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ALL'S QUIET ON THE BASEBALL FRONT

[January 20th] -- I have always prided myself on finding things to write about during the off-season. In fact, I think it's fair to say that I write with more frequency during the winter than I do during the summer. I do this because I hated - hated - all those winters in the 1960's when baseball in Washington was all but forgotten.

But now - with less than a month until pitchers and catchers report - I am all out of ideas. Oh sure, my interview with Bill Ladson will be published in a few days, but other than that, I think I've said all there is to be said.

So - and I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel - here is a few non-related things I've been thinking about but haven't found a place to add them.

Team Name: Though I like "Nationals," my first choice wasn't even considered. I wanted the team to be known as the "Washington Federals," like the USFL team that (tried to) play football at RFK two decades ago. I even liked the that team's colors - green and black - the color of money. I also think the name "Beltway Boys" would have been fun, though there is no chance it would have been used. "The Boys won today, 4-2." I kinda like the sound of it. When the Padres were set to move to D.C. in 1973, I liked the name "Metros," in honor of the subway that was being built in and around the city. Too close to Mets, though, now that I think about it.

Favorite player on Senators I: Harmon Killebrew. Nice guy. Great hitter. And oh, by the way: he's from IDAHO. He was a bonus baby and was stuck on the major league roster for a couple of years (without playing) before being allowed to mature in the minors (players with big bonuses had to remain on the major league roster for two years). That really set him back. Hopefully, Jesus Flores won't stagnate on the bench like Killebrew did.

Favorite Uniform Of All Time: St. Louis Cardinals (the one they wear today). Just beautiful. The uniform they wore when I lived there (mid 1980's) was horrid. The double-knit design didn't do it justice. Least favorite? The 1979 Pirates with the gold jersey and pants with the really wide black pinstripes and squared off box cap. It made Dave Parker look like a gangster.

I know -- it's not much, but it beats a blank sheet of paper. Keep an eye out for Ladson's interview. It's a good one.


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