Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Five Years Ago Tonight--The First Kick & The Pitch

"Here's the kick and the the flashbulbs go off...and it's in there for a called strike one!!" stated Radio Broadcaster Charlie Slowes exactly five years ago tonight as Major League Baseball returned to the Nation's Capital for a regular season game for the first time in over 33 years. The date: April 14, 2005.

The African Queen and I were there sitting in what became our customary seats at RFK Stadium that evening--Section 320, Row 4, Seats 14 & 15. The very place where the adventure began alongside "The Noise Boys", Mick Nats & Mary, Senator Nat, Andy & his father Jim, Troy & Julie, "The FlyBoys & Girls from Andrews Air Force Base" and of course--Little Abby with her parents Becky & Mike in tow--what became THE CHEERING SECTION for Our Washington Nationals.

There was no place quite like Old Section 320 at the Old Ballyard on East Capitol Street. Section 320 rocked for EVERY SINGLE HOME GAME during the three years Our Washington Nationals called RFK their home. A very special time and place. Just ask Teddy where the "Let Teddy Win!!" chant began? Section 320 is the answer.

On that historic evening, Livan Hernandez threw the first pitch to Arizona's Craig Counsell at 7:06PM. Nick Johnson got the first hit. Vinny Castilla the first home run (and nearly hit for the cycle if not for The Diamondback's Lance Cormier drilling him with a pitch that brought on a huge chorus of boos from the partisan home crowd). And Chad Cordero recorded the first save.

As for that first tossed baseball by Livo--it's now in The National Baseball Hall Of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

Yes, Five Years Ago Tonight--The First Kick & The Pitch in Washington, D.C. in over 33 years.

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


Edward J. Cunningham said...

One nitpick about that historic evening. Why didn't channel 20 show any of the pre-game festivities? I would have loved to have seen the 1971 Senators take the field, leave their gloves and then have the 2005 Nationals pick them up. I would have loved to have seen the President throw out the first pitch LIVE on television. That being said, it was one of the most memorable nights of my life, and one that I wasn't sure that I would ever see.

VCUAlum Kyle said...

I was a 20 yrs old sophomore in college that night with my first ever "true love" in the stands with me! I'm 25 yrs old now and we have been broken up for four years. She actually called me today to remind it had been five years since my passion for baseball really took-off again because for the first time in my life I had a hometown team to root for!

You look back and see what has happened with this team (and me) and you just have to say with the ups and downs it’s nice to have something to complain, love, talk about on a daily basis!

4/14/05 was a great night in my life and GO NATS and let's hope we can talk about this night more another 60+ years to come!