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Screech Loves Him Some Home Plate

Screech and his plate. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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.

Home plate, secured, sort of.

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.

Home plate, being loaded.

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.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 5, 2008; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Die! Screech! Die!

Posted by: Kim | March 5, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

That is a misleading headline. I thought the Nats signed Dustin Diamond.

Posted by: Slater | March 5, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Did they sell 40,000 or 4,000? That's a big difference. I heard it was 4K in 6 minutes.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It was 4k opening day tix in the first six minutes, but a total of almost 40,000 single game tix.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | March 5, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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.

Careful Dan, with lines like that you're at risk of being drafted to take over Barry's job at Nationals Journal.

Posted by: NTPNate | March 5, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

81 home dates.

40,000 individual tickets sold.

4,000 of those to one game.

36,000 for the other 80.

450 tickets per (non-opening)game.

Posted by: Kim | March 5, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Stan fully explained anyway to the grounds crew members where exactly to place home plate in the new ballpark.

Posted by: Chris in SS | March 5, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Screech a flagrant ripoff of the Caps mascot Slapshot? Couldn't the Nats have been a little more creative?

Posted by: Joe | March 5, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Screech, is at least the fourth professional mascot that's an eagle.

Caps -> Slapshot
DC United -> Talon
Freedom -> Glory
Nationals -> Screech

Screech is, however, the first 'special' one.

Posted by: Kim | March 5, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I prefer Slapshot.

Posted by: Jim | March 6, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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