Tagged: Nationals Park

7/19/14 at Nationals Park (MIL @ WSH, Ballhawkfest 2014)

The day started off in the morning, meeting at a park in Virginia somewhere to have the home run derby and skills challenge. A lot of ballhawks were there hanging out and catching up, and for some incredibly stupid reason, I took zero pictures.

Afterwards, we walked over to a restaurant and ate, mingled, and won “door prizes” courtesy of Alan (MGB founder) and some other folks. I didn’t take pictures there either (IDIOT!).

I also neglected to take any pictures at the gate hanging out with everyone, as well. Maybe I was distracted.

Fast forward to BP time, where I started off here:

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For some reason, I was allowed over here yesterday, but today, I was getting a lot of crap from the center field ushers about having to wait to go over to right field even though the day before, I was there. And, there were people there now. I slipped past him when he wasn’t looking, went up a staircase, and down a separate one and was in right. I had a decent amount of space to move:

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…and if you look close enough, in the mini pizza wedge off to the right, you can see the Cooks doin’ their thing.

In this photo, you can see the other ballhawks in their neon green shirts (you can click to enlarge):

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I don’t like wearing the shirts during BP, because yes, its fun to spot your friends at any second, but I don’t want the players recognizing such a neutralizing color. So I wait to wear the shirt.

Things were getting a little dicey as the day went on. The Nationals hit for a short while, but I was still scoreless. When the Brewers headed out, I went over to left field mainly because nobody was over there, and eventually got new call-up Jimmy Nelson to toss me my 1st ball and get me on the board. The Brewers also weren’t hitting much, so I didn’t snag much during their session either. I went over to the left field bullpens. Why you ask?

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I eventually got Lee Tunnell to toss me one of those pregame. He’s awesome.

I spent the game here:

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After running around for two hours in the 90 degree heat, I pounded down 2 apple cider things (not sure what they were called, but they were cold, and refreshing). I took turns alternating innings on the aisle with someone new that I met, he goes by the name of Happy Youngster. You can check out his twitter here. We spent a lot of time talking, and hes a really cool guy. If you ever get a chance to see him, tell him I said hello.

After the bottom of the 5th inning, Marco Estrada struck out Tanner Roark, and then Jonathan LuCroy tossed me the strikeout ball for my 3rd and final ball for ballhawkfest. Here is a photo of everyone who came:

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Let me try and do this right: Starting with me on the bottom, you have… me, Rick Sporcic, Kellan and Tim Cook, and Alan Schuster.
The next row up left to right is Rick, Grant Edrington, Todd Cook, and Harrsion Tischler.
The last row features Mateo, Greg, Tak, and Happy.

Also, thanks to Mateo for unknowingly letting me screenshot the photo and use it.

And finally, my final haul for the weekend. It’s hard to write about every single thing that happened,but overall it was a very fun weekend and I’m glad I was able to attend.

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After the game, a post-game Austin Mahone concert was about to begin, which was my cue to head out of there.

3 balls (213-215)

Final score: Washington 8, Milwaukee 3

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7/18/14 at Nationals Park (MIL @ WSH)

The time for Ballhawkfest weekend was upon us, and I decided that if I was going to drive all the way down to Washington for a game, I might as well go the night before, enjoy the city, and spend 2 nights. So this was the first game of the weekend, between the Brewers and Nationals. I got to DC in plenty of time, and made my way over on the metro to Nationals Park:

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There I ran into Rick Gold, and we caught up for a little while, and eventually it was time to head inside. The first half hour, I didn’t snag anything. Most Nationals were stretching and tossing. When the upper deck was opened at 5:30 I believe, I ran up there and eventually found this:

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I noticed the Nats were still tossing:

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…so I had time to get back down and quickly headed back downstairs to lower right and still had time to spare:

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Shortly after that, I got Gio Gonzalez to toss me my 2nd of the day, and a few minutes later, Adam LaRoche hit a liner into the seats that I grabbed quick for ball No. 3 on the day.

After all this, it was still pretty empty:

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Eventually the Brewers came out, where I got a toss-up from Matt Garza:

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My next ball was kind of a fluke. I snuck over by the Milwaukee dugout, since BP had just ended. They were still putting the balls into the buckets by the dugout steps, when Rob Wooten looked up at me and I flapped my glove quick. He pulled a ball out of his back pocket, and tossed it to me for ball No. 5 on the day. That never happens.

For the game, I stayed here:

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I eventually became bored there and wasn’t scoring any game balls, so I wound up here:

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No home runs to report. After the game, I caught coach Lee Tunnell heading out of the bullpen and got him to hook me up with my 6th and final ball of the night.

Mateo was at this game as well, and we caught up in the 9th inning in the outfield seats. During the post game fireworks, I watched him try to unsuccessfully cup trick a ball under the flowerbeds in left field. Then, I headed back to the hotel on the metro excited for the next day.

Final score: Milwaukee 4, Washington 2

6 balls at this game (#’s 207-212)

Looking Back: 7/30/2011 at Nationals Park (NYM @ WSH)

I was looking through some old pictures and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted about when I went to Nationals Park back in 2011.

I went with Natalie and her brother and sister. You’ve probably seen them before in my entry on 7/28/12.  Earlier in the day, we did some tourist-y things around Washington D.C.:

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Yes, I took that. Feel free to use it.

Here’s some more:

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The reason we look so miserable is that it was around 102 degrees and humid for the day. Tack 5 hours or so of that and you get some cranky people. Onto the ballgame…

I took the Metro to the “Navy Yard” station:

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… and when I got off, I was greeted with this:

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Sweet. As usual with any new stadium I visit, I walked around the outside and snapped some pictures.

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The years listed on the ground are specific milestone years in Washington baseball history. I’ll spare you the history lesson for when you go yourself. Here is one for example:

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Here I am in my sweaty, tired glory:

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And I walked around to the First Base gate:

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And ran into a “Nats-Mobile”:

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But finally it was time for snagging. I ran inside and got my bulky Jayson Werth bobblehead and made my way here:

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(Note the ridiculous David Wright shirt the Mets coach has on.) The Mets were in their usual un-friendly mood, so I waited for Nats BP to start:

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I maneuvered a bit and positioned myself in front of the “Red Porch”:

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The sun was beating down on me at this point. I’m not kidding, I don’t know how people down here live like this. Probably the hottest I’ve ever been in my life. But I kept going. I almost caught 2 home runs, and missed a Drew Storen toss-up.

Keep in mind, at least at the time I was here, Nationals Park only opens the left field side of the park for the first 45 minutes or hour or whatever the policy was. So, when it was time to head to right field, I started making my way over. There was already a line of kids ready to make a rush for Easter eggs, so I decided to head upstairs and try my luck there:

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Not gonna lie, Nats Park is a pretty looking place. BP continued, and I noticed Livan Hernandez shagging flies in Center. I decided to try the “name trick”, since we both shared the same last name. He thought it was funny, since I told him  I had the i.d. to prove it. Which would be ridiculous, since I was in the upper deck… you get the idea. But most importantly, it worked, and he tossed me my first ball of the day. After that, things quieted down, and the Nationals were done. I headed down to the lower deck, which calmed down as well, and hung out here:

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One of the Met players (can’t recall who) hit a shot to center field, and it fell between where I was, and the batters eye. I couldn’t reach it, so I asked a groundskeeper:

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… and he tossed me my 2nd ball of the day. I then headed over by the Mets dugout, mainly because it was so oppressively hot. I was sunburned, and I needed some shade.

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Shortly after, BP was over, and it was time do do some exploring.

Here were our seats for the game:

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… and I was completely fine just relaxing. It was a looooong day, and I was pleased with my total of 2. Later, I got to see my first “Presidential Race”:

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Poor Teddy still had none (he’s won by now). After a few innings, I decided to walk around and take some pictures and take advantage of the free “cooling station” the Nationals were offering:

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See that cup of ice? Heaven. We walked around to the back concourse, full of concessions:

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I broke and bought a “Curly W” pretzel, which I thought was cool:

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Later, I headed up to the top to take my usual stadium picture:

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and a lovely panoramic shot:

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…and here I am with Natalie:

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How cute. And before I knew it, the game was over. Here I am with my #6 sign, at the time it was the 6th stadium I had visited. Note the high level of tired-ness:

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Overall, I like Nationals Park a lot. I give it an A.

Final score:

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  • 2 balls at this game