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The Original Nationals

When the Montreal Expos relocated the nation’s capital in 2005, after narrowly surviving a contraction bid along with the Minnesota Twins, a host of names were considered for the city’s newest franchise. Among the first to be tossed around was the “Washington Senators,” the most prominent nickname of the American League team that called D.C. home from the turn of the century all the way up until 1960. The name “Senators,” however, proved both controversial and unattainable. Some local politicians in the Washington area objected to the name because the District of Columbia does not have a vote in the Senate, believing such a name would be technically incorrect and ultimately misleading. Official ownership rights to the name “Senators” was perhaps the biggest hurdle, as the Texas Rangers, known as the Senators prior to their western relocation, still retained the rights to the name. While Major League Baseball inquired as to the rights of purchasing the name, negotiations were unsuccessful. Instead, fans and decision makers dug deeper into baseball history, where they soon found the Washington Nationals, a less storied National League team that took the field from 1886 to 1889. Read the rest of this entry »

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