With just about six weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report, the Nationals have released details about the annual Winter Caravan and NatsFest scheduled for January 27-31.
MASN's Rob Dibble, manager Jim Riggleman and prospects Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa and Ryan Speier will kick off the caravan on Wednesday, January 27 with stops at the Unity Health Care's Southwest Health Center in DC, Hard Times Cafe in Arlington and the Build-A-Bear Workshop in McLean.
On Thursday, this same group will stop at the original Ben's Chili Bowl before making care packages for USO families at Ft. Belvoir. They'll conclude the day with an autograph signing at Pfitzer Stadium in Woodbridge.
Brian Bruney, Matt Capps, Tyler Clippard, Adam Dunn, John Lannan, Nyjer Morgan, Pudge Rodriguez, Craig Stammen, Josh Willingham and Ryan Zimmerman will join the Caravan on Friday afternoon for the annual Hot Stove Luncheon at Nationals Park.
The luncheon is a special event for season ticket holders hosted by NBC "Meet the Press" Moderator and fellow season ticket holder David Gregory. The discussion and Q&A will feature Stan Kasten, Mike Rizzo and Jim Riggleman.
On Friday night, the Nats will cheer on the Caps when they take on the Panthers at the Verizon Center. Fans can get autographs from hockey fan Nyjer Morgan and the rest of the crew between 5 and 8 p.m.
My favorite part of the Caravan is on Saturday morning when the Nats visit with patients at Children's National Medical Center. It is always touching to see the players interacting with children and their families.
Saturday will also feature a stop at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex for a press conference, skills demonstration and autographs. The team wraps up Saturday's events with an autograph signing at White Flint.
Finally, on Sunday, the Nationals will host their annual NatsFest. Fans can collect autographs, take pictures with the players, participate in Q&A's, hear from George Will, tour the clubhouse and hit in the batting cages. For NatsFest and the Luncheon, season ticket holders will receive an e-mail with more information about tickets.
We'll do our best to keep you updated from the Caravan with pictures and stories, but be sure to come out and enjoy a little baseball this January!