6. Nationals clinch first division title (2012)
For a relatively under-the-radar franchise, the Nationals were on a fairly chaotic path leading up to the 2012 season.
In 2005, the first season after moving from Montreal, the team raced out to first place in the NL East before collapsing in the second half. The Lerners bought the organization the following summer, but the aging, overmatched roster began to crumble. Luckily, fortune (apparently) favors the bad, and the Nationals’ two catastrophic 59-win seasons coincided with the epic Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper drafts. From there, the team climbed the ladder from 59 wins to 69 in 2010 and then 80 in 2011.
And when 2012 rolled around, baseball became fun in D.C. We had Werth’s beard, and Harper’s hair. Morse’s “Take on Me,” and Desmond’s helmet grabs. Bernadina’s shark. Stealing home. Lombo singles. Shutdowns. Goggles. We had it all. The amount of Natitude coursing through our veins was unreal.
The Nationals clinched their first division title on Oct. 1 when the Braves fell 2-1 in Pittsburgh. For the first time in decades, Washington finally had a winning baseball team, and it didn’t seem like the train would ever stop.