Name originally used by American League Senators 1901-1955, named so because Washington is the National Capital of the United States.
Matt Williams 2014-
Nationals Park 2008-
First Game Played April 4, 2005
2400 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 608-1119
RFK Stadium 2005-2007
Nationals Park 2008- Present
World Series Appearances:
Division Champions: (1)
Hall of Famers:
Retired Numbers: (5)
8 Gary Carter C 1974-1984, 1992
10 Andre Dawson OF 1976-1986
10 Rusty Staub OF 1969-1971, 1979
30 Tim Raines OF 1979-1990, 2001
42 Jackie Robinson (Retired by MLB)
All-Star Games Hosted:
All-Star Game MVP:
Manager of the Year: (1)
2012 Davey Johnson
Rookie of the Year: (1)
2012 Bryce Harper OF
Fireman Award: (1)
2005 Chad Cordero RHP
Hank Aaron Award:
World Series MVP:
Cycle Hitters: (2)
4/6/2005 Brad Wilkerson
8/28/2008 Christian Guzman
On the Air:
Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, WUSA (Channel 9)
WJFK (106.7 FM); WDCN (87.7 FM)-Spanish
Bob Carpenter, Johnny Holliday, Ray Knight and F. P. Santangelo-Televison; Dave Jaegler and Charlie Slowes- Radio; Angel Cabrillo and Luciano Rodriguez-Spansih
Spring Training History: (1)
Viera, FL 2005-Present
©MMXIV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, statistics, logos, and team names are property of Major League Baseball. This site is not affiliated with the Washington Nationals or MLB. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on May 11, 2005. Last updated on May 10, 2014 at 12:45 am ET.
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National League Team Index
Frank Robinson 2005-2006
Manny Acta 2007-2009
Jim Riggleman 2009-2011
John McLaren 2011
Davey Johnson 2011-2013
Matt Williams 2014-Present
On The Farm:
AAA: Syracuse Chiefs
AA: Harrisburg Senators
A: Potomac Nationals
A: Hagerstown Suns
A: Auburn Doubledays
R: Gulf Coast Nationals
2005: Baseball finally returned to Washington, DC 34 years after the Senators left for Texas, as the wayward Montreal Expos still without an owner moved to the Nation's capital. Immediately after unveiling their logo Nationals apparel became one of the hottest sellers as baseball starved fans on the Potomac swiped it up, as plans for a new ballpark that is scheduled to open in 2008 were announced, while MLB sought bidders for permanent ownership in Washington. The Nationals would start the season on the road playing their first nine games and compiling a 5-4 record including an April 6th game in which Brad Wilkerson delivered a cycle in the Nationals first ever win against the Philadelphia Phillies. On April 14th baseball finally returned to Nation's Capital as President George W. Bush keeping with an old Presidential tradition threw out the first pitch as the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 at RFK Stadium, the old home of the Senators. The Nationals would go on to compile a respectable 13-11 record at the end of the first month. The Nationals would remain hot over the next two months and led the National League Eastern Division by five and half games over the Atlanta Braves entering the 4th of July with a record of 51-30. However, hosting the New York Mets for a four game series the Nationals began to sputter as the Mets took three-of-four games as the Nats went into the second half losing five-of-seven at RFK Stadium to division opponents. After the break the Nationals struggles continued as their grip on first place quickly slipped away, as by the time they entered a three game series with the Braves in Atlanta the lead was gone. The Nats would be swept in the series and would never see first place again. The Nationals continued to struggle in August as they ended losing a total 24-of 32-games over a five week period ending on August 11th. The Nationals would stop the sinking with a three game sweep of the Colorado Rockies to keep them in the Wild Card Race as all five National League East teams had .500 or better records and were in thick of the playoff chase heading into September. However, the Nats would quickly fall off in the race as they began to slip further in the NL East Standings as a three game sweep at the hands of the Mets dropped them to .500, and into last place where they would post an 81-81 record. Among the individual highlights for the first year Nationals were Chad Cordero who won the National League Fireman Award with 47 saves, while Livan Hernandez led the team with a 15-10 record. At the plate homers were scarce in cavernous RFK Stadium as Jose Guillen led the team with 24 homers and 76 RBI.
2006: As the Nationals entered year two plans were still be finalized for the new stadium, while an owner was finally found as the group led by Washington area real estate millionaire Ted Lerner won the bidding at $450 Million. Lerner would take over in July naming longtime Atlanta Braves exec Stan Kasten as the team's President. On the field the Nationals made news by acquiring Alfonso Soriano in a trade with the Texas Rangers. The trade seemed extra risky with Soriano becoming a free agent at the end of the season, as he expressed displeasure with being moved from Second Base to Left Field by Manager Frank Robinson. After threatening to refuse to play Soriano agreed to move to the outfield and had the finest season of his career, becoming just the fourth player in baseball history to have a 40-40 season with 46 homers and 41 stolen bases. However, Soriano's success did not translate into wins, as the Nationals struggled from the very beginning of the season as they won just two of their first 11 games on the way to a horrible 8-17 April. The Nationals would not recover from their poor start and would spend almost the entire season rotting in Last Place in the National League East, as they ended the year with a record of 71-91. As the season ended Manager Frank Robinson was let go ending a storied 50-year Hall of Fame career in baseball. Meanwhile the Nationals who made a halfhearted attempt to trade Alfonso Soriano at the trade deadline, watched helplessly as he signed a eight year contract worth $136 million with the Chicago Cubs.
2007: In year three the Nationals secure with a new owner and a new stadium under construction began the process of settling into the Washington DC market as they had a new manager in Manny Acta as they started to focus on the future, as they hired former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten to run the team's baseball operations. Heading into their final season at RFK Stadium, not much was expected of the Nats, as they got off to a terrible 9-25 start. However, as the year went on the Nationals played much better as they won 13 of their next 20 games, and proved to be pesky to some of the top teams in their division. None more pesky then the New York Mets, whom the Nationals beat five times in the final two weeks of the regular season to knock them out of first place and out of the playoffs, as they played .500 ball after the All-Star Break, finishing in fourth place with a record of 73-89.
2008: On March 30th the future began for the Nationals, as they opened their brand new stadium, Nationals Park with a Nationally Televised Sunday Night game against the Atlanta Braves. In holding to tradition President George W. Bush once again threw out the first pitch, but the last pitch is the one that would bring Nats fans to their feet, as Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-out two-run walk off home run to give the Nats a thrilling 3-2 win. However, there would not be much more to cheer in the earl part of the season, as the Nats quickly found themselves in last place, posting a 9-17 record in April, after winning their first two games that were played in March. Things would not get much better from there as the Nationals took it on the chin through out the season, including an awful July in which they won just five games, as they topped 100 losses, posting a terrible record of 59-102.
2009: At the start of the season the Nationals took their lumps early and often, losing 10 of their first 11 games, on the way to an awful April in which they posted a 5-16 record. Things would not get better in May as they lost 20 games, and sat in last place again with a record of 14-36 through 50 games. While June provided more struggles, the Nationals would win two out of three against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. The Yankees would go on to win the World Series, as the Nats continued to be the worst team in baseball, failing to win ten games again while posting a 9-17 record. While the Nationals lost on the field in June they added a big piece off the field, drafting hard throwing righty Stephen Strasburg out of San Diego State with the first overall pick in the draft. Labeled a can't miss prospect, the Nationals hope Strasburg could be the foundation to build the franchise upon. The Nationals reached the All-Star Break with a record of 26-61, and decided to make a change firing Manager Manny Acta and replacing him with Jim Riggleman. Under Riggleman the Nationals would not so much improvement as they went on to post an awful 59-103 record.
2010: After two straight 100 loss seasons, the Nationals entered the season with air of anticipation for the debut of Stephen Strasburg who as the top pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. Even before the debut of Strasburg, the Nationals showed some signs of improvement a 13-10 record in April. The Nats continued to play somewhat competitive baseball in May, and entered June with a 26-26. While fans continued to wait for Strasburg, the Nationals with the top pick in the MLB Draft landed another can't miss prospect in slugger Bryce Harper, who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated while still a sophomore in High School. A day after the draft on June 8th a sold out crowd at Nationals Park got to witness the debut of Stephen Strasburg, who allowed two earn runs in seven innings, while setting a Washington Nationals record of 14 strikeouts as the Nats beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2. Strasburg pitched well in his first five starts, but it would not result in wins for the Nationals posted an 8-19 record in June. In July the Nats would improve to 11-12, but with a sore shoulder Stephen Strasburg spent some time on the disabled list. He would return in August, but despite the Nationals best efforts to use, their rookie star sparingly Stephen Strasburg's season would end on August 21st with a torn ligament in his elbow. He would require Tommy John surgery that would cost him the 2011 season. Strasburg posted a 5-3 record with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 12 starts. Without Strasburg, the Nationals would lose their buzz as they went on to finish in last place again, with a record of 69-93.
2011: As the season began, Stephen Strasburg was still recovering from Tommy John surgery, while Bryce Harper was just beginning his professional career. The Nationals hoped to begin the climb to respectability as the season began. While losing Adam Dunn to free agency, the Nats signed Jayson Werth to a 7 year deal worth $126 million. Opening day would be a bit of a disappointment for the Nats, as they started the season with a 2-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. The Nats would lose four of their first five games as they had a streak April, finishing the month with a record of 12-14 as they sat in third place in the National League East. The Nationals would continue their streaky play in May, as Werth struggled with the high expectations of a big contract. Werth would end the season with a disappointing .232 average with 20 home runs and 58 RBI. After slipping to 27-36, the Nationals suddenly became the hottest team in baseball, as they won 12 of their next 13 games, as they got strong play from Catcher Wilson Ramos, 1B Michael Morse and SS Danny Espinosa all of whom had solid breakout seasons. On June 23rd the Nationals climbed over at 38-37. It was the latest they were over .500 since 2005. Despite the streak and despite their winning record, Manager Jim Riggleman suddenly resigned after the 1-0 walk off win over the Seattle Mariners. While Bench Coach John McLaren ran the team, the Nationals continued their strong play, as they took two of three games on the road against the Chicago White Sox, which included a thrilling 9-5 win in 14 innings. The Nationals would then hand the reigns over to Davey Johnson. Under Johnson, the Nats struggled at first losing their first three games on the road against the Los Angeles Angels. Eventually the Nationals would get back on track and enter the All-Star Break at .500 with a 46-46 record. After the break the Nationals would go into a slump, as any chance of getting into the pennant race, slipped away as they dropped 10 of 13. While Stephen Strasburg began a rehab assignment the Nationals had a disappointing August, as they again posted a losing month. Strasburg would make his season debut at Nationals Park, allowing just two hits in five scoreless innings, with four strike outs. However, the Nats pen would lose the game as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 7-3. Stephen Strasburg would make five starts posting a 1-1 record with an ERA at 1.50. The Nationals would finish the season strong, winning 14 of their last 18 games, as they finished in third place with a record of 80-81.
2012: With Stephen Strasburg healthy and ready to start the season in April the Nationals began the season with one of the best starting rotations in the National League, as they had acquired Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics and signed Edwin Jackson in the off-season. Still the Nats wanted to take things slowly with their young talented hurler so they set an early season innings limit, figuring that despite the talent on the team, the club was still at least a year away from being ready to play October baseball. After starting the season by winning four of six on the road against the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, the Nationals would win their home opener in dramatic fashion as Ryan Zimmerman scored on a wild pitch by Alfredo Simon as the Nats beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 in ten innings. The following day they would win in 13 innings, on a single by Jayson Werth. The Nationals through the first 18 games were the best team in baseball, posting a record of 14-4. As April came to an end the Nats had to deal with several key injuries as both Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman went on the disabled list. To keep the offense on track, the Nationals decided it was time to call up 2010 #1 draft pick Bryce Harper. Harper played well in his first weekend in the majors, but the Nats had their first slump of the season, with a four game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Coming home Harper showed his toughness stealing home against the Philadelphia Phillies after getting plunked on purpose by Cole Hammels. The Nats would take that early May series at home against the Phillies, setting a tone that they were not going away in the Eastern Division. Still keeping any losing streak short was the pitching of Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg who had a combined record of 21-7 at the All-Star Break. Both would be named to the All-Star team, along with Bryce Harper who at 19 became the third youngest All-Star in MLB history. At the break the Nationals had a record of 49-34 and were on target to reach the playoffs. However, the strategy limiting Strasburg to 160 innings remained in place, as some around the team felt it was time to take the reins off as the Nationals were clearly a team capable of going all the way to the World Series as they rolled through the summer with a record of 80-51. Leading the way was a Nats offense equally as strong as their pitching staff, as Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond all topped 20 homers. With two Wild Cards, the Nats were all but assured of making the playoffs. However, on September 8th Strasburg threw his last pitch of the season as he got roughed up by the Marlins at home. Despite Strasburg's struggles, the Nationals would win the game 7-6 on a walk off hit by Chad Gaudin in the 10th Inning. While Strasburg was shutdown, Gio Gonzalez remained the Nationals most reliable starter, winning a MLB best 21 games, along with a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts, as he finished third in Cy Young voting. Gonzalez was not the only National receiving individual honors, as Bryce Harper finished the season with 19 home runs and was named Rookie of the Year as Davey Johnson won Manager of the Year. The Nats would lock up a playoff spot on September 20th and a week later did the unthinkable, by winning the National League Eastern Division as Gonzalez earned the win as the Nationals beat the Phillies 7-3 on the road. The Nats would go on to post the best record in all of baseball at 98-64.
2012 Postseason: Despite the first postseason baseball in Washington in 79 years there was no thought of bringing back Stephen Strasburg to pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Gio Gonzalez would get the start and would show some nerves as he walked four batters and threw a wild pitch as the Cardinals scored twice in the 2nd inning without a base hit. Gonzalez would settle down as the score remained 2-1 in the Cardinals favor until the 7th inning, when Tyler Moore delivered a two-out, pinch-hit single to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. The lead would stand as Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen finished the game in the eighth and ninth. After losing 12-4 in Game 2, the Nats came home to a sold out stadium anticipating seeing history. However, it was more disappointment Nats fans saw, as they were blanked 8-0 in their second straight flat performance. In Game 4, needing a win the Nationals got a strong start from Ross Detwiler allowed just one hit over six innings matching Kyle Lohse in an old fashioned pitcher's duel. The score was tied 1-1 when Jayson Werth who battled injuries all season led off the ninth inning by hitting the first pitch from Lance Lynn over the Leftfield wall for a walk off homer. The momentum would carry over to Game 5, as the Nationals jumped out to a 6-0 lead on home runs by Ryan Zimmerman , Bryce Harper , and Michael Morse. However, the defending World Champion Cardinals would not down easily, chipping away at the lead to make the score 6-5 in the eighth inning. After getting a much needed insurance run in the bottom of the eighth the Nationals were one out away from the NLCS with Closer Drew Storen on the mound and a runner on third. However, Storen suddenly was hit by nerves, walking Yadier Molina and David Freese as the entire crowd stood anticipating victory. With nerves getting frayed Storen would give up a two run single to Daniel Descalso, which would tie the game 7-7. The Cards would than take the lead on a two run single by Pete Kozma. The Nationals would go down in order as the Cardinals celebrated a 9-7 win to reach the NLCS as the crowd at Nationals Park stood in stunned disbelief.
2013: Coming off a division championship, there was a great deal of anticipation around the old Capital City as the Washington Nationals were considered a favorite to reach the World Series in what would be Manager Davey Johnson's final season as he announced plans to retire after the season. The Nats got off to a fast start, sweeping the Miami Marlins to start the season at home, as they won seven of their first nine games. However, early troubles with the Atlanta Braves would become a theme of the season, as they were swept by the Braves at Nationals Parks in an early April series. One player who struggled early was Stephen Strasburg, who lost five straight decisions after earning the win on Opening Day. The Nats would finish April with a disappointing record of 13-14, losing the first two of a four game series in Atlanta. The Nats would begin May winning the next two against the Braves, but could not find any consistency as every time they would climb above .500 they suffer a losing streak and find themselves digging out of another hole. While the Nationals struggled the Braves built a big lead in the National League East. The same inconstancy would carry on throughout the season as the bobbed up and down around the .500 mark, through the end of August as they never got more than five games above .55 nor were they ever more than six games below. With the division out of reach, and the Wild Card a longshot, the Nationals finally found their groove in September as they started the final month by winning 15 of 19 games. However, it was too late as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds had wrapped up the Wild Card spots. The Nationals would win just three of their final seven games as they finished the year with a record of 86-76, falling four games short of the Wild Card and ten games behind the Braves in the division race. Stephen Strasburg pitched in hard luck most of the season, posting a record of 8-9 with an ERA of 3.00, while Jordan Zimmerman had a terrific season, posting a team best record of 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA. Gio Gonzalez, though unable to match his previous season's success posted a solid 11-8 mark with an ERA of 3.36, while Dan Haren finished a disappointing season with a record of 10-14 and an ERA of 4.67. Bryce Harper's sometimes reckless style of play would cost him more than 40 games as he injured his knee crashing into the wall at Dodger Stadium. Nonethless he continued to establish himself as one of baseball's best young power hitters, with 20 home runs and 58 RBI in 118 games. Harper was one of five Nats with at least 20 home runs, with Ryan Zimerman hitting 26, Jayson Werth hitting 25 with a team high 82 RBI, while Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond hit 20 each.
Montreal Expos 1969-2004
Nuts about the Nats
The race of the Presidents is a popular game day side attraction at Nationals Park.
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