The MLB calendar, for years, focused on intradivisional play, with just a few interleague games here and there.
As a result, two specific teams from different leagues could spend years without playing against each other.
This will change for the 2023 campaign, the first one in which every one of the 30 teams will face off against the remaining 29 at least one time.
The current schedule, however, resulted in the Oakland Athletics failing to play at Nationals Park, the home of the Washington Nationals, before this week.
“Would you believe this is the first time the A’s have ever played at Nationals Park? They’re the last MLB club to come here. Lineups from June 9, 2005, when these teams played at RFK Stadium,” MASN Sports Mark Zuckerman tweeted, with a picture of a vintage lineup.
Would you believe this is the first time the A’s have ever played at Nationals Park? They’re the last MLB club to come here. Lineups from June 9, 2005, when these teams played at RFK Stadium: pic.twitter.com/8h1juk1AHp
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) August 30, 2022
As a fun fact, those were the post-Moneyball Athletics.
They didn’t make the playoffs in 2005, but lost in the Championship Series the following year.
Those Were The Times!
The Nationals lineup definitely looks like one from an expansion team: Washington was chosen as the venue for a new MLB franchise to succeed the Montreal Expos in 2004, and 2005 was their first season.
From 2005 to 2007, the franchise played its home games in the RFK Stadium while a new park was being built.
They moved to Nationals Park for the 2008 campaign, and started the journey that included having a generational talent in Bryce Harper for much of the 2010s decade and winning their first World Series title in 2019.
Both the Nationals and the A’s are currently rebuilding franchises.
They both traded most of their quality, expensive big leaguers in the last two years, and aren’t expected to really compete for a least a few years.