WASHINGTON – We’re back here in The District and man is it ever steamy. It’s just flat-out hot and humid, which kind of makes sense seeing as they built the city on top of a swamp.
Generally, swamps are warm. I try to avoid them.
But I don’t try to avoid Washington, D.C. Despite the unpleasant weather and the oppressive humidity, it’s far and away the best city in the NL East. There is just so much to do and so much going on that it isn’t hard to believe that folks stay away from Nationals’ games in droves.
Word around the campfire is that a few members of the Phillies traveling party took in the Spy Museum this afternoon.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Spy Museum… I haven’t been there yet. A few months ago, my four-year old and I hit the National Museum of Natural History, followed by lunch at Old Ebbitt’s and then a full afternoon in the National Air & Space Museum.
It was a nice touristy afternoon for this self-described native that we’re sure to repeat as soon as possible.
Anyway, here’s a fun fact about our nation’s history: Back when the Continental Congress was figuring out where to locate the permanent capital, a little down in Pennsylvania called Wright’s Ferry decided to lobby for the gig. Figuring its location along the banks of the mighty Susquehanna River that separates York and Lancaster counties was perfectly located and easy for delegates from the other colonies, Wright’s Ferry challenged for the privilege to be capital.
First things first… Wright’s Ferry had to do something about its name. It needed something catchy or something that befit a burgeoning nation. Therefore, in 1789 Wright’s Ferry changed its name to Columbia.
Perfect, huh? With a name like Columbia, how could the little town on the western edge of Lancaster County go wrong?
People of influence on its side like George Washington? Check.
Name? Done, done, done and done.
Nevertheless, southern states Maryland and Virginia carved out a rectangle of unwanted swamp land along the Anacostia and Potomac rivers not too far from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Next thing the folks in Columbia, Pa. knew the District of Columbia had edged it out by one vote and the rest is history.
Some influence that George Washington had, huh?
Anyway, since it had the name and the location, Columbia attempted to become the capital of Pennsylvania. Again, it had the location, the name but maybe not the influential supporters. Instead, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania went with the more centrally located Harrisburg to be the seat of its government.
Since then, Columbia became most well known for burning down the bridge connecting it to Wrightsville in York County (called the Wright's Ferry bridge - picture above) to ward off the approaching Confederate Army in 1864. As a result of this act, the Confederates and Union armies got together in Gettysburg for one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
And perhaps once again, Columbia missed out on centuries worth of historical fame.
Otherwise, all is quiet here in The District as the trading deadline looms. Oh sure, the rumors are flying around like crazy with all sorts of interesting names. Suffice it to say, those names belong to left-handed relief pitchers.
But rumors are the domain of the weak-willed who cannot find the truth. If we can be called anything it must be that we are seekers of truth here at the little web site that could (be ignored).
Therefore, we will arrogantly tell you, the reader, to go elsewhere to learn about Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Brian Tallet, Jesse Carlson, Jack Taschner, Brian Fuentes, George Sherrill or anyone else.
I’m not saying anything.
But I will say that Shane Victorino had a good time joking about his chances of sticking with the Phillies past the July 31 trading deadline. As the digital clock in the clubhouse here at the soon-to-be named Exxon (Nationals) Park rolled over to 5 p.m., Victorno shouted that he had 47 hours to go until the deadline.
The clock is ticking.