March 18, 2009 – I had received a book called “Damn Senators” as a Christmas gift but had not gotten around to reading this book until a couple of days ago. I was so intrigued with the book once I started reading it that I read it in two afternoons as I sat out by the pool here in Cape Coral, Florida enjoying the warm and sunny weather that only Florida can provide at this time of the year. The book was written back in about 2003 by Mark Gauvreau Judge who wrote the book about his Grandfather, Joe Judge who played first base for the Washington Senators between 1915 and 1938 before wrapping up his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Red Sox in 1939 and 1940. Joe was not a power hitter as we see in first basemen today but instead was a slick fielder that hit for a career average of .298 and stole 213 bases along the way.
Although the book was written about Joe Judge and his wonderful career, its primary focus is on the 1924 Washington Senators World Championship season, the one only time that the Washington Senators were the world champions of baseball. The team was then owned by Clark Griffith and the book has some very interesting stories about Griffith and how he worked and to build that championship team. The book goes at great length to detail the Hall of Fame career of the great Walter Johnson who many say to this day was the greatest pitcher that ever threw a baseball in the major leagues. It talks about how Johnson was a very low key modest individual but who was a lion at heart once he took the mound. The relationship between he and Ty Cobb is outlined and it talks about the friendship and respect between the two even though these two individuals could not have been any more different.
It is very interesting too how it came to pass that the Senators beat the New York Giants in that 1924 World Series when all hope appeared to be lost. I could tell you more but I don’t want to ruin it for those of you that will go out and read this book. If you want to learn a little more about the history about the Washington Senators who became our Minnesota Twins in 1961, you should either buy a copy of this book or check it out from your local library, it is a fun and informative book that you will enjoy.