When Brian Broderick got the news that he had made the Nationals' roster Monday, the announcement came as such a shock that he figured it'd be too late for his parents, Joe and Susan, to fly from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., for opening day. They had looked into tickets the week before, when Broderick's place on the major league team was still in doubt, and they were running $1,200 apiece.
But the fickle fortunes of flight pricing smiled on Broderick's family, and they'll be at Nationals Park to see him make his major league debut, after all.
Broderick's parents, as well as his brother Michael and his girlfriend, will all attend tomorrow's game against the Braves. They were able to find a last-minute deal to Baltimore-Washington International Airport for $450 apiece, and decided to jump on the flights.
The only time Broderick has been to Washington was on a seventh-grade field trip, which his parents chaperoned, he said. He's planning to take his family through the National Mall, and added his girlfriend is excited to see the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin.
"I don't even know what that is," he said.
By tomorrow, the reliever will be focused on nothing but the game. He's been a starter in the past, so his parents knew not to contact him until after the game. Things will be different as a reliever, but the right-hander will take plenty of care to make sure his first appearance is a good one, should he get to pitch.
But last night, when the Nationals flew back from Viera to Washington, Broderick gave himself a few minutes to soak everything in.
The Rule 5 pick popped out to the field after the team arrived at the stadium, where all the lights on Nationals Park's ribbon scoreboard were on and the scoreboard was flashing the name and number of each player on the team's roster. Three names into the list, Broderick saw his own.
"I just kind of stood there," Broderick said, "kind of in awe about it."