Zimmerman and Doolittle inducted into University of Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame

On Saturday night, current Nationals and former Virginia Cavaliers Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle were inducted into the inaugural class of the University of Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame.

Mike Cubbage, a special assistant to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, was also among the first inductees.

Ryan-Zimmerman-running-white-sidebar.jpgOf course, Doolittle can always brag he hit more homers than Zimmerman did while they were at Virginia in 2005. Doolittle, a first baseman in college, hit 11 to Zimmerman’s six.

Which got me thinking ...

The Nationals had no problem using pitcher Joe Ross and his speed on the basepaths at times. What about Doolittle as a pinch-hitter every once and awhile? It would be amazing to see Doolittle crank a home run, Tommy Milone-style at Nationals Park sometime in 2018.

* March 29 is the 2018 season opener for the Nationals on the road against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

That’s a mere 57 days away. It’s amazing to think that the baseball season is so close to beginning again. Spring training starts in about two weeks.

Are you attending the opening series in Cincinnati? I always suggest the Montgomery Inn for great ribs and they have a $1 trolley shuttle that does a big circle through downtown and into Covington, Ky., with a stop just outside the stadium. There is also a new Marriott hotel option just outside the ballpark called AC Hotel Cincinnati at the Banks.

The Nationals begin the season with six games in a seven-day span on the road in Cincinnati and Atlanta. Their home opener isn’t until April 5 against the Mets at Nationals Park. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

The homestand consists of 11 days and 10 games, spanning April 5-15 against the Mets, Braves and Rockies.

The club ventures back in the road for their first visit to the Big Apple against the Mets from April 16-18.

Then their first foray to the left coast. Following the New York series, the Nats head west to face the Dodgers and Giants through April 25.

The first full month of the season concludes at home when the Nationals welcome in the Diamondbacks and Pirates from April 27-May 3. The stay at Nationals Park concludes against the Phillies from May 4-6.

Interestingly, the Nationals then go right back out to California to face the Padres from May 7-9, then they head to Phoenix against Arizona from May 10-13.

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