Friday, July 11, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Night

September 17th, 2007 was a memorable night at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. The Old Ballyard on East Capitol Street was swaying, shaking and rumbling to The Latino Beat. On that night--Our Washington Nationals honored the many Hispanic Nations that play the game of baseball and our players that play it. A fun night where the action off the field was just as good as the fine game played on it.

With New Nationals Park, now open--this year's festivities will move to South Capitol Street. This Saturday Night, July 12, Hispanic Night returns to the ballpark of Our Washington Nationals. I have got to tell you, last year's event at RFK was enjoyable to no end. A festival broke out in the stands. The music was terrific. The players announced in their native tongue over the P.A. Sohna has always remembered that night. And was thrilled to see Hispanic Night return for 2008. If this Saturday night is anywhere near as good as last year's, it's going to be a great night at the ballpark. We really mean it. We loved Hispanic Night last year. Worth attending, just for the salsa beat. Nothing like it.

Here are the details from the Official Press Release:


The Washington Nationals will host Hispanic Heritage Night on Saturday, July 12 when they host the Houston Astros at 7:10pm. The organization will recognize Hispanic culture and honor Hispanic players’ contributions to the game of baseball. The Nationals have 10 Hispanic players on their Major League roster, as well as three coaches and the only Dominican manager in Major League Baseball in Manny Acta.

The Nationals will honor their Hispanic players and coaches in an on-field pre-game ceremony that will include a flag presentation. Flags from Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (Roger Bernadina); the Dominican Republic (Manny Acta, Ricardo Aponte, Jesus Colome, Cristian Guzman, Wily Mo Peña and Odalis Perez); Mexico (Luis Ayala); Puerto Rico (Felipe Lopez, Jerry Morales, Wil Nieves and Saul Rivera); and Venezuela (Jesus Flores) will be presented by the respective players.

Nationals fans may enjoy music by the Verny Verala Project; a Latin band led by Verny Verala, an arranger, composer, singer and flutist who teaches at Bell Multicultural High School; prior to the game in the Center Field Plaza from 4:30 pm until 6:50 pm. The band will be accompanied by Salsa and Cuban rueda dancers from Saoco, winner of the 2007 Salsa Dance Group of the Year in Washington, DC. The Saoco dancers will also perform on the dugouts during the middle of the third inning. El Zol radio personality Pedro Biaggi will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Nationals Spanish Béisbol Network broadcaster Luciano Rodriguez will provide PA announcements in Spanish and the team will show videos of Hispanic baseball greats, including Rod Carew and Juan Marichal,


Anonymous said...

I'm not a crazy anti immigration person BUT- I was at the game last year and the announcements were ONLY in spanish. As an American born and raised, I couldn't understand a thing that they said, especially when it came to important stuff like double switches. I am fine with playing the music but I expect to get the EXACT SAME information from the PA system as spanish speakers. This is AMERICA folks, and most people wanna hear the game in ENGLISH.

Anonymous said...

There evidently has been a horrible tragedy involving tail gaters at RFK on their way to the park late. Nothing on the news as yet, but it will be tomorrow, one very serious injury at least, and one decapitation involving a bus and a tunnel.

Anonymous said...

I'm not anti-immigrant nut either. My grandparents were immigrants, all 3 of my brothers are married to immigrants, and my fiance is from China. But I have to say that I really am opposed to any kind of activity of this nature that serves to accentuate and condone a sense of dual loyalties among people who have chosen to reside in this country. I have very close ties to my family back in Germany, and I speak the language, but I have no interest in ever attending a German heritage night at Nationals Park or anywhere else. My grandparents came to America for the same reason most do, and that is that life here is better than it was back home. It's that simple. This emphasis on pushing ethnic identity that our public schools and organiztions like MLB engage in are, in my opinion, divisive and serve to weaken the social fabric of this country. Just my 2 cents.

paul said...

In an unfortunate coincidence, our GM and assistant were questioned regarding a financial scandal involving the recruiting of Dominican players:

I think in any community where you have a significant cultural group, it is fun and educational to celebrate that group and its heritage. Of course, our immigrants know they are better served if they learn English and American culture and history, too; I think that goes without saying.

Somehow this reminds me that when I saw the Expos play the Braves about 15 years ago in Palm Beach, the announcements were in French and English. That was really strange.

Anonymous said...

With a Hispanic manager, I'm thinking we are destined to win tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Diversity is what makes this country so great! I am proud to belong to a group of hard core Nats fans, the old RFK faithful if you will. Those of us that plan our lives around 81 games a year. Our group consists of a Cuban and his family who are clearly the nicest people on the planet. A Jewish couple who every one from the ushers to the vendors, to the players' family, to the club president knows them by name and adore them. Our group also includes an amazing woman from The Gambia who is one of the proudest American I've every met, wait till you see her on July 4th. Then there is the devout christian usher who demonstrates WWJD every day even in the face real obnoxious ticket holders. ( except in tough losses, because he spent 35 years as a baseball coach). There's the MD state trooper who turns into a 12 year begging for an autograph. We all got here from vastly different paths but our genuine affection for one another comes from our common love of baseball. Let's embrace and appreciate the diverisity rather than fear it.

SenatorNat said...

How is it that the traditional D.C. farmer never seems to get a day like this?

Trust in the good earth of K Street N.W. All billable.

Anonymous said...

"Let's embrace and appreciate the diversity rather than fear it?"

FEAR?! When people disagree with a politically correct point of view, why are those people labeled as "fearing" something? They don't FEAR that point of view, they are merely DISAGREEING with that point of view. Are we calling someone a name in order to supress their freedom of opinion? People are entitled to believe anything they want until you prove them wrong.