Like many of us here in D.C., we neglected to note that baseball season has started, and given the Nats’ losing seasons, understandably so. The Nats have never had a winning season in D.C. and (let’s face it) we’d rather watch the Caps squeak into the playoffs and contend against Boston in this year’s opening round.
That said, the Nats are surprising many right now by romping through their first few games (largely thanks to their pitching staff) and having their best start since moving to D.C. in 2005. So it’s a good time to go to a Nats game. But they don’t have to win for their fans to enjoy their games. We wanted to share with you the best non-baseball reasons to head to a game soon.
1. The food. Nationals Park has great food (although you do have to contend with ballpark prices). Shake Shack has a location above right field behind the big scoreboard, so they’ve got some great frozen custard, milkshakes and burgers. Ben’s Chili Bowl has carts around the Park. The baseball food isn’t just your typical hot dog and funnel cake anymore. And, if you miss the food at your hometown park, head to Taste of the Majors for regional food from lots of other MLB cities.
2. The view. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat behind home plate or along the first base sideline, you get to see the Capitol Dome behind the field of play. If you’re along the right field side, you get to see the towers of the National Cathedral, and if you’re high enough, even Healy.
3. The Presidents’ Race. Modeled off of the Milwaukee sausage race, the Pittsburgh pierogi race (what’s a pierogi exactly?), and the Albuquerque (my hometown) chile pepper/taco/salsa race, the Nats’ mascots (the four Presidents on the face of Mt. Rushmore) race around the park every 4th inning. We hate to say it, though, but our favorite President, Teddy Roosevelt, has lost 453 consecutive races, according to our friends at Let Teddy Win, the preeminent authority on Presidents’ Races.
4. The grass. The Washington Post wrote an article about the head grass-keeper at Nats Park this weekend — it’s worth a read if you’re into mowing grass.
5. The environmental friendliness. Despite the giant light-up scoreboard and the huge stadium lights, Nationals Park is the first LEED-certified stadium in the United States. And since 4E is environmentally conscious, we love that.
For all of this and more, head to a Nats game soon. Even if you’re not into great food, views of D.C.’s most famous monuments, hilarious mascot races, immaculately manicured grass or saving the environment, no one can deny that baseball games are fun. And what better place to enjoy America’s Pasttime than here in D.C.? The Nats are out of town this week, but return again on May 1 (study days procrastination, anyone?) for a series against the Padres.
Photo credit: Let Teddy Win