Note: I’m using personal photos of me and my Dad. I haven’t asked him about being on the blog, but then again, I haven’t really told him about this blog either. Unfortunately for me, he’s integral to most of the photos of myself that I would want to post, so instead of rocking the boat regarding the existence of my website in general, instead I’ll blur his face, and remove these photos later if he doesn’t want them up.
Ok – down to business. Sort of. Not really. Because today is the Nationals Home Opener. I’m not at work, because I took the day off. You know – a holiday. But since it’s not a Federal Holiday, I still have to follow my own writing rules and have a post here for you. So today I will be talking about baseball.
I used to talk about baseball a lot. My friend A and I wrote a blog called First Ladies of Baseball for three seasons. I loved the blog and working with Ashley – we went to lots of great games together, explored Nationals Park, really dug into the players, the experience…it was a lot of fun. Until the moment it wasn’t. A moved away for professional reasons for a few years, and I was left holding the blog up all by myself, right at the moment when I started to become more interested in focusing on the game (the Nats began their very first playoff run in my last summer of blogging about every game I attended), and less time trying to report my experience.
So that’s one way of telling you all that come tomorrow, this won’t turn into a baseball blog overnight. It will still remain my personal blog, which will occasionally feature baseball games I go to, reviews of food options (from inside the stadium) and special events I attend that are baseball-related…if any. I might even get in an occasional game review, or do a mid-season round up when the All Star Break comes along. But today I’m going to talk about what opening day, and this team in particular means to me.
In 2005 when the Nationals came back to DC, I was still in college. I couldn’t participate in any of the opening day festivities, and I wouldn’t be able to for the two years that followed either because I was in graduate school. In 2008, when the Nats moved to their current stadium, I was not there because I had failed to convince my father we needed to split a partial package of season tickets. But the very next year – 2009 – I made the call myself, and we were there from the beginning of the season to the end…and it was an awful season. As was 2010. 2011 was slightly better with the team nearly getting to the winning mark for the entire season. And then they broke through in 2012. During the majority of the season, we split the games – he gets both seats for 10, and I get both seats for 10 – this way we can take friends or family members. But what has remained consistent since that first game in April 2009 through now is that my dad and I attend Opening Day together. It is our chance to share a love for this sport, for this city and for this team.
For the past few years since it opened, we’ve added a second tradition for Opening day, and that’s getting lunch at Bluejacket/The Arsenal. It’s a great brewery/restaurant in DC, and I’ll write more about it later, but we like to order a bunch of new and interesting beers, eat some tasty food and talk about the upcoming game, the upcoming season…and about nothing. Last year my brother joined us for lunch (as you can see in the picture), and this year – for the very first time – he’ll also be joining us for the game. Exciting! It’s an event I look forward to every year. For personal reasons, I’ll be attending fewer games this year – something I might get into later – so Opening Day is even more important. If there is one game that sums up the whole season, it is this one, because it’s about optimism and a wide world of possibilities for the future. I’m so lucky that I get to spend this time hanging out with my dad.
So – will anyone else be at the game? If you are and want to say hi, tweet me (@darastar). Does anyone else have traditions something…anything like this with a parent? Something that strengthens the relationship every year? Or do you love a baseball team the way I love the Nationals? Wish you loved a baseball team the way I love the Nationals?
Additionally – if you ever want recommendations on where to sit, what to eat, or any other information about the park, let me know. I like to think of myself as a font of wisdom about all things related to attending Nats games. 🙂