We switched gears from Canadian baseball played on fake grass to the just-opened Nationals Park in Washington D.C. for our sixth stop on this roadie. Having just opened its doors and field for play at the beginning of the 2008 season, this is one of the most beautiful parks we have seen on this trip. You might be thinking that it just seemed nice since we had just come from Toronto, but this place was great.
We ended up at this park on Tuesday, June 9, the same day as the MLB first-year player draft. So we were greeted with free Draft Party 2009 shirts as we walked in the gates. Leave it to the perennial cellar dwellers to have a party for the draft. We were right at the gate as they announced Stephen Strasburg as the first pick, by the Nationals of course.
Unfortunately, we caught our nation’s capital on a bad night. There were heavy thunderstorms rolling through from about 5 o’clock until around 8:30. First pitch was delayed from 7:05 to 8:50 so we had plenty of time to check out the features of this new park. There was a great kids area complete with hitting and pitching activities and a display for us nerds on the physics of baseball. They also had a SingStar game set up (basically video game karaoke) which we could have done without, but overall, if you have to be stuck in a rain delay, this is a good place for it.
We scored from half price tickets that night through a twitter friend’s tip (thanks @khudak11 and @Teddy26Nats ) so when the game finally got started we got to enjoy our front row seats on the field level. We ended up just on the foul side of the left field foul pole. We didn’t get any action down there as far as foul balls go, but we had to leave after the 5th inning so Chiquita could get her beauty sleep so we could have missed something in one of the later innings. Overall this ballpark is high on the list of fan-friendly venues. Although it is unfortunate that the team has played so poorly, as it would be nice to see this facility getting some good use, it’s nice to see America’s Pastime finally at home in such a nice ballpark in our nation’s capital.
Oh yeah, in addition to baseball, there are a few other things to see while you are in DC – some old buildings, museums, and tons of security guards and police officers.
Here’s our photos from this game…