Thursday's 12:30 PM flight from Portland, Maine to BWI was full. Every seat was taken on this mid-week, mid-day, post-Labor Day flight for one simple reason. Red Sox fans in Maine were making the trip to Baltimore to watch their team play the woeful Orioles Thursday evening.
Baseball was absent from DC for a generation, so we are still gaining a taste for the game and the Nationals. It is amazing to us how it is some days that there are almost as many fans at RFK stadium rooting for the Tigers, Mets, et al. as there are Nats fans. We have also come to expect that good seats will always available at game time and that nobody has to pay full price for admission.
Meanwhile, the ups and downs of people like Dimitri Young, Ryan Zimmerman, Brian Schneider, Jesus Flores, Nook Logan, Christian Guzman, and Austin Kearns have been highly entertaining. It has been gratifying to see young pitchers like Matt Chico, Joel Hanrahan, Jason Bergmann, Levale Speigner, Chris Schroder, Mike Bacsik, et al. come up and perform better than anyone expected. It has been inspiring to watch the Nats play tough in almost every game, win or lose. And when they do win, it is heartwarming to see the players celebrate as a team like a bunch of boys having fun.
The crowd at RFK most days is pleasant, relaxed and well-behaved. Women and children probably outnumber the men. It's good, clean family fun. It's not Yankee Stadium or hockey or the NBA.
So kudos to the Lerners, Stan Kasten, Jim Bowden, and Manny Acta. Build it (the team), and they (the fans) will come. Who knows, maybe one day plane-loads of Nats fans will travel far and wide to watch their team play.