Thanks for visiting Nationals Fangirl, Jenn's online outlet for following her beloved Washington Nationals.The photos are my own. Most are taken from the stands at Nationals Park.
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Category archive: Milestones
Congratulations to my Washington Nationals.
And thank you for a very fun regular season.
See you in the playoffs!
Finally, 691 days after Bryce Harper became the first pick in the 2010 amateur draft, today is the day.
NatsTown has been waiting patiently for Harper’s major-league debut, but imagine how slowly time has passed for him. When you’re younger (our Bryce is still a teen), every hour, day, month, and year can seem like it lasts forever.
Given the Nationals’ lack of offense, I’m looking forward to Harper’s bat. And I’m a fan of his arm, although I’ve seen the canon misfire a few times.
But more than anything, I love this kid for his energy. Harper does everything 110%, except when goes for 120%.
He’s a hotshot and there will be bumps in the road, but I think fans will embrace Bryce. Not just because of his talent and potential, but also because he plays so hard.
I know I’m cheering for Harper to take the world by storm. Congratulations Bryce!
Photos: (1) Bryce Harper on first after hitting a single in the 2012 spring opener against Houston; (2) Harper at bat in an exhibition game against the Georgetown Hoyas; and (3) Harper runs out the play for a single.
How about a Nationals Fangirl classic post, in recognition of Bryce Harper getting the call today?
Originally published on November, 16, 2010
Last week, I traveled west to catch some Arizona Fall League (AFL) baseball.
I met my mother in Scottsdale, and we watched a pair of Scorpions games before driving together to the Las Vegas area. My Mom (Sue), my Aunt Judy, and a few cousins live in Henderson, Nevada, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to combine baseball with a family visit.
Mom doesn’t follow baseball or the Nationals, but has become more interested in both partly because I love it, and partly because my enthusiasm can be like an infectious disease for friends and family. This year, we went to 3 games together, one in Washington and two in the Phoenix area.
She might not be a baseball expert, but that doesn’t mean my mother lacks an eye for talent.
On Friday, we caught the end of batting practice at Scottsdale Stadium. Over and over, we heard the solid crack of a bat, then watched a ball soar.
“Wow! Who’s that guy?” my Mom asked.
I offered a few details about the 18-year-old kid who was drafted in June by the Nationals, signed a crazy-big contract in August, and has played a handful of professional baseball games in the AFL. Bryce Harper wouldn’t be playing in Friday night’s game, but we’d get to see him play on Saturday against the Surprise Rafters.
Saturday afternoon we watched a player throw a rocket from right field to the infield. “Wow!” my Mom said again.
“Same kid,” I told her.
“It’s pretty obvious that he’s different.”
Yes, pretty obvious.
Photos: All photos from the AFL game between the Scottsdale Scorpions and Surprise Rafters on November 13, 2010. Bryce Harper (1) gets loose in the on-deck circle, (2) sports his trademark eye black, and (3) signs autographs for fans.
Iván Rodríguez retired yesterday after an amazing 21-year career. He played more games at catcher (2,427) than anyone in history, and in so doing earned 13 Gold Glove Awards for his excellence behind the plate.
I’m grateful to have been able to watch Rodríguez play during his two years as a Washington National.
Pudge arrived in Washington in the twilight of his career, but I suspect the Nationals will benefit for years to come from his influence on Wilson Ramos, Jesus Flores, and all of the players and coaches who learned from him during his time in Washington.
I loved two things in particular about Pudge: watching him gun down opposing players on the base paths, and seeing his obvious love for the game.
Rodríguez played only 44 games in 2011, partly because he missed almost 2 months with an oblique injury, partly because Wilson Ramos was establishing himself as the Nationals’ starting catcher, and partly because Jesus Flores was reasserting himself as an important piece of the puzzle. It must have been hard at times for Pudge, knowing that his career was winding down, but he displayed grace and professionalism that we all can learn from.
I can see into the dugout from my regular seat at Nationals Park, and for the last part of the 2011 season, I watched Iván Rodríguez catch every pitch of every game, even when he wasn’t playing. When not on the field, Pudge was usually on the dugout steps or somewhere close to home plate. From my view, he seemed to be experiencing and savoring every moment.
As a fan, I was doing the same thing in a way, paying special attention to Iván Rodríguez because I knew how lucky I was to be watching one of the best ever.
Photos: (1) On September 24, 2011, Iván Rodríguez catches his last game at Nationals Park; and (2) Pudge on first base after hitting a single in the same game.