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

RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., circa 1969. (Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images)
RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., circa 1969. (Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images) /
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Washington Senators: The last game was a riot

The subsequent revelation was Short threatening to sue the other American League owners if they stopped him from chasing Texas tea. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, a concession worker in his youth for the Old Nats in Griffith Stadium, ordered Short to close his trap and quit badmouthing his city and his fans.

Short’s seeming best offer from any buyer was local. Giant Foods, Inc. president Joseph Danzansky offered a reputed $8.4 million. But it turned out that Danzansky would go into at least as much debt as Short to make the buy. Thanks but no thanks, the American League owners said, too well aware that they’d be picking up the tab for Danzansky’s losses.

The Senators almost didn’t make it to Texas. Short needed nine out of twelve owners to approve a move. The Orioles and the White Sox voted no; the Angels and the Athletics abstained. White Sox owner John Allyn called out Short’s faithless bargaining and declared Short “screwed up” a franchise only to come out “smelling like a rose” with millions of yummy Texas television dollars awaiting him.

A’s owner Charlie Finley called another Washington wheel who’d expressed a desire to buy the Senators for $9 million and keep them in D.C., World Airways chairman Ed Daly. Finley gave it to Daly straight: it was now crunch time. Would Daly make his move? When Daly replied he couldn’t decide once and for all that quickly, Finley changed his abstention to yes. Angels owner Gene Autry, hospitalized after surgery, ordered his proxy to change his vote likewise.