August 10 – Nationals Park Governor’s Tour (ONP # 222)

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Today was a very special One New Place!  I splurged and treated myself to this insider’s tour of Washington Nationals Park.

Now, Nationals Park and I are no strangers. I have sat my butt in almost every section of that park, including right behind home plate, thank you very much! But this tour promised a peek into some off-limits areas—the Nationals team dug out and bullpen, the visiting team clubhouse, plus a few of the more ritzy private suites and boxes.

I didn’t know seats could be this fancy at a ballpark! The K club, perhaps the most posh, had a tin ceiling, paneled bar and leather-seated dining booths inside. If K-clubbers want to rough it and sit outside on their padded seats to watch the game after they’ve eaten their steak tartare and dabbed their mouths with their Nationals-red colored cloth napkins, they can rest assured that each padded seat has a granite-topped drink table and a phone charger beside it.

A less exclusive, but equally cool place that I never watched a game from, is the Norfolk Southern RR suites, with a model train circling overhead and a RR-theme scoreboard with train cars move to indicate balls and strikes.

My favorite part of the tour, though was when we went into the places where the players hang out. We couldn’t go in the Nats Clubhouse, but we got to go into the visiting team clubhouse, complete with kitchenette (I was particularly fascinated with the plastic bins of  breakfast cereals lined up along the counter—Cheeries, Fruitloops, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs. Guess those boys like their breakfast cereals. And their Chia seeds), players lounge (decorated with autographed jerseys, batting helmets and shows) and workout room. There actually was a locker room (carpeted with wooden lockers and large leather chairs) and a shower (group shower—just like high school gym class, but with a billion toiletry items).



We also got to go onto the field: walk on the warning track, sit our butts in the dugout where Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman and teammates sit their butts, pick up the call box phone to call the bull pen, throw a warm-up pitch in the bullpen. And speaking of bullpen, who’s that? Nats new (comic) relief pitcher?