Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Royalty goes to Nationals Park on Gio Gonzalez Bobblehead Doll Day and meets up with other Roadtrippers!

The King was in the midst of a 15 day rental he got from Avis earlier in the week. With that being said, we got up bright and early Saturday morning April 13th so we could be in position to get to Nationals Park early enough to get a Gio Gonzalez Bobblehead Doll which was being given out to the first 15,000 fans who entered through the center field gate. It should noted we didn't have tickets for the game yet either because they wanted too much online during the week. Otherwise we would have bought them in advance. We knew from our past experience that the Nationals sell a limited number of $5 tickets a few hours before the game. Once those go, they put standing room tickets on sale.

The King wound up dropping me off by the left field gate at 11:40AM and he went to park the car. I walked around to the center field gate so I could see if they still had bobblehead dolls left before I went to the box office. They did have a number of boxes of them stacked up so I knew we would get one. As for tickets, thankfully I was able to get us standing room for $15 each since the $5 ones were all gone. As a result, my decision to want it out turned out to be a wise one just like it was Opening night in Houston.

It should be noted that I was in contact with fellow roadtripper, Roberto Coquis who was going to meet me at the ballpark. He had a friend who was already inside the ballpark tell him that they had a lot of bobblehead dolls left so I didn't get too stressed out thinking about it. In addition, I was planning to meet another roadtripper named Tolu Robertson who I follow on Twitter. His handle is @DArkMEATHOOK. He told me earlier in the week he would look out for me to make sure I got a bobblehead since it was my boy Gio and he knew I wanted one badly.

Gio Gonzalez Bobblehead Doll 
I wound up getting Roberto a ticket since I got to the ballpark before he did. Tolu was already inside. I texted Roberto and I met him by the gate after I went inside myself. I got my bobblehead & I was able to pass him & the King out their tickets. They also got in before the rest of the bobbleheads were gone.

The King came first. I told him I'm waiting for Roberto. He said he'll meet me upstairs under the press box. That worked out well as I met up with Roberto shortly thereafter. After we spoke for a short time we wound up meeting up with Tolu by the Red Loft which is located out in center field. We all introduced ourselves.

After we spoke for a little while, Roberto & I said goodbye to Tolu and we went upstairs to meet the King.
We got upstairs just as the National Anthem was being sung after we walked around the lower level. I noticed four empty seats in section 312 row J so we can just sat down and looked like we belonged. Quite amazingly, nobody came for those seats. It was a royal upgrade indeed. I was planning to stand and watch the game from behind the last row like I've done a number of times in the past.

Ironically there were four Brave fans in the row in front of us. Since the Nationals were playing the Braves, it was nice to see some visiting fans there. We wound talking to them during the game. They turned out to be good people. They were Aaron Ellenburg and his friends Andrew Quinn from Danville,Virginia, Ryan from Seattle and Jayme McCormick from Alabama.

Me, Aaron Ellenburg, Andrew Quinn, Ryan & Jayme McCormick 
After a few innings, Tolu came up to join us for the rest of the game. When we first saw him he was talking to some people he knew that were at the game too.

We got to see the President's Race which is run every game there. This year they added another candidate to the race, William Taft aka Bill to go along with George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson & Teddy Roosevelt. Click on the video to see the actual race.

Later in the game, another roadtripper I met last year at a Nationals game named David Cordell, came by to say hello to the King and I. It was great to see him again. I met him on Twitter as well. His handle is @dcinwashington. He's another good guy who was born in England. Despite that he has become a big fan of baseball, our National pastime. We all exchanged stories about our love for the game of baseball. In addition, we spoke about different road trips we've taken.

For example, Roberto went with his wife Judy and new born baby at the time, Sofia to all the major league ballparks in 2009. Hence Roberto's Twitter handle is @30BallparksBaby. Feel free to follow him. He also has another handle which is @Sportsnpolitic which highlights the intersection of sports and politics.

Roberto Coquis, David Cordell, Me, The King & Tolu Robertson
As for the game we saw, the Nationals made a costly error that prolonged the third inning and it cost them two runs as the Braves' rookie Evan Gattis hit a home run off Stephen Strasburg that made it 2-0. Danny Espinosa got the Nationals on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning when he hit a solo homer to cut the Braves' lead in half at 2-1. Jason Heyward drove in an insurance run as the Braves went on to beat the Nationals, 3-1. Tim Hudson who started for the Braves out pitched Stephen Strasburg in front of a standing room only crowd of 41,992.

After the game ended, we said our goodbyes to everybody. Hopefully we'll all meet up again in the future.
Stay tuned for a special post that will recap the second game the King and I saw that night in Bowie, Maryland.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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