Play ball! Nationals honor local military, first responders with special events

Nationals players, coaches and staff met with the families of four fallen first responders from the Washington, DC area on Sept. 10, 2023 as the team hosted and celebrated local military and first responders. Photo credit Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals hosted and celebrated local military and first responders on Sept. 9 with the Battle of the Bases championship and Heroes Day.

After Saturday’s Nationals-Dodgers game, Joint Base Andrews looked to defend their title against Fort Belvoir in the 4th annual Battle of the Bases championship game at Nationals Park.

“They played hard, they played well,” said Nat’s Senior Vice President, Community and Government Engagement Gregory McCarthy. “They are on a big league field, under the lights, with their family and friends here cheering them on.”

Despite the late night start, the bats were wide awake which resulted in a Fort Belvoir 17-7 run-rule victory over Joint Base Andrews. It marked the exciting conclusion to a 16-team preliminary tournament held in August which featured more than 300 service members across military branches.

“It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Fort Belvoir Left Fielder Sgt. 1st Class Cory Glasgow. “I always dreamed about it when I was little. To actually play on a major league field is a dream come true.”

To conclude the homestand on Sunday, the Nationals hosted Heroes Day, honoring first responders, including those who answered the call of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Nationals also honored first responders from the Washington metropolitan area who died in the line of duty over the past year. To commemorate these heroes, the Nationals added four plaques with each of their names on seats located in Section 130 and invited their family, friends and colleagues to the afternoon’s game.

In a special moment, Nationals players, coaches and staff took the time to meet each of the fallen heroes’ family members in attendance prior to first pitch.

“It was a privilege for the Nationals to put this together,” McCarthy said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Washington Nationals