Major League Baseball and Washington, DC have had a rocky relationship in the past. That changed with the emergence of the Washington Nationals.
In 2005, the national pastime returned to the nation’s capital when the Washington Nationals returned to the field.
Major League Baseball and the City of Washington have carried a checkered history. The Nats are the fourth MLB team to call the city home since 1876. Two owners cashed out of Washington in search of greener pastures. Several rounds of expansion came and went without a serious bid to return baseball to DC.
As the National Football League exploded in personality, the Washington Redskins became a powerhouse. Between the time when the expansion Senators left for Dallas/Fort Worth and baseball returned, the Redskins won four National Football Conference championships and three Super Bowls.
Every time Joe Gibbs held up the Vince Lombardi Trophy to a television camera, baseball fell further off the radar of people’s minds and hearts. With no serious expansion effort, a return to MLB seemed unlikely.
Enter the Montreal Expos.
When MLB ran the ballclub, they knew they needed to leave Quebec and find a new home. Against stiff competition from around the country, the powers that be settled with Washington and now enjoy incredible success.
This is the story of Washington’s MLB past, how it became the city that baseball forgot and how in this golden age of pro football how the Washington Nationals are on the verge of owning a new generation of fans who call southern Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia home.