Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Abby & Our Washington Nationals
Our Washington Nationals have conducted Youth Baseball Clinics throughout The Greater Metropolitan Area during this 2007 season. Their latest effort took place yesterday morning at RFK Stadium--on the field. And Section 320 Ringleader--Abby, A Member of The Junior Nationals Club, was invited to participate. Of course, as always, Abby had her Parents--Becky & Mike in tow. You can bet Grandma even made the journey. How much do you want to bet, Abby's Parents & Grandma, enjoyed this opportunity the most?
Mike was kind enough to send me a complete review of their enjoyment, meeting coaches for Our Washington Nationals, Abby's Skill Training and, of course, taking pictures on the field at RFK Stadium.
Courtesy of Section 320 Regulars--Abby, Becky, Mike & Grandma:
NATS COACHES HOST CLINIC ON THE FIELD AT RFK
On a bright and beautiful morning, the Nationals Coaching staff along with the Nationals Promotions Staff hosted our young fans. Becky, Abby, her Grandma and I arrived early and signed in. The children were arranged by ages and led down to leftfield to begin the clinic. After warm up exercises and stretches, the groups were separated.
Abby began her trip through the clinic with a bullpen session with pitching coach Randy St Claire and Rick Aponte. All of the kids got to step up on the pitching rubber and fire in a few pitches. Quite a few had good arms and all had fun.
The group rotated to Centerfield. As one young man mentioned to his dad "Dad, this field is huge!" (Yeah, tell that to Nats hitters who have seen many a fly ball die out there near the warning track). The kids practiced catching fly balls. Some of the older kids getting to go back onto the warning track to make the catch. (Writers note: How cool is that! tracking down a fly on a major league field. Standing in the outfield looking around made me think: The starting centerfielder for a major league team has the best "office" of any job.)
Next, we moved on to catching practice in the Nat's bullpen. As Abby and I walked over, she asked, "Is this where 'The Chief' sits?" Looks like 'The Chief' has a huge fan that is hoping he is not on the trading block. Question for anyone who knows- why are the nice seats in the bullpen decorated with the designs of the other Major League teams? SBF- Any ideas? (I know from my experience around RFK Stadium, the different Team Padded Chairs are the norm. When Sohna and I participated in The President's Race the entire Changing Room had these same Team Chairs. Since that room is near The Bullpen, maybe the players just borrowed some and never took them back--it happens-SBF).
After a short water break, we moved to ground ball practice with Lenny Harris. Although all of the coaches were outstanding, our hitting coach seems to be a natural with the kids. He had them all listening as he showed them how to stay down on ground balls. All got encouraging words for their efforts.
A short trip from right field to first base led to our next session. Nationals 3rd Base Coach Tim Tolman showed the kids how to lead properly and then had all of them race for second. Everyone also got to race from first to third. The smiles on their faces as they rolled into third: PRICELESS.
The last station for Abby's group was hitting. The kids were led down through the dugout to the batting cage. After a few swings, the kids returned for a quick goodbye on the field. The coaches graciously signed autographs and the clinic came to an end with lots of smiles from the sweaty and tired young ballplayers.
This event was OUTSTANDING! Many thanks to the Nationals Staff that put the clinic together. These kind of events are in my opinion crucial to the development of our fan base here in DC. During the drive home, there were lots of Nationals questions from Abby in the back seat, until of course, there were snores.
Abby Slept All The Way Home.
This Is Why Baseball Is Fun!! And, one of the Main Reasons we have a Great Time in Section 320 at RFK Stadium--each and every game. Its more that Just The Game Itself. Many Thanks to Abby, Becky, Mike & Grandma for sharing. (SBF)