Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Five Years Ago Tonight--The First Kick & The Pitch
"Here's the kick and the pitch...as 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.
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