My way home from work carries me across the Potomac. It's been frozen for most of this past week, and I keep looking down at the chunks of ice bobbing on the surface. The only problem with looking at the river is that it distracts me from looking up and trying to spot Nationals Park as I cross the bridge in the train. Today, I made sure I looked up. With Nats Fest getting closer and closer, I wanted to look at where I plan on spending my Sunday.
The happy feelings I get when I spot the upper deck and the sun glinting red off of the giant sign over the scoreboard remind me of all of my favorite moments from last season. The way I see it, there were three amazing home runs that happened last year.
Number 3 goes to Ronnie Belliard in that extra inning game against the O's. Feeling the emotions of the entire stadium turn a 180 was great. All the happy O's fans nearly cried and all the somber Nats fans were ecstatic in just one swing.
Number 2 is going to throw people, Ryan's on opening night. There's an argument that Zimm's ought to be number one. Let's face it; it was crazy fantastic. I hugged strangers and stood in the stands singing all of the verses of "How Do You Like Me Now". I actually think I skipped in place. It was amazing. But not my number one.
Number 1 goes to Wil Nieves and his first career homerun ever. What made it so wonderful was that no one saw it coming, least of all Wilbert. The joy on his face was like a giddy five-year-old on Christmas morning. The joy written on all of his teammates was, if possible, even more. It was a reminder that baseball is the every-man's sport. The only one where you can be a life-long bench player and come in and save the day. It was what the sport is about, what makes it so fantastic to watch. It was Baseball, like Baseball should be.
22 days 13 hours and counting