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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | April 24, 2009

Baseball is more than flashy teams, expensive seats

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer sports writer

Let's be honest: the Nationals aren't going to be good this year ... at all. They currently have the third worst earned run average (5.70) in the National League, no real closer and their best starting pitcher is 22-year-old Jordan Zimmerman, who has had one career start. Things aren't all bad however, especially from a fan's perspective.

First of all, the Nationals' offense is going to be a strength this season, which has not been the case, well, ever. The addition of Adam Dunn received a good amount of national attention, but what baseball fans outside of the beltway don't realize, is that Dunn has plenty of help. From shortstop Cristian Guzman to outfielder Elijah Dukes, and last but not least, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals have talent to help Dunn put runs on the board.

The team is also entering its second season of play in their new stadium. The beautiful new ballpark, with a great view of the Capitol building over the left field wall, is very accessible via the Metro. It is a great option for servicemembers and their families.

To say that ticket prices are affordable would be an understatement. The Nationals offer tickets for as low as $10, and for $60 you can be sitting by the infield dugouts. To put that into perspective, you could spend $60 at Fenway Park on parking and a couple adult beverages before you even take your place in the $20 standing room section.

Look: this article is by no means a plug for only the Nationals. This is a plug for baseball. The Nationals will be hosting some great teams this year. Kids will be able to see future Hall of Famers like Johan Santana, Chipper Jones, and Albert Pujols in the flesh instead of in some video game. In this day and age, going to a baseball game is becoming less and less a rite of passage between one generation and the next, due to rising ticket prices all over the country. Why not take advantage while you still can?

I'm going to end on a quote from "Field of Dreams," because in all honesty, I would do it an injustice by paraphrasing.

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again, but baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again."