Who: Amanda, Mac and Me
Why: A trip to Washington, D.C. was planned as a surprise for Mac during his Spring Break. His love for history, presidents and baseball made this city perfect for him. In addition to all sites of the city, we wanted to see one of his favorite baseball teams in action. Mac has always been a Nationals fan but now they also had his second favorite player – Bryce Harper. This was going to be a big deal. In addition to Bryce, there was one other HUGE reason to see the Nationals play at home. Racing Presidents.
First, the game.
The game itself was pretty non-descript. Adam Wainwright threw a complete game shut-out for the Cardinals (who won 8-0). Actually, it was a fairly boring game. Again, it was a very cold night. Having learned our lesson at the Orioles game the previous day, we brought blankets and warmer clothes. this went much better!
Even bundled up, cold got to us by the end of the game!
The stadium was also really nice. Not quite like Target Field, but very similar.
Now batting, Bryce Harper!
The Main Attraction
Baseball and presidents have a long tradition in DC. Whenever the city has had a professional team, the sitting president has traditionally thrown out the first pitch of the season. This began with Woodrow Wilson and continued on. The first president to really embrace baseball was William Howard Taft (the only man to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court). Therefore, Mac has always liked Taft, who is one of the few presidents closely associated with baseball (Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43).
The Nationals have added to this tradition by including the Racing Presidents as part of its in-game activity. These “big-headed” racers have become fixtures in baseball stadiums recently. This idea first became popular with the Arizona Diamondbacks (Legends) and Milwaukee Brewers (Sausages).
Here is Mac and some friends with a couple of the Diamondback Legends.
Plus, in a mind-blowing convergence of favorite player and Legend. This is Legend Mark Grace walking in front of us while Bryce Harper is batting during a May 2015 game.
Meeting the Presidents
Initially, we thought would have to wait until after the race to hopefully be able to meet them. However, all the Presidents were waiting for us at the main gate as we entered the ballpark. As you will see, Mac had a bit of an incident with Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy took issue with Mac wearing an Oriole cap and a Diamondback sweatshirt. It was fantastic!
Teddy taking Mac’s cap
Here they come!
The Racing Presidents:
Bryce Harper McFarlane Figurine and Harper Shirsey
Note: This was the first game where we didn’t get a hat or a helmet sundae. First, the Nationals didn’t have helmets as ice cream dishes. Second, we weren’t really fans of the Nationals’ batting practice caps. Chose to stick with the Orioles cap purchased the day before at Camden.
During our visit, we stopped in Madame Toussaud’s Wax Museum. Mac was happy because the museum has wax replicas of every single president! Mac requested we take pictures with each one. Here are a couple samples of this momentous day at the museum.
Final Baseball Note:
Walking around the city, we found this random baseball sculpture in front of the FTC.