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Why I’m a Washington Nationals fan...

Welcome to the refreshed FBB!!! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our own favorite teams.

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Five Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Welcome to the refreshed FBB!!! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our own favorite teams.

If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post.

Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card.

We’re collecting all of the stories HERE and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!


Will Kubzansky: Recently, while cleaning out my desk, I stumbled upon a folder full of old tickets to sporting events from the mid-to-late-2000s, with tickets to everything from Redskins games to Wizards games. Buried deep in the folder was the stub to a Nationals-Marlins game at RFK Stadium on Sunday, June 5th, 2005.

I would have been four years old when I went to that game. I don’t remember the result (according to Baseball Reference, the Nats won 6-3).

I do remember the Nationals logo plush bat and ball we brought home after the game (which, to this day, still resides in my basement).

Ticket to Nats-Marlins on June 5, 2005 for the lofty price of $15.

After that day, it was pretty simple: The Nationals were a part of my life. My dad, a Boston native and Red Sox fan, instated the Nats as our “NL team.” I still followed faithfully in his Red-Sox loving footsteps, until around the fourth grade (a blissful, championship-filled portion of my life), which is when three things happened.

First, the 2011 Red Sox, World Series favorites, disappointed beyond belief and missed the playoffs (sound familiar?). Disillusioned with the team that I was only able to watch a few nights a year on national TV in the first place, my interest dwindled. Second, my bedtime inched back to the point where I was up past 9:00 PM every night. As a result, I discovered the joys of being able to watch games (Nats games) every night on local television without having to worry about if they were on national TV. Third, my Dad surprised me by taking me out of school to go to Opening Day at Nationals Park (which, to this day, still stands as the most miserable baseball game in terms of weather I have ever attended). It was the first meaningful game I had seen at Nationals Park in my (albeit, extremely short) life, and changed my perception of the team from perennial losers to “Hey, maybe they might win something one day!”.

The Nats got better, my bedtime got later, and before I knew it, I was hooked on my hometown team, for better or worse.”

Ryan McFadden: “I didn’t get into baseball until 2005, when baseball came back to Washington, D.C. I remember when my dad took me to my first Nationals game when they played the Braves at RFK Stadium. After that moment, I was hooked on the Nationals.

RFK 2005

I have watched the Nationals through the dark days when they were losing over 100 games in the season and were irrelevant in the NL East. It’s amazing to see how the Nationals went from being at the bottom of the Nationals League to being one of the best teams in baseball. Now it’s time for them to get over the postseason slump, which has plagued all D.C. sports teams.

Matt Weyrich: “My dad and I weren't that big into baseball before the Nationals moved to D.C. I was only eight years old at the time, but it didn't take long before both of us were hooked. The Ryans (Zimmerman and Church) were my favorite players and I wore the No. 11 for every single sports team I played on growing up. I fell in love with the sport of baseball and the Nats went right along with it. Each Max Scherzer no-hitter and Bryce Harper home run has given me hope for an eventual World Series title, while every postseason loss has been as gut-wrenching as it gets. D.C. sports fans have come to expect eventual misery when it comes to the playoffs, but the Nats have always given me a reason to keep on believing.”

Patrick Reddington: “I’m the old one of the group, so I’ll go last. Tim Raines, Andre Dawson and Gary Carter. Those three hooked me into Montreal Expos baseball as a young fan. It might have also had a little to do with those jerseys and especially the tri-color caps:

Montreal Expos v San Diego Padres Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images

I grew up in New Jersey and we never had a team of our own and I wasn’t about to cheer for New York or Philadelphia teams, so I picked my own team to follow and it was the Expos. Following a team then was quite different of course. We got to see a couple games a season when they played the Mets or Braves on TBS, but other than that it was box scores each morning to keep up with the action.

Towards the end of the Expos’ time in Montreal, my brother (a Braves fan) and I would take yearly trips to the Stade Olympique to see the last series of the year between the two teams and I fell in love with the game again and decided to follow the team to D.C. and start writing about the Nationals in 2005-2006.

About a year later, I hooked up with the SB Nation. A few years after that, I got to talk to Dawson and Carter when they were honored in Nationals Park. The kid in me still has not gotten over that night. To think a decision I made as a kid led me to where I am, covering the franchise I grew up following as a credentialed reporter is kind of mind-boggling, but I love every day and I’ve watched more baseball on TV and in person than I ever imagined I would.

Bridging the gap between fan and totally professional, objective reporter is odd at times (no cheering in the press box), but it’s been nothing but fun for going on ten years now, and I have good friends I’ve met in D.C. and have fallen in love with Washington over that time, all because of those three players who grabbed my attention with those powder blue unis and tri-colored eMb caps. Ain’t baseball great? Sorry, MASN, is that copyright infringement? Please don’t sue...

[ed. note - “If you want to add your own story, head to the FanPost section, keep it under 800 words and the SB Nation bigwigs will collect them into a section which will enter it, automatically, into the drawing for the prizes described above.”]

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