Nationals Home Opener + Survival Checklist

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

We’re on the eve of the Nationals home opener against the New York Mets. First pitch is set for 1:05p but gates open at 11a for all of the festivities in and around the ballpark before the game.

Here’s a rundown of the day’s promos and events:

Promotions

  • The first 25,000 fans to enter the ballpark through ALL GATES will receive a 2018 Schedule T-shirt presented by GEICO.
  • DJ Flexx will perform in Center Field Plaza from gate opening until a 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
  • Jeff From Accounting will perform at the Budweiser Terrace from the time gates open until a half hour prior to first pitch.
  •  DJ Chris Styles will perform at the First Base Gate from the time gates open until a half hour prior to first pitch.
  • Nationals Park Organist Matthew Van Hoose will perform from the NatMobile on the timeline walk outside Home Plate Gate, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
  • The Family Picnic Area will feature caricature artists, face painters, and balloon twisters from the time gates open until 1:30 p.m.
  • Coca-Cola will provide complimentary samples as fans exit the ballpark through the Center Field Gate, while supplies last. I don’t particularly subscribe to soft drinks, even if they are free, but I don’t want to make it about me. Get your free Coke! 🙂

Events

  • Let’s start with the AWARDS! Award presentations including the Baseball Writers’ Association of America 2017 National League Cy Young Award presented to RHP Max Scherzer, the 2017 Silver Slugger Award presented to 2B Daniel Murphy, and the 2017 Players Choice Award for NL Comeback Player of the Year presented to 1B Ryan Zimmerman.
  • Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Great Mills High School. If you recall, Gaskill brought the March 20th active shooter incident to a quick end.
  • U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard from the Military District of Washington and Drummers from the U.S. Navy Band, Washington Navy Yard present our nation’s colors.
  • The National Anthem will be performed by the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet.
  • Flyover by the VFA-32 Swordsmen from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Va., in F/18 Super Hornet Jets
  • Lineup card delivery by Maame Biney, the Olympic short track speedskater who competed in the 500m and 1500m events at the 2018 PyeongChang Games and was raised in Reston, Va., and Noah Grove, a Frederick, Md., native and gold medalist in sled hockey at the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang
  • “Let’s Play Ball!” announced by The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of DC, she’ll be joined by Parker Curry (she was the little girl smitten by National Gallery Portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama that subsequently got the chance to meet and dance with her).
  • Sophia Nadder will perform God Bless America

As you can tell, it’s going to be a long day away from home and I want to be prepared, so I’m packing some essentials.  Lately, my go-to game bag has been my Hershel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack. I believe I purchased it from the team store some time last year. I’ve found it to be super spacious, durable, and the interior detail….woooo! It’s all in the details. Everything I plan to take will fit perfectly inside.

Hershel 1
Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

As of the time I am writing this, the forecast for tomorrow is mostly sunny skies with a high of 54°.  With that in mind, here’s what I’m packing:

  • Layers
  • Wallet (including cash for the 50/50 raffle and ID for beeeeeeeer)
  • Sunscreen (especially for those midday games)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat or visor
  • Rally towel (hopefully you won’t need it but just in case. Plus it’ll come in handy to wipe off sweat, food, etc.)
  • Lucky jewelry, socks, jersey, underwear (put these on before the game), etc.
  • Absorbent microfiber towel to absorb moisture on seat…it WILL rain eventually.
  • Umbrella and/or poncho
  • An empty water bottle to fill at the ballpark or 1L bottled water (NatsPark permits one bottle, up to 1L, per person but it has to maintain factory seal)
  • Food (individually wrapped (no glass). I tend to bring healthy snacks/salads/sandwiches but it’s Opening Day at the park so I’ll be scoping out the new/good eats.
  • Hand sanitizer and/or wipes
  • Phone (for obvious reasons but also, the Nats are killing the social media game so be sure to follow and tag @nationals across all social media platforms and use hashtags like #onepursuit, #nats, #CurlyW and #ibackthenats
  • Portable phone charger. The ballpark does have phone charging stations but who wants to be tethered to a wall…FOMO much?!
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Hard copy or electronic tickets or your…NATS PLUS CARD!

See. You. There!

-Nika

Author: Nika's On First

Annapolis Hometowner | DC Resider | Crafter | Food Lover | Hiker | Traveler | NATS Plus Member

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