4-14-12 Nationals Park

Today we would head to Washington DC for a Saturday/Sunday trip.

Today’s game would be a 4:05 start, meaning the gates would open at 1:30.

We ended up not making it to Nationals Park until almost 1 PM, and ended up being about 20th in one of the many lines that had formed.   Several minutes before the gates opened, this was the scene:

It was chaos.  The Nationals were giving away a Stephen Strasburg bobblehead to the first 15,000 fans.  In DC, everyone is crazy about Strasburg, so there were 15,000 people that showed up early, making batting practice really tough.

As soon as I got into the stadium, batting practice was just getting underway, so rather than scurrying around in left field looking for balls (there was already about 100 people in there anyhow by the time I got in), I headed straight up to the upper deck in right field.  This was my competition:

As a result, I was able to get a trainer to toss up a ball that a Nationals batter hit to the track in right center field.

As a result, I was able to get a trainer to toss up a ball that a Nationals batter hit to the track in right center field.

During batting practice, Nationals park only allows fans in left field, center field, and the upper deck in right field for the first hour.  For some odd reason, right field, which is the largest section of outfield seats, is closed off.

It became quite clear rather quickly that I would have to go for toss ups, or glove trick balls.

There were plenty of glove trick balls in the bullpens, but the Nationals are militant like in prohibiting ball retrievers from the bullpens, so I didn’t even try.  I did glove trick this ball from the gap in center field for ball #2.

After hauling it in, I turned and handed it to a little boy on my right.  It was a classic Nationals training ball.

In the meantime, batting practice was ridiculously crowded.  Worse than probably any opening day.  There was literally no room to really move and catch any BP home runs:

And the Nationals and Reds didn’t hit too many anyhow.

I ended up spending much of batting practice right next to the batters eye and trying to get toss ups.

Eventually, I was able to get Sam LeCure to toss me ball #3.

That was it.   What a zoo.

Here’s today’s baseballs (2 pictured because one was given away to a kid):

2012 Stats:
Game: 3 balls
Season: 36 balls
Lifetime: 1580 balls

4 Comments

I remember passing Nationals Park this game and wishing I were at the game on a bus ride back to NY. I guess that’s one of those “be careful what you wish for” things now that I have read your and Nick Pelescak’s entries on the game.
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

That boblehead is selling for $50 on ebay…

I have been to many giveaways, an there always crazy, so I try to avoid giveaways when possible.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Sounds like a bad day at the ballpark……………………………….

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