And that’s a wrap.
What a week for Nats fans. From Woodbridge to Bethesda to Arlington to Landover, the Nationals covered most of the D.C. metro area with visits, community service stops and autograph signings to remind us that baseball is just around the corner.
On Sunday, the fun came to a close with the ever popular NatsFest celebration at Nationals Park.
Drawing thousands of fans out of their homes on a cold Sunday afternoon, NatsFest was a major success in its second year.
“It’s a lot of fun. It gets everybody in the spirit. Baseball’s just [a few] days away, when pitchers and catchers report. Everybody is looking forward to the spring and baseball again,” Mark Lerner said earlier this week.
Players -- including future Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez -- were stationed on the Club level for autographs throughout the afternoon, while other players took photographs with fans in the Press Conference Room and Visitor’s Clubhouse.
In the President’s Club, fans could learn more about the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation or take their photo with Ryan Zimmerman’s Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards.
“Obviously, you guys are what we play for and we love playing here. And you know, we’re all working really hard whether we’re at home or in Florida right now. We’re all trying to get better,” Ryan Zimmerman said at Friday’s Hot Stove Luncheon with fans.
“We hate losing as much as you guys hate watching us lose, so we’re working on it. We’re getting there. Stick with us. There’s nowhere else that any of us would rather play,” he continued.
Fans also took tours of the Clubhouse and hit in the batting cages (with proceeds benefiting UNICEF for Haitian relief).
The Red Porch restaurant hosted four Q&A sessions featuring Jim Riggleman, Mike Rizzo, Stan Kasten, George Will and Tim Kurkjian.
If you had a question for Nationals executives, chances are you had it answered at some point this weekend. MASN’s Rob Dibble served as moderator, leading the lively discussions.
At MASN’s Grin and Grab, fans posed for pictures with Byron Kerr, Phil Wood and Ben Goessling to win special prizes. (Claim your photos here!) They also lined up for free caricatures, played skee-ball and participated in a special NatsFest version of “Where at Nats Park?” to win more great prizes.
More pictures from the Nationals winter caravan and NatsFest are available on MASN’s Facebook page!