Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 23: RFK Stadium

All photos of Washington and RFK Stadium available on Flickr.

The morning brought about the first check-up on Old Yeller of the trip. While Peter made the trip out to Falls Church, VA, I caught some extra Z's on the couch. While watching some TV and waiting for Peter's return I received a call from the Floria Marlins, giving us permission to hold an event inside Dolphin Stadium this Friday!

Around Noon, we actually left the house and took the Metro to downtown. Peter and Lauren had some lunch and a few drinks at Union Station while I visited the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar. Prior to this trip I had spent 18 months working on Senator Klobuchar's campaign and I was very excited to see some old friends. I took a quick tour of the office, said 'Hi' to some people, then went over to the Capitol. I spent some time in both the Senate and House galleries, then made a brief stop in some House offices to say a few more 'Hellos'.

After meeting up with Peter and Lauren again and a short subway ride back home, it was time to head for the ballpark. We set up our fundraising stand just outside the subway exit and raised nearly $100 for the DC Habitat affiliate. We then headed into the stadium. Having visited Peter while he was working here in the summer of 2005 and catching a few Nationals games while I was here, I knew to expect a dump. The rusting steel and patchy grass are still there but it was a lot nicer than I remember it. The insulation that was hanging from the duct work had been repaired and nachos are sold at a regular stand now. In 2005, they were sold from a portable cart that close after the 3rd inning, which put a cramp in our tradition of getting them after the 5th. In addition, we noticed for the first time that the upper deck has a walkway between the 400 and 500 levels that allows you to walk all the way around the stadium without going out into the concourse. Lastly, the "team trailer" has been replaced with an actual team shop this year, although all ticket windows are still housed in portable trailers. stadium next year.

There was no giveaway at this particular game, but we were in for a special treat when we came to find out it was "Night out with the Nats." The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington sang the national anthem and pretty much the entire section we were sitting in was represented by its members. Washington is obviously a very liberal city, and there were many representatives of the GLBT there as well. The game itself started out as a pitchers' duel with neither team eeking out a run until the Nats put one across in the bottom of the 4th. The Astros took a 2-1 lead in the 6th, but the Nats responded with three in the bottom of the inning on a towering blast by Dmitri Young, who earned himself the rest of the night off after his effort. The Astros scored one in the 8th to make it interesting but Chad Cordero shut them down by striking out the side in the 9th to get the save. We them headed over to a bar near where Peter used to live called Madam's Organ for a few drinks as a nightcap. Tomorrow its off to Zebulon, NC and the Carolina Mudcats for our only Double A stop of the trip.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 2
views from park - 1 (can't see out)
view to field - 7
surrounding area - 2 (it's in southeast DC...not much there)
food variety - 4
nachos - 5
beer - 5 (not much variety)
vendor price - 5
ticket price - 9 ($5 upper deck)
atmosphere - 3
walk to park - 3 (most take the Metro)
parking price/proximity - 6
concourses - 3
team shop - 7 (definite improvement over the trailer)

best food - italian sausage with all the fixins'
most unique stadium feature - food deck on 2nd level near entrance
best jumbotron feature - George Washington deals 3-card Monte
best between-inning feature - Presidents' Race

field dimensions - 335/410/335
starters - Woody Williams (HOU) v. Mike Bacsik (WAS)
opponent - Houston Astros
time of game - 2:23
attendance - 22390
score - 4-3 W
Brewers score that day - 4-3 W

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