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Nats unveil Ring of Honor

Monday afternoon, the Nats announced plans to honor Hall of Famers with ties to D.C. baseball with a Hall of Fame Ring of Honor on the facade above the PNC Diamond Club.

Monday evening, some folks got a first glimpse at that Ring of Honor, during a Ryan Zimmerman charity event at Nats Park.

UPDATE: The team issued a release on Tuesday explaining the criteria.

1) The player had to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

2) The player had to have played with the Washington Nationals, Washington Senators, Homestead Grays or Montreal Expos.

3) The player had to have played significant years with those teams.

Seventeen names from three different franchises are already displayed; the 18th, Andre Dawson, will be unveiled on Tuesday night. This text comes from Nationals Daily News, which has photos of the Ring:

From the Expos, Gary Carter and Andre Dawson will have the first positions on the first base side at section 126.

The Homestead Grays are then represented left to right by Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cumberland Posey, and Jud Wilson.

The Washington Senators are then represented by Joe Cronin, Rick Ferrell, Goose Goslin, Clark Griffith, Bucky Harris, Walter Johnson, Harmon Killebrew, Heinie Manush, Sam Rice, and Early Wynn.

As a wispy sap for any nostalgia, especially involving the name Heinie, it all seems good to me. Let me only add that if these names will be permanently celebrated on the stadium's facade, you might as well stock some of these throwback jerseys in the team store. I'd guess you could move a lot of Cool Papa Bell Grays merchandise, and I'd buy at least three or four dozen Heinie Manush jerseys.

UPDATE: Some feedback from other blogs.

* "Honoring Andre Dawson in D.C. before Frank Robinson is a sham." (Nationals Enquirer)

* "Fans should respectfully applaud Dawson [Tuesday]. He's a terrific player. But then they should cheer like hell for Strasburg, and wonder when the heck the team's actually going to get around to retiring Frank Howard's number." (SB Nation DC)

* "The Nats of course, used to be the Expos, but as I have mentioned before I don't think the former needs to recognize the latter." (William World News)

(Note: An incorrect sentence about the number of franchises represented on the Ring has been deleted from this entry.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 9, 2010; 11:18 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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No Frank Robinson?

Posted by: joe2chase | August 10, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

No Frank Howard? Seriously?

Posted by: kingrob76 | August 10, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Looks like only three franchises are represented. The expansion Senators had no Hall of Famers.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | August 10, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"The names come from four different D.C. baseball franchises, none of which were named the Nationals."
Of course, not true. This is old territory. Johnson, Rice, Goslin, Harris, etc. (even Killebrew and Wynn) played for the Washington Nationals. That was the team's official name from 1905 to 1956. In fact, the Washington Post headline proclaimed that the Nationals had won the 1924 World Series. They just didn't play for these Nationals.

Posted by: mojo6 | August 10, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse


I am in the camp of those who think that Washington baseball should be celebrated in the "ring of fame". Nix on Andre Dawson.

Simply face the sad truth that for 30 odd years baseball was not played in Washington. Pretending that the Montreal Expos were "our team" the whole time belies the truth and is just wrongheaded. Frank Howard is so much more a symbol of a Washington player than Andre Dawson.

Posted by: driley | August 10, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with them including the Montreal Expos in this ring of honor. However I do have a problem with them excluding the expansion Senators entirely. They need to relax the Hall of Fame standard for players of this era in Washington baseball history and include at least one player from that franchise in this display. Frank Howard would be the obvious selection, IMHO. Also, I believe Frank Robinson as a Hall of Famer who has significant history with both the Expos and the Nationals should be included.

Posted by: FeelWood | August 10, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

So we have a statue of Frank Howard, but he's not in the Ring of Honor? I don't have a problem with great Expos being honored, but leaving Frank Howard out would be a huge mistake. Maybe the Bog accidentally left his name off the list? I'm hoping that's the case.

Posted by: DCNative1975 | August 10, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I echo the complaints about missing Franks Robinson and Howard. Also, Mickey Vernon should be up in that ring.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | August 10, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The Ring of Honor has no legitimacy without Hondo. My thought is that they're probably going to add him in the near future so he can get the fanfare he deserves. I hope so with Frank Robinson too, but I doubt that will happen.

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | August 10, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

What about Jim French?

Posted by: trebor0012 | August 10, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Why on Earth does Frank Robinson need to be any ring of honor in DC? Seriously people, what did Frank do? 81-81 and then 2 losing seasons isn't ring of honor worthy

Posted by: JDB1 | August 10, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Props to putting up some Grays, and as a fan of old school gear I am with ya Dan. Now I am gonna throw on my '47 Senators cap with that cool capitol silhouette and chill.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 10, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Who's the first Nat to get in? I think its a toss up between Livan Hernandez and Dimitri Young...Just kidding.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | August 10, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Josh Gibson is the best position player ever to play in Washington, I'm glad to see that the Nats have not ignored this history. Ever think how the world of D.C. baseball would have been different if the old Washington Senators owner have signed Gibson, Buck Leonard and Satchel Paige, like he thought about doing, but was talked out if by the commish. Baseball likely would have never left Washington...

Posted by: tcostant | August 10, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Love Frank Robinson. He would look really, really good in the Ring of Baltimore and Cincinnati. Why again would he be in a DC Baseball Ring of Honor?

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 10, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

If it's Hall of Famers with ties to Washington, then Frank and Ted Williams should be in. If it's Hall of Famers who did things that got them in the Hall of Fame while they were here, they should not. If this is just a half thought through publicity stunt, oh, wait . . .

Posted by: markfromark | August 10, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Okay, looking at that list I have to question some of the choices. If you are going to include Gary Carter and Andre Dawson, you have to include Tim Raines.

And as has been mentioned by several people, Frank Howard has to be on that list. He can replace Early Wynn, who had a heck of a Hall of Fame career but not in DC. His 72-87 record in DC isn't exactly something to write home about.

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 10, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Frank Robinson had a .475 winning percentage in DC and Montreal. Exactly how low are we trying to set the bar for the Ring of Honor?

Posted by: LarryBraverman | August 10, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

This is a joke....The Nationals should not have a "ring of honor" -- they haven't been around long enough. And no, they are not the Expos. Gary Carter and Andre Dawson never set foot in a DC ballpark. Most Nat fans probably don't know (or care) that they used to be the Montreal Expos.

Posted by: dbunkr | August 10, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

NO EXPOS! NO WAY! Wake up and understand things from a DC fan perspective!

Posted by: cabraman | August 10, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm....I'll echo the thoughts of several others. The first thing they need to do is relax the HOF requirement and put Frank Howard up there. It's not DC baseball without Hondo.

I have no problem with putting some select members of Les Expos in the ring. This franchise is a continuation of the Montreal club, so it seems fitting to acknowledge that.

As much as I love Frank Robinson, I really don't see a need for him to be up there. He belongs to Cincinnati and Baltimore. Just as Ted Williams belongs to Boston.

As for the question of who will be the first of the new Nationals to go into the ring, I think we can pencil in Ryan Zimmerman for a spot in 15-20 years.

But before Zim, we could see Pudge Rodriguez up there...assuming he plays out the rest of his career and gets his 3,000th hit in DC. Ditto with Adam Dunn if he stays with the club for 4-5 more years.

Posted by: js_edit | August 10, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Been going to Senators/Nats games since mid 50s and never saw Carter or Dawson play. I wonder if the Rangers have Senators in their ring of fame. Do the Ravens have Jim Brown? I'd rather see Chuck Stobbs or Roy Seivers than Dawson(who actually wanted to go into the hall as a Cub). Frank's great and they shouid never have let him go but when I hear his name my first thought is Oriole which makes me sick.

Posted by: bosco3 | August 10, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If it does not have Frank Howard something in definitely wrong.

Posted by: evangel7 | August 10, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Mets retired Casey Stengel's number, and he didn't do much as their manager. I think people just want to honor Frank for being the most admirable thing about the team's first years, and because many of us think it's a shame the way he was treated at the end of his tenure, and since. Either you feel that way or you don't. Expressions of disbelief at those who do are not very useful.

Posted by: markfromark | August 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Do the Baltimore Ravens have Jim Brown in their ring of honor?

GTFO! No expos! This is so embarrassing- there's no established baseball tradition in DC (at least there hasn't been in quite a while) so they're just going to invent one!!!!

win a pennant or two- MAKE HISTORY instead of trying to make up history.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 10, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

To all of you who somehow feel "embarassed" by being represented by former Expos who are in the Hall of Fame--get over it. Kudos to the Nationals for honoring the Hawk & the Kid, and for recognizing the history of the franchise. Hopefully up next, Rock Raines.

This isn't an expansion franchise you have here, it's Montreal's team that was so dishonorably treated and moved to DC. Without Bud Selig & Loria colluding to destroy the Expos in Montreal, you would not have a team here. So, without the Expos, there would be no Nationals. Period.

Or better yet, DC can give Montreal back its team and go back to waiting for the next round of expansion. Let the Nats honor their Expo legacy and quit the whining...and wait a few years to put Strasburg's and Zimmerman's names up on the ring.

Posted by: mkaz | August 11, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Give the Lerners some credit--they could have sold that "ring" space for ads.

Hondo has his statue behind centerfield. Better than nothing (although the statue and the tall black granite pedestal just don't work).

The really confusing thing is on the concourse--those full-length paintings of great baseball players who have absolutely no connection to Washington. Sandy Koufax anyone?

Posted by: pgolkin | August 11, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mkaz, whose the one whining? Perhaps if you Montreal fans supported your team and stopped whining about the baseball strike you WOULD still have a team. Oh, and yeah, the 'Spos WERE an expansion team. 1969, remember? And hopefully no more Expos will get plastered up in our stadium. Go stick bubble gum cards with Tim Raines and Rusty Staub on your own boondoggle stadium with its permanently stuck roof. Hey, maybe you'll get another team in 34 years, who knows?

Posted by: Natstoyou | August 11, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

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