A lot of folks living in DC grew up with baseball. They’re Cubs fans from Chicago, or Red Sox fans from somewhere in New England that isn’t really Boston. But for people who grew up here, the closest thing we had was the Orioles, just over an hour from from DC. For some families it did the job. But there’s a difference between doing the job and serving as part of the foundation of a community.
So when I sat across from Washington Nationals Senior Director of Community Relations Israel Negron and he told me “When we talked about the benefits of bringing a team to DC, this is what we talked about,” I saw what the Nationals have become. The team’s success is combining with larger community relations events than ever before, and the Nationals are becoming a cornerstone of community activity in the DC area.
This year’s Washington Nationals Memorial Day Baseball Tournament – a partnership with Kyle’s Kamp benefiting Children’s National Medical Center – was exactly the kind of event that binds a community to its team. The numbers speak for themselves: last year’s tournament was not held in partnership with the Nationals, and 24 local youth baseball teams raised $12,000. This year, in partnership with the Nats, the event grew to over 160 teams and raised over $400,000 by the tournament’s first night, when 4,000 local youth baseball players came out to Nationals Park to participate in the opening ceremonies. Continue reading