Washington Senators: The last game was a riot, a historic broadcast

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(Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images)

The life of the Senators ended in a likely win forfeited when heartsick fans stormed and destroyed the field. Hear it on the full surviving radio broadcast.

To keep you company until baseball returns from its coronavirus-imposed silence, MLB.com links to one classic game each per major league team. From the Los Angeles Angels winning their first (and so far only) World Series to Nolan Ryan’s seventh no-hitter (as a Texas Ranger). From the Boston Red Sox finally breaking the actual or alleged Curse of the Bambino to Joe Carter’s 1993 World Series-winning three-run homer. Jewels all.

But I’d like to invite you to add a classic game surviving only in its September 30, 1971, WWDC radio broadcast. A sad classic at that.

It involves the Rangers—on their final day as the Washington Senators, in front of over fourteen thousand heartsick RFK Stadium fans knowing that 71 years of Washington baseball were about to end for what looked then to be forever.

It also involves the Senators hosting the New York Yankees, getting to within one out of banking a 7-5 win… and ending up with a fan riot leaving Senators relief pitcher Joe Grzenda unable to pitch to Yankee second baseman Horace Clarke. They ended up having to forfeit the game to the Yankees, leaving one of the American League’s charter cities without major league ball until the National League opened for business there in 2004.

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