Rachel Levitin: Not Nationals Stadium, not Nationals Field; it's called Nationals Park

So I have a pet peeve that I've stayed quiet about for too long now. It's gotten to the point where I nearly boiled over with irritation while discussing said pet peeve with my friend last night. What is it? Well, clearly it's baseball related, since it's being posted on this blog.

Even now, in its seventh year of operation, there are people who live in the D.C. metropolitan area and suburbs who call Nationals Park anything except its namesake and it's driving me crazy. I've heard a various assortment of folks butcher the ballpark's name ranging from casual baseball fans to sports junkies, which I find shocking, to your average city resident. The majority of them choose to call it Nationals Stadium or even, I shudder to think, Nationals Field. Hence, this is my call to action. Nationals fans, if this bothers you, too, let's try to start a movement to educate the public. The time is now!

This isn't the first time I've had to bring this up either, which saddens me. In 2011, before "Ballpark" was added to the original Navy Yard Metro station name, I brought it up on this very blog. The station name change was made to make it clear that there's a ballpark at the Navy Yard station, but what bothers me is that even with the change, people are still getting the name wrong.

Heck, the Nationals even make it perfectly clear to patrons on gameday where they are and what the name of the ballpark is. It's plastered all over the gate entrances. The namesake is also announced over the P.A. system. You would think that people who attended even one game would learn upon the start of that game that the ballpark is called Nationals Park since there's always a giant booming voice that echoes throughout the Navy Yard, clearly saying, "Welcome to Nationals Park!"

It isn't lost on me that this pet peeve is nitpicky. I know it is. Nationals Park opened in 2008. I only hope that by the time the place turns 10 that more and more people start calling it by its actual name instead of some hybrid of what they think it should be.

So, the next time you hear someone incorrectly identify the home of Nationals baseball in Washington, I ask that you please pay the knowledge forward and kindly educate your fellow sports fan. As long as we keep cool, calm, and collected about it (which I'm trying, I swear), we should be able to ensure that folks obtain the necessary knowledge to properly recognize and acknowledge Nationals Park.

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC. Follow her on Twitter: @RHLevitin. She will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation's capital as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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