Fans Amped for Nationals Home Opener

A fan takes a selfie with the Washington Nationals' Teddy Roosevelt mascot inside Nationals Park in southeast D.C. prior to the team's 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)
A fan takes a selfie with the Washington Nationals' Teddy Roosevelt mascot inside Nationals Park in southeast D.C. prior to the team's 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

Markus Jackson considers every Washington Nationals home opener “a national holiday.”

The 32-year-old Dumfries, Virginia, native proudly walked inside Nationals Park on Thursday decked out in full Nationals paraphernalia — white jersey, red socks, baseball cap, eye black stickers and a red, white and blue blanket. He even brought a stuffed camel dressed in Nats gear.

“The camel is to get over the hump of the first round [in the National League playoffs],” Jackson said. “I’ve been to a couple of Game Five divisional series here, so I hope this is our year.”

Markus Jackson of Dumfries, Virginia, stands outside Nationals Park in southeast D.C. before the Washington Nationals' 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Markus Jackson of Dumfries, Virginia, stands outside Nationals Park in southeast D.C. before the Washington Nationals’ 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

He joined the thousands of Nationals fans excited for the team’s home opener against the New York Mets in southeast D.C. All who walked through the entrance received a red Nationals T-shirt that outlines every home game.

It doesn’t matter to Cynthia Blagmon who the Nationals play, what the weather’s like or how long it takes for a game to end.

She’s even kept tabs on the contract situation of Bryce Harper, who’s slated to become a free agent after this season. According to various reports, the 25-year-old left-handed slugger could receive the richest contract in MLB history.

“He’s one of my favorite players,” said Blagmon of Falls Church, Virginia. “If [the Nationals] want him that bad, pay the money.”

Besides fans getting to see Harper, Michael A. Taylor and the other players, fans who entered the ballpark through the left field gate bounced to tunes presented by DJ Flexx.

Baseball also offers the most affordable tickets in the country among the four major North American professional sports of football, basketball and hockey. According to Statisica.com, the average price for a Major League ticket in 2016 was $31.

Fortunately for Stacey Taylor of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, his wife and two sons, Tyree and Stacey Jr., he received tickets through his information technology job to sit in a club suite.

What made Thursday more special: Tyree, 12, didn’t know the family would come until they drove by Nationals Park.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Tyree said about attending his first professional baseball game. “I thank my dad for taking me out here.”

To view the full Nationals 2018 schedule, go to https://www.mlb.com/nationals/schedule.

  • Fans line up to enter Nationals Park in southeast D.C. prior to the Washington Nationals' 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)
    Fans line up to enter Nationals Park in southeast D.C. prior to the Washington Nationals' 2018 home opener against the New York Mets on April 5. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

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About William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer 545 Articles
I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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