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The Washington Senators, Deep in the Heart of Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas — Ascend the stairs to the second level of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame at Rangers Ballpark here and you’ll run right into a page of Washington baseball’s past: a tribute to the expansion Washington Senators, who moved here in 1972 and were reborn as the Rangers.

The Texas Rangers Hall of Fame has an exhibit on the team's previous iteration as the Washington Senators. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)
The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame has an exhibit on the team’s previous iteration as the Washington Senators. That’s Hall of Famer Ted Williams pictured. He was the last Senators manager. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Look closely at Frank “Hondo” Howard’s first Rangers jersey, and you can see that the “Senators” cursive stitching is still there, a sign of the transition from D.C. to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

The old
The old “Senators” stitching is still visible on Howard’s first Rangers jersey, which hangs in the Ranger Hall of Fame. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

It’s encouraging to see the expansion Senators get a little love, even from another franchise. Most paeans to Washington baseball history make a big deal of the first iteration of the Senators, the Walter Johnson-led franchise that secured a World Series win in 1924. That team left D.C. for Minneapolis to become the Twins after the 1960 season. Resigned to a footnote, too frequently, are the expansion Senators, who played in Washington from 1961-1971 and were beset by win-loss records that ranged from fair-to-middling to wretched.

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call.)
(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

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