The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. and playing in the East division of the National League (NL)). From 2005 to 2007, the team played in RFK Stadium; since 2008 their home stadium has been Nationals Park, located on South Capitol Street in Southeast D.C., near the Anacostia River. The name of the team derives from a former Washington baseball team known either as the Nationals or the Senator, and they are popularly known as the “Nats”.
The Club had its beginnings in 1969 over the border where they were based as an expansion franchise in Montreal and known as the Montreal Expos. During the strike-shortened 1981 season, the Expos won a division championship and made their only post-season appearance as a Montreal franchise, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 3–2, in the NLDS, but losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3–2, in the NLCS.
The club had its highest winning percentage in another strike-shortened season in 1994, when the team had the best record in baseball. The team's subsequent shedding of players caused fan interest to drop off, and after the 2001 season, the club were in danger of losing their franchise. After being purchased by MLB in 2002, the team was moved before the 2005 season to Washington, D.C. and renamed the Nationals, the first relocation since the second Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and became the Texas Rangers in 1972.
The Nationals are one of two franchises, and the only one in the National League, that has never played in a World Series (the American League's Seattle Mariners are the other). The first 10 years of the Nationals’ tenure in Washington, D.C. has produced some incredible ups and downs, from being the worst team in all of baseball two consecutive years to becoming the best in the National League twice in three seasons.
Let’s look at some of the key players who have been responsible for the big dramas during these years. Ryan Zimmerman was the original face of the Nationals who has won award after award. He's been an All-Star, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove winner, one of the most consistent offensive players in baseball.
Jordan Zimmerman has spent six seasons with the Nats as starting pitcher and achieved a 3.24 ERA in 145 games. Jordan has played a major part in the team’s recent success.
Ian Desmond became one of the best all-around shortstops in baseball. He's one of only four shortstops in MLB history with at least three 20/20 seasons.
Outfielder Jayson Werth has had a lasting impact – he finished with MVP votes twice during his four years in Washington and he hit a big walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS.
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