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Nats support UNICEF efforts in Japan

Beginning on Thursday, the Nationals launched a "text to give" initiative to support UNICEF's relief efforts after the recent earthquake in Japan. Fans can donate $10 by simply sending a texting JAPAN to 864233. The Nationals will also sell special $10 tickets to both games this weekend and half of the ticket cost will be donated to UNICEF. Fans can purchase those tickets at nationals.com/japanaid.

Ladies and gentlemen, choose your bobblehead

The Nationals have released the list of fan choice bobblehead candidates for the Sept.10 game against the Houston Astros. Options include Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa. Fans can vote and encourage friends to vote through social networking. Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond will also be honored with bobbleheads in 2011. Last season's fan choice bobblehead winner was Ivan Rodriguez.

Sights and sounds from opening day

After a long, cold offseason, the 2011 regular season is finally under way. Nationals Park was buzzing early this afternoon as CBS Sports' James Brown stepped to the microphone to introduce the 2011 Nats and kick off the season. For anyone who didn't catch it, here are the player introductions, as well as footage of general manager Mike Rizzo presenting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman with

Did you know?

With his start Thursday, catcher Ivan Rodriguez has started 20 consecutive opening day games behind the plate. This is the longest streak in Major League Baseball regardless of position. Meanwhile, starter Livan Hernandez made his ninth opening day start. Hernandez is 4-3 with a 4.65 in previous opening day games. He's also tied for most opening day starts and wins among active pitchers. Of course,

Rainy NatsFest still a treat for fans, players

Despite the gloomy weather and the weekday mid-afternoon timing, hundreds of fans gathered at Nationals Park on a rainy Wednesday afternoon to meet and greet their team and start a new season of Nationals baseball. Along with players, coaches and broadcasters, Nationals fans seemed optimistic about the season as they gathered to celebrate the team's third annual NatsFest. The weather interfered with many of the

Nationals release suite tickets for opening day

Still looking for Nationals tickets for opening day? Enjoy the climate controlled atmosphere of a suite for just $145 (with a two-seat minimum purchase). The available suites are on the Jefferson suite level and have comfortable leather seats, as well as access to the Stars and Stripes Club. Most importantly, you'll avoid any inclement weather. Suite tickets are available at Nationals.com. The team will also

Popular Shake Shack headlines new concessions at Nationals Park

The Nationals announced on Wednesday that renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) will bring the very popular Shake Shack concessions concept to Nationals Park this season. This will mark the third sports venue location for the hot spot, which is also very popular at Citi Field and Saratoga Race Course. The Shake Shack features ShackBurgers, hot dogs and frozen custard.

Baseball themed musical opens April 9

"National Pastime," the musical comedy will make its world premiere at the District's Keegan Theatre on April 9. The production, directed by Mark A. Rhea and Susan Marie Rhea, tells the story of a near-bankrupt radio station inventing a fictitious baseball team to spark ratings in mid-1930's Iowa. Tony Sportiello wrote the play while his colleague Al Tapper provided the music and lyrics. The show

Larry King takes the mound

Retire. Start a foundation. Help save lives. Work on your strike zone. One of the most beloved broadcasters of our time will be making a stop at Nationals Park on April 2. The one and only Larry King is slated to throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals host the Braves on Saturday. A die-hard baseball fan, King even penned a book about his

Details for opening day

The Nationals will celebrate opening day 2011 without presidential fanfare. According to a team release, the first pitch will be thrown by five flag officers representing each branch of the military. The team's military tribute will include a pregame ceremony and military children lining up to greet Nationals players on the red carpet. The ceremony is scheduled to include a flyover by the 113th Fighter

Rain or shine - and Suns

A quick note to pass along on NatsFest. The third annual NatsFest will take place rain or shine on Wednesday afternoon. More details can be found here. Also, for those of you western Maryland, the Hagerstown Suns are hosting a "Meet the Suns" event Monday, April 4 from 6-9 p.m. at Cancun Cantina. While Suns season ticket holders will participate in an exclusive autograph session,

New details and full schedule released for NatsFest

On Wednesday afternoon, the Nationals announced some new details about NatsFest, scheduled for Wednesday, March 30 from 4-8 p.m. at Nationals Park. According to the release, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Derek Norris, Chien-Ming Wang and Cole Kimball are all scheduled to attend the team's third annual NatsFest celebration. Upon entering the ballpark at 4 p.m., fans can watch the Nationals take batting practice until 5:45

Nationals set to build baseball field for special needs children

The Nationals are hard at work creating yet another opportunity for local youth to experience the magic of baseball. In association with the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the Nationals will partner with the Miracle League of Montgomery County and other local civic organizations to build the Washington Nationals Miracle Field in Germantown, Md., this summer. The Miracle League of Montgomery County will give children with

Guest bloggers joining Nationals Buzz

After a week of visiting with familiar faces in NatsTown South, I remembered how close-knit this community of baseball lovers can be at times. It certainly feels like a family - or to reach back to a favorite sitcom theme song, "a place where everybody knows your name." As you probably know, fans in this market are lucky to have so many quality fan-generated blogs

Getting to know new MASN broadcaster F.P. Santangelo

VIERA, Fla. - Nationals fans, please give a warm welcome to MASN's newest color analyst, F.P. Santangelo. The energetic young broadcaster shared his thoughts in this Q&A with Nats Buzz at Space Coast Stadium on Thursday afternoon. What are your thoughts about the Nationals heading into this season? "Well, I just think they are playing really good baseball. I don't really want to get caught

Win front row Nationals tickets for April 30

VIERA, Fla. - Want to win eight front row tickets to watch the Nationals beat the World Series champion Giants this April? Venga, a new website and mobile phone application, is running a contest to generate buzz about their new platform. The program will allow users to track happy hours, social events and special deals in restaurants, bars and music venues with a custom-built mobile

Strasburg, Harper on Twitter

VIERA, Fla. - It's official. Fans can now follow two of the Nationals' brightest stars on the popular social networking platform, Twitter. Stephen Strasburg will be tweeting from @stras37. Bryce Harper's @BHarp34 account has also been confirmed by the Nationals. In addition, fans can follow newcomer Todd Coffey (@ToddCoffey60). Other tweeting Nationals players include Drew Storen, Craig Stammen, John Lannan and Collin Balester.

Riggleman concerned with safety of children in stands

VIERA, Fla. - In the wake of the news that Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was struck by a foul ball and hospitalized on Wednesday, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman reflected Thursday on the many hazards of baseball. Several baseball-related accidents in recent years have created a greater awareness about the safety hazards - for both team personnel and fans sitting close to the

"How Do You Know" hits DVD and Blu-Ray

Many Nationals fans managed to save some hard earned-cash by skipping the box office premiere of "How Do You Know" last fall. The the motion picture flop featured Owen Wilson as a Nationals pitcher along Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. For those of you who missed it in theatres, the romantic comedy is set to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March

On the ground

A quick update for our Nats Buzz readers. I landed in Melbourne, Fla., this afternoon along with nearly a dozen Nationals fans (including this guy) just in time to hear Shuttle Discovery's final sonic boom. Starting tomorrow, I'll be at Space Coast Stadium all week to bring you Nats Buzz, off-the-field type updates as often as I can. If you have any questions or topics

Cherry blossoms for opening day

For some, the best sign of spring is the president of the United States throwing the first pitch at a Nationals game. Or Ryan Zimmerman's first home run of the season. Or simply the sound of "Play Ball" echoing through the ballpark. For others, it's not spring until the beautiful cherry blossoms bloom around the District and tourists from all over the world travel to

Save Nats Park on April 14

Opening day 2010 remains one of the worst, most painful memories for Nationals fans in this team's brief history. When thousands upon thousands of Phillies fans marched into Nationals Park last April and declared it their southern headquarters, Nationals fans were outraged. Phillies fans were unapologetic about their stunt, suggesting that if Nationals fans truly cared about their team, they'd show up night after night.

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