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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hardy House in DC

As I've often noted over the years, I've competed in a 12-team American League fantasy baseball league with the same basic group of guys for 26 years. This year, we conducted our annual player auction in Washington DC at a hotel a couple of blocks from the Washington Nationals ballpark. The auction was held last Saturday, April 5. We began at 9 am and finished by about 4 pm (which is early for us).  Unfortunately, two guys fad to purchase players via long distance teleconferencing.

I'll post my roster soon. This post is actually about the baseball game we attended that evening -- a Nats game versus the Atlanta Braves, featuring young aces Stephen Strasburg and Julio Teheren. The Braves won 6-2. It was kind of a chilly evening with a pretty strong wing blowing mostly left to right, but sometimes in towards home plate.

One of the league members played host and he managed to get a fairly significant discount on President's Club seats for our group. Full price for these seats is $225, so I felt like a member of the 1% for an evening. Here's my ticket stub:

These Club seats are located in the closest sections directly behind home plate. I was sitting in about the 7th row very slightly on the Nationals' side of the infield. I took these two photos during the first inning. On the left is Braves leadoff hitter Jason Heyward walking to the plate to face Strasburg. On the right is Bryce Harper in the on-deck area :

The tickets included a pre-game meal that was simply delicious. Granted, the meal featured gourmet food that one does not ordinarily associate with a ballpark, such as prime rib, swordfish, kale salad, plantains, garlic mashed potatoes, etc. The tickets also included free wine or beer (Flying Dog Doggie Style was my ale of choice that evening), plus traditional ballpark snacks and more drinks throughout the game. That's right, open bar and individualized seat service all evening!

During the meal, seven members of our group sat next to the press conference room, pictured at left. Around the corner, fans in the Club could watch Nationals players hitting in a batting cage.

The Club bar provided temporary warmth on a chilly evening so I went back inside several times to catch bits of the NCAA Final Four games that were contested that night. Oh, and the dessert bar had gelato!

Here are some pics of most of the members of our group at the game, including last year's champion Bill Z. receiving his bobblehead trophy.
Gordon S., Rich, and Barry
Terry, Bill Z. Mike, and Bill Mc.

It was a terrific night after a fun day.

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