A Long Time Coming
One World Series For Washington Nationals, Generations Of Memories For Washington, D.C. Baseball
By James Estepp, Jr.
I don’t know if you heard, but the Washington Nationals are World Series Champions.
The road to getting there, scoring upset after upset, series after series, is going to be the stuff of legend. So too is the tale of being the only team in major championship history to secure a championship in a series without a single win at home (apologies to those who paid thousands to see them at the Park). At least you got to sing “Baby Shark” together with 35,000 strangers, so it wasn’t a total loss.
No. That would be too easy.
I want to pay tribute to the three franchises that had not seen a World Series win since the day Jimmy Carter turned nine days old on October 10, 1924.
Many a great Senator never got the chance to taste the champagne of victory, either during or after their time as Senators. You’ve heard of the “Curse of the Bambino,” but the Red Sox only went 86 years between championships.
We’ll call this the Curse of “Damn Yankees,” as it took the city 64 years to crown a champion after that Broadway smash began, and 95 years total to win it all, and they did so without the magic of Joe Hardy on their side.
This one was for “The Killer,” Harmon Killebrew, the 13-time All-Star for the Senators and the Twins, for Roy Sievers and Mickey Vernon, Camilo Pasqual and Hall of Famer Rick Ferrell. If he hadn’t won with the Dodgers before he got here, it would have been for Frank “Hondo” Howard, too.
This is for so many great stars who never won it all in Montreal before MLB pitched that tent and returned baseball to Washington. Hopefully, Andre Dawson, Vladimir Guerrero, Tim Wallach and Steve Rogers raised a glass in tribute to the franchise they played so brilliantly for.
For now, they can all celebrate, with this incredibly resilient club, as a city that seemed starved for a generation now gets to sip champagne for the third time in just 17 months, with the Nationals joining other first-time Champions, the Washington Capitals and the Washington Mystics, at the top of their professions.
In this era of free agency and financial considerations, where the names on the backs of the uniforms change annually, we can celebrate today, as those of us younger than Jimmy Carter now have a memory to last a lifetime.