, the Expos' initial home was Jarry Park. Managed by Gene Mauch, the team lost 110 games in their first season, and continued to struggle during their first decade with sub-.500 seasons. By 1976, they were back in last place, losing 107 games.

Starting in 1977, the team's home venue was Montreal's Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics. Two years later, the team won a franchise-high 95 games, finishing second in the National League East. The Expos began the 1980s with a core group of young players, including catcher Gary Carter, outfielders Tim Raines and Andre Dawson, third baseman Tim Wallach, and pitchers Steve Rogers and Bill Gullickson. The team won its only division championship in the strike-shortened split season of 1981, ending its season with a 3 games to 2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

The team spent most of the 1980s in the middle of the NL East pack, finishing in third or fourth place in eight out of nine seasons from 1982–1990. Buck Rodgers was hired as manager before the 1985 season and guided the Expos to a .500 or better record five times in six years, with the highlight coming in 1987, when they won 91 games. They finished third, but were just 4 games behind the division-winning Cardinals.

Brochu era (1991–1999)

Bronfman sold the team to a consortium of owners in 1991, with Claude Brochu as the managing general partner.[4][5] Rodgers, at that time second only to Gene Mauch in number of Expos games managed, was replaced partway through the 1991 season. In May 1992, Felipe Alou, a member of the Expos organization since 1976, was promoted to field manager, becoming the first Dominican-born manager in MLB history.[4] Alou would become the leader in Expos games managed, while guiding the team to winning records, including 1994, when the Expos, led by a talented group of players including Larry Walker, Moisés Alou, Marquis Grissom and Pedro Martínez, had the best record in the major leagues until the 1994 Major League Baseball strike forced the cancellation of the remainder of the season. After the disappointment of 1994, Expos management began shedding its key players, and the team's fan support dwindled.

Loria/MLB era (1999–2004)

Brochu sold control of the team to Jeffrey Loria in 1999,[6][7] but Loria failed to close on a plan to build a new downtown ballpark or to bring in additional investors as he had promised. Loria also lost goodwill by failing to sign television and English radio broadcast contracts for the 2000 season.

Contraction

In November 2001, MLB's owners voted 28–2 to contract MLB by two teams — according to various sources, the Expos and the Minnesota Twins, both of which reportedly voted against contraction.[8] Subsequently, the Boston Red Sox were sold to a partnership led by John W. Henry, owner of the Florida Marlins.[8][9] In order to clear the way for Henry's group to assume ownership of the Red Sox, Henry sold the Marlins to Loria, and MLB purchased the Expos from Loria.[8] However, as the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, operator of the Metrodome, won an injunction requiring the Twins to play there in 2002,[8] MLB was unable to revoke the Twins franchise, and so had to keep the Twins and Expos as part of the MLB schedule. In the collective bargaining agreement signed with the players association in August 2002, contraction was prohibited through to the end of the contract in 2006.[10]

Relocation to Washington

With contraction no longer an option for the immediate term, MLB began looking for a relocation site for the Expos. Some of the choices included Oklahoma City; Washington, D.C.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Monterrey, Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Northern Virginia; Norfolk, Virginia; New Jersey; and Charlotte, North Carolina. In the decision-making process, Commissioner Bud Selig added Las Vegas, Nevada to the list of potential Expos homes.

On September 29, 2004, MLB officially announced that the Expos would move to Washington, D.C. in 2005.[11] The Expos played their final game on October 3, 2004 at Shea Stadium, losing by a score of 8–1 against the New York Mets, the same opponent that the Expos first faced at its start, 35 years earlier. The move was approved by the owners of the other teams in a 28–1 vote on December 3 (Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos cast the sole dissenting vote). In addition, on November 15, 2004, a lawsuit by the former team owners against MLB and former majority owner Jeffrey Loria was struck down by arbitrators, ending legal moves to keep the Expos in Montreal.

Washington Nationals (2005–present)

Washington baseball history revived

Numerous professional baseball teams have called Washington D.C. home. The Washington Senators, a founding member of the American League, played in the nation's capital from 1901 to 1960. These Senators were founded and owned by Clark Griffith and played in Griffith Stadium. With notable stars including Walter Johnson and Joe Cronin, the Senators won the 1924 World Series and pennants in 1925 and 1933, but were more often unsuccessful and moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season where the team was renamed the Minnesota Twins. A second Washington Senators (1961–1971) had a winning record only once in their 11 years, though bright spots, such as slugger Frank Howard, earned the love of fans. The second Senators moved to Arlington, Texas for the 1972 season and changed their name to the Texas Rangers, and Washington spent the next 33 years without a baseball team.

Although there was some sentiment to revive the name Senators, political considerations factored into the choice of Nationals, a revival of the first American League franchise's "official" nickname used from 1905 to 1956.[12] Politicians in the District of Columbia objected to the name Senators because the District of Columbia does not have voting representation in Congress. In addition, the Rangers still owned the rights to the Senators name and MLB was unable to acquire those rights from the team.

Fallout from the relocation

Opposition from the Orioles

The move was announced despite opposition from Peter Angelos, owner of the nearby Baltimore Orioles. Since 1972, the Orioles had been the only MLB franchise in the Baltimore-Washington area, which he considered a single market in spite of vastly different cultures and populations in the two cities. Angelos contended that the Orioles would suffer financially if another team were allowed to enter the market. Critics objected that the Orioles and the Washington Senators had shared the market successfully from 1954 through 1971. This reasoning disturbed many in Washington who recalled that it was the Griffith family, owners of the Washington Senators, who allowed the St. Louis Browns to move to Baltimore in 1954 in the first place.

On March 31, 2005, Angelos and Major League Baseball struck a deal to protect the Orioles against any financial harm the Nationals might present.

Under the terms of the deal, television and radio broadcast rights to Nationals games are handled by the Orioles franchise, who formed a new network (the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network) to produce and distribute the games for both franchises on both local affiliates and cable/satellite systems. MASN was not, however, immediately available on all cable providers, adding to the frustration of Nationals fans. In fact, most in the DC area missed almost the entirety of the Nationals first two seasons. The deal with Angelos makes the Nationals the only major league baseball team which does not own their own broadcast rights.

The ballpark controversy

Nationals at bat against the San Diego Padres in RFK Stadium.

The team's relocation to Washington was contingent on a financing plan for the Nationals' new stadium—this plan quickly became the subject of much debate on the D.C. Council.

Three Council members who supported Mayor Anthony Williams's plan were ousted in September 2004's Democratic party primary. In addition, an opinion poll conducted by the Washington Post during the peak of the controversy found that approximately two-thirds of District residents opposed the mayor's stadium plan.

Much of the controversy centered on the fact that the city would be helping finance a $581 million stadium without state or county support, despite the fact that a large portion of the team's fan base would be drawn from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs.[13] (The District of Columbia is not part of any state or county; the city is administered as a territory directly by the United States federal government, with the city council serving as the territorial legislature.)

During December 2004, the move to Washington itself was called into doubt when the D.C. Council sought to change details of the stadium's financing. When the Council voted on December 14 to require 50 percent private financing for any new stadium, MLB ceased promotional activities for the Nationals and announced that they would consider looking for a new market.

Eventually, the council passed an amended plan on December 21, 2004 that proved slightly more financially favorable to the city, while remaining acceptable to MLB. Mayor Williams signed the stadium financing package on December 30.

During the 2005 season, a private financing plan for construction of the stadium was negotiated between the city and a syndicate of bankers led by Deutsche Bank. The negotiations of the details ran into another problem in November 2005. The bankers requested a letter of credit or other financial guarantee of $24 million US, $6 million for each of four years, ensuring payment of lease revenues against various risks including poor attendance and terrorism. The city requested that Major League Baseball provide this guarantee, which they were unwilling to do.

On December 22, 2005, the Post reported that Major League Baseball had specifically instructed prospective owners not to offer to pay cost overruns on the stadium if they were selected as the owners. Bidders were also told not to communicate with the press about these issues.

In February 2006, the DC City Council imposed a $611 million cap on the stadium.

Finally, on March 5, Major League Baseball signed a lease for a new ballpark, agreeing to the city's $611 million cap. MLB also agreed to contribute $20 million toward the cost of the stadium, although it did not agree to cover stadium overruns. Further, MLB added the condition that excess ballpark tax revenue earmarked for debt service for the bonds to be available for cost overruns. Two days later, on March 7 the DC City Council, by a vote of 9–4, approved a construction contract for a state-of-the-art stadium with a contemporary glass-and-stone facade, seats for 41,000 fans and a view of the U.S. Capitol, and affirmed its demand that public spending on the project be limited to $611 million. The votes were the final actions needed to satisfy the terms of the deal struck in September 2004, paving the way for the sale of the team.

Major League Baseball had agreed at the time that the franchise was moved to Washington, DC, to sell the team to an owner or ownership syndicate. Several dates for sale of the team were set and missed due to the legal wrangling regarding the building of the stadium. The delay was harshly criticized by city residents and leaders as reported in the Washington Post.

Selecting from a finalized group of three potential ownership syndicates, Major League Baseball announced in July 2006 that it had chosen the Lerner Enterprises group, led by billionaire real-estate developer Theodore N. Lerner. The final sale price of the team was $450 million and the transfer of ownership was completed July 24, 2006. In late September 2006, Comcast finally agreed to broadcast the Nationals games.

Notable firsts from the 2005 season

President George W. Bush throws out a ceremonial first pitch in 2005.
  • On April 4, 2005, Brad Wilkerson (after being the last player to ever wear a Montreal Expo jersey) had the honor of being the first batter for the Washington Nationals and he promptly responded with the first hit for the new Washington incarnation of the team. However, Philly Kenny Lofton hit a three-run homer and Jon Lieber pitched 5 2/3 effective innings, leading the home team Philadelphia Phillies to an 8–4 victory over the new Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. (Lieber was credited with the win for the Phillies and would also score a win for Philadelphia in the last game of the 2005 Nationals season.) Outfielder Terrmel Sledge hit the Nationals' first home run in the April 4 contest.
  • On April 6, 2005, the Washington Nationals recorded their first-ever regular season win by beating the Phillies, 7–3. The win came in their second game of the season and was highlighted by Wilkerson hitting for the cycle.
  • On April 14, 2005, the Washington Nationals won their first regular season home game at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C, by a score of 5–3 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. President George W. Bush kept up a tradition of sitting U.S. Presidents by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day in Washington, exactly 95 years after William Howard Taft started the tradition at Griffith Stadium. There were 45,596 fans in attendance, including former Senators players and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Liván Hernández threw eight shutout innings, and Vinny Castilla was denied the chance to hit for the cycle when Diamondback reliever Lance Cormier hit him with a pitch in the bottom of the eighth; Castilla needed only a single to complete the cycle. Chad Cordero recorded the save for Washington.
  • On August 4, 2005, Brad Wilkerson became the first Washington Nationals player to ever hit a grand slam, against then Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher, Duaner Sanchez. The Nationals won the game 7–0, on a four-hit complete game shutout by John Patterson.
  • During his August-September callup, Ryan Zimmerman recorded 23 hits in 58 at bats. He thus became the first member of the Washington Nationals to complete the season with a batting average of at least .300 in at least 50 at bats.
  • The Nationals led all National League teams in interleague play in 2005, recording 12 wins.
  • At the halfway mark of the season, the Nationals were in first place in the National League East division, with a record of 50–31.

Notable moments from the 2006 season

  • On Father's Day, June 18, 2006, the paid attendance was 45,157, the second-largest ever to see a single baseball game in the history of RFK stadium. In that game, the Nationals beat the New York Yankees 3–2 on a two-run walk-off home run by rookie Ryan Zimmerman. A 1962 doubleheader drew more spectators, as did the Nationals' first-ever home game with Arizona.[14]
  • September 2, 2006, the Nationals rally from three runs down in the first game and from five runs down in the second game to take a day–night doubleheader sweep from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the first day-night doubleheader as part of the team's history in Washington.
  • On Labor Day, September 4, 2006 Ramon Ortiz takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, yet gives up a single to Aaron Miles on his 2nd pitch in the 9th to break up his no-hitter. Then he gave up a home run to Albert Pujols, which ended his chance to get his second ever career shutout. Ortiz himself also hit a home run in the 8th inning into the bullpen beyond the left-field fence at RFK. The Nationals won 5–2.
  • September 16, 2006, Alfonso Soriano becomes the fourth player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season when he steals his 40th base in the first inning of a game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. The other three are José Canseco of the Oakland Athletics in 1988, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants in 1996, and Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners in 1998. Soriano follows that feat on September 22 by hitting his 40th double vs. the New York Mets, becoming the first member of the "40–40 Club" to also hit 40 doubles in the same season.

2007 season

After losing four starters (Liván Hernández, Tony Armas, Ramon Ortiz and Pedro Astacio) from the prior year, the Nationals invited an extraordinary 36 pitchers to spring training.[15][16] On Opening Day, the Nationals lost their starting shortstop (Cristian Guzman, hamstring) and center fielder (Nook Logan) for five weeks. At the end of April, one of their starters, Jerome Williams hurt his ankle while batting and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Then, in the space of just 10 days in May, Shawn Hill, John Patterson, and Jason Bergmann went on the disabled list. Jerome Williams returned, pitched one game, and went back on the DL with a shoulder injury. The Washington Post's wrote: "Almost everything that could sink a team's attitude has befallen the Nationals. They started the year 1–8, then they lost eight in a row to drop to 9-25."[17]

They pressed journeymen Mike Bacsik, Micah Bowie (a relief pitcher), Tim Redding, and Jason Simontacchi, along with rookie reliever Levale Speigner into the starting rotation, amidst predictions that the 2007 Nationals might equal the 1962 Mets' record of futility of 120 losses in one season.[18]. The Nationals were also able to top the worst record in the American League set by the 2003 Detroit Tigers of 43 wins and 119 losses during the same predictions on the season. But the Nationals bounced back, going 24–18 in their next 42 games through June 25. But on that day, a day in which Bergman made his first start off the DL, the Nationals received the news that shortstop Cristian Guzman, their leadoff hitter (and second on the team with a .329 batting average) was lost for the rest of the season due to a thumb injury he received the day before tagging out a runner.

The Nationals finished the 2007 season 73–89, improving their record by two more wins than in 2006. In September, the Nationals won five out of six games with the New York Mets, contributing to the Mets' collapse out of first place.

Notable moments from the 2007 season

  • On April 17, 2007, one day after the shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech where 33 faculty and students were murdered in the largest mass shooting in US history, the Nationals wore Virginia Tech baseball hats as they hosted the Atlanta Braves.[19] The idea was e-mailed to team President Stan Kasten by Nats fan Dave Lanham following the shootings. One of these hats was sent to the National Baseball Hall of Fame to be displayed[20].
  • On May 12, 2007, the Nationals hosted the Florida Marlins. Tied 3–3 in the bottom of the ninth Marlins pitcher Jorge Julio faced Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded and two outs. Zimmerman hit the 2-2 pitch over the right-center field wall for the walk-off grand slam.[21]. Also during this game, right fielder Austin Kearns hit the Nationals' first inside-the-park home run. The game is further notable for ending at 1:42AM after two separate extended rain delays.
  • On August 7, 2007, Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik allowed Barry Bonds' 756th career home run, giving him first place on the career home run list. However, the Nationals won the game 8–6.
  • On September 23, 2007, the Nationals played their final game at RFK, a 5–3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Notable moments from the 2008 season

Nationals 2008 team during warm up
  • On March 30, 2008, the Nationals held the grand opening of their new ballpark, Nationals Park, with a rare one game series against the Atlanta Braves. Continuing the tradition, President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals manager Manny Acta. The Nationals beat the Braves in dramatic fashion when, with two out in the bottom of the 9th inning, Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo walk-off home run off of pitcher Peter Moylan. This gave the Nationals a 3–2 victory. For the record, the first hit was recorded by Cristian Guzman, the first RBI was recorded by Nick Johnson, the first run scored was recorded by Cristian Guzman, the first home run was recorded by the Braves' Chipper Jones, and the first starting pitchers were Odalis Perez for the Nationals and Tim Hudson for the Braves. President Bush was in the ESPN television booth at the time of Jones' homer and was the one who called it.

Notable moments from the 2009 season

  • In April 2009, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn wore jerseys that improperly spelled the team's name as Natinals. They later switched to properly spelled jerseys in the 3rd inning. Majestic Athletic, the uniform supplier for MLB later apologized. This spawned a rash of jokes both on the internet and on television regarding Nationals and futility.
  • On July 27, 2009, Josh Willingham hit 2 grand slams in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The first grand slam was hit against Jeff Suppan and the second against Mark DiFelice. Willingham became the 13th player in MLB history to accomplish the feat.
  • On September 30, Justin Maxwell hit a two-out full count walk off grand slam off of Francisco Rodriguez of the New York Mets on Fan Appreciation Day, the Nationals' last home game of the season.
  • On October 4, the Nationals's last game of the season, the Nationals won after 15 innings, the longest game for the team as part of its Washington history. The Nationals also became the first team in MLB to start the season losing 7 in a row and close the season winning 7 in a row.

New ownership and "The Plan"

When Ted Lerner took over the club in mid-2006, he hired Stan Kasten as team president. Kasten was widely known as the architect of the Atlanta Braves before and during their run of 14 division titles. Kasten was also the general manager or president of many other Atlanta-area sports teams, such as the Atlanta Thrashers. "The Plan," as it became known, was a long-range rebuilding and restructuring of the team from the ground up. This plan included investing in the farm system and draft picks, and having a suitable team to go along with their new stadium.

At the end of the 2006 season, the Nationals did not re-sign free agent and star OF Alfonso Soriano. Soriano signed a $136 million contract with the Cubs, and Washington received two draft picks in return. OF Jose Guillen was also allowed to depart via free agency, and another high draft pick was obtained. Another high priced player, 2B/DH Jose Vidro, was traded to the Seattle Mariners for prospects OF Chris Snelling and RHP Emiliano Fruto. In mid-2006, the Nationals received OF Austin Kearns, 2B/SS Felipe López, and RHP Ryan Wagner from the Reds, giving up LHP Gary Majewski, LHP Bill Bray, SS Royce Clayton, 2B Brendan Harris and RHP Daryl Thompson. In August they traded RHP Liván Hernández to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects LHP Matt Chico and RHP Garrett Mock. Other players traded or let go from the 2005 season were OF Preston Wilson, RHP Hector Carrasco, IF Jamey Carroll, and OF Terrmel Sledge. The team also acquired pitching prospects Luis Atilano from Atlanta, Shairon Martis from San Francisco and Jhonny Nunez from the Dodgers. In 2006, they had two first-round draft picks, OF Chris Marrero, and RHP Colten Williams, and signed them both to developmental contracts. The Nationals also signed a 16-year-old Dominican shortstop, Esmailyn Gonzalez, for $1.4 million.[22] Gonzalez was later revealed to be 20 years old at the time of his signing.[23]

In the front office, the Nationals hired the well-respected former Arizona scouting director Mike Rizzo to be the vice president of baseball operations, second in charge under then-general manager Jim Bowden.[24]

As for their farm system, the Nationals had a lot of work to do. By the spring of 2007, Baseball America had ranked the Nationals organization as dead last twice in four years in terms of minor league talent.[25]

The Nationals had five of the first seventy picks in the 2007 first-year player draft: their own two, and three compensation picks (two from losing Soriano, and one for Guillen). The team selected players that many considered to be four of the top 30 players available.[25] Overall, the Nationals signed all of their top twenty draft picks.[26] One of them, a first-round supplemental pick, Michael Burgess, was, by the end of the year, picked by Baseball America as the top prospect for the entire Gulf Coast League.[27] Their rookie team, Vermont, sent three starting pitchers Colton Willems, Glenn Gibson, and Adrian Alaniz, and two position players, first baseman Bill Rhinehart, and outfielder Aaron Seuss to the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.[28] By the end of the season, three Vermont pitchers landed in the Top 20 prospects for the New York-Penn League:

  • 2007 second-round Jordan Zimmermann was ranked #5
  • 2006 fourth round LHP Glenn Gibson (later traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for Elijah Dukes) was ranked #9
  • 2006 first round RHP Colton Willems was ranked #11.[29]

In the low-A South Atlantic League Top 20, two players made the list:

  • Chris Marrero was ranked #5
  • Justin Maxwell, who played a few games with the Nationals during September, was ranked at #18.[30]

In addition, after having no teams in the Dominican Summer League, the Nationals fielded two clubs in 2007, one of which won the DSL Championships.[31]

People of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Washington Nationals Hall of Famers
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Montreal Expos

Gary Carter
Andre Dawson

Tony Perez
Frank Robinson

Dick Williams

Names in Bold Inducted as Nationals or Expos

Broadcasters

Current roster

Washington Nationals 2010 Spring Training roster
40-man roster Spring Training
non-roster invitees
Coaches/Other
Pitchers
Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

60-day disabled list


* Not on active roster
† 15-day disabled list
Roster updated February 22, 2010
TransactionsDepth Chart
More rosters

Retired numbers

NatsRetired42.png
Jackie
Robinson

-
Retired 1997

With the exception of 42, retired for all MLB teams to honor Jackie Robinson, the Nationals have no retired numbers. The Montreal Expos retired the number 8 for Gary Carter, the number 10 for both Rusty Staub and Andre Dawson, and the number 30 for Tim Raines. The Nationals returned these numbers to circulation: In the 2006 season, number 8 was worn by second baseman Marlon Anderson and was worn by Aaron Boone, number 10 was formerly worn by shortstop Royce Clayton, catcher Brandon Harper, and infielder Ronnie Belliard, and number 30 was worn by reliever Mike Stanton and pitcher Chris Booker. The retired numbers for the Expos are now displayed at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, home of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League.

Washington Hall of Stars

RFK Stadium had a series of banners displaying a Washington Hall of Stars above its right-field fence. A newer version hangs on the facing of one of the parking garages near the center-field entrance to Nationals Park.

Figures from all of sport, including sportswriters, are eligible, but, as yet, no Nationals figures have been honored. The following Washington Senators are so honored:

Sievers (the second time around), Hinton and Howard played for the "New Senators" who became the Rangers; Vernon, Yost and Hodges managed the new Senators and Selkirk was an executive for the second franchise. All others either played for or managed the "Old Senators" who became the Twins. Neither the Twins nor the Rangers ever retired any numbers while they were the Washington Senators, nor have they so honored any former Senators since their moves, with the exception of Harmon Killebrew, whose number 3 was retired by the Twins on his election to the Hall of Fame.

Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard are also listed on the Hall of Stars banner, honoring their contributions playing for the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues. Both are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, as are Johnson, Griffith, Goslin, Cronin, Harris, Rice, Wynn and Killebrew.

Season standings

The following is the previous five seasons of the franchise:

MLB
season
Team
season
League[32] Division[32] Regular season Post-season Awards
Finish Wins Losses Win% GB
2005 2005 NL East 5th 81 81 .500 9
2006 2006 NL East 5th 71 91 .438 26
2007 2007 NL East 4th 73 89 .451 16 Dmitri Young (CPOY)[33]
2008 2008 NL East 5th 59 102 .366 32½
2009 2009 NL East 5th 59 103 .364 34 Ryan Zimmerman (Gold Glove)

Bold denotes a playoff season, pennant or championship; italics denote an active season.

Franchise records

What follows are the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos team records.

Single season records

Batting

(records all by Montreal Expos except for Alfonso Soriano in 2006 as a member of the Washington Nationals)

  • Batting Average: Vladimir Guerrero, .345 (2000)
  • On-base percentage: Mike Jorgensen, .444 (1974)
  • Slugging Percentage: Vladimir Guerrero, .664 (2000)
  • OPS: Vladimir Guerrero, 1.074 (2000)
  • At Bats: Warren Cromartie, 659 (1979)
  • Runs: Tim Raines, 133 (1983)
  • Hits: Vladimir Guerrero, 206 (2002)
  • Total Bases: Vladimir Guerrero, 379 (2000)
  • Doubles: Mark Grudzielanek, 54 (1997)
  • Home Runs: Alfonso Soriano, 46 (2006)
  • Runs Batted In: Vladimir Guerrero, 131 (1999)
  • Walks: Ken Singleton, 123 (1973)
  • Strikeouts: Andrés Galarraga, 169 (1990)
  • Stolen Bases: Ron LeFlore, 97 (1980)
  • Singles: Mark Grudzielanek, 157 (1996)
  • Runs Created: Vladimir Guerrero, 154 (2000)
  • Extra-Base Hits: Vladimir Guerrero, 84 (1999)
  • Times on Base: Vladimir Guerrero, 296 (2002)
  • Hit By Pitch: Ron Hunt, 50 (1971)
  • Sacrifice Hits: Larry Lintz, 23 (1974)
  • Sacrifice Flies: Andre Dawson, 18 (1983)
  • Intentional Walks: Vladimir Guerrero, 32 (2002)
  • At Bats per Strikeout: Gary Sutherland, 25.3 (1971)
  • At Bats per Home Run: Bob Bailey, 12.6 (1970)

Pitching

  • ERA: Pedro Martínez, 1.90 (1997)
  • Wins: Ross Grimsley II, 20 (1978)
  • Won-Loss %: Bryn Smith, .783 (1985)
  • WHIP: Pedro Martinez, .932 (1997)
  • Hits Allowed/9IP: Pedro Martinez, 5.89 (1997)
  • Walks Allowed/9IP: Bryn Smith, 1.45 (1988)
  • Strikeouts/9IP: Pedro Martinez, 11.37 (1997)
  • Games: Mike Marshall, 92 (1973)
  • Saves: Chad Cordero, 47 (2005)
  • Innings: Steve Rogers, 301 ⅔ (1977)
  • Strikeouts: Pedro Martínez, 305 (1997)
  • Games Started: Steve Rogers, 40 (1977)
  • Complete Games: Bill Stoneman, 20 (1971)
  • Walks Allowed: Bill Stoneman, 146 (1971)
  • Hits Allowed: Carl Morton, 281 (1970)
  • Strikeout to Walk: Javier Vazquez, 4.73 (2001)
  • Losses: Steve Rogers, 22 (1974)
  • Earned Runs Allowed: Steve Rogers, 126 (1974)
  • Wild Pitches: Steve Renko, 19 (1974)
  • Hit Batsmen: Ramon Ortiz, 18 (2006)
  • Batters Faced: Bill Stoneman, 1,243 (1971)
  • Games Finished: Mike Marshall, 73 (1973)

Career records

record All-time Active Currently with team
Batting (as of December 22, 2009)
Games played Tim Wallach 1767 José Vidro 1186 Ryan Zimmerman 602
batting average Vladimir Guerrero .323 Vladimir Guerrero .323 Ryan Zimmerman .284
on-base percentage Rusty Staub .402 Vladimir Guerrero .390 Ryan Zimmerman .347
slugging percentage Vladimir Guerrero .588 Vladimir Guerrero .588 Ryan Zimmerman .478
OPS Vladimir Guerrero .978 Vladimir Guerrero .978 Ryan Zimmerman .825
At bats Tim Wallach 6529 José Vidro 4257 Ryan Zimmerman 2363
Runs Tim Raines 947 Vladimir Guerrero 641 Ryan Zimmerman 350
Hits Tim Wallach 1694 José Vidro 1280 Ryan Zimmerman 672
Total bases Tim Wallach 2728 Vladimir Guerrero 2211 Ryan Zimmerman 1130
Doubles Tim Wallach 360 José Vidro 304 Ryan Zimmerman 161
Triples Tim Raines 82 Vladimir Guerrero 34 Cristian Guzmán 24
Home runs Vladimir Guerrero 234 Vladimir Guerrero 234 Ryan Zimmerman 91
RBI Tim Wallach 905 Vladimir Guerrero 702 Ryan Zimmerman 364
Walks Tim Raines 793 José Vidro 397 Ryan Zimmerman 228
Stolen bases Tim Raines 635 Vladimir Guerrero 123 Nyjer Morgan 24
Sacrifice flies Andre Dawson 71 José Vidro 34 Ryan Zimmerman 23
Sacrifice bunts Steve Rogers 101 Javier Vázquez 65 Cristian Guzmán 15
Hit by pitches Ron Hunt 114 Vladimir Guerrero 50 Willie Harris
Josh Willingham
12
Intentional walks Vladimir Guerrero 130 Vladimir Guerrero 130 Ryan Zimmerman 20
Plate appearances Tim Wallach 7174 José Vidro 4753 Ryan Zimmerman 2626
Extra base hits Tim Wallach 595 Vladimir Guerrero 494 Ryan Zimmerman 264
Pitches seen Brad Wilkerson 11562 Brad Wilkerson 11562 Ryan Zimmerman 10350
Pitching (as of December 22, 2009)
Wins Steve Rogers 158 Javier Vázquez 64 John Lannan 20
Saves Jeff Reardon 152 Chad Cordero 128 N/A N/A
Innings pitched Steve Rogers 2837.2 Javier Vázquez 1229.1 John Lannan 423
Strikeouts Steve Rogers 1621 Javier Vázquez 1076 Jason Bergmann 297
Earned Run Average Tim Burke 2.61 Pedro Martínez 3.06 N/A N/A
Games pitched Tim Burke 425 Luis Ayala 320 Jason Bergmann 151
Games started Steve Rogers 393 Javier Vázquez 191 John Lannan 70
Complete games Steve Rogers 129 Liván Hernández
Pedro Martínez
20 John Lannan 2
Shutouts Steve Rogers 37 Pedro Martínez 8 John Lannan 1
Save opportunities Chad Cordero 152 Chad Cordero 152 Garrett Mock 2
Caught stealing Liván Hernández 26 Liván Hernández 26 John Lannan 16
Pickoffs John Lannan 9 John Lannan 9 John Lannan 9
Games finished Jeff Reardon 281 Chad Cordero 226 Jason Bergmann 18
Batters faced by pitcher Steve Rogers 11702 Javier Vázquez 5183 John Lannan 1807
Pitch count Liván Hernández 14155 Liván Hernández 14155 John Lannan 6626
Holds Luis Ayala 87 Luis Ayala 87 Jason Bergmann 12
Fielding (as of December 22, 2009)
Games played (defensive) Tim Wallach 1757 José Vidro 1105 Ryan Zimmerman 591
Games started (position player) José Vidro 980 José Vidro 980 Ryan Zimmerman 587
Innings (position player) José Vidro 8354.2 José Vidro 8354.2 Ryan Zimmerman 5168.1
Total chances Gary Carter 8759 José Vidro 4815 Cristian Guzmán 1868
Putouts Andrés Galarraga 7893 Brian Schneider 4187 Jesús Flores 875
Assists Tim Wallach 3354 José Vidro 2795 Cristian Guzmán 1179
Double plays Andrés Galarraga
José Vidro
606 José Vidro 606 Cristian Guzmán 267
Caught stealing (catcher) Brian Schneider 178 Brian Schneider 178 Jesús Flores 38

minimum of 2000 plate appearances minimum of 500 innings pitched

[34]

Minor league affiliations

Radio and television

The Nationals' flagship radio station is WFED, "Federal News Radio" at 1500 & 820 AM, which is owned by Bonneville International. Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler are the play-by-play announcers.

Nationals' telecasts are predominantly on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), with a handful of games simulcast on WDCW, "DC50." Bob Carpenter is the TV play-by-play announcer while Rob Dibble is the new color analyst.

The team has struggled to attract fans with attendance averaging in the middle of the league in the team's second year in Washington. Local TV ratings have declined to the lowest in the league by a significant margin.[35][36]

Quick facts

Team Mottos:
Official Television Stations: MASN, WDCW (CW 50)
Official Radio Stations: WWWT
Spring Training Facility: Viera, FL
Mascot: Screech (apparently representing an American Bald Eagle)[37]

See also

Footnotes

  1. a RFK Stadium Fast Facts

References

  1. ^ - Nationals victorious in stadium debut
  2. ^ CNNSI.com - Baseball - 1994 strike ended a spectacular season - Monday August 26, 2002 12:43 AM
  3. ^ Baseball Contraction Primer
  4. ^ a b Montreal Expos (1996). Expos Media Guide 1996. 
  5. ^ Blair, Jeff (1991-06-15), "Brochu group goes to bat for baseball survival here; Expos sale official as Bronfman era ends", Montreal Gazette: C.1 
  6. ^ Montreal Expos (2000). Expos Media Guide 2000. 
  7. ^ Blair, Jeff (1999-12-10). "Expos to field better team, Loria says Ebullient new chairman vows to increase salary limit, build new ballpark for 2002 season". The Globe and Mail (The Globe and Mail): pp. S.1. 
  8. ^ a b c d Schoenfield, David (2002-02-05). "Still 30 teams: Contraction timeline". ESPN.com. http://assets.espn.go.com/mlb/s/2002/0205/1323230.html. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  9. ^ Mnookin, Seth (2006). Feeding the Monster. How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top.. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-8681-2. 
  10. ^ MLB.com (2002-08-30). "Deal in place, games go on". Press release. http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_news.jsp?ymd=20020830&content_id=116907&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  11. ^ Myles, Stephanie (2004-09-30), "31,395 say goodbye", Montreal Gazette: C1 
  12. ^ DC Vote - Media Coverage
  13. ^ Letters | Economist.com
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Thomas Boswell (March 7, 2007). "Nats' Starting Pitching Could Be a Real Problem". p. E03. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR2007030602143_pf.html. 
  16. ^ Barry Svrluga (February 26, 2007). "Nats' St. Claire Knows the Task at Hand". Washington Post. p. E01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/25/AR2007022501373.html. 
  17. ^ Thomas Boswell (June 4, 2007). "Nationals Are Managing Just Fine With Acta". p. E01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/03/AR2007060301428.html. 
  18. ^ Linton Weeks (May 8, 2007). "Baseball Most Foul: The Nats Reinvent Bad". Washington Post. p. C01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/07/AR2007050701636.html. 
  19. ^ Nats Show Their Support - washingtonpost.com
  20. ^ SignOnSanDiego.com > Sports - Nationals don Virginia Tech baseball caps during game
  21. ^ ESPN - Zimmerman's walk-off grand slam ends rain-delayed game - MLB
  22. ^ Aaron Fitt (January 12, 2007). "Top 10 Prospects: Washington Nationals". http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/263086.html. 
  23. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-nationals-fakeagename&prov=ap&type=lgns
  24. ^ Barry Svrluga (June 5, 2007). "Nationals Counting on Draft-Day Payoff". Washington Post. p. E01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/04/AR2007060401755.html. 
  25. ^ a b Mark Zuckerman (September 7, 2007). "From worst to ... not quite first". Washington Times. http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070907/SPORTS02/109070105/1005/SPORTS. 
  26. ^ Bill Ladson (August 16, 2007 title=Nats agree to terms with McGeary: Lefty was club's sixth-round pick of 2007 First-Year Player Draft). MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070816&content_id=2151632&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. 
  27. ^ Chris Kline (September 20, 2007). "Gulf Coast League Top 20 Prospects List: Young talent proves tough to gauge". Baseball America. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/264872.html. 
  28. ^ Ben Badler (August 9, 2007). "Experienced Former College Players Fill NYPL All-Star Rosters". Baseball America. http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=525. 
  29. ^ Aaron Fitt (September 26, 2007). "New York-Penn League Top 20 Prospects List". Baseball America. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/264923.html. 
  30. ^ Bill Ballew (October 1, 2007). "South Atlantic League Top 20 Prospects List". Baseball America. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/264942.html. 
  31. ^ Bill Ladson (September 7, 2007). "Notes". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070907&content_id=2194744&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. 
  32. ^ a b "Washington Nationals History & Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  33. ^ Bill Ladson (2007-10-26). "Young honored by Players Association". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071026&content_id=2283333&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  34. ^ Washington Nationals career leaders
  35. ^ Steinberg, Dan (July 7, 2008). "Nats: Last in the League, Last in TV Ratings". Washington Post. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/07/nats_last_in_the_league_last_i.html. 
  36. ^ OURAND, JOHN (July 7, 2008). "MLB ratings down, but networks look ahead". Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal. http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article.preview&articleid=59453. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  37. ^ "Washington Nationals Mascot - SCREECH!". http://washington.nationals.mlb.com. http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/mascot.jsp. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 

External links


Simple English

The Washington Nationals are a Major League Baseball team from Washington, D.C., United States. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League. From 2005 to 2007, the Nationals played in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. The team now plays in Nationals Park, which is in Washington, D.C., along the Anacostia River. Before moving to Washington, D.C., the team played in Montreal, Quebec as the Montreal Expos.

Other websites

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