1971 Washington Senators season

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1971 Washington Senators
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Bob Short
Manager(s) Ted Williams
Local television WTOP
(Warner Wolf, Ray Scott, Tony Roberts)
Local radio WWDC (FM)
(Ron Menchine, Tony Roberts)
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The 1971 Washington Senators season involved the Senators finishing fifth in the American League East with a record of 63 wins and 96 losses. This was the Senators' 11th and last season in Washington, D.C., as they moved to Arlington, Texas the following season, becoming the Texas Rangers. The move would leave Washington without a Major League Baseball team until the Montreal Expos of the National League relocated there in 2005, becoming the current Washington Nationals.

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

The acquisition of former Cy Young Award winner Denny McLain would not pay dividends for the franchise. Amid constant run-ins with no-nonsense Washington manager Ted Williams, Denny McLain lost 22 games in 1971.[5]

Relocation to Texas[edit]

By the end of the 1970 season, Senators owner Bob Short had issued an ultimatum: unless someone was willing to buy the Senators for $12 million, he would not renew his lease at RFK Stadium and move elsewhere. Several parties offered to buy the team, but all fell short of Short's asking price.

Short was especially receptive to an offer from Arlington mayor Tom Vandergriff, who had been trying to get a major league team to play in the Metroplex for over a decade. Years earlier, Charlie Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics, sought to move his team to Dallas, but the idea was rebuffed by the other AL 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. It was also located in a natural bowl; only minor excavations would be necessary to expand the park to major-league size.

After Vandergriff offered a multimillion-dollar up-front payment, Short finally decided to pull up stakes and move. On September 20, 1971, he got his wish, receiving approval from AL owners to move the franchise to Arlington for the 1972 season.

Washington fans were outraged, leaving public relations director Ted Rodgers with the unenviable task of putting a positive spin on such events as fans unfurling a giant banner that contained Short's name, preceded by a popular four-letter invective. A photo of the banner appeared on the front page of a DC newspaper the following day.

Fan enmity came to a head in the team's last game in Washington, on September 30. Thousands of fans simply walked in without paying because the security guards left early in the game, swelling the paid attendance of 14,460 to around 25,000. The Senators led 7–5 with two outs in the top of the ninth. Just then, fans poured onto the field, thinking the final out had already been made. A teenager scooped up first base and ran away. With no security guards in sight, the game was forfeited to the Yankees, 9–0.

Opening Day starters[edit]

Season standings[edit]

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 101 57 0.639 53–24 48–33
Detroit Tigers 91 71 0.562 12 54–27 37–44
Boston Red Sox 85 77 0.525 18 47–33 38–44
New York Yankees 82 80 0.506 21 44–37 38–43
Washington Senators 63 96 0.396 38½ 35–46 28–50
Cleveland Indians 60 102 0.370 43 29–52 31–50


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1971 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK WSH
Baltimore 9–9 7–5 8–4 13–5 8–10 6–5 9–3 10–2 11–7 7–4 13–3
Boston 9–9 6–6 10–2 11–7 12–6 1–11 6–6 8–4 7–11 3–9 12–6
California 5–7 6–6 8–10 8–4 6–6 8–10 6–12 12–6 6–6 7–11 4–8
Chicago 4–8 2–10 10–8 3–9 7–5 9–9 11–7 7–11 5–7 11–7 10–2
Cleveland 5–13 7–11 4–8 9–3 6–12 2–10 4–8 4–8 8–10 4–8 7–11
Detroit 10–8 6–12 6–6 5–7 12–6 8–4 10–2 6–6 10–8 4–8 14–4
Kansas City 5–6 11–1 10–8 9–9 10–2 4–8 8–10 9–9 5–7 5–13 9–3
Milwaukee 3–9 6–6 12–6 7–11 8–4 2–10 10–8 10–7 2–10 3–15 6–6
Minnesota 2–10 4–8 6–12 11–7 8–4 6–6 9–9 7–10 8–4 8–10 5–6
New York 7–11 11–7 6–6 7–5 10–8 8–10 7–5 10–2 4–8 5–7 7–11
Oakland 4–7 9–3 11–7 7–11 8–4 8–4 13–5 15–3 10–8 7–5 9–3
Washington 3–13 6–12 8–4 2–10 11–7 4–14 3–9 6–6 6–5 11–7 3–9


Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1971 Washington Senators
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
3B Dave Nelson 85 329 92 .280 5 33
RF Larry Biittner 66 171 44 .257 0 16

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Elliott Maddox 128 258 56 .217 1 18
Tommy McCraw 122 207 44 .213 7 25
Don Wert 20 40 2 .050 0 2
Curt Flood 13 35 7 .200 0 2
Jim Mason 3 9 3 .333 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dick Bosman 35 236.2 12 16 3.73 113
Denny McLain 33 216.2 10 22 4.28 103
Pete Broberg 18 124.2 5 9 3.47 89

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Casey Cox 54 124.1 5 7 3.98 43
Bill Gogolewski 27 124.1 6 5 2.75 70
Gerry Janeski 23 61.2 1 5 4.96 19
Jackie Brown 14 47 3 4 5.94 21

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Horacio Piña 56 1 1 2 3.59 38
Joe Grzenda 46 5 2 5 1.92 56
Darold Knowles 12 2 2 2 3.52 16

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Denver Bears American Association Del Wilber
AA Pittsfield Senators Eastern League Joe Klein
A Burlington Senators Carolina League Whitey Kurowski
A Anderson Senators Western Carolinas League Frank Gable and Bill Haywood
A-Short Season Geneva Senators New York–Penn League Frank Gable

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Denver

Notes[edit]

References[edit]