This baseball game and the return of a team to Washington is a gift to a city that is too full of itself to care for much else. The "important people" had the prime seats, but I was content to sit among the average folks and ponder the beauty of the grass and even the dirt and the wonderful facelift that $18 million bought while the city awaits construction of its new baseball cathedral.
During baseball's absence from Washington, I had attended games in New York, Cincinnati, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston and Arlington, Texas. But none of them was as delicious, fulfilling and wonderfully nostalgic as opening night last Thursday in Washington. To top it off, the Nationals were in first place in the National League East.
One local sports journalist predicted the Nationals will draw 3 million fans their first year and may finish above .500. Only twice in 50 years has a Washington baseball team finished with a better than even record - in 1945, when the Senators had a .506 record and in 1969, when they won an impressive (for them) 86 games.
The Washington baseball tradition is being passed to a new generation. My 7-year-old grandson, Christian, took a bat his father bought him to school for "show and tell." He asked me how long it would be before we came back. "Soon," I said, "very soon."