of the Vienna Senators
Since beginning play in 1994, the Vienna Senators have quickly become one of the most decorated clubs in the 61-year history of the Clark C. Griffith Collegiate Baseball League (CGL) and one of the top summer college teams in the United States.
The Senators, who were based in Arlington for their first nine seasons before moving outside the Beltway to Vienna in 2004, entered the 2006 season having won seven CGL championships, four All-American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) national titles and one National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) national crown. The club has averaged 32.4 victories per season in its 12-year history, compiling a 327-166 (.663) mark during the CGL regular season and playoffs and a 389-178 (.686) overall record. The club has finished as the league’s champion or runner-up in each season except in 2004.
The Senators were founded and have since been guided by Bill McGillicuddy, who entered the club into the league one year after the CGL switched from metal bats to wood bats. Five managers have guided a club that has helped develop over 150 future professional players – including six Major Leaguers – through its dozen years of existence.
In that time, the Senators compiled the CGL’s second-longest streak of consecutive league championships when they won six straight from 1998-2003. Only Federal Storage (1955-62), Martz Insurance (1965-72) and the Reston Raiders (1983-90) – who each won eight straight – have had longer streaks.
Vienna’s first manager, Washington, D.C. Home Plate Club Hall of Famer Byron Zeigler, led the club to a 23-17 mark and a runner-up finish in the CGL playoffs in the summer of 1994. That year, the Senators won the league’s first half with a 15-5 record, but had their season ended when they lost to the Vienna Mavericks in four games in the league’s best-of-five championship series after slipping to 7-9 in the second half of the regular season.
Current Atlanta Braves executive, J.J. Picollo, would then guide the Senators to a 57-35 record over the next two seasons, leading the club to the NABF title in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1995, just over a week after the club had fallen in four games to the Maryland Bombers in the league’s championship series. In 1996, Picollo, a former standout and coach at nearby George Mason University, led the club to its first CGL title along with a second-place finish at the AAABA nationals. The runner-up finish at the AAABA event was the best finish by a CGL team since the Reston Raiders finished second in 1988.
Chris Burr, another former standout and coach at George Mason University, as well as a former coach at George Washington University, began his first stint as the club’s manager in 1997. From 1997 to 2001, Burr guided the Senators to a 176-68 record, four straight CGL titles from 1998-2001 and three AAABA national titles in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 1998, the Senators became just the fourth CGL team to win an AAABA national title and the first since the Reston Raiders won it in 1986. A year later, Burr led Vienna to a club-record 43 wins – including 11 straight in the postseason – and a second straight AAABA crown.
In 2002, current N.C. State assistant Jeff Waggoner took the club’s reigns, and the Senators did not miss a beat. Vienna finished the summer with 41 victories, the second-most in club history, and swept nine straight games in the postseason as the club repeated as AAABA champions for the second time in five years.
Matt Siegel would briefly skipper the club in 2003 before leaving to take a coaching position at Texas Christian University just weeks into the season, leaving the door open for the return of Burr, who had been serving as an assistant coach at Tulane University. Burr would then lead the Senators to their sixth straight league championship and a third-place finish at the AAABA nationals that summer.
The club struggled during the 2004 season, missing out on a chance to play for the league title after finishing in third place in the final standings. The Senators would then end their season after going 1-2 at the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series in Wichita, Kansas in August.
In 2005, the team finished with the league’s best overall record in during the regular season, but fell in the CGL’s championship series after a pair of controversial calls helped lead to a victory for the Herndon Braves in Game 5 of the best-of-five series.
In 2006, the Senators matched the league record of eight championships and headed to the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series in Wichita, Kansas where they went 1-2. The Senators ball club was ranked 15th nationally in 2006 with an overall record of 39-14 and a league record of 30-10.
In 2007, the Senators broke the league record with nine championship titles and went on to play in the NBC national championship in Wichita, KS. The 2007 Senators earned themselves the spot as the No. 6 summer baseball team in the nation by the PG Crosschecker rankings with a CGL record of 39-5 and an overall record of 44-7. The Senators went 3-2 in the National Baseball Congress World Series.
2008, they hope to extend their record to ten championship titles and look
to become the nation’s first summer college team to claim titles at
the AAABA, NABF and NBC national championships. Winning this title would cement
the Senators legacy as a Clark Griffith Baseball dynasty and place them in
the upper echelon of elite summer baseball organizations.
Vienna Senators Year-By-Year Records
*CGL Champion **CGL runner-up