Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball (MLB). The team moved into the newly-built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium. The new park is located in Southeast D.C. near the Anacostia River and with views of the Capitol. Nationals is one of three teams (along with the Rangers and Seattle Mariners) never to have played in a World Series. As the Montreal Expos, the team won a division championship, and advanced to the National League Championship Series in their only playoff appearance during the strike-shortened 1981 season.
About Washington Nationals
The Nationals name derives from the two former Washington baseball teams which had the same name (used interchangeably with Senators). Their nickname is “the Nats” — a shortened version that was also used by the old D.C. teams.
An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1969. The then-Montreal Expos were the first major league team in Canada. They played their home games at Jarry Park Stadium and later in the Olympic Stadium. The Expos had its highest winning percentage in the strike-shortened season of 1994, when it had the best record in baseball. The team’s subsequent shedding of players caused fan interest to drop off. After the 2001 season, MLB considered revoking the team’s franchise, along with either the Minnesota Twins or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. After being purchased by MLB in 2002, the team was moved before the 2005 season to Washington and renamed the Nationals. This was the first complete name change for a relocating team in MLB since 1972, when the Washington Senators left D.C. to become the Texas Rangers.
Nationals’ flagship radio station is WFED, “Federal News Radio” at 1500 & 820 AM, which is owned by Bonneville International. Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler are the play-by-play announcers.
Nationals’ telecasts are predominantly on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), with a handful of games simulcast on WDCW, “DC50.” Bob Carpenter is the TV play-by-play announcer while Rob Dibble is the new color analyst.
The team has struggled to attract fans with attendance averaging in the middle of the league in the team’s second year in Washington. Local TV ratings have declined to the lowest in the league by a significant margin.