A riveting chronicle of the extraordinary debut year of the Washington Nationals—the team that brought America’s pastime back to the nation’s capital for the first time in over three decades…and quickly emerged as the team to A riveting chronicle of the extraordinary debut year of the Washington Nationals—the team that brought America’s pastime back to the nation’s capital for the first time in over three decades…and quickly emerged as the team to watch in the 2005 season.
It all started in a freezing double-wide trailer parked outside RFK stadium—but this was no off-season tailgate. This was the official front office of Major League Baseball’s newest team. Crammed into the spartan space, Tony Tavares, the Washington Nationals’ newly appointed president, began the monumental task of fashioning a big league team that would, just six months down the road, usher baseball back to the nation’s capital.
Barry Svrluga, sports reporter for the Washington Post, has followed the saga of the Nationals from the early, intense political wrangling over bringing the team to Washington, to the defining triumphant moments -- and anguish -- of their first-ever season. A savvy observer of both Washington and Major League politicking, Svrluga covers the conflicts that undermined the existence of a D.C. team since the early 1970s (including the bitter opposition of powerbrokers inside the baseball establishment itself), and ended with the migration of the Montreal Expos to D.C.
Granted exclusive access to the players, the clubhouse, and the innermost workings of the team, Svrluga covers the surprise sensation of the 2005 season – which not only saw the Nationals gain a foothold on the Washington sports scene, but dominate the NL East through much of the season. From the outspoken legendary manager, Frank Robinson, to the inside stories of Jose Guillen, Livan Hernandez, and Brad Wilkerson, Svrluga brings the personalities of the team to life, interviews the most dedicated fans who’ve waited since the days of the Washington Senators for baseball to be restored in their city, and chronicles the team’s emotional ups and downs throughout the season.
A fresh new voice in sports writing, Svrluga combines the enthusiasm, authority, and attention to detail that guarantees this to be the definitive book of the Washington Nationals’ first season.
The nation’s capital hadn’t had a spring like this in more than a generation. In less than a week, the Nationals’ players and coaches were headed north. They didn’t know what kind of stadium awaited. They didn’t know what the reception would be. They didn’t know the town, how to get around, where to live, what to do. Most of all, though, they didn’t know who would play where, who would hit in which spot. Frank Robinson stewed over it all. He was supposed to go to Washington, bringing back the city’s first team in a generation, with this situation?