Washington Nationals

Last updated

Washington Nationals
Baseball current event.svg 2019 Washington Nationals season
Established in 1969
Based in Washington, D.C., since 2005
Washington Nationals logo.svg Washington Nationals Cap Insig.svg
Team logoCap insignia
Major league affiliations


Current uniform
MLB-NLE-WAS-Uniform.png
Retired numbers 42 (as Montreal Expos: 8, 10, 10, 30)
Colors
  • Scarlet red, navy blue, white [1] [2] [3]
                
Name
Other nicknames
  • Nats
Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (1) 2019
NL Pennants (1) 2019
East Division titles (5)
Wild card berths (1) 2019
Front office
Owner(s) Mark Lerner [4] [5]
Manager Dave Martinez
General Manager Mike Rizzo
President of Baseball OperationsMike Rizzo

The Washington Nationals are an American professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C.. The Nationals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. From 2005 to 2007, the team played in RFK Stadium; since 2008, their home stadium has been Nationals Park, located on South Capitol Street in the Southeast quadrant of D.C., near the Anacostia River. [6]

Baseball team sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington; D.C.; or the district, is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Contents

The Nationals are the eighth major league franchise to be based in Washington, D.C., and the first since 1971. The current NL club was founded in 1969 as the Montreal Expos, part of the MLB expansion. The Expos were purchased by MLB in 2002 after a failed contraction plan, [7] and the team was moved to Washington, D.C., and named the Nationals before the 2005 season, marking the first franchise relocation in MLB since the third Washington Senators moved to Texas in 1971. Nationals Park hosted the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.

Washington, DC has been home to over a dozen baseball organizations since 1872 and is currently represented by the Washington Nationals.

The Montreal Expos were a Canadian professional baseball team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Expos were the first Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise located outside the United States. They played in the National League (NL) East division from 1969 until 2004. Following the 2004 season, the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., and became the Washington Nationals.

The 1969 Major League Baseball expansion resulted in the establishment of expansion franchises in Kansas City and Seattle in the American League and in Montreal and San Diego in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Pilots began play in the 1969 Major League Baseball season. One of the reasons for expansion was increasing pressure to maintain the sport as the US national pastime, particularly because of the increasing popularity of professional football.

While the team initially struggled after moving to Washington, the Nationals had considerable success throughout the 2010s. The team's two overall first picks in the MLB draft, Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010, attracted new levels of attention to the team. They won their first playoff berth and first division title in 2012. They won the National League East again in 2014, 2016, and 2017, but were eliminated in the NLDS each time. Their first World Series appearance and win came in 2019, when they entered the playoffs via the Wild Card, eventually advancing and defeating the Houston Astros to win the 2019 World Series.

Major League Baseball draft primary draft by Major League Baseball teams to assign amateur players

The first-year player draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. The most recent draft was held on June 3–5, 2019.

Stephen Strasburg American baseball pitcher

Stephen James Strasburg is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Nationals. Strasburg was selected by Washington with the first pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft. He won a World Series with the Nationals in 2019, when he was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Bryce Harper American baseball player

Bryce Aron Max Harper is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the Washington Nationals from 2012 through 2018. He has been touted as a "five-tool player".

History

Early baseball in Washington, D.C.

Multiple short-lived baseball franchises, including two named the Nationals, played in Washington with the National Association in the 1870s. [note 1] The first Washington Nationals team in a major league played in the American Association in 1884. [12] Another Washington Nationals team also played in the Union Association during its only season in 1884. [13] The first Washington Nationals of the National League played from 1886 to 1889. [14]

The American Association (AA) was a professional baseball league that existed for 10 seasons from 1882 to 1891. Together with the National League (NL), founded in 1876, the AA participated in an early version of the World Series seven times versus the champion of the NL in an interleague championship playoff tournament. At the end of its run, several AA franchises joined the NL. After 1891, the NL existed alone, with each season's champions being awarded the prized Temple Cup (1894-1897).

The Union Association was a league in Major League Baseball which lasted for only one season in 1884. St. Louis won the pennant and joined the National League the following season. Chicago moved to Pittsburgh in late August, and four teams folded during the season and were replaced. Seven of the twelve teams who were in the league at some point during the season did not play a full schedule.

Washington Senators

The Washington Statesmen played in the American Association in 1891, [15] before jumping to the National League as the Senators the following season. The Washington Senators, who were often referred to as the Nationals, [16] played in the National League from 1892 to 1899. They were followed by another Washington Senators franchise in 1901, a charter member of the new American League, who were officially named the Washington Nationals from 1905 to 1956. The first American League Senators franchise moved to Minneapolis after the 1960 season and became the Minnesota Twins. They were replaced in Washington by an expansion team, the second Senators franchise, which began play in 1961 and moved to Arlington, Texas after the 1971 season to become the Texas Rangers.

American League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League.

Minnesota Twins Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

The Minnesota Twins is an American professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. The team is named after the Twin Cities area comprising Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Arlington, Texas City in Texas, United States

Arlington is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, located in Tarrant County. It is part of the Mid-Cities region of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles (32 km) west of downtown Dallas.

Montreal Expos

The Montreal Expos were part of the 1969 Major League Baseball expansion, which included the Seattle Pilots (now the Milwaukee Brewers), [17] Kansas City Royals, and San Diego Padres. Based in Montreal, the Expos were the first Major League team in Canada. [18]

The Seattle Pilots were an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington during the 1969 Major League Baseball season. During their single-season existence, the Pilots played their home games at Sick's Stadium and were a member of the West Division of Major League Baseball's American League. On April 1, 1970, the franchise moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and became the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball franchise in Kansas City, Missouri, United States

The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014.

San Diego Padres Baseball Team and Major League Baseball franchise in San Diego, California, United States

The San Diego Padres are an American professional baseball team based in San Diego, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Founded in 1969, the Padres have won two NL pennants — in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both years. As of 2018, they have had 14 winning seasons in franchise history. The Padres are one of two Major League Baseball teams in California to originate from that state; the Athletics were originally from Philadelphia, and the Dodgers and Giants are originally from two New York City boroughs – Brooklyn and Manhattan, respectively. The Padres are the only MLB team that does not share its city with another franchise in the four major American professional sports leagues. The Padres are the only major professional sports franchise to be located in San Diego, following the relocation of the Chargers to Los Angeles in 2017. They are also the only franchise in the MLB not to have a no-hitter, having gone 8020 games without throwing one, a major league record to begin a franchise.

The majority-share owner was 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, coincidentally matching the Padres' inaugural win–loss record, and continued to struggle during their first decade with sub-.500 seasons.

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 three games to two 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 to 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 four games behind the division-winning Cardinals.

Bronfman sold the team to a consortium of owners in 1991, with Claude Brochu as the managing general partner. [19] [20] 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 manager, becoming the first Dominican-born manager in MLB history. [19] 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 1994–95 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.

Brochu sold control of the team to Jeffrey Loria in 1999, [21] [22] but Loria failed to close on a plan to build a new downtown ballpark, and did not reach an agreement on television and English radio broadcast contracts for the 2000 season, reducing the team's media coverage.

Proposed 2001 contraction

After the 2001 season, MLB considered revoking the team's franchise, along with either the Minnesota Twins or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. [23] [24] In November 2001, Major League Baseball's owners voted 28–2 to contract the league by two teams — according to various sources, the Expos and the Minnesota Twins, both of which reportedly voted against contraction. [25] Subsequently, the Boston Red Sox were sold to a partnership led by John W. Henry, owner of the Florida Marlins. [25] [26] 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. [25] However, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, operator of the Metrodome, won an injunction requiring the Twins to play there in 2002. [25] Because MLB was unable to revoke the Twins franchise, it was compelled to keep both the Twins and Expos as part of the regular season schedule. In the collective bargaining agreement signed with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in August 2002, contraction was prohibited until the end of the contract in 2006. [27] By that time, the Expos had become the Washington Nationals and the Twins had made sufficient progress towards the eventual building of a new baseball-specific stadium that contraction was no longer on the agenda.

Creation of the Washington Nationals

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 (such as Arlington or Dulles); Norfolk, Virginia; Las Vegas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Washington, D.C., and both Virginia locations emerged as the front-runners.

In both 2003 and 2004, the Expos played 22 of their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium, and the remaining 59 in Montreal.

On September 29, 2004, MLB announced the Expos would move to Washington, D.C., in 2005. [28] [29]

The Expos played their final game on October 3 at Shea Stadium in New York, losing by a score of 8–1 against the New York Mets, the same opponent the Expos faced in their first game, 35 years earlier. On November 15, a lawsuit by the former team owners against MLB and former majority owner Jeffrey Loria was struck down by arbitrators, bringing to an end all legal actions that would impede a move. The owners of the other MLB teams approved the move to Washington, D.C., in a 28–1 vote on December 3 (Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos cast the sole dissenting vote).

Washington baseball history revived

Numerous professional baseball teams have called Washington, D.C., home. The Washington Senators, a founding member of the American League (AL), played in the nation's capital from 1901 to 1960 before moving to Minnesota and becoming the Twins. The original Washington American League Base Ball Club was founded by three local businessmen: Edward J. Walsh, Benjamin Minor, and Harry Rapley. Clark Griffith was hired as manager in 1912 and became a part owner, accumulating majority shares in later years. The stadium, originally known as National Park and then American League Park, later became known as Griffith Stadium. With notable stars including Walter Johnson and Joe Cronin, the Senators won the 1924 World Series and pennants in 1925 and 1933. The franchise became more successful after moving to Minnesota for the 1961 season to be renamed the Minnesota Twins. A second Washington Senators team (1961–1971) had a winning record only once in its 11 years, although it featured slugger Frank Howard, who was inducted into the Ring of Fame at the new Nationals Park in 2016. This team was notable also because Ted Williams was manager in 1971. The expansion Senators moved to Arlington, Texas (located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex), for the 1972 season and changed their name to the Texas Rangers. The city of Washington spent the next 33 years without a baseball team.

Although there was some sentiment to revive the name Senators when the Montreal Expos franchise moved to Washington in 2005, legal and political considerations factored into the choice of Nationals, a revival of the first American League franchise's official name used from 1901 to 1956. [30] Politicians and others in the District of Columbia objected to the name Senators because the District of Columbia does not have voting representation in Congress. [31] In addition, the Rangers still owned the rights to the Senators name, [32] although the Nationals were able to acquire the rights to the curly "W" logo from the Rangers.[ citation needed ] This logo looked a lot like Walgreens logo, but the drugstore chain never sued because, even though people have trouble telling the logos apart, it is believed the chain does not see this as a problem. [33]

Washington, D.C., mayor Anthony A. Williams supported the name "Washington Grays", in honor of the Negro-league team the Homestead Grays (1929–1950), which had been based in Pittsburgh, but played many of their home games in Washington. On November 21, 2004, the team's management chose the name "Washington Nationals". [34]

Washington Nationals

Nationals versus the Cincinnati Reds in 2009 at Nationals Park Nationals Game - 2009 - Stierch.jpg
Nationals versus the Cincinnati Reds in 2009 at Nationals Park

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, including the Atlanta Hawks and 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 the draft, and having a suitable team to go along with their new stadium.

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. [35]

Thanks to back-to-back No. 1 picks of Stephen Strasburg (in 2009) and Bryce Harper (in 2010), and other strong moves to their farm system, the Nationals became a contending team by 2012, winning division titles in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017, but losing in NLDS each time. [36] In 2018, the All-Star Game was played at Nationals Park.

The Nationals began the 2019 season with a record of 19-31, and their chances winning the World Series at that point was 1.5 percent. [37] They improved from there, finishing the regular season with a record of 93-69 and earning a spot in the wild-card game, which they won over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Nationals advanced past the divisional round of the MLB playoffs for the first time as the Nationals on October 9, 2019, with a 7–3 win over the Dodgers that sent them to the NLCS. [38] The Nationals advanced to the World Series after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, making their first World Series appearance in franchise history. [39] On October 30, they won their first World Series when they defeated the Houston Astros in game seven. [40] This was the first World Series in MLB history where neither team won a home game. [41]

Postseason appearances

Year Wild Card Game NLDS NLCS World Series
1981 [A] None [C] Philadelphia Phillies W 3–2 Los Angeles Dodgers L (2–3)
2012 [B] Bye (Won NL East) St. Louis Cardinals L (2–3)
2014 Bye (Won NL East) San Francisco Giants L (1–3)
2016 Bye (Won NL East) Los Angeles Dodgers L (2–3)
2017 Bye (Won NL East) Chicago Cubs L (2–3)
2019 Milwaukee Brewers W Los Angeles Dodgers W (3–2) St. Louis Cardinals W (4–0) Houston Astros W (4–3)
  1. Appeared as the Montreal Expos.
  2. This and subsequent appearances as the Washington Nationals.
  3. The wild-card game was first played in 2012.

People of note

Managers

ManagerTenureRegular season [42] Post-season [43] Totals
WinsLossesWin %Best finishAppearancesWinsLossesWin %Wild Card
record
Series
record
WinsLossesWin %
Frank Robinson 2005–2006152172.46981–81, 5th (2005)152172.469
Manny Acta 2007–2009158252.38573–89, 4th (2007)158252.385
Jim Riggleman 2009–2011140172.44969–93, 5th (2010) [note 2] 140172.449
John McLaren (interim)201121.667 [note 2] 21.667
Davey Johnson 2011–2013224183.55098–64, 1st (2012)201223.4000–1226186.549
Matt Williams 2014–2015179145.55296–66, 1st (2014)201413.2500–1180148.549
Dusty Baker 2016–2017192132.59397–65, 1st (2017)2016, 201746.4000–2196138.587
Dave Martinez 2018–present175149.54093–69, 2nd (2019)2019125.7061–03–0187154.548

Note: Updated through October 15, 2019.

Broadcasters

Players

Roster

Washington Nationals 2020 spring training roster
40-man rosterNon-roster inviteesCoaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches



30 active, 0 inactive, 0 non-roster invitees

Injury icon 2.svg 7- or 10-day injured list
* Not on active roster
Suspended list
Roster, coaches, and NRIs updated November 3, 2019
Transactions Depth Chart
All MLB rosters

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
Vladimir Guerrero

Randy Johnson
Pedro Martínez

Tony Pérez
Tim Raines

Lee Smith
Dick Williams 2

Washington Nationals

Frank Robinson 1

Iván Rodríguez

  • Players and managers listed in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Expos or Nationals cap insignia.
  • 1 – inducted as player; managed Expos/Nationals
  • 2 – inducted as manager, also played for Expos/Nationals or was manager

Ford C. Frick Award

Washington Nationals Ford C. Frick Award recipients
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Tom Cheek

Dave Van Horne

  • Names in bold received the award based primarily on their work as broadcasters for the Expos or Nationals.

Retired numbers

NatsRetired42.png
Jackie
Robinson

2B
Retired 1997

During the franchise's period in Montreal, the Montreal Expos retired three numbers in honor of four players, plus Jackie Robinson's number 42 which was retired throughout all Major League Baseball in 1997. [44] Following the move to Washington, D.C., the numbers (except 42) were returned to circulation and remain in use as of 2016, although the "Team History" section of the Nationals' website continues to refer to the numbers as "retired." [44] When Washington wore Expos throwback jerseys on July 6, 2019, catcher Yan Gomes wore his usual number 10, even though the number is retired by the Expos, for Andre Dawson and Rusty Staub. [45]

After the Expos' departure from Montreal, the National Hockey League′s Montreal Canadiens hung a banner in Bell Centre honoring the Expos' retired numbers.

Ring of Honor

On August 10, 2010, the Nationals unveiled a "Ring of Honor" [note 3] at Nationals Park to honor National Baseball Hall of Fame members who had played "significant years" for the Washington Nationals, original Washington Senators (1901–1960), expansion Washington Senators (1961–1971), Homestead Grays, or Montreal Expos. [46] [47] In late August 2016, the team dropped the criterion that an inductee be a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, also opening membership to "anyone who has made a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Washington, D.C."; [47] the first inductee under the revised criteria was Frank Howard. [47]

The Nationals′ attempt to honor the Montreal-Washington franchise's entire history in the Ring of Honor, as well as by tracking Montreal-Washington franchise records, is not without controversy; it has been criticized as "an embodiment of the team’s desire to find history before it can make much." [48] Although Nationals fans generally take little interest in the franchise's Montreal years, some do appreciate acknowledging that the franchise has a history that predates its arrival in Washington, and former Expo Tim Raines received a warm round of applause from fans at Nationals Park at his induction ceremony on August 28, 2017, even though he had never even visited Washington, D.C., before, let alone played baseball there. [48] [49] Some Montreal Expos fans express appreciation that the Nationals are honoring the Expos, and Expos players inducted into the Ring of Honor have expressed gratitude that the Nationals chose to include them, especially with no MLB team in Montreal to honor their careers. [49] [50] [51] However, few Nationals fans have taken an interest in franchise records, preferring to compare Nationals records with those of previous Washington MLB teams instead, [49] and a segment of Nationals fans actively opposes the inclusion of Expos history into that of the Nationals, taking the view that the Montreal years are irrelevant to Washington and that the team made a complete break with its past and started anew when it arrived in Washington, inheriting the history of the two Washington Senators teams rather than that of the Expos. [49] Similarly, Montreal Expos fans have taken little or no interest in the achievements of Nationals players, and some Expos fans strongly oppose the inclusion of former Expos in the Ring, taking the position that to do so is to co-opt the history of the Expos, which they say belongs solely in Montreal. [49]

Observers also have noted that the admission of the first Nationals player to the Ring of Honor, Iván "Pudge" Rodríguez, [48] although he was well-liked as a National, highlights another awkward aspect of the Ring of Honor's acceptance criteria, because Rodriguez's inclusion arose out of his admission to the National Baseball Hall of Fame based on his exploits for other teams, not out of anything he did during a 155-game, two-season stint with the Nationals at the end of his career in years in which the Nationals posted mediocre records. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo responded that his inclusion had merit even based on his time with the Nationals, when he "taught us how to be a professional franchise." [48] [52]

In a ceremony held at Nationals Park between games of a doubleheader on the evening of September 8, 2018, the Nationals inducted former outfielder Jayson Werth, who played for the Nationals from 2011 through 2017, into the Ring of Honor. [53] [54] He became the first "true" National [48] – the first person based specifically on his career as a National – inducted into the Ring of Honor. [48]

The Ring of Honor includes: [46] [47] [55] [56] [57]

Washington Nationals Ring of Honor
Homestead Grays
No.InducteePositionTenureAdmitted
4 Cool Papa Bell CF1932, 1943–1946August 10, 2010
Ray Brown P1932–1945
1947–1948
August 10, 2010
20 Josh Gibson C1937–1946August 10, 2010
32 Buck Leonard 1B1934–1950August 10, 2010
Cumberland Posey OF/Manager/Owner
Club official
1911–1946August 10, 2010
Jud Wilson 3B1931–1932
1940–1945
August 10, 2010
Montreal Expos
No.InducteePositionTenureAdmitted
8 Gary Carter C1974–1984, 1992August 10, 2010
10 Andre Dawson CF1976–1986August 10, 2010
30 Tim Raines LF1979–1990, 2001August 28, 2017
20 Frank Robinson Manager2002–2004May 9, 2015
Washington Nationals
No.InducteePositionTenureAdmitted
20 Frank Robinson Manager2005–2006May 9, 2015
7 Iván "Pudge" Rodríguez C2010–2011August 28, 2017
28 Jayson Werth RF, LF2011–2017September 8, 2018
Washington Senators (original team, 1901–1960)
No.InducteePositionTenureAdmitted
4 Joe Cronin SS1928–1934August 10, 2010
8, 10, 37 Rick Ferrell C1937–1941
1944–1945, 1947
August 10, 2010
3, 5, 20 Goose Goslin LF1921–1930
1933, 1938
August 10, 2010
Clark Griffith P
Owner
P: 1912–1914
Owner: 1920–1955
August 10, 2010
28, 30, 35, 50 Bucky Harris 2B
Manager
2B: 1919–1928 
Manager: 1924–1928,
1935–1942, 1950–1954
August 10, 2010
Walter Johnson P1907–1927August 10, 2010
3, 12, 25 Harmon Killebrew 1B1954–1960August 10, 2010
2, 3 Heinie Manush LF1930–1935August 10, 2010
2, 22 Sam Rice RF1915–1933August 10, 2010
11, 20, 26, 44 Early Wynn P1939–1944
1946–1948
August 10, 2010
Washington Senators (expansion team, 1961–1971)
No.InducteePositionTenureAdmitted
Bucky Harris Scout/Special Assistant1963–1971August 10, 2010
9, 33 Frank Howard LF/1B1965–1971August 26, 2016

Attendance

Source: [58]

SeasonStadiumSeason TotalRank in
National League
Game
Average
2005 RFK Stadium 2,731,9938th (of 16)33,651
2006RFK Stadium2,153,05611th (of 16)26,582
2007RFK Stadium1,943,81214th (of 16)24,217
2008 Nationals Park 2,320,40013th (of 16)29,005
2009Nationals Park1,817,22613th (of 16)22,716
2010Nationals Park1,828,06614th (of 16)22,569
2011Nationals Park1,940,47814th (of 16)24,256
2012Nationals Park2,370,7949th (of 16)30,010
2013Nationals Park2,652,4226th (of 15)32,746
2014Nationals Park2,579,3897th (of 15)31,844
2015Nationals Park2,619,8435th (of 15)32,344
2016Nationals Park2,481,9387th (of 15)30,641
2017Nationals Park2,524,9807th (of 15)31,172
2018Nationals Park2,529,6048th (of 15)31,230
2019Nationals Park2,259,78112th (of 15)27,899

Season standings

Standings updated on September 29, 2019.

MLB
season
Team
season
League [59] Division [59] Regular seasonPostseasonAwards
FinishWinsLossesWin%GB
2005 2005 NLEast5th8181.5009 Chad CorderoRolaids Relief Man
2006 2006 NLEast5th7191.43826 Alfonso SorianoSilver Slugger
2007 2007 NLEast4th7389.45118 Dmitri YoungPlayers Choice Award National League Comeback Player [60]
2008 2008 NLEast5th59102.36632½
2009 2009 NLEast5th59103.36434 Ryan ZimmermanGold Glove and Silver Slugger
2010 2010 NLEast5th6993.42628Ryan Zimmerman—Silver Slugger
2011 2011 NLEast3rd8081.49721½
2012 2012 NLEast1st9864.605Won NL East Division by 4 games; Lost NLDS 3–2 vs. Cardinals Adam LaRoche—Silver Slugger and Gold Glove
Ian Desmond—Silver Slugger
Stephen Strasburg—Silver Slugger
Bryce HarperNational League Rookie of the Year
Davey JohnsonNational League Manager of the Year
2013 2013 NLEast2nd8676.53110Ian Desmond—Silver Slugger
2014 2014 NLEast1st9666.593Won NL East Division by 17 games; Lost NLDS 3–1 vs. Giants Ian Desmond—Silver Slugger
Anthony Rendon—Silver Slugger
Wilson RamosTony Conigliaro Award
Matt Williams—National League Manager of the Year
2015 2015 NLEast2nd8379.5127Bryce Harper—National League Most Valuable Player, Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron Award, Players Choice Award National League Outstanding Player, Esurance MLB Awards for Best Major Leaguer and Best Everyday Player
2016 2016 NLEast1st9567.586Won NL East Division by 8 games; Lost NLDS 3–2 vs. Dodgers Daniel Murphy—Silver Slugger and Players Choice Award National League Outstanding Player
Wilson Ramos—Silver Slugger
Max ScherzerNational League Cy Young Award, Esurance MLB Awards for Best Pitcher and Best Performance
Anthony RendonNational League Comeback Player of the Year
2017 2017 NLEast1st9765.599Won NL East Division by 20 games; Lost NLDS 3–2 vs. Cubs Daniel Murphy—Silver Slugger
Max ScherzerNational League Cy Young Award, Players Choice Award National League Outstanding Pitcher
Ryan ZimmermanPlayers Choice Award National League Comeback Player
2018 2018 NLEast2nd8280.5068
2019 2019 NLEast2nd9369.5744Won NLWCG 4–3 vs. Brewers; Won NLDS 3–2 vs. Dodgers; Won NLCS 4–0 vs. Cardinals; Won World Series 4-3 vs. Astros Howie KendrickNational League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award
Anthony Rendon—Silver Slugger
Stephen StrasburgWorld Series Most Valuable Player Award

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

Spring training

The Nationals hold spring training in Florida, where they play their annual slate of Grapefruit League games. From 2005 through 2016, they held spring training at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida, a facility that they inherited from the Expos. In 2017, the Nationals moved their spring training operations to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, a new facility they share with the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach, Florida; they played their first Grapefruit League game there on February 28, 2017. On February 16, 2018, it was renamed FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches after the Nationals and Astros signed a 12-year deal for the naming rights to the stadium that day with FITTEAM, an event brand partnership and organic products firm located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. [61]

Minor league affiliations

LevelTeamLeagueLocationSeasons
AAA Fresno Grizzlies Pacific Coast League Fresno, California 2019–present
AA Harrisburg Senators Eastern League Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1991–present
Advanced A Fredericksburg Nationals Carolina League Fredericksburg, Virginia 2020–present
A Hagerstown Suns South Atlantic League Hagerstown, Maryland 2007–present
Short Season A Auburn Doubledays New York–Penn League Auburn, New York 2011–present
Rookie GCL Nationals Gulf Coast League West Palm Beach, Florida 1969–present
DSL Nationals Dominican Summer League Dominican Republic 2005–present

Former affiliates

LevelLeagueTeam (Seasons)
AAA American Association Indianapolis Indians (1984–1992)
Wichita Aeros (1982–1983)
Denver Bears (1976–1981)
International League Syracuse Chiefs (2009–2018)
Columbus Clippers (2007–2008)
Ottawa Lynx (1993–2002)
Memphis Blues (1974–1975)
Peninsula Whips (1972–1973)
Winnipeg Whips (1970–1971)
Buffalo Bisons (1970)
Pacific Coast League New Orleans Zephyrs (2005–2006)
Edmonton Trappers (2003–2004)
Vancouver Mounties (1969)
AA Eastern League Quebec Metros (1976–1977)
Quebec Carnavals (1971–1975)
Southern League Memphis Chicks (1978–1983)
Jacksonville Suns (1970, 1984–1990)
A California League San Jose Expos (1982)
Carolina League Potomac Nationals (2005–2019)
Kinston Expos (1974)
Florida State League Brevard County Manatees (2002–2004)
Jupiter Hammerheads (1998–2001)
West Palm Beach Expos (1969–1997)
Midwest League Clinton LumberKings (2001–2002)
Burlington Bees (1993–1994)
Rockford Expos (1988–1992)
Burlington Expos (1986–1987)
South Atlantic League Savannah Sand Gnats (2003–2006)
Cape Fear Crocs (1997–2000)
Delmarva Shorebirds (1996)
Albany Polecats (1992, 1995)
Sumter Flyers (1991)
Gastonia Expos (1983–1984)
Short Season A New York–Penn League Vermont Expos/Lake Monsters (1994–2010)
Jamestown Falcons/Expos (1973, 1977–1993)
Northern League Watertown Expos (1970–1971)
Rookie Advanced Pioneer League Calgary Expos (1979–1984)
Lethbridge Expos (1975–1976)

Nationals Dream Foundation

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation is the team's charity which is "committed to community partnerships that improve the lives of children and families across the Washington Capital Region. The foundation opened a youth baseball academy in partnership with the D.C. government, [62] and a pediatric diabetes care center at Children's National Medical Center in partnership with the Center. The foundation also provides grants to local organizations. [63]

On August 1, 2011, the foundation, in partnership with several local organizations, formally opened Miracle Field in Germantown, Maryland as part of an effort to encourage athletic activity in children with "mental and/or physical challenges." [64] According to Steven Miller of MLB.com, what sets Miracle Field apart in terms of safety is its unique design, as it "is made entirely of a cushioned synthetic turf that is five-eighths of an inch thick—providing a safe surface for children in wheelchairs or with other handicaps." [65]

Radio and television

Mascots dressed as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln in the stands during a 2010 game against the Baltimore Orioles. They compete in the Presidents Race every mid-fourth inning of a home game. Nationals Presidents.jpg
Mascots dressed as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln in the stands during a 2010 game against the Baltimore Orioles. They compete in the Presidents Race every mid-fourth inning of a home game.

The Nationals' flagship radio station is WJFK-FM (106.7 FM) "The Fan", which is owned by Entercom. Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler are the play-by-play announcers. WJFK fronts a radio network of 19 stations serving portions of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Delaware as well as the District.

WFED (1500 AM) had been the flagship station since the 2006 season until a multi-year agreement was reached between the Nationals and WJFK before the 2011 season. WFED remains on the network as an affiliate; its 50 kilowatt clear-channel signal allows the Nationals' home-team call to be heard up and down the East Coast. [66] [67]

WWZZ (104.1 FM), which carried games in the 2005 season, was the team's first flagship radio station. [68]

Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) televises all games not picked up by one of MLB's national television partners. Bob Carpenter has been the TV play-by-play announcer since 2006 and F.P. Santangelo was hired in January 2011 as color analyst. [69] Mel Proctor was the TV play-by-announcer in 2005, and former color analysts are Ron Darling (2005), Tom Paciorek (2006), Don Sutton (2007–2008), and Rob Dibble, who took over the job in 2009 and was fired in September 2010 after criticizing Stephen Strasburg for not pitching while injured. Ray Knight filled in as color analyst in September 2010 after Dibble was fired. [69] [69] [70]

Previously, WDCA (channel 20) carried 76 games in the 2005 season while the newly founded MASN was still negotiating cable carriage. [71] From 2009 through 2017, MASN syndicated a package of 20 games for simulcast on an over-the-air television station in Washington. Broadcast partners under this arrangement were WDCW (channel 50) from 2009 through 2012 and CBS affiliate WUSA (channel 9) from 2013 through 2017. [72] [73] MASN did not continue the syndication deal for the 2018 season. [74]

In the midst of a season in which they finished with the worst record in Major League Baseball, the Nationals' television ratings were among the worst in the National League in July 2008 [75] [76] but increased during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. [77] [78] Since 2012, when they began to achieve consistent success on the field, their television viewership has grown continually and dramatically. By 2016, the Nationals′ prime-time television ratings were 15th highest among the 29 U.S. MLB teams, and they rose to 12th in 2017. [79] Ratings declined to 18th among the 29 U.S. teams for the 2018 season. [80]

Rivalries

Baltimore Orioles (Beltway Series)

The Nationals have an interleague rivalry with the nearby Baltimore Orioles, which is nicknamed the Beltway Series. The teams have played two series a season – one in Baltimore and one in Washington – since 2006.

Notes

  1. They were: the Washington Olympics for 41 games in 1871–1872, [8] the Washington Nationals for 11 games in 1872, [9] the Washington Blue Legs for 39 games in 1873, [10] and a different Washington Nationals franchise for 28 games in 1875. [11]
  2. 1 2 During 2011, Riggleman and McLaren combined with Davey Johnson for an 80–81 (.497), third-place finish. Riggleman′s record in 2011 was 38–37 (.507), McLaren′s was 2–1 (.667), and Johnson′s was 40–43 (.482).
  3. The Ring of Honor should not be confused with the Washington Hall of Stars.

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Boston Red Sox
World Series champions
2019
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
National League champions
2019
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
National League Eastern Division champions
1981 (as Montreal Expos)
2012
2014
2016, 2017
Succeeded by
St. Louis Cardinals
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Atlanta Braves