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:
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! 🙂
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.
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:
Wallet (including cash for the 50/50 raffle and ID for beeeeeeeer)
Sunscreen (especially for those midday games)
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!
Man have the boys been busy and off to a GREAT start!
The last time we spoke it was officially Opening Day for the Nationals. Nats played the Reds in Cinci and beat them 2-0. After that the Nats went on to sweep the series against the Reds (13-7 and 6-5) before heading to Atlanta for a 3-game series against the Braves.
Adam Eaton is back in the lineup (following surgery on his ACL) and doing Adam Eaton things! There’s a reason why they call him Mighty Mouse. And ICYMI…he was voted NL Player of the Week!
Bryce Harper is also killing the game and proving his haters wrong….AGAIN. While in Cincy, he hit a home run. Then a Reds’ fan called him “overrated”, to which he answered with what?!? ANOTHER HOME RUN!
Also, Bryce hit a 3-run home run against the Braves yesterday. That makes his 3rd in 2 days.
Although Catcher Matt Weiters (shout out to the Os) was placed on the 10-Day DL for an oblique strain, 24 year-old Pedro Severino was called up from Triple-A Syracuse and opened yesterday’s game against the Braves.
Nats over the Braves 8-1.
I’m getting ready for our home opener on Thursday. Yes, there is fan preparation for any game but ESPECIALLY Opening Day AT HOME! Think Opening Day Survival List….I’ll talk more about it in my next post.
*UPDATE* The wins just keep coming. I came across 1,000 Red Carpet Rewards points in my account. I’ll trade those in on Thursday for Curly W earrings and a Nationals umbrella.
Of course my countdown to Opening Day was solely based on when the Nationals would open the season. That day has FINALLY arrived!!!
True…we’ve only waited one additional day while the other teams started their season yesterday. But it kinda sucked watching your friends play outside while you’re stuck inside the house. You want to be happy for them for having fun but you’re also a little salty.
I think F.P. captured yesterday’s feels perfectly:
Former Nationals outfielder Denard Span (we miss you in DC!), opened the day back in his hometown of Tampa and playing for the Rays, with what I perceived to be a heart pumping-anxiety laden-bases loaded-no doubt about it-best career moment!
The Rays took the lead, rallying from behind to win against the Red Sox 6-4.
And we cannot forget about Giancarlo Stanton! Aside from the fact that this man is beautiful, in his first at-bat with the Yankees, he hits a home run! And then another. Making him the 7th Yankee to have multiple home runs on Opening Day.
This also happened today…on the eve of Opening Day, ALEX AND ANI launched its new MLB bracelet collection and…I want them all!! Not really, but the Nationals one is caaaaute! Unlike the old charms, the new charms are color infused and actually resemble a baseball (see the stitching detail?!). I’ll definitely be adding this piece to my Nats jewelry collection (subject to be a blog post at some point).
We are Michael A. Taylor (he’s #3 guys) days away from the earliest Opening Day in history! That’s right, we are only 3 days away from the official start of the 2018 MLB regular season.
Today is also his birthday.
Happy Birthday MAT!
But if you’re wondering why the season is starting in March, it’s due to the recent CBA. The current CBA creates 3 to 4 additional days off for teams throughout the season.
So for the first time since 1968 (I wasn’t even born yet), each team will open on the same day…March 29th. The 2019 season will start on March 31st.
The Nationals will open the 2018 season playing away, against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park, with the heterochromia iridum bandit Max Scherzer projected as the probable pitcher. This will be followed by a 6-game road trip until my guys come back home to Nats Park.
The Nationals will open at home on Thursday, April 5th against the Mets. This will be the 85th home opener in DC since 1901!