Ballpark Review: Washington Nationals

In 1999, I went to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field with my father. At some point during that game, it occurred to me that I was simply going to have to go to every ballpark in Major League Baseball. I knew it would take a while. And it’s a goal I have yet to complete. But, I have made a decent dent over the past 12 years.

This past Monday, I visited the new ballpark in our nation’s capitol:

NATIONALS PARK – Washington, D.C.

May 30, 2011 – Phillies 5, Nationals 4 – Despite the 92° heat, the 4 to 1 Phillies’ fan to Nats’ fan ratio and the very first thing I heard over the loudspeakers upon arriving being an organ version of “Hey, Soul Sister”…my experience at Nationals Park was nothing but positive. Shaded seats tucked into the 2nd deck provided a comfortable view of a pretty decent game. Roy Halladay vs. what’s left of Livan Hernandez. Jayson Werth facing his former team (and fans). Lots of homeruns. The Rushmores running wild both in the stands and on the field.  There was a lot to enjoy. Perhaps if the open outfield didn’t look onto a pair of parking garages, or if the surrounding neighborhood was more developed, or if there seemed to be more local fan support, it could be something truly special. There is red, white and blue (tastefully) everywhere. It’s easy to wander to different vantage points. It really is a lovely stadium.  And, since it was Memorial Day, I will even forgive them for playing schlocky country anthems to stir up the patriotism in the crowd just a few too many times. Besides, I’m fairly certain I sat next to this lady – in town for the Rolling Thunder event, no doubt. Good times.

Atmosphere: 7

Viewability: 8.5

Architecture: 7

Peanuts: 6

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