Washington Nationals: From Montreal
Washington Nationals: From Montreal to the Nations Capital: Based in Washington D.C., the Washington Nationals is a professional baseball team of the Major League Baseball. The team started out as the Montreal Expos, joining the National League in 1969, located at Montreal, Quebec. In 2004, the team was moved to Washington D.C., renaming the team as Nationals. The Expos played their final game against the New York Mets with an 8-1 loss. Major League as the Nationals: The first win of the Washington Nationals came on April 6, 2005 against the Phillies with a 7-3 win. Two weeks later, the team had their first home game which was anticipated by many because of the baseball stadium’s controversy. The ballpark of the Nationals was built after the team moved from Canada to Washington D.C. The ballpark was talked about for months because of the controversy which involves council members opposing the plan. The discussion was all about the financing plan of the ballpark, which was later agreed to have the $611 million cap.
The MLB contributed to the financing of the new ballpark with an amount of $20 million. Four months after the Washington Nationals first appearance in the Major League, Brad Wilkerson became the first player of the team to hit a grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game was a 7-0 (a perfect game) win. In the first half of the 2005-2006 MLB season, the team was in the lead with a 50-31 record. Team Accomplishments: The first year of the Nationals in the Major League wasn’t really successful, finishing 5th with an 81-81 record in 2005. The team’s position didn’t improve the following year. It actually got worse with a record of 71-91.
The breakthrough of the Nationals came six years later since the renaming of the team, with a 3rd place finish in 2011 with an 80-81 record. The next year, the team finished first, with a record of 98-64. In 2006, Alfonso Soriano of the Washington Nationals received the Silver Slugger award. The next year, Dmitri Young got the Comeback Player of the Year Award from the Major League. After two years, Ryan Zimmerman received the Golden Glove and the Silver Slugger Award. The best year of the team would be in 2012, having Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, and Stephen Strasburg receiving the Silver Slugger Award. It was also the year when Bryce Harper received the National League Rookie of the Year Award and Davey Johnson got the National League Manager of the Year award.