Washington Senators Team History
This new team adopted the old Senators name, but was (and still is) considered an expansion team since the Twins retained the old Senators’ records and history. The Senators and Angels began to fill their rosters with American League players in an expansion draft. The team played the 1961 season at old Griffith Stadium before moving to District of Columbia Stadium (now the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium). Ownership changed hands several times during the franchise’s stay in Washington and was often plagued by poor decision-making and planning. Owner Elwood Richard Quesada once wondered why he needed to pay players who didn’t belong in the majors and later agreed to a 10-year lease at D.C. Stadium a move that would come back to haunt the Senators. In 1963, Quesada sold his stake in the club and resigned. Washington stockbrokers James Johnston and James Lemon owned the team briefly, suffering massive financial losses. Johnson died in 1967 and Lemon sold the team a year later to hotel and trucking executive Bob Short, who outbid a group headed by Bob Hope. Short named himself general manager and hired Hall of Famer Ted Williams as manager. Although Williams had never coached or managed at any level of baseball, he seemed to light a spark under the once-moribund Senators. Williams kept them in contention for most of the season; their 86–76 record would be its only winning season in Washington.
Short was especially receptive to an offer brought up by Arlington, Texas mayor Tom Vandergriff, who had been trying to obtain a Major League sports team to play in the Metroplex for over a decade. Years earlier, Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics, sought to relocate his baseball team to Dallas, Texas, but the idea was rebuffed and ultimately declined by the other A.L. team owners.
Arlington’s hole card was Turnpike Stadium, a 10,000-seat park which had been built in 1965 to house the AA Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs of the Texas League. However, it had been built to Major League specifications and also located in a natural bowl, meaning only minor excavations would be necessary to expand the park to accommodate Major League crowds.
After Vandergriff offered a multimillion-dollar down payment, Short decided to make the move to Arlington. On September 21, 1971, by a vote of 10 to 2 (the Orioles’ Jerold Hoffberger and John Allyn of the Chicago White Sox registered the dissenting votes), American League owners granted approval to move the franchise to Arlington, Texas for the 1972 season.
Senators fans were livid. Enmity came to a head at the club’s last game in Washington. Thousands of fans simply walked in without paying after the security guards left early, swelling the paid attendance of 14,460 to around 25,000, while fans unfurled a banner reading “SHORT STINKS”. With the Senators leading 7–5 and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, several hundred youths stormed the field, raiding it for souvenirs. One man grabbed first base and ran off with it. With no security in sight and only three bases, umpire crew chief Jim Honochick forfeited the game to the New York Yankees.
When the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1960 as the Twins, Major League Baseball decided to expand a year earlier than planned to stave off the twin threats of competition from the proposed Continental League and loss of its exemption from the Sherman Antitrust Act. At the winter meetings that year, it awarded a new team to Los Angeles (the Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) as well as a new team in the nation’s capital. This new team adopted the old Senators name, but was (and still is) considered an expansion team since the Twins retained the old Senators’ records and history. The Senators and Angels began to fill their rosters with American League players in an expansion draft. The team played the 1961 season at old Griffith Stadium before moving to District of Columbia Stadium (now the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium).
Washington D.C. – Dallas
2000 – Present Major League Baseball
1961 – 1999 American League
Senators – The Washington franchise was known as “Senators,” and because of their location near the capital.
1972 – Present Texas Rangers
1961 – 1971 Washington Senators
World Series 0
2014 – Present Globe Life Park in Arlington
2007 – 2013 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
2004 – 2006 Ameriquest Field in Arlington
1994 – 2004 The Ballpark in Arlington
1972 – 1993 Arlington Stadium
1962 – 1971 RFK Stadium
1961 Griffith Stadium
2010 – Present Rangers Baseball Express
1998 – 2010 Tom Hicks
1989 – 1998 Richard Rainwater and George W. Bush
1980 – 1989 Eddie Chiles
1974 – 1980 Brad Corbett
1968 – 1974 Bob Short
1967 – 1968 James Lemon
1963 – 1967 James Johnson & James Lemon
1961 – 1963 Elwood Richard Quesada
26 Johnny Oates
34 Nolan Ryan
42 Jackie Robinson
2002 – Present Rangers Captain
*Blue is this team’s history