Category Archives: Stadium

The Mac Dog (Not McDog)

After rumors of new food spread through NatsTown the last week, I was intrigued by the “Thai Dog” mentioned as one of the new food options at Nationals Park. I generally try to avoid eating at the stadium to save what’s left of my figure, but I was hungry yesterday, so made an exception. Plus, since my doctor told me to take Prilosec daily, I’m finding I can tolerate foods that were previously off limits (such as hot dogs and Spaghettios). So when Mr. Chatter went off to forage for food and beer, I asked him to stop by the former Teddy’s BBQ and pick me up a Thai dog.

I love Thai food – it ranks way up there among my top cuisines. So I was curious what a Thai dog would entail. Peanuts on top? Lemongrass? Some pad thai on a dog? I really wanted to know where that food concept (ha! had to throw that in again) was going.

Mr. Chatter returned to our seats beerless and foodless for himself, but dutifully brought me back a dog from the stand requested and french fries from another stand, because apparently they don’t do fries at the hot dog place. Instead of a Thai dog, he handed me a mac n cheese dog. Interesting!

I’m a Kraft Mac n Cheese junky, in case you didn’t know. These were bigger normal-sized elbow noodles, but the sauce looked similar. The whole thing was topped with bits of Fritos. Mr. Chatter was told they don’t have the Thai dog yet, but maybe next month. Not wanting to come back empty handed, he went for something else he figured I’d like.

It was definitely interesting and not as bizarre as I expected. I don’t think it would win Iron Chef or anything, but it was creative and the mac n cheese went ok with the dog. Best of all, I didn’t get heartburn from it.

Another amusing but unrelated concession note – I was standing at the top of the steps to my section waiting for a break in play to return to my seats when I heard a continuous crashing noise. Looking over, I managed to catch the tail end of a beer avalanche in this cooler. Oops? A mad rush ensued from witnesses demanding to buy the damaged and likely explosive beer at a discount! Play broke and I left, so I’m sure how that all played out.

Ballpark Food!

Ahhh, remember when the Nats held media tasting day before the season opened in order to unveil the mouth-watering food “concepts” (what?) such as the ‘Crab Louie‘ (shown above) and gave tours of the food stands? Yeah, not so much this year, despite upcoming sweeping changes in the concessions available at Nationals Park. Opening day is tomorrow and FanFest today, and Post food critic Tom Sietsma has a rundown of many of the new options, which frankly do sound really good. Yet, once you get to the end of the article, you learn that construction on the new concession stands began *this morning* and may not be open for business until June. Yes, June.

From the official press release:

The Washington Nationals have partnered with world-renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) to bring Nationals fans a winning array of culinary offerings at the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk, the Nationals Park hot spot that hosts the popular Miller Lite Party Nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

Upon opening in late spring of 2011, Nationals fans will enjoy a variety of delicious new menu offerings, including mouthwatering real pit barbecue from Blue Smoke, addictive Belgian-style fries and dipping sauces at Box Frites, authentic Mexican food and flavors at El Verano Taquería, and ShackBurgers, hot dogs and frozen custard from the popular Shake Shack. This multi-year agreement makes Nationals Park the third sports venue in the nation to offer USHG’s beloved cuisine, joining Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and New York Racing Association’s Saratoga Race Course.

So it sounds like all of these concessions will be by the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk on the second level behind center field. You know, where Five Guys used to be. The concession openings should happen around the same time as the first Shake Shack restaurant in DC opens in Dupont Circle.

So two months into the six month baseball season, you’ll be able to enjoy these concessions in addition to the standard fare of Nats Dogs and Ben’s Chili Bowl that are still there (I hope?).

Cue Johnny Cash – Ring Of Honor

I don’t know why, but I keep getting Ring of Fire stuck in my head… anyway… Coinciding with the return of the bionic arm (aka Strasburg) and honoring Hall of Fame inductee and former Expo, Andre Dawson, the Nationals have instituted a “Ring of Honor” across the marquee area in front of the club level behind the PNC Diamond Club. I managed to get a sneak peak at it last night during “A Night At The Park” for the ziMS Foundation. Unfortunately (for multiple reasons), I didn’t bring my camera! Gah! So here are some iPhone photos taken during the live auction. The Harris and Johnson are not Willie and Nick, btw! Full press release after photos:

Ring of Honor

Ring of Honor (cont)

Ring of Honor (cont)

The Washington Nationals will honor Hall of Famers with ties to Washington’s baseball heritage by installing a Hall of Fame Ring of Honor at Nationals Park above the PNC Diamond Club directly behind home plate. The display, which features Hall of Famers from the Washington Nationals, Washington Senators, Homestead Grays and Montreal Expos, will be formally presented tonight during a special presentation recognizing Andre Dawson’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame before the Nationals take on the Florida Marlins at 7:05pm.

“The Washington Nationals are honored to pay tribute to all of those who’ve contributed so much to this city’s rich baseball heritage,” Nationals Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner said. “We are proud of where we’ve come from and where we’re headed, and for this reason, we’ve chosen to embrace members of all of the teams that have played a role in D.C.’s great baseball history.”

The Nationals partnered with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to develop the following criteria to honor Hall of Famers:

1) The player had to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
2) The player had to have played with the Washington Nationals, Washington Senators, Homestead Grays or Montreal Expos.
3) The player had to have played significant years with those teams.

It is with great pleasure that the Nationals honor the following individuals:
James “Cool Papa” Bell – Homestead Grays Center Fielder (1932, 1943-1946): Bell is among the most illustrious players in Negro Leagues baseball history and is remembered for his incredible speed on the basepaths and his superb defensive play as a center fielder. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Ray Brown Homestead Grays Pitcher (1932-1945, 1947-1948): Brown anchored the rotation of the Homestead Grays during its Negro National League dynasty, when the club won eight pennants between 1937 and 1945. He was an all-around athlete that also played outfield and pinch-hit when he was not on the mound.

Gary CarterMontreal Expos Catcher (1974–1984, 1992): Carter excelled at one of baseball’s most demanding positions both as an offensive and defensive force for the Expos. He won three Gold Glove Awards and belted 324 home runs in his 19-year Major League career.

Joe Cronin – Washington Senators Shortstop (1928-1934): The seven-time All-Star won the AL MVP in 1930 when he hit .346 with 126 RBI for the Senators. Cronin was a wizard with the glove and a beast with the bat. He topped the .300 mark eight times and also enjoyed eight 100-RBI seasons.

Andre Dawson – Montreal Expos Center Fielder (1976-1986): An eight-time All-Star who won eight Gold Glove and four Silver Slugger awards, Dawson posted 438 home runs with 1,591 RBI and 314 stolen bases during his prolific 21-year career. Dawson joins Willie Mays and Barry Bonds as the only three players in baseball history to record 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases.

Rick FerrellWashington Senators Catcher (1937-1941, 1944-1945, 1947): The North Carolina farm boy retired having caught more games than any other American Leaguer (1,806), a record that lasted over 40 years. Ferrell was a defensive standout and had a knack for handling the knuckleball. He was a career .281 hitter during his 18-year career.

Josh Gibson – Homestead Grays Catcher (1937-1946): Gibson is considered the greatest power hitter in Negro Leagues history, pounding out nearly 800 home runs in his 17-year career. He utilized a fluid, compact swing to hit for both average and power, and tales of his mammoth home runs became legend.

Goose Goslin – Washington Senators Left Fielder (1921-1930, 1933, 1938): Goslin, known for his powerful swing and dependable clutch-hitting, is the only man to have played in each of the 19 World Series games featuring the Senators, leading the team to a title in 1924 with a .344 average and three home runs. He compiled 100-plus RBI and hit .300 or better on 11 occasions.

Clark Griffith – elected to HOF as an Executive (was also a Washington Senators Pitcher): Griffith, nicknamed “the Old Fox,” was an innovative player, manager and owner who won more than 20 games six years in a row as a pitcher for the White Stockings. As an owner, Griffith kept baseball alive in DC from his arrival as a player in 1912 until his death in 1955.

Bucky Harris – elected to HOF as a Manager (was also a Washington Senators Second Baseman): Harris spent seven decades in the Majors as a player, manager, executive and scout. When he took over as player-manager for the Senators in 1924, he was just 27, but promptly led the team to two consecutive pennants and won 2,159 games in 29 years as a manager.

Walter Johnson – Washington Senators Pitcher (1907-1927): He was called the “Big Train” and it is easy to see why. He fanned 3,508 over a brilliant 21-year career with the Washington Senators, and his 110 shutouts are more than any pitcher in MLB history. Johnson won 417 games—second only to Cy Young on the all-time list.

Harmon Killebrew – Washington Senators First Baseman (1954-1960): Killebrew hit an astounding 573 home runs in his career. Over his 22-year career with the Senators, Twins and Royals, he tied or led the league in home runs six times, belting 40 or more on eight occasions and knocked in 100 or more runs nine times.

Buck Leonard – Homestead Grays First Baseman (1934-1950): The sweet-swinging first baseman was the backbone of the Homestead Grays in the late 1930s and 1940s. Leonard played in a record 11 East-West All-Star games, and his remarkable 17-year tenure with the Grays is the longest term of service with one team in Negro Leagues history.

Heinie Manush – Washington Senators Left Fielder (1930-1935): Manush was a hitting-machine for the Senators and consistently ranked among the game’s top batters, ending his 17-year career with a .330 batting average. He hit .378 to win the 1926 American League batting title, edging out Babe Ruth on the final day of the season by going 6-for-9 in a doubleheader.

Cumberland Posey – elected to HOF as an Executive (also an Homestead Grays Outfielder): Posey was the driving force behind the Homestead Grays for 35 years, first as a player and then later as manager and team owner. His business standards and organizational skills made the Grays a perennial powerhouse and money-making machine.

Sam Rice – Washington Senators Right Fielder (1915-1933): He was small but swift and that helped him collect 2,987 hits, finishing his career with a .322 batting average and six 200-hit seasons. Rice starred on the Washington Senators’ only three pennant-winning teams and still holds franchise records for hits, runs, doubles and triples.

Jud Wilson – Homestead Grays Third Baseman (1931-1932, 1940-1945): Satchel Paige said he was one of the two toughest hitters he ever faced, and Josh Gibson considered Wilson the game’s best hitter. The hard-hitting lefty could play anywhere in the infield and he captained the formidable 1931 Homestead Grays squad.

Early Wynn – Washington Senators Pitcher (1939-1944, 1946-1948): Wynn was an extremely durable, hard-nosed competitor that led the AL in innings three times and played 23 seasons—an AL record for pitchers. He won an even 300 games and the Cy Young Award in 1959 at the age of 39, posting a 22-10 record to lead the White Sox to the pennant.

01-31-2010 A Few NatsFest Photos

New MissChatter avatar

Thanks to the MASN setup in conference room 6 on the 3rd floor, I have a new avatar for Facebook and Twitter! Heck, I may even redesign this blog around it. What do you think? Other than that and the Kids Zone, we didn’t see much. I saw Kasten doing a Q&A over the TVs in the Stars and Stripes Club, but I couldn’t really hear what he was saying over the din of fans eating and waiting in line for autographs. I did, however, get to pose for a photo with new MASN analyst and writer Ben Goessling (formerly with the Washington Times – I’m sure you’ve heard of him). Highlight of my day! Well, that and getting a replacement mousepad since my original Fantasy Camp mousepad is, ummm, well, not exactly white anymore.

I can give a full review of the Kids Zone – the moon bounce obstacle course was the bee’s knees! At least according to my kids. My daughter also loves her new sparkly butterfly-painted face around her eyes. The boy is fond of the funny balloon hat.

Other than that, the only scoop I have is hearing that there are new food options in Viera. Woo! (not even sure I’ll make it to spring training this year *sniff*) I didn’t even get a photo of Zimmerman’s Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards on display in the Presidents Club (but I did see them during a quick cruise through!). I also entered a drawing at DC50’s booth for a small HDTV. It was the “Vampire Diaries” display that drew me in, I must admit. What can I say, it’s a guilty pleasure! Word of advice, though – this is a case where the TV show is far better than the books.

Face 2 Face 2009 Concert Prep

Nationals Park ready for Face 2 Face Elton John Billy Joel concert

[ Photoset ] I got a sneak peak at Nationals Park today while the transformation from Major League ballpark to concert venue was in progress. On Saturday, July 11, 2009, Elton John and Billy Joel will appear “Face 2 Face” on the stage in center field for fans seated both on the field and in the stands. The event is the first major concert in Nationals Park since it was built. I’ve been looking forward to this concert for a while, so seeing the setup in progress was a real treat! I also had a strange experience of noting the overtaking of the stadium for the concert. I’m quite accustomed to “baseball activities” going on and that’s pretty much it. The warning track is covered in plastic connecting walkway pieces and seeing a sign outside the visitors’ clubhouse in the tunnel with “Billy Joel Band Dressing Room” and a picture of a motorcycle on it was quite cool! (Unfortunately, the dressing room manager did not think it quite cool when I tried to photograph the sign – again an odd experience. I guess she didn’t understand my perspective of being wowed by a clubhouse becoming a “dressing room”). So I wonder if Elton John earned the home clubhouse?

The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the conglomeration of semi trucks blocking off Potomac Avenue south of N on the back side of the stadium. The volume of supplies they must hold seemed impressive, but once I saw the stage on the field, the sight made more sense. The sheer amount of scaffolding, chairs, lights, speakers, port-a-potties(!!), and equipment going into the construction is impressive, particularly during the limited time available. Plus, they’ll need to disassemble it all before the Nats return home.

Tickets are still available. Also, expect traffic in the area to be jammed, so the Nats are suggesting planning for an early arrival. I’m mostly hoping for an early escape as we have to leave our house at 4 AM Sunday to head to BWI for a long-awaited VACATION! I actually planned our flights around this concert!