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Game 131: Rangers at Twins

When Washington lost a team—but also didn’t—but then did again

Ted Williams Standing in Grand Stands

First Pitch: 1:10 PM CT

TV: Bally Sports North

Radio: TIBN

Know Thine Enemy: Lone Star Ball

Most students of Minnesota Twins history know that their favorite club sprung forth from the Washington Senators. But did you know that Washington quickly received an expansion franchise which later became the Texas Rangers? Here is that story in brief:

After decades of utter obsolescence, the Griffith family (first Clark—then Calvin) decided to move their baseball endeavor from D.C. to TC before the 1961 season. How long was the Nation’s Capitol without a local nine? Exactly one offseason.

Somewhat oddly, Washington was immediately awarded an expansion franchise after the Griffith absconsion. Let’s just say the situation did not improve...

  • 1961: 61-100
  • 1962: 60-102
  • 1963: 56-106
  • 1964: 62-100
Frank Howard of the Washington Senators...
Slugging Frank Howard was quite literally the only thing the “new Senators” had going for them

In 1969, the Senators moved into the AL East per MLB’s divisional alignment and hired Ted Williams as manager—finally posting a winning record (86-76). The uptick was short-lived, being followed by two more 90-loss seasons.

Presumably not wanting to subject the District of Columbia citizens to any more cruel and unusual punishment, the Senators gave up the ghost again. Before the ‘72 campaign, they pulled up stakes and landed in Texas at Arlington Stadium as the Rangers.

Teddy Ballgame was retained as skipper—for all of one long, laborious 54-100 summer. It would actually take until 1996 for the Texas Rangers to reach postseason play. They have yet to capture a Commissioner’s Trophy despite coming agonizingly close (sorry Boomstick) in 2010 & 2011.

Portrait of Ted Williams Wearing Baseball Cap
Talk about a logo not looking right on a guy

It is highly unlikely that the Senators or the 70s/80s version of the Rangers show up this afternoon—but one can hope, right?

Someone else will be taking you home with the recap this afternoon, as I’ll be out of town at a fantasy football draft (I know, I know...). Go Twins Go!!