National League Pennant!

Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

I was seven years old when I saw my first baseball game — I still remember: the Cincinnati Reds versus the San Diego Padres. My Dad, my older brother, and I went down to Cincinnati on an old school bus with a YMCA group. As we passed through town on the way to the brand-new Riverfront Stadium, my Dad pointed out some ruins. Crosley Field, the old Reds ball park, was in the process of demolition. Seeing that made me sad somehow. However, the melancholy vanished as soon as I glimpsed the new stadium — how huge! How beautiful! I think the Reds won the game, though it would be hard to prove it.

That would have been 1972. I’ve been a baseball fan ever since.

My family and I moved to Virginia in the late 1990s. The closest major league baseball team was in Baltimore, although we had a minor league team close by. But in 2005, the National League’s Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C., renaming themselves the Washington Nationals. The first three years in town, they played in the old Robert F. Kennedy stadium while their new park was built. Since 2008, they’ve played in Nationals Park near the Navy Yard. I’ve attended games in both places, and try to catch a game or two every year.

Anyway, this turned out to be the Nats’ year! Although their season started off badly, they’ve made it all the way to the World Series, beating the St. Louis Cardinals last night for the National League Pennant! The video below covers game highlights, to which I’ll add a few observations:

  • The Nats scored all seven of their runs in the bottom of the first inning, not long after the game started.
  • The voices in the video come from the television broadcast and from the team’s radio announcers. The voice at the end of the video is Nationals radio announcer Charlie Slowes, who’s known for extremely effusive game calling. His broadcast partner, Dave Jageler, is much calmer.
  • At around the 5:30 point in the video, a Nationals player named Gerardo Parra comes to bat. He became famous for using the “Baby Shark” song for his walkup music. In the video, you can see people in the audience doing the Baby Shark dance!
  • During the celebration footage at the end of the video, take a close look at the player wearing number 11. That’s Ryan Zimmerman, who’s been with the team since 2006, during years when the team was, frankly, lousy. His joyous expression is well-earned!

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