I’ve taken lots of pictures of RFK over the years, since I’ve seen both soccer and baseball there since moving down here. But over the last month, I’ve had the chance to see the unveiling of a spic and span new ballpark.
It really is quite nice. I was fine with RFK. I didn’t think that we needed to waste the taxpayer dollars by building a new park when our old one could be remodeled to work reasonably well.
Yet, built it was, so if I want to see baseball without leaving town, to Nationals Park I’ll go.
But I may be subversive and refer to it as Taxation without Representation Stadium.
We were lucky because Rudi managed to score us tickets to Opening Night last month — the very first official game at the ballpark. Our seats were out in straightaway left field, close enough to see the action, but also near the main entrance and some tasty concessions.
Our season tickets are in the club level. It’s a bit ridiculous, since I feel like baseball is supposed to be an equalizing game, at least for the fans. Instead, you can’t even get to our seats without showing your ticket to demonstrate you’re worthy of being there.
But you can’t argue with our view, which is from just past first base and on what I would describe as the mezzanine level.
On Opening Night, we played the Atlanta Braves. They’re the players in the grey pants and navy tops.
Last Wednesday, we attended the first Mets-Nationals game of the year in D.C. The Mets are the team wearing all grey with blue caps.
Clearly, the Nationals are the ones wearing white and red.
I — and many other fans — feel the highlight of the inter-inning brouhahas is the Presidents’ Race, which happens in the middle of the fourth inning. The fan favorite is our nation’s youngest president, Teddy Roosevelt, who never seems to win. Sometimes he’s ahead, as he was last Wednesday, but then he gets distracted by the opportunity to schmooze with the fans (clearly a consummate politician) or to harass the opposing team and loses his edge. Friday evening, we caught the game on tv and although Teddy technically was the winner, he was disqualified for cutting through the outfield.
Fittingly, perhaps, our first president won the footrace on the first night of the new ballpark. Last Wednesday, Honest Abe took home the honor.
In the end, at both games I attended, the team I was hoping would win won. On Opening Night, I roared along with the rest of the crowd when Ryan Zimmerman launched a shot into the center field stands, a spot where, at RFK, an outfielder would have been standing.
On Wednesday, this girl from the Northeast cheered her Mets to victory as they walked all over the Nats. The Mets seemingly could do no wrong, while the Nats were having a tough time getting their act together.
Good games at a good park.
[You will want to enlarge the photos by clicking on them. I made almost all of them small so I could fit more in, but you really lose the detail at that size.]