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Take us out to the ball game

Nationals mascots visit Greenspring

Created date

June 19th, 2012

American poet, essayist, and journalist Walt Whitman once commented, I see great things in baseball. It s our game the American game. This summer, more than 140 years after the birth of major league baseball, fans across the country fill ballparks in hopes of cheering their team to a World Series appearance this fall. For those living at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., cheering on the Washington Nationals is serious business.

Head start

Less than 24 hours before opening day at Nationals Park, the team s beloved mascots, the Racing Presidents Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Teddy Roosevelt made a special visit to the Greenspring community. It was a great day, especially if you like baseball, says Ted Campbell, who attended the event with his wife Isabel. The Racing Presidents are celebrities in the D.C. area. It was great to have them here. Ted s neighbor Jean Bley agrees. I ve lived here at Greenspring since the doors first opened, she says. I knew that this would be a fun day, and I was right. Everyone was smiling and having a good time. Greenspring does a great job of scheduling fun events. It makes our world so much bigger than just our community. While on campus, the presidents ran their race, visited with residents and their guests, and posed for hundreds of photos. Teddy, Tom, and George also found time to flirt with the ladies, play cards, and shoot pool.

Lighting the spark

It was a wonderful day, says community member Nancy Woodrow. I had never really considered myself a baseball fan, but the enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. I ve never attended a game, but now I really want to go. Luckily for Nancy, Greenspring makes it easy to attend Nationals games throughout the baseball season. We schedule at least one trip to a Washington Nationals game each month throughout the baseball season, says Robin LeGrande, Greenspring s special events coordinator. The trips are all very well attended. Our Greenspring shuttle provides door-to-door service so no one has to worry about parking or dealing with all the stadium traffic. After watching the Racing Presidents run through Greenspring, community members Roy and Lynn O Connor hopped on the Greenspring shuttle the following day to see the home opener. It was the first time we decided to take the shuttle, says Lynn. It was a great day to do it. The driver took us right up to the gate closest to our seats. He told us where he would be after the game, and there he was. It was rush hour when we were returning home. We were all really glad that we weren t driving. Like Nancy, the O Connors opening day visit to Nationals Park sparked the creation of two new fans. We are so much more aware of the Nationals now, says Lynn. We ve always been baseball fans Yankees fans actually but now we root for the Nationals too. When Greenspring isn t planning a trip to the stadium, we watch the games on TV. We are also planning a family trip to a game this summer. My sister-in-law lives at Ashby Ponds [an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va.], and they have shuttles to the games as well. We hope to coordinate a trip with her too.

Lifelong passion

Others, like Ted Campbell, brought their love for the Nationals with them to Greenspring. Baseball has always been a part of my life, he says. My father played Class C ball in the 1900s, and I coached baseball from the late 1940s until 1990. I ve been watching the Nationals since they came to D.C. in 2005. They are looking really good this year. I usually get out to a couple of games a month and try to go every time Greenspring plans a trip. We always have a great time. Anyone living at Greenspring is welcome to join us for our trips to Nationals Park, says LeGrande. The only cost is the price of the ticket and transportation. It s a great way to spend a summer afternoon.