(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Washington D.C. “Major League Baseball team” has a complicated history and only one World Series championship in 119 years.
In 1924, they were in the American League and known as “The Senators” managed by Hughestown’s “Boy Wonder.” Eyewitness News Photojournalist Joseph Butash takes us to Luzerne County to learn more about Hall of Famer Bucky Harris.
“They moved here when he was just a toddler, maybe 3,4, or 5 years old,” recalls Jack Smiles, Author of “Bucky Harris” A Biography Of Baseball’s Boy Wonder. “And he always claimed Hughestown was his home. He lived right down the road from here (on Rock Street). There was a ballfield here that he played on.”
“Like most of the other kids he left school to work in the mine. Here it’s either mine coal or play baseball, so it was a way out.”
“He was a basketball player, not just playing with the Hughestown Hose Company basketball team, but he also played professional basketball (before the NBA). He played it into the late 20s, or mid-20s, and then the owner of the Senators threatened him. He said you have to quit because he was afraid he would get hurt.”
Smiles told our Joe Butash “They call him the Boy Wonder, because he was only 27 (player-manager) and full-time second baseman.”
“So anyway, that was his first year (1924), he ends up beating the Yankees for the AL pennant, and the Giants in the World Series. It was two major upsets.”
“In that ’24 world series, he hit 2 home runs. He had only hit one or two all year long. He hit 2 home runs into these temporary seats they had put in left field to accommodate the crowd.”
“He was friends with the president. When he got married the president was at his wedding-Calvin Coolidge.”
“I know that’s what he wanted (to come back home to Hughestown when he passed in 1977). I met his sons, and his sons told me that’s what he wanted. And he always stayed connected to here (Hughestown). In the offseason, he was always coming back.”