On Saturday, the Nationals honored season ticket holders with special photo opportunities and a town hall meeting with manager Jim Riggleman.
Fans could take photos with all of their favorite Nationals including Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, John Lannan and Nyjer Morgan, as well as with new faces like Pudge Rodriguez and Brian Bruney.
At the town hall meeting, fans asked questions directly to Riggleman and Opening Day starter John Lannan.
Fans wanted to know about final roster decisions, game preparation, season predictions and a variety of other items. Young fans asked Riggleman who the best hitter and pitcher were - to which Lannan quickly jumped in, “Stephen Strasburg.”
The skipper joked back with Lannan when a fan asked about Siena’s loss in the NCAA tournament. “I could have gone to Siena, but I went to college instead,” Riggleman said.
Lannan also encouraged his co-southpaw Opening Day starter, President Obama, to get things started with a strike.
Fans were optimistic about the season and ready for the Nationals to turn the corner. Though lines were pretty long, most fans had a lot of fun.
“The fans are pumped,” said Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan. “You definitely have to appreciate fans that still believe in us even though things haven’t been too great the past few years. But they’re still here and they definitely want a champion team here...I just [want to] show them that we’re for real this year.”
“Everybody wants to win and you can see that there is a different buzz going on,” Morgan continued.
It was a beautiful day for an Opening Day test run, despite the 6-1 loss.
Speaking of season ticket holders, David Gregory took an opportunity to say “Go Nats,” on Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press.
Don’t forget to arrive early on Monday. Club officials recommend arriving at least 90 minutes prior to your normal arrival time to get through security.