America

Change Comes To Washington (For Baseball Fans, At Least)

Hoping for the most: A Washington Nationals fan at Thursday night's game in D.C., when the team clinched a playoff spot. i i

Hoping for the most: A Washington Nationals fan at Thursday night's game in D.C., when the team clinched a playoff spot. Rob Carr/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Rob Carr/Getty Images
Hoping for the most: A Washington Nationals fan at Thursday night's game in D.C., when the team clinched a playoff spot.

Hoping for the most: A Washington Nationals fan at Thursday night's game in D.C., when the team clinched a playoff spot.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

There are 46 days to go before the presidential election, but change has already come to the nation's capital.

For the first time since 1933, there will be major league playoff baseball in Washington.

Be beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 Thursday night, the Nationals clinched at least a wildcard spot. It was, The Washington Post writes, "an achievement that sent fans into delirious celebration." The team leads the National League's East division by 5 1/2 games.

The Nats, as you may know, have only been in Washington since 2005 (the franchise moved there from Montreal). The last team to play in D.C. before that, the Senators, left after the end of the 1971 season.

In 1933, by the way, the New York Giants won the World Series, four games to one, against the Washington Senators. A Washington team has one the Series just once, in 1924.

Washington wasn't the only team to qualify for the playoffs last night. The other was the Cincinnati Reds of the NL's Central division. Cincinnati, though, hasn't had suffered through the sort of playoff drought that Washington experienced. The Reds were last in the playoffs just two years ago.

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