Nats unveil plans for opening day ceremonies

Opening day may not be until April 1, but the Nationals have begun filling in the blanks about who will participate in what ceremonies to mark the 2013 season's first game at Nationals Park against the Miami Marlins.

First, there's free stuff in your future - assuming you're one of the first 20,000 fans through the gates for the 1:05 p.m. contest. That's how many opening day caps will be distributed, courtesy of GEICO. Additionally, Nats fans are encouraged to wear red to show their Natitude.

James Brown, the CBS special correspondent and Emmy-winning sportscaster, will again serve as master of ceremonies for the pregame festivities, which will include the following:

* The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by former staff sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha.

* Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver the game ball.

* Washington, D.C., mayor Vincent Gray will deliver the lineup card.

* The national anthem and "America the Beautiful" will be performed by the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet.

* A giant American flag will be unfurled by members of the D.C. Air National Guard and the D.C. National Guard in the outfield.

* Children of deployed service members will trot onto the Nationals Park field with the starting nine.

* Winthrop Roosevelt, great-great grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, will give the "Play ball!" command.

While advanced tickets to opening day are already sold out, fans can still purchase standing room tickets at nationals.com/tickets while supplies last. In addition, approximately 400 grandstand seats will be available for $15 at the main box office starting at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the game. Fans are encouraged to arrive earlier than normal in order to enjoy opening day festivities.

Only a few days remain to purchase season and mini plans at 2012 pricing. Nationals fans have until Sunday, March 31 to lock in 2012 prices for one- or two-year season plans or mini plans with locations on all levels of the ballpark. To take advantage of this limited time offer, visit nationals.com/2013 (season plans) and nationals.com/miniplans (mini plans) or call 202.675.NATS(6287) - option 1.

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