By Harvey Hoffman
There have been 14 presidents since Washington, D. C. baseball was represented in the World Series.
That is about to change.
The Washington Nationals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight games to reach the 2019 World Series.
The Nationals, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, finished off the Cardinals 7-4 at Nationals Park.
Their most-recent antecedent in D.C. baseball history is a 1933 Senators team that featured four future Hall-of-Famers (player-manager Joe Cronin, Goose Goslin, Heinie Manush, and Sam Rice), as well as weak-hitting catcher Moe Berg, the future OSS agent immortalized in a 2018 movie, “The Catcher Was a Spy.”
The Senators lost that series to the New York Giants, 4 games to 1. The final loss came Oct. 7, as Mel Ott blasted a 10 th-inning home run off Jack Russell at Griffith Stadium in Washington. That home run could be directly attributed to errant judgment by the Senators’ owner: The baseball landed in temporary stands that been constructed in front of the usual seating area in center field — a move designed to allow for more tickets to be sold for the Fall Classic.
Instead, the Nationals will be aiming to duplicate the feat of the 1924 Washington Senators, the one and only Washington team to actually win a World Series. Their big star was Walter “Big Train” Johnson, who lost Game 1 and Game 5 but came out of the bullpen for a Game 7 victory.
Johnson is well-remembered today — he even has a high school named after him in Maryland — but the other hero of Game 7 is not. The winning run was scored by Herold Dominic “Muddy“ Ruel in the 12 th inning on a ground ball that bounced over the head of the Giants’ third baseman.
The Nationals will face either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees. The World Series is set to start next week.
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