That's right. My team, the St. Louis Cardinals, is playing in a World Series no one expected them to be in, with a completely beat up team that continues to surprise me. Even with their loss last night, they scrabbled up a rally in the ninth and managed not to get shut out.
A gentle breeze in the afternoon throwing forth a hint of the coming spring. There is a chill in the air, but that will soon be gone. No matter. The first sign of spring is upon us. The cracking of the ice on the pond? The first burst of buds on the pear trees outside my window? No. The joy that moves me in this moment is simply this: Pitchers and catchers for the St. Louis Cardinals report for sping training tomorrow.
Well, baseball is coming back to Washington, DC! That means it's time for the predictable riot of choosing a name for the team. I imagine, that for most folks, this is a non-starter. After all, the team already has a name, the Washington Senators. Now, that's fine, I guess. But consider that the Washington MLB franchise was know as,"First in war, first in peace, last in the American League." In other words; losers. These guys, on the other hand, were not losers. This is a photograph of the 1943 Homestead Grays, a team that originated in Pittsburgh and moved to Washington, where they played from the 30's to the 50's. At one point, they won 8 championships in 9 years.
Most of you haven't heard of them for a very simple reason. The Grays were a Negro League baseball team, perhaps the best team the Negro Leagues ever produced. And that, in some folks minds, means that it may have been one of the best baseball clubs ever. Period.
I think the Washington Grays should be the new team for DC. The name has incredible historical relevancy and is a way to honor the countless Negro League players who were barred by Major League baseball's color line.
If you think this is a good idea, please go to here, and sign this petition. It's a good place to start. I'll try and keep you all updated as to other ways to bring this about.