As much as I enjoyed finally seeing a hometown team at RFK Stadium, I don’t have much sentimentality about it. More than anything I am happy it was still standing so that MLB could finally come to its senses and put a team in the nation’s capital. There were a lot of highlights though.
- I think the ultimate highlight was my bachelor party in June 2005. The timing was great, the Nats were never better than that time and it appeared everything was coming together after so long.
- The first time the Cubs played here in 2005 was a Friday night game that Fritz and I attended proved to be memorable, despite the loss. Early in the game, after moving seats, we saw an eight-year old kid catch a fly ball backhanded in section 503 or so. Pretty impressive. We also met the Bridges which led to a long stint with Metroblogging DC. The game almost ended in perfect fashion, with Jose Guillen coming within ten feet of a walkoff grand slam with two outs in the ninth. That would have been pandamonium.
- Memorial Day 2005 — The first time my family came with me and Frank Robinson got a home run by Atlanta overturned.
- Beating the Phillies and Pirates in 2005 with friends who cheered for those teams at the game with me.
- Rally caps while down 14-1!
- The last game of 2005.
Opening Day 2006 — exactly two more than I ever expected to see in RFK Stadium. Alfonso Soriano homered for the Nats only run.
- Going to a season ticketholder open house with Joe Riley in September 2006.
- Ryan Zimmerman homering on July 4, 2006 to win the game in the ninth. It was actually a sloppy game, but all is well that ends well. We proceeded to get poured on walking back between Pentagon City Metro and our apartment.
- Grand Reopening in July 2006. We went Friday night and saw the Nats play inspired baseball as they took out the Cubs. We had the first live Presidents Race too.
- Final game of 2006 — Frank Robinson finally got a sendoff. I biked to the game too.
- Opening Day 2007 — It was really on Opening Day too. I rode my bike that day as well. The Nats still lost though.
- Going with my family for my dad’s birthday in July 2007 vs. Rockies. I think they are undefeated when he is there.
- The final game — a big win over the Phillies.
By my calculations, I went to 32 nationals games at RFK. I will have to see about compiling their record while I was there. I also went to four exhibition games (two Nats, two in the 1990s) and one rained out exhibition between the Mets and Yankees when Frank Howard’s number was “retired” (thanks for taking us out of school Dad!) I also went to the 1996 HFStival and one D.C. United match.
I don’t know if I will ever return since I am not a huge soccer fan. Either way, I hope RFK is a good home for United until they can get a new pitch in the District. Following that, I would like to see this suggestion followed:
If the Dan Snyder builds a football stadium there, I may finally adopt the Redskins.
Bring on the new ballpark!