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Some people might not know that the Washington Senators of Walter Johnson fame were a different franchise than the lovable losers we had playing here during the 1960s - the original team (which played 1901-1960) became the Minnesota Twins, while this franchise (1961-1971) became the Texas Rangers (*). These Senators' highlights were Frank Howard, and Ted Williams - who managed them to a winning season in 1969 (unless you want to include Ed "Big Stick" Brinkman, for whom Mark Belanger was grateful (*)). Here's Richard Nixon throwing out the opening day ball in 1969, with Teddy Ballgame also in the picture (the Yankee is Ralph Houk; behind him stands the owner, Bob Short, who outbid Bob Hope (!) for ownership of the team): <--- See the guy taking a picture at the top-center? He could have featured prominently in this photo; now, he's forever anonymous. Season 3, Episode 8 of "Dragnet" (which aired on Nov 14, 1968), had this sequence when the President (who was actually Lyndon Johnson at the time of airing) came to visit Los Angeles - Gannon and Friday are addressing the press corps: (*) Actually, they weren't the original Washington Senators: Believe it or not, there were two other Washington Senators teams (making a total of four) that played around the fin de siècle, but weren't in the Major Leagues. (**) It should be noted that Brinkman, whose *best* batting average from 1961 through 1968 was an abysmal .224, worked on his hitting with Williams in 1969: That year, he batted a relatively amazing .266. Remarkably, he played on the same high school team as Pete Rose, and Brinkman was considered the better prospect by a fair margin. I still remember this baseball card:
I remember reading about this as a kid, and just did a search on it - the internet is amazing.
There are some truly great quotes in this column from two men who clearly had the utmost of respect for one another. Cobb's quote about the first time he ever laid eyes on Johnson is hysterical. "Ty Cobb Talks About the Greatest Pitcher he Ever Faced" by J. Conrad Guest on detroitathletic.com
"Film Of The Washington Senators Winning The 1924 World Series Found!" by Mike Mashon on blogs.loc.gov This is the best footage of Walter Johnson I've ever seen.