NatsFest is January 25, 2014 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor. I am so excited for it! I have been waiting all year for the 2014 NatsFest until they FINALLY announced it, and now it is just a few days away! In 2013, NatsFest was completely awesome. I went to almost everything, met a lot of people, and had a lot of fun at the after party. READ ALL ABOUT NATSFEST HERE.Here is my preview of the cool things you can do at 2014 NatsFest.
First of all, here is a map of the event. They have a lot of the same things as last year, but this year everything is on the same floor.
I am most looking forward to the autographs. We got some autograph vouchers, but they are already sold out, so I hope you already got yours. I also want to do the batting cages and player photo stations. We’ll look at the bobbleheads and the Clubhouse Store and Authentics, but probably won’t buy anything. I’m going to stop by the @Nationals booth.
There are also special events happening all day. Check out the Schedule.
There will be things going on from 10:00 until 3:00. The doors open early at 10:00 for season ticket holders and 11:00 for everyone else.
They haven’t announced which players are going to be at the photo stations, who will be signing autographs, and who will be doing player story times. I think that is a game day decision. I am definitely going to try to go to the Kids Press Conference at 1:45, but I think I have the 1:30 autograph session. There’s also a Player Instructional this year that could be interesting.
I don’t know for sure, but the Nats may also do a Wheel of Fortune-style game near the end because there’s something called “Fields of Fortune.” Last year the final game was Nationals Jeopardy! where three Nationals players answered Nats-related questions. It was one of the best things of the event.
Here are the players who are going to be at NatsFest according to the Nationals.com website:
- Jerry Blevins, LHP
- Tyler Clippard, RHP
- Ross Detwiler, LHP
- Danny Espinosa, 2B
- Doug Fister, RHP
- Gio Gonzalez, LHP
- Scott Hairston, Goon Squad
- Bryce Harper, OF
- Ryan Mattheus, RHP
- Tyler Moore, Goon Squad/1B/OF
- Ross Ohlendorf, RHP
- Anthony Rendon, 2B
- Tanner Roark, RHP
- Sammy Solis, LHP
- Steven Souza, OF
- Denard Span, OF
- Craig Stammen, RHP
- Drew Storen, RHP
- Stephen Strasburg, RHP
- Zach Walters, SS
- Jayson Werth, OF
- Matt Williams, MGR
Sadly, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam LaRoche aren’t going to be there. I wished Desi was there because he is always a fan favorite. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche weren’t there last year either. I’m really hoping Ryan Zimmerman comes next year because he is one of the few players I have never gotten an autograph from. I also hope I get to meet some players I haven’t met before like Jerry Blevins, Doug Fister, Tanner Roark, and Ross Ohlendorf, and a few others. I also want to meet the OTHER “Matt the Bat,” Matt Williams (who also wears #9).
There was a story on Sunday that the National are looking to sign free agent closer Grant Balfour and possibly trade Drew Storen. Balfour would be a good addition, but I hope Storen doesn’t leave (Click here to read my interview with him from November). Fans would also like him. Nats fans loved singing “Take On Me” for Michael Morse’s at bats and would love to do the Rage when Balfour comes on to close. Anyway, I hope BOTH Storen and Balfour are at NatsFest.
I am also really looking forward to seeing some of the people who I have gotten to know online and at other events. I hope to tweet live from the event, so you should follow @MattsBats on Twitter. I’ll be wearing my white Nationals home jersey with “Matts Bats 9” on the back. See you later this week!