|THE BEST HEALTHY PITCHER TO EVER NOT PLAY IN THE MLB PLAYOFFS (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)|
The Washington Nationals have the best record in major league baseball and if they make it to the World Series and there is a seventh game, that game will be held in our very own Nationals Stadium.
For the record, the last time a team in Washington won the Fall Classic was in 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge attended the ballpark to watch the Senators defeat the New York Giants in the twelfth inning of the seventh game.
That teams ace was a Hall of Famer known as Walter Johnson, and, shocking as this may be, he actually pitched in the World Series…He made three starts and lost the first two before winning the decisive seventh game.
|WALTER "THE BIG TRAIN" JOHNSON|
At that point, The Big Train had been around awhile, but here is what the one-and-only Ty Cobb said about Johnson’s debut in 1907:
|JOHNSON AND HIS HORSE|
"On August 2, 1907, I encountered the most threatening sight I ever saw in the ball field. He was a rookie, and we licked our lips as we warmed up for the first game of a doubleheader in Washington. Evidently, manager Pongo Joe Cantillon of the Nats had picked a rube out of the cornfields of the deepest bushes to pitch against us... He was a tall, shambling galoot of about twenty, with arms so long they hung far out of his sleeves, and with a sidearm delivery that looked unimpressive at first glance... One of the Tigers imitated a cow mooing, and we hollered at Cantillon: 'Get the pitchfork ready, Joe-- your hayseed's on his way back to the barn'...The first time I faced him, I watched him take that easy windup. And then something went past me that made me flinch. The thing just hissed with danger. We couldn't touch him...every one of us knew we'd met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ball park."
In his second season (1908), Johnson pitched three straight games against the Yankees during a four day span. He shutout the Bronx Bombers in all three games…
Now, if the home squad makes it to an historic seventh game of the 2012 World Series, ace Stephen Strasburg will be watching the game just like the rest of us schlepps…
It’s just now seeking in, and it’s kind of unbelievable that the Nats start post season play on Sunday against either the Braves or Cardinals without Strasburg.