Fan Follow Friday puts the spotlight weekly on one of my readers, as they share their favorite ballparks and baseball memories. Hope you enjoy hearing their stories!! This week we get a little Nattitude with Paul Fritschner, a Washington Nationals fan:
Name: Paul Fritschner
Hometown: NatsTown (Specifically, Northern Virginia)
Favorite Team: Washington Nationals
Blog/Website: Our National Pastime
How did you get into baseball?
My parents have always been huge baseball fans, so naturally, I started playing at a young age. Every spring since I was five years old I have donned a jersey and taken part in our nation’s pastime. When I was younger, baseball had not yet returned to the DC area, but I attended many of our local minor league team’s games (then the Potomac Cannons, now the Potomac Nationals). We would also travel up to Baltimore to take in a few Orioles games at the legendary Camden Yards, but I never really became an enthused fan. A majority of my relatives reside in Cincinnati, I became a huge Cincinnati Reds fan. However, when the Nationals came to town, I immediately became a dedicated fan. Playing baseball and watching baseball are enormous aspects of my life and ones which I hope to grow in the future.
I have been fortunate in my life to be able to travel around the country and visit many different ballparks. While Coors Field in Denver and Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati rank high on my list of favorites, Nationals Park still has to take the prize. It may not provide the breathtaking views like PNC Park or the history of Fenway Park, but it is my home park and therefore holds a special importance to me. It’s where I go to watch my favorite team play baseball, and for that reason, it is my favorite ballpark.
Least Favorite Ballpark?
Without a single doubt in my mind, Turner Field in Atlanta. As a die-hard Nats fan, I naturally have a strong dislike for the Braves, and Turner Field solidifies this opinion. The Chop, the team, the atmosphere…I’m not sure if it can get much worse, at least to me. I don’t think I need to go on anymore, I think that pretty much gets my point across.
Top Ballpark Memory?
Steve Miller, a very good friend of mine and also a recent feature right here as a Fan FollowFriday, and I co-host a podcast called The Top Step. A few weeks ago we were at a Nats game and had the opportunity to interview the Washington Nationals’ radio play-by-play commentator, Dave Jageler. This was an incredible experience for me after hearing him for so many years on the radio; finally getting to meet him in person and discuss various aspects of the game as well as broadcasting with him. The Nats were playing the Miami Marlins, and immediately following Dave’s interview we interviewed Rich Waltz, the TV commentator for the Marlins. Being able to have both of those broadcasters on our show was particularly exciting for me, as broadcasting is a profession in which I have long been interested.
Advice for fans visiting your home ballpark:
I have only recently started arriving at Nats games for batting practice, but on that note I would suggest that if you’d like to take in batting practice, to arrive when the gates open or shortly thereafter. It’s generally not too crowded, and the ushers don’t mind you wandering the outfield stands in pursuit of a baseball. As far as seating goes, if you can get a good deal for a seat in sections 209-218, I would highly recommend it. Seats in these sections are cushioned, and because this is the club level, food and restrooms are right there inside in a nice, air-conditioned space. StubHub offers great deals, and we can generally sit there for between $20-$30 a seat off that site. Other than that, just sit back and enjoy watching a baseball game in our nation’s capital.
****Would you like to be my next Fan Follow Friday?? Just email your responses to the bold questions and a couple of pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a baseball blogger, just a baseball fan!!!
Past Fan #FF