Sports

Thousands Flood D.C. for MLB All-Star Game, Eager for Memorable Moments

Marva Marsh loves baseball.

The physical therapist and high school softball player from Northeast enjoys America’s pastime so much she’s traveled to watch the Nationals in action at more than a dozen other ballparks. She even has a Major League Baseball passport to receive stamps at all the ballparks she’s attended.

“But there are very few people of color who come out and enjoy the experience of baseball,” she said undaunted by her observation and looking every bit of a devoted fan, decked out in a navy blue Nationals jersey and red Nats D.C. visor with pins on it.

“Baseball is the one sport where every stat means something. It’s a great game,” she added.

Marsh joined thousands of other avid lovers of “America’s game” Tuesday at Nationals Park in Southeast to watch the 89th annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The game featured three Nationals players: Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer and Sean Doolittle. However, Doolittle would not see action as he still remains on injured reserve.

“It’s an awesome honor to be selected,” Doolittle, who became selected to his second All-Star Game, said in the National League clubhouse hours before the game. “It doesn’t happen every year. This is really cool.”

Because it’s the All-Star Game, fans sported jerseys and T-shirts of other players from the National and American Leagues.

And while some fans worried about the weather after sudden downpours on Tuesday afternoon threatened the ability for players to take to the field, storm clouds passed quickly, the skies cleared and the sun began to shine once again on the pristine field of green.

Phillip Thomas, who wore a navy blue Atlanta Braves jersey, drove from Norfolk and expressed his confidence that the game would go on as planned, unhindered by the rain. With this being his very first opportunity to witness an All-Star Game, he said he couldn’t imagine it being any other way.

Besides being a Braves fan, the Tennessee native also admires Hall of Famer Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas, who helped with pregame coverage on Fox Sports.

“I’ve got two goals while I’m here: I really want to meet Frank Thomas,” Phillip Thomas said. “Second, I really want to see my [four] Braves do well in the game. The experience here in D.C. has been awesome. If I can see those two things happen, it would be sweet.”

Thousands of other visitors enjoyed their experience in the District including Aaron McLaughlin who watched a Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest Tuesday at the Geico FanFest at the Washington Convention Center in Northwest.

Aaron, 15, from Long Island, received an autograph from former Major League baseball player Cliff Floyd, who struggled in the hot dog contest.

“Yeah, he was having a tough time,” Aaron said who said without hesitation that he’s a diehard New York Yankees fan.

He even suggested how the Yankees might better facilitate moving up in the American League East where they’re currently in second place, trailing the Boston Red Sox by 4½ games.

“They definitely need starting pitching,” he said. “I think they can win the World Series with good starting pitching. Go get [New York Mets All-Star pitcher] Jacob deGrom. Go get him.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

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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