The Nats moved to D.C. when I was eight years old, and as an avid Little Leaguer whose dad brought him to more games than he could count, it didn’t take long for me to get hooked. The team was horrible, but I grew up wearing No. 11 on every jersey for every sports team I played on and proudly displayed my John Patterson autographed hat on my bookshelf.
I would get in trouble for writing out mock lineups in class instead of taking notes. My mom would pick me up from school at lunch saying we had family matters to take care of when she was actually bringing me to RFK for a game. Nyjer Morgan, Austin Kearns, John Lannan, Cristian Guzman and Ryan Church were some of the names I penciled into my scorecard from my seat.
When I first started at Federal Baseball just before the 2017 season, the Nationals’ starting outfield consisted of Jayson Werth, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper. Dusty Baker was at the helm and Blake Treinen was just about to be named the team’s closer ahead of Opening Day.
It’s been a roller coaster ride covering this team for FBB over the past three years, one that fittingly is coming to an end just after the team hoisted its first ever Commissioner’s Trophy.
I’m writing to you all today in what will be my final column for the blog that’s been an integral part of my Nationals experience for as long as I can remember. A longtime reader of the site, I started writing here when I was a sophomore journalism student at JMU who was just looking to expand his portfolio. It was only a matter of time before I realized FBB was going to be so much more than that.
It’s been a privilege to work for one of the best in the business in Patrick Reddington, our editor here at Federal Baseball. He’s built up this community into one of the most engaging Nats hubs out there, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had the opportunity to publish my work on his site.
It’s surreal to me, closing the book on blogging after doing it for five years between FBB and District on Deck. But I won’t be going far. I’ve recently started a full-time job with NBC Sports Washington, where I’ll be writing not just about the Nats, but all the teams in the D.C. and Baltimore areas.
There are a lot of things I’m going to miss, like the Slack banter with my fellow writers Will Kubzansky, Ryan McFadden, Audrey Stark and Blake Finney. I’ll also miss engaging with you all, our readers, in the comments as we argued over whether or not Shawn Kelley deserved a postseason roster spot or who the No. 5 spot in the rotation should go to between A.J. Cole, Erick Fedde and Joe Ross.
Thank you to every one of you who helped make my time with Federal Baseball an enjoyable three years. If you’ve enjoyed my work and want to continue reading my stories for NBCSW, you can follow me on Twitter @ByMattWeyrich.
As the Nats host their championship parade tomorrow, I hope you all cherish every second of it. This city has longed for a World Series title for far too long, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having a front-row seat watching D.C. celebrate the drought coming to an end.
Here’s to this being the first of many.