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Monday, July 16, 2007

Those Were The Best Days of My Life...

We’re back for the second half tonight after the short (too short) All-Star break and a short series in Florida. Zimmerman’s ready to go. We’re ready to go. Here’s looking forward to a better second half….one where Austin, Felipe, Church and Zimmerman get more consistent and where potential trade deals meet our approval (i.e…Chief stays in Washington).

It seems natural at this time to reflect on the first half of the season. Where we’ve been – what we’ve seen…in our first season as Nats bloggers and fans.

Our first baseball road trip this year was to the spring training game held in the Orioles AAA Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. We headed out full of excitement after a long winter without baseball. We left early Friday morning and made it to the beach around 10am. We had plenty of time to explore the area and get settled in for the 2pm game. It was a beautiful day for a sold out baseball game. We sat in the very last row of seats but had a great view of the game and also of the boats in the harbor. The fans were mostly there for the Orioles but we noticed Ryan Zimmerman had quite a few fans in the audience, makes sense since he is from the area.

Although we didn’t win the game, we fell in love with the Nationals all over again that day. The positive influence of Manny Acta was evident right from the beginning. We had hope even when the critics were saying the Nationals would have the worst season ever in baseball. It was our trip to Norfolk, with critics saying our team would be horrible, that gave us the push to start a blog dedicated to the guys that play with heart every single game. They have come such a long way from that last spring training game, and so have we. It’s incredible to think about all these guys have accomplished and we are thankful we have been there to witness some of their great baseball moments. Our mid-season stats are as follows:
We’ve attended over 40 games including 1 in Chicago, 2 in Pittsburgh, 2 in Baltimore and 1 pre-season game in Norfolk, VA.

We’ve met some of the other great Nats bloggers including Miss Chatter, Screech’s Best Friend, Nats Power and Bottom Feeder Baseball.

In the first half of the season, we’ve written 130 posts about the Washington Nationals.

We’ve met countless Nationals fans – in other cities or at RFK – that have taught us a lot about the game. We’re still friends with Doug, a Nats fan who we met in Chicago. We’ve met a wonderful couple in Pittsburgh, a group of brothers in Chicago that we ran into again in Baltimore, a mother and her son at RFK getting autographs, some guys on the Metro who thought Kory Casto should “get in there, get hit by pitch or something” and another Nats fan at a bar in Cleveland Park who told that he once told us Tim Russert that it was a “national disgrace that the national pastime wasn’t in the nation’s capitol.” I remember countless children who have entertained us during games – from the group of boys who taught us their “extra, extra” cheers to the little girl who actually ventured her away from her parents to cheer with us, to a little boy who approached me in the Metro – ecstatic that I was wearing a Zimmerman t-shirt. He glowed after getting Jesus Colome’s autograph (his parents asked us on the metro how to get autographs). The Yankees may have more fans, but the Nationals have the best fans. Thank you all for sharing your summer with us.

We also met Bob Carpenter and had a great conversation about baseball. Additionally, we met Dave Jageler; an interview is on the horizon.

Memorable games? You better believe it. Sitting in early April with blankets, that was fun. Fourth of July was also an amazing game. But we will forever be proud to say that we stayed on the eve of Mother’s Day into the early morning hours after two rain delays to see Austin Kearns hit an in-the-park home run and Zimmerman hit a walk-off grand slam to win the game at 2am.

Amazing road-trips? Watching the Nats in Pittsburgh with Kristen’s Dad was a huge moment. Our trips to Chicago and Pittsburgh were both amazing, wonderful experiences. Even Baltimore was kind of a fun mini-road trip. We’re looking forward to New York and Philadelphia.

What else? We got yelled at by Manny for “not being ready” to get our picture. Our autographed balls are nearly full. We finally got to watch batting practice in Pittsburgh. We’ve taken pictures with Micah Bowie, Manny Acta, the Coach, Stan Kasten, Ryan Wagner, James Carville and the presidents. Haven’t caught a foul ball yet, but Ayala did throw us one from the bullpen.

Yeah – it’s been a fun season so far….with plenty more wonderful memories to come.

Oh when I look back now
The summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya - I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life...
Bryan Adams


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