I was at the Nats game this past Sunday, September 15 and the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team’s Wounded Warriors Celebrity Softball Classic that followed it. Both games were fun. Here is a short recap of both to relive the good times.
First, some highlights of the Nats game against the Phillies.
Wilson Ramos blew the game open with 5 RBIs, including a solo home run deep into the Red Porch in center field. Zach Walters scored his 1st major league run. With the Nats ahead by 9 in the in the 9th, Davey Johnson let his September call-ups get some playing time. It looked like an MiLB game!
Tyler Moore replaced Bryce Harper in left, Eury Perez replaced Denard Span in center, Corey Brown replaced Jayson Werth in right, Zach Walters (Wyoming power) replaced Ian Desmond at short, Anthony Rendon replaced Ryan Zimmerman at the hot corner, Jhonatan Solano replaced Wilson Ramos behind the dish, and even Xavier Cedeno got some playing time for Jordan Zimmermann. The Nats still won, 11-2.
One highlight was a pigeon on the field that just wouldn’t fly away. I learned today that it’s hazardous if you are a pigeon hang out on a baseball field during a game. Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post Sports Bog reported that Zach Walters stepped on it while running home. Umpire Jim Wolf, Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez, and Nats first baseman Adam LaRoche all had staredowns with a pigeon. My mom, who took me to the game, thought LaRoche wanted to hunt it.
The game was important for the Nats because they gained a game on the Reds after Sean Halton hit a walkoff homer for the Brewers to beat the Reds.
I also witnessed the Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic, which was played right after the Nationals game. The Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic is a charitable event to show people that “Life without a limb is limitless.” Just to state it, those people are the most amazing ever! They have lost legs, arms, and hands while fighting for their country and are still amazingly athletic. For example, Warrior Josh Wege hit a homer and pinch hitter, Sydney Barta, who lost part of her leg, also got on base. One guy, Greg Reynolds, had only one arm, but that didn’t stop him from playing amazing defense in the outfield. He would hold up his one hand, with the glove on it, to catch a fly ball. Then, in fast motion, he would throw the ball, then the glove in the air. The glove would land on the field and he would catch the ball in his barehand in order to throw it back into the infield. That was an amazing one of all the sensational plays.
The Wounded Warriors were mixed onto teams with celebrities like Nats players wives (Jennifer LaRoche, Chelsey Desmond), broadcasters (F.P. Santaneglo, Charlie Slowes, Dave Jageler), and TV stars (Omar Miller and Sakina Jaffrey).
Some of the players’ kids were watching the game from the dugout, like the Desmond kids, Tracy kids, LaRoche kids and Hairston kids. Grayson Desmond was “swinging” a bat and then sliding on the grass like his dad. A few players too, like Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen, Adam Laroche, Ian Desmond, and Scott Hairston watched the game too.
One Desmond, Chelsey, made a incredible diving catch and doubled a guy off first.
It was unbelievable. Here’s a link of the play from someone named T_Mac202.
Other highlights were home runs by Omar Miller and F.P. Santangelo and a triple by Dave Jageler.
I came away from the game with a souvenir. After one overthrow, the Hairston kids got the ball and threw it into the first row, where I was sitting. I even got their dad, Scott Hairston, to sign it during the game.
The Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team is special because they have lost their body parts in service to our country. And then they go around showcasing their amazing athletic abilities for charity. Amazing. Period.