Above Average Thoughts From An Average Guy
This past weekend I got the chance to head down to Washington D.C to catch a double header between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins. This was my first double header and gave me a chance to mark another stadium off the list in the quest to go to every MLB stadium. These are my thoughts about my day at the stadium.
As I got off the green line, it was only a short walk before the stadium came into site. It was the center field entrance and there was a red carpet leading up to the gates to get in. Classy move Nationals, though I soon found out they were for season ticket holders only, I was denied (Didn’t they know I was from Between The Beers?) so I went around to the next turnstile for us common folks.
The ushers handed out small programs at the entrance declaring BEAST MODE IS BACK referring to the return of Michael Morse to the line up.
I did a lap around the stadium first, taking it all in.
Nationals Park is very spacious and open. Maybe i’m used to the clutter at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium but this was a pleasant surprise. Of course they had ads and sponsorship’s around the park but it wasn’t so much in your face as the other stadiums I’ve been to (Camden,Yankee, Citi). A nice touch was the Jason Werth banner hanging on the building across the street that you could see over the left field wall.
After my first lap we went up to the Score Board Walk. Every Thursday-Sunday, Miller Light holds a happy hour on the Score Board Walk 2 hours before the game. There was a live band, cheap beers and friendly competitions. Oh ya and plenty of BEAST MODE shirts, Michael Morse is a partner in 22Fresh who sells the shirts. This was a ton of fun. From the top of the walk you can see the entire field and watch the teams warm up. The outfield only has two levels so its close to the field and very fan friendly.
As the game started we made our way to our seats along the third base line, Section 115, Row FF, Seat 15. It was a scattered crowed, nothing to crazy. I bought a program and went through it in between the beers and innings trying to find some facts out about the stadium and what not and stumbled across this little known fact about X-Factor Xavier Nady.
I’ve heard of athletes changing their date of birth before but this is ridiculous, born November 74th 1978 Xavier?…If that’s your real name!
During the 4th inning is when the best part about Nationals Park happens. The Presidents Race. Out of the center field fence come George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. They take off towards the finish line in this Olympic themed event. The crowd goes crazy cheering for the mascots as George Washington wins! Having the four mascots is amazing, as they are seen through out the stadium during the game and gives each fan someone to root for. Each race has a different winner except for one thing. Teddy Roosevelt is not allowed to win. I did my research, Teddy has never won one race in the history of the Presidential Race. It is the brain child of one of the top people in the Nationals marketing team and it spawned a huge fan base with tons of “Let Teddy Win” merchandise. The Nationals even came up with different ways to make Teddy lose, disqualifying him numerous times and even coming up with another mascot, “The Cat” who’s entire existence is to make sure Teddy does not win.
In the video below you can see one of the races Teddy is winning but goes out of his way to body slam another character. AMAZING
**Rumor has it, when and if the Nationals make the playoffs, the team may let Teddy win in order to amp up the crowed even more then they already will be**
The game continued and the Nationals went on to win 7-4.
During the break between games, we met a group of guys who have been traveling visiting stadiums their entire life, much like I want to do. They have been to over 40 stadiums and are making another round at it due to new stadiums popping up year after year. The leader of the pack said that its been the same group of guys every summer visiting the ball parks. He also made sure to mention that one of his friends did not attend the second year of the tour which they give him a hard time over.
As night feel over the stadium and the lights came on Nationals Park filled up with people and it became a entirely new experience. Now I can tell the Nationals were a soon to be playoff team. I guess that’s the perks of going to a double header, a day game and a night game give off two totally different experiences.
This game ended a little differently with the Marlins beating the Nats 5-2 but of course the best part of this game was getting to see a second Presidents Race.
LET TEDDY WIN!!!
Big Thanks To James For The Tickets!
* You will see a sweet pic of me at fan fest in the slideshow, pitching challenge. I hit 59 mph, is that good? Im pretty sure I knew kids on the middle school baseball team that were hitting 59 mph 10 years ago. Only answer is that the game was flawed, must have been. All I know is I threw all strikes. You hear that David Wright, basically 60MPH right down the pipe, sounds like the perfect home run derby pitcher to me, 2013 call me maybe?
**Updated list of stadiums visited: Yankee Stadium (Old and New), Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Camden Yards, Nationals Park. At least i’ll be finished visiting ball parks by the time I’m 55, and if the guys I met had any clues to what my future holds, its going to be a lot longer then that.