Screech Loves Him Some Home Plate
Had I not gone to watch Gilbert not be funny after Wiz practice yesterday, I would have been riding in the back of a truck with Nats mascot Screech and home plate. RFK home plate, as you no doubt realize, is a D.C. heirloom, a part of our city's sports landscape for
decades more than any of us can remember about three years. I'll never forget its majestic shape and coloration and precise location, right in front of Livan Hernandez or some other oversized pitcher.
"The only negative memory I have of home plate at RFK was we didn't use it enough," Stan Kasten said yesterday.
According to a summary of the day's events I received, Screech carried the plate from the Nats' almost-totally-moved-out-offices at RFK, avoided bodily harm inflicted by any lurking D.C. United fans, and treating the plate like Wedgwood, placed it inside a truck provided by JK Moving & Storage. JK's Executive Vice President Steve Kuhn accompanied Screech and helped secure the treasure in the 24-foot truck, presumably by throwing it in a box or something.
Media members and PR-types rode inside the truck, making sure nobody stole home plate, which I'm sure the sabermetricians would argue is a low-percentage strategy.
Fast-forward an hour or so (and no, this doesn't necessarily mean the express buses from RFK to Nats Park will take an hour, although they surely might), the truck arrives at Nationals Park and a throng of media are gathered behind where home plate would be. Kuhn drives a JK Moving & Storage customized golf cart with Screech and home plate as cargo all the way around the warning track from center field. No fans are present to shake their hands.
With team ownership (including Mark Lerner) and representatives from the Washington Sports and Entertainment Commission, Clark Construction and more watching on, Kuhn and Screech handed the base to President Stan Kasten who worked with grounds crew members to properly install home plate.
Also yesterday, the Nats sold almost 40,000 individual game tickets on the first day they were available, which will now be secured inside a moving and storage truck and hand-delivered by Screech and a hard-hat-encased Stan Kasten.
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