I’m off to Atlanta this morning - land of peaches, CNN, Coca-Cola and Braves baseball. I thought I would check in quickly from Dulles airport to mention a few odds and ends for the Nationals’ next homestand. I’ll be at the Turner Field on Wednesday and Thursday, so check back for more updates. And make sure to follow Matthew Kaminski, the Braves’ organist, on Twitter. Kaminski asks fans for suggestions on songs played for visiting team at bats.
* The Nationals recently announced this season’s honorary bat girl. Cathy Colleli of Olney, Md. Colleli lost her sister. Sheri, to breast cancer in 2004. In August 2009, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer, but Colleli keeps fighting the disease by donating her time and energy to find a cure.
“Cathy’s caregiver-to-survivor story clearly resonated with the selection committee,” Nationals community relations director Israel Negron said. “She has been so deeply affected by this terrible disease, yet she continues to do what she can to make a difference. It’s truly inspiring to see her channel her energy into fighting breast cancer at so many different levels.”
* The Nationals will host the National NeedleArts Association’s annual Stitch n’ Pitch event Friday night. Participants will contribute eight-inch squares to help construct blankets that will be donated to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Belvoir for injured members of the military returning from duty. Learn more at nationals.com/stitchnpitch.
* The first of three scheduled Pups in the Park games will be Saturday. Tillman, “The World’s Fastest Skateboarding Dog,” will be on hand for the event. Somehow, Tillman will deliver the lineup card and lead the pup parade before first pitch. I can’t wait to see an umpire react to a dog presenting the lineup card. Fans can find tickets and more information at nationals.com/pups. The other dates will be July 9 and Sept. 24.
* On Sunday, the Nationals will be collecting new and gently used baseball equipment for their annual drive. The donations will benefit Banneker City Little League from D.C.’s Ward 1.
* And, file this last one in the “I wish I was young enough to participate” category. The Nationals and Fox 5 will host Weather Day at Nationals Park on Tuesday for area students. FOX 5’s Tucker Barnes and Tony Perkins will conduct an interactive presentation on weather and how weather impacts a baseball game. The presentation begins at 9:30 a.m. and tickets are available at nationals.com/weatherday.
* Finally, Danny Espinosa was chosen as this season’s Fan Choice Bobblehead. Espinosa will be honored Sept. 10.