Baseball fans in the nation's capital enjoyed professional ball for many years before the Washington Senators left town after the 1971 season, and it would be several decades before professional ball once again called D.C. home. After spending 1969 to 2004 in Montreal as the Expos, the franchise made news by moving to Washington and taking the name of the Nationals as a tip of the cap to the city's baseball heritage.
Upon their relocation to Washington, the Nats played at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, which they shared with the NFL's Washington Redskins. Plans were underway for a baseball-exclusive park, which opened in 2008. Dubbed Nationals Park, the ballpark has an official capacity of 41,418. The park's most notable feature is the Red Porch, a multilevel restaurant and bar located in left-center field.
A Single Division Title
As the Expos, the franchise had little success, winning just one division title. The team looked poised to contend for the World Series in the strike-shortened 1994 season, which is still a point of contention among die-hard Canadian baseball fans. Since moving to Washington, the team won just one division title, in 2012, but has yet to win anything beyond that success.
Washington Nationals Roster
The Baseball Hall of Fame has a pair of members enshrined with the Expos cap -- Gary Carter and Andre Dawson. Another hall of famer, Frank Robinson, was inducted as a player but managed the Expos and Nationals between 2002 and 2006. Present-day stars on the Nationals roster include Bryce Harper, Steven Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman.
The home games on the Nationals Spring Training schedule take place at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL. The park has been open since 1994 and also housed the Montreal Expos and Miami Marlins. The Nats have called the park their spring home since their inception in 2005. The park has an official capacity of 8,100. The Nationals Minor League Baseball affiliates are the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, Double-A Harrisburg Senators, Advanced-A Potomac Nationals, Class-A Hagerstown Suns, Short-Season A Auburn Doubledays and rookie league Gulf Coast League Nationals and Dominican Summer League Nationals.