1886: The National League finally came to the capital city, when the Washington Nationals joined in the league’s 11th season. Sometimes referred to as the Washington Statesmen, the Nationals played their games at Swampoodle Grounds with the Capitol Building a few blocks north visible over the outfield wall. In their first season the Nationals were not very good, finishing dead last with a record of 28-92. Paul Hines, was Washington’s best hitter, with a .312 average, nine home runs and 56 RBI, while Dupree Shaw was the team’s top pitcher at 13-31 with a 3.34 ERA.
1887: The Washington Nationals were slightly better in their second season, finishing in seventh place with a record of 46-76. Billy O’Brien had a fantastic season for Washington, leading the National League with 19 home runs and 73 RBI, while hitting .278. On the mound Jim Whitney had a solid season, posting a record of 24-21 with an ERA of 3.22. However, Hank O’Day and Frank Gilmore each lost 20 games.
1888: The Washington Nationals stumble back into last place, finishing with a record of 46-86. As a team the Nationals hit an anemic .208, with rookie Dummy Hoy being the top hitter with a .272 average, as he led the league with 82 steals. Washington was nearly as bad on the mound as Hank O’Day and Jim Whitney combined for 50 losses.
1889: The Washington Nationals continue to languish in last place, posting a record of 41-83. It would be Washington’s final season as they folded after a four-year term in Nation’s Capital. During their four seasons, the Nationals posted a combined record of 163-337. The most famous player on the team would be a light hitting catcher named Cornelius McGillicuddy, better known as Connie Mack he would go on to manage the Philadelphia Athletics for half a century from 1901-1950.
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Page created on August 1, 2016. Last updated on August 1, 2016 at 11:05 pm ET.