Hi, I was researching the Senators/Nationals on line and came across your website. Thank you for providing some interesting information regarding the Senators. I grew up in Minnesota and remember opening day well. Killebrew, Versalles, Mincher, Lemon, Battey and Camilo Pasquel vs the new Senators, Keough, Woodling, Long and Daley. What a great year to finally have major league baseball in the Twin Cities.
I grew up watching the Minneapolis Millers and guys like Willie Mays play exhibition games. I also saw Cepeda and Yaz come through the minors.
Hey, Jack ... thanks for sharing. Always good to recall the grand old days of the Washington Senators. BTW, I'm sure that Opening Day game you saw was won
by the old Washington Senators of Washington against the "new" Washington Senators
of Minnesota. It believe it was by a score of 3-2. Right?
Washington, D.C., was, in fact, one of the first baseball cities to try wooing women to ballgames....
Owners of the Washington Senators ballclub sponsored the first
Day in the summer of 1897, inviting women to spend an
afternoon at the ballpark with no admission charge. The front office
a few dozen curious or adventurous females to turn out. They were
no way prepared for the one thousand enthusiastic women who stormed the
|As it soon became obvious, however, most of the women had not
to learn the finer points of the game. Rather, they were there to see a
charismatic star of the day...the dashing ladies-man of the Washington
Senators, pitcher George Winnie Mercer.
And that's where the trouble began. Throughout the early innings, every time the handsome pitcher struck out a batter, the women cheered and clapped wildly. And each time he stepped into the batter's-box, tapped his bat on the plate, and twirled his trademark mustache, they swooned. Then in the fifth inning, the hometown heartthrob got into an argument with esteemed umpire Bill Carpenter over an inside pitch that Winnie believed to be a strike. The exchange of words soon equaled the heat of the day, and the umpire vigorously ejected the popular pitcher from the game.
|The frightened ump managed to escape into the clubhouse
bodily harm, but the grandstands were left in a shambles.
Winnie Mercer played almost his entire brief career with Washington ballclubs. From 1894 through 1899 he played for the Washington Senators in the National League. And in 1901 he played for the Washington Senators in the American League. Then, two years later, at age 28, in the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, George Barkley Winnie Mercer took his own life. Those who knew him attributed his suicide to gambling and women problems, though there was some disagreement as to the order of the two.
The women spectators were incensed, vehemently protesting throughout the remainder of the game and often calling the umpire by some unflattering terms. When the contest ended in a home-team defeat, a horde of women poured onto the field to attack the umpire with parasols.
|As for Ladies Day Games in Washington, well, it would be some years before Washington ballclub owners entertained the idea of another such event. Still, in time, things calmed down, and by the early 1920s, it had become fashionable for Washington's Friday afternoon games to be free of charge to women and small children in their company. Sidney Hais, current Vice President of the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia, fondly recalls attending these games hand in hand with his Aunt Gertrude. ..Vance Garnett|