From Nats Picnic at the Park
Good Morning Washington-
Another week of banging our heads against our collective desks is upon us. Hopefully you had a little fun in the wonderful weather this past weekend. I, for one, made it over to Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon to attend the “Picnic in the Park” hosted by the Washington Nationals. Open to season ticket holders (I had a 20 game package) the Nationals threw open not just the front gates but granted access to all sorts of parts of the park usually off limits.
Freebies, raffles, players signing autographs all over the park, walking tours of the Diamond Club and President’s club boxes (which really is more like a class restaurant that just happens to have access to home plate seats) and, oh yeah, getting to run the friggin’ bases and sit in the dugout! made for one of my favorite trips to a ballpark, any ballpark, ever. We also got to walk around the outfield, throw a pitch in the bullpen (which I didn’t do-line was too long) and sit in any seat in the house we wanted. For those that haven’t had the luxury, let me share what I’ve learned:
-Hitting the ball to the outfield, let alone to the warning track or a home run, is really far. When you’re on the ground you can see it’s a lot farther than it seems from the seats.
-Same with the 90 ft between bases.
-the ground base paths are pretty firm, and the grass is actually beautiful up close.
-The seats down by home plate? They have cushioned seats and backing-they are also wider I think.
-Being in the President’s box is in no way a “true” or “genuine” going to the ball game experience. You wouldn’t even know there was a field there if someone didn’t tell you. That said, I fully intend on somehow doing it next year.
The only thing we didn’t see that I would have liked to was the press box and to walk on the grass-but with a game on Saturday night (the second of three straight losses to the Padres) it was understandable that they kept us off it. While I’m sure it wasn’t even close to the emotional/cool factor of walking around Yankee’s Stadium on Sunday it was pretty special for me and I hope to do it again. My personal pics are available via the link above (not a photographer keep in mind) and the Nationals can be seen just three more times as a team in DC this year as they roll over for host the Florida Marlins this week. (A good chance to see our 100th loss this season up close and personal. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell them that “you were there when…” someday.)