While they arrived Virginia-side in just 2005, the baseball franchise now known as the Washington Nationals has a long history dating well beyond their tenure in the nation’s capital.Â Founded in 1969, the then-Montreal Expos joined the National League alongside the San Diego Padres.Â Though their relocation would not come until decades later, almost immediately speculation as to the Expos home was underway.Â For the first 8 seasons of their existence, the Expos played in a temporary home.Â Jarry Park Stadium, a small, lackluster field originally seating just 3,000 occupants, filled that role for the Expos, ironically similar to the miniscule attendance draws the Expos garnered during their final years in the city.Â Â The stadium was expanded to seat 28,500 by the inaugural opening day, though as the facility was minted with an expiration date, it was never upgraded to level of quality that prevailed in most MLB stadiums.Â Following the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, the Expos moved into Olympic Stadium, a structure that would remain their official home until they eventually left the city entirely in 2004. During their Montreal years, the squad was defined by a losing tradition, often developing young prospects but never realizing the fruits of their labor until the ballplayers had since moved on to greener pastures.Â Throughout the late 1980′s, the Expos perhaps enjoyed their most fortuitous run in franchise history, eclipsing the .500 mark on the season 5 times in 6 years, winning a franchise record 91 games.Â Still, even their loftiest efforts were ultimately tempered by some form of disappointment, as their 1987 finish was still good for just third in a competitive division.Â Ironically, the Expos thrived as the MLB on the whole ailed, DIRECTV local, winning their only division championship in the strike-shortened season of 1981, but ultimately losing to the Dodgers in the NLCS.Â In 1994, the Expos had a lofty 6 game lead in the NL East before a player strike ended saw an early season end, with no post-season competition taking place. Due to a predominantly losing history and a lack of fan support, the Expos were considered for contraction when the topic was first broached in 2002.Â Fortunately for the Virginia/D.C. area, Major League Baseball instead decided to relocate the franchise, but once again the team had no certain home.Â The Expos split time during the 2003 and 2004 seasons between Montreal and 22 “home” games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Â Over time, Northern Virginia, the Norfolk area and D.C. emerged as the finalists to house the new franchise.Â Eventually, the team would move to Washington in 2005, though even this did not immediately end the franchise quest for shelter.Â The D.C. Council took some convincing to approve new stadium plans and the subject was met with a considerable opposition throughout certain sectors of the community.Â Â After 3 years playing in RFK Memorial Stadium, Nationals Park, a state of the art facility built special for the franchise opened its doors in 2008, giving baseball in the area a permanent presence for the foreseeable future.
The Virginia Tech Hokies have a baseball team full of gifted athletes. Perhaps the best player on the team right now is third baseman, Chad Pinder. The season is still young, but Pinder leads the Hokies with a batting average of .385. He also leads the team in on base percentage and runs batted in, which makes him the most valuable hitter thus far. Pinder is being looked at by MLB scouts. There’s a good chance that he eventually gets drafted by an MLB team. His presence on the Hokies provides a huge boost to the overall Read the rest of this entry »
The Marlins are the collegiate baseball team of Virginia Wesleyan University, located in Norfolk, Virginia. The school fields a competitive team every year at the Division 3 level. Historically the Marlins have not been known for producing top-tier talent despite their competitiveness at the college level. However in the school’s history a handful of the best Marlins players have gone on to see some taste of the major leagues, though only in small amounts.
Perhaps the most famous Marlin who made it deeper into baseball was Read the rest of this entry »
The Virginia Wesleyan Marlins are one of the most exciting teams in college baseball. They routinely put on a great show for all of their fans, and many people include Marlins games among their fondest memories each summer. With the kind of players they have, it’s no wonder the Marlins are such a popular team to watch.
The Virginia Wesleyan marlins feature three very fluid hitters in their lineup. In the outfield, the Marlins are pleased to have the services of Shayne Paskanik. The junior slugger is one Read the rest of this entry »
The University of Virginia has produced a number of baseball players that have appeared in the Major Leagues, including several high-impact players in recent years. To find the most successful big league pitcher that’s ever come out of UVA, you’ll have to go all the way back to early in the 20th century. Eppa Rixey, a Cavalier in 1911 and 1912, won 266 big league games over 21 seasons and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. For a time, he held the all-time Read the rest of this entry »
The University of Virginia baseball team is coming off of a great season in 2011. They had one of their best results ever in the College World Series by winning their Super Regional and then getting 3rd place overall in the tournament as well. This all capped of a very successful regular season in which they won both the conference regular season and the conference tournament championships as well. They finished with an overall record of 56-12 and a conference record of 22-8.
Their leaders on offense were John Hicks and Steve Proscia. Hicks Read the rest of this entry »
Sure it’s football season but if you’re sick of your direct tv NFL Sunday Ticket you’ve got to switch over and catch an old school Nationals game on your baseball stations! There has been a lot of talent on the team through the years and some players are worth noting:
Bryce Harper: He’s an outfielder and he’s got an arm like few have seen before. He’s a Read the rest of this entry »
These are the best infielders that have worn the Washington Nationals’ uniform, based on what they did for the team.
5- Felipe Lopez, SS. 49 SB in 3 years made him part of this list.
4- Cristian Guzman, SS. Not the best defensive shortstop, but his .316 in ’08 was impressive.
3- Adam Dunn, 1B. 38 HR and 103 RBI in ’10, his first and only season as a full time 1B. Dunn was a very criticized sign, however his 76 HR Read the rest of this entry »
While not one of the most storied franchises in baseball history, the Nationals/Expos have fielded some excellent individual talent over the years.
Warren Cromartie teamed with Andre Dawson in the late 70′s to make one of the longest ranged outfields in their era. Both had monster arms, and could throw a baserunner out from practically anywhere in the ballpark. A career .280 hitter for the Expos, Cromartie led the league in assists in the 1978 season.
Ken Singleton, while maintaining an above average career, had one great season in 1973. He batted .302, knocked 23 homeruns and drove in 103. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the truest statements regarding baseball is ‘defense wins championships.’ Because of this, it is vital to a team’s success to invest in qualities pitchers. Here is a list of the top five Washington Nationals:
5. John Lannan – currently in the rotation for the Nats, looking to make gains with each season
4. Livan Hernandez – career that spans from 1996 to current, Hernandez is back on the Nationals, bring with him his 26-25 record and a 3.41 ERA.
3. Javier Vasquez – Vasquez played for the Nationals – then called the Expos – from 1998 to 2003 and amassed a 50-45 record and Read the rest of this entry »