Since my two favorite teams are the Nationals and the Yankees, I did a bit of internet searching to see if there are any baseball-related connections between the two cities, other than the final Senators game in DC in 1971 and the interleague series between the Yankees and Nationals in 2006. I discovered the following:
1924 — The Washington Senators won their first American League pennant, finishing two games ahead of the New York Yankees (and Babe Ruth). The Senators then went on to win the World Series, defeating the New York Giants in seven games.
1933 — The Senators won the American League pennant, finishing seven games ahead of the Yankees, but lost the World Series to the Giants in five games.
1943 — The Senators finished second in the American League, 13.5 games behind the Yankees who would then go on to win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals.
1971 — The Senators’ final series in Washington, before moving to Texas to become the Rangers, was against the Yankees. On September 28, the Senators won the first game, 4-2. On September 29, the Yankees won, 6-3. In the final, fateful game on September 30, the Senators were leading the Yankees 7-5 with two outs in the ninth inning. And then hundreds of angry young fans, knowing that the Senators would be moving to Texas the following season, stormed the field and vandalized it. Unable to clear the field, the umpires declared a forfeit to the Yankees.
2006 — The Yankees returned to RFK Stadium for the first time since 1971, to face the Washington Nationals in an interleague matchup on June 16-18. The Yankees won the first game, by the ironic score of 7-5. The Nationals won the second game, 11-9, on a blown save by Mariano Rivera. The third game of that series, played on Father’s Day, featured strong performances by both starting pitchers — Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees and Mike O’Connor of the Nationals. With one out in the ninth inning and the Yankees leading 2-1, the Nationals’ Marlon Anderson hit a single, which was followed by a walk-off home run by Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals stunned the Yankees, 3-2. It was one of the highlights of the season for the Nationals, who finished the season at the bottom of NL East with a 71-91 record, while the Yankees finished with a record of 97-65 and won the AL East.
2009 — The Nationals will face the Yankees in interleague play at Yankee Stadium, once again on June 16-18. What will happen this time?!