Soggy Nats Park serves as the backdrop for the latest Senators Fan Club bus trip (Sunday, September 23, 2018). The rain had already subsided in Central PA by the time some of us traditionally sat for breakfast at Perkins in Camp Hill. But the wipers were in motion on our bus full of baseball fans by the time we hit the Mason-Dixon Line.

At that point, we were just hoping for baseball. “We’re going to the game!” exclaimed my seatmate, who is just joining the Fan Club and had never attended a game at Nationals Park.

The rain dropped steadily on both the Beltway and the Parkway. Traffic and the rain were lighter than usual as we pulled up to the 1st base gate.

We like to get to the yard when the gates open. That leaves plenty of time to soak in the sights of the ballpark. Of course, the weather stymied any hopes of BP. The huge Skittles rainbow tarp protected the infield.

Our friends who came on the trip for the first time enjoyed taking in the park. We spoke with Customer Service to get “My First Game at Nationals Park” certificates. We chatted with vendors and ushers. A couple of them stated a 2 PM start. Only a 30 minute delay? We’ll take it! We were now focused on seeing a game.

And what a game we saw! 14 runs scored and 25 hits. Victor Robles legged out a triple and stroked a line drive home run to left. Former Senators like Spencer Kieboom, Wilmer Difo and Michael Taylor got hits. Andrew Stevenson tossed in a pinch single.

Nationals Park

After 4 hours and 14 minutes, the Nats fell to the Mets, 8-6. Leaving 13 runners on base didn’t help.

We made some new friends, gained some new Fan Club members and still got home at a decent hour. On the trip home, some were already planning bus trips for next season. We’ll all take a look at the 2019 schedules to see what we can offer.

This traditional final Sunday home game trip to Nats Park is a given in 2019. To spite the Nats LOB and the misty rain throughout this day, “we went to the game!”

Brian Williams