Mark Greenbaum and David O’Leary of the Baltimore Sun wrote, mostly in jest, an article this morning suggesting that perhaps the Washington Nationals are cursed because Nats Park is built so close to the execution site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassins:
“While the Nationals’ woes can be traced to a legacy of administrative incompetence and player failures, the team’s location at the Washington Navy Yard should also be considered as a source of their ineptitude. Nationals Park sits directly on an infamous stretch of the Anacostia River where authorities conducted the autopsy of John Wilkes Booth on the ironclad U.S.S. Montauk anchored at the Navy Yard. Next door at Fort McNair, Booth’s co-conspirators were held and tried at the country’s first federal penitentiary, and four of them were hanged there in July 1865. Booth himself was buried there until his remains were later moved.”
While I am always up for a good curse or conspiracy theory, this one just doesn’t hold water.
The first hole is that the Nationals suffered three painful losing seasons in RFK Stadium before coming to the supposedly cursed Nats Park. RFK Stadium, named after Robert F. Kennedy, surely wasn’t a cursed site as the Washington Redskins and D.C. United have both celebrated championship seasons there in the past 20 years. It was built in memory of one of the most caring and compassionate politicians in United States history, and has long been a symbol of Washington D.C. Sports. Perhaps if the Nationals suddenly began losing upon moving to Nats Park I would believe this curse, but losing has been business as usual.
The next hole, and perhaps the most obvious in this proposed curse, is that the only perennial winner in Nats Park has been one Abe Lincoln. Lincoln has dominated the presidents race at Nats park year-after-year. While his antics have been questionable, the one thing no one can deny is that he has been a winner through and through. Just look at these numbers from Let Teddy Win:
All time wins:
Abe Lincoln: 118
George Washington: 65
Thomas Jefferson: 57
Teddy Roosevelt: 0
You would think Lincoln’s murderers would be more concerned with Abe’s victories than the Nationals.