Sunday, April 7th
(Yes, I’m behind, behind.)
One of the benefits of being a Nationals NATS Plus Member are the events the Nationals hold for members throughout the season. Player For a Day (PFD) didn’t happen last year but when I found out that it was a go this year, I new I didn’t want to miss out.
PFD is exactly as it sounds…for a few hours, fans get to roam about the park (in an organized fashion of course) as if we were a Washington Nationals baseball player.
Two years ago, my first time attending, I brought along my little cousin Korey. This time however, I brought an adult…Kyle. Kyle and I have a banter laden in sarcasm, especially around invites to the ballpark, so I know he would enjoy this experience. He happens to be a Chicago White Sox fan but trolled me prior to that Sunday, “Question, can I wear my Phillies Hat?”
We arrived at the ballpark with time to kill so we stood around chatting about sports in general, dating, places to eat, and his graphic design stuff.
Upon entering, I expected to see the warm up area where we get to do a few work outs in the outfield but that wasn’t there, folks were playing catch in the outfield but we decided to make our first stop at the Bullpen Car.
More popular in the 50s and 60s, the bullpen car brought relief pitchers into the game from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound. In an attempt to help speed up the game, this cute little baseball-themed Herbie made its debut at Nationals Park on August 17, 2018. However, only a few pitchers have ever rode in it.
Oh yeah! So during the Speed Pitch activity, we got to throw 3 pitches in the bullpen. This was my chance to let my inner Max Scherzer out!
I totally forgot that in addition to professional football, that Kyle had played baseball before and he did pretty well. He would’ve nailed it had his ball stayed straight. Apparently, it’s all in the release.
As for me, I kept my expectations low.
Sometimes you have to be your own hype man!
It was pretty cool sitting in the place where my guys hang out during the game.
In addition to this photoshoot we were apparently having, I spotted the cubbies of a few of my favorite players and made a call to the bullpen. Though when I made my call, I envisioned solid options on the other side. *sigh*
On Deck Circle
We made quick detour to the On Deck photo op before heading to the down to the batting cages. Even though this circle is way fancier than the rubber one the guys usually stand on before stepping into the batters box, it was still pretty cool to stand there.
We then backtracked a little down towards the Nationals’ clubhouse and to the batting cages. I just knew the struggle was going to be real for me and initially opted out of participating. But hey, how many opportunities does one get to be in the batting cages of their favorite baseball team?!? It was a no brainer but the struggle was real:
I told you. I could use some work. It felt good though so you might see me in batting cages again soon!
But of course I’d look bad stepping into the cages after this show off (advance apologies for the video snafu):
Show off. Did you hear the guy ask if Kyle played before and that he should at least be on a softball team?! *eye roll*
After, we stopped by the Delta Sky360 Lounge for a quick rest and some refreshments. The set up was cute but if I could change one thing, we’d have less brick-like pretzels! We stayed for a few minutes, catching about an inning of the Nationals dealing it to the NY Mets at CitiField, then beelined for some real food.
Only while writing did I realize that we totally missed the Dress Like A Player stop in the visitors’ clubhouse.
On our way out, I stopped to pick up my NATS Plus 2-Year Commitment gift: A replica All-Star Game ring. This baby had been available during the regular season but I kept forgetting to pick it up.
We topped the day off with ramen and drunkin’ dumplings at one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in DC.