Saturday, April 16, 2005


Opening Day

I managed to score tickets to the Washington Nationals Opening Day game. Technically, it's the "home opener", since they already played a few games out of town. But this was the big one. The first real baseball game in Washington, DC in about 30 years. There was no way we were gonna miss it. TicketMaster actually came through for me and we managed to get a pair of seats in section 519. Behind home plate, with a view going straight down the first base line. Our section was directly above Bush's box, but we were waaaay at the top. We didn't care. We were in and it didn't cost us a fortune. In fact, the 2 tickets cost a total of $45 - including service charges. Sweet.

Rather than try to work and scramble over to RFK in time for the game, I just took the whole day off work. It was nice having a whole day with nothing to do but hang out and have fun with the BF. We ate lunch outside, walked around Dupont a bit and just took our time getting to the stadium. We got there around 4:15. We were inside by maybe 4:25. No lines to speak of at all. We had to empty our pockets going through the metal detectors, but that was about it for the security check. By 4:30 we were in line for our first beer.

It was weird seeing a baseball diamond in RFK. Most of my RFK experience revolved around concerts like this one. The baseball diamond totally threw off my orientation once I was inside. It looked fantastic though. They did a great job with the field. The rest of RFK still sucks though. The scoreboards are so small they're almost unreadable and there were plenty of people disappearing for 2 innings at a time, just trying to get a hotdog or beer. The lines were unreal. I'm sure they'll work that out eventually.

We got to see GW throw out the first pitch. Quite anti-climactic. The throw was fine, but he spent maybe a total of 3 seconds on the mound before he was on his way back inside. I guess they wanted to get him out of there ASAP. Understandable, I guess. Still, it was nice to have the opportunity to boo him in person, rather than just yelling things at my television. I was surprised that there seemed to be far more cheers than boos. I guess I shouldn't be. He did actually win this time. Secret service were everywhere.

The game was good, if not a little boring at the beginning. I won't recap it here. Great to see them win their first home game. The crowd was absolutely on fire all night. People were cheering like crazy all night long. People were ready to kick some ass when Castilla got beaned. Most people stayed until the very end too. It's great to see everyone so excited about it all. I hope it lasts.

The first real pitch.

team pic

National Anthem. Note to locals: You're not in Baltimore anymore. You don't yell "O!" during the Star-Spangled Banner when you're not at an Orioles game. Other than the Rosanne incident, I've never heard booing during the National Anthem before. Most uncomfortable moment of the night.

Biggest Flag Ever.

Giant Flag

We've got a few more. Maybe I'll put them up later.

Despite the controversy, Metro came through perfectly. We stayed until the final out, took the Metro back to the burbs and were home in bed by 12:30 or so. Not bad at all.

We'll probably hit a few more games this summer. Nothing beats a hot Saturday afternoon watching a game, drinking a cold one and soaking up some sun. All the better that we don't need to go all the way to Baltimore to do it anymore.

Go Nats.

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