What a Way to Make a Living

Frank at Nationals Park on July 4, 2010 view of the field at Nationals Park, taken as we were walking past on the way to our own, not-as-good seats There was plenty of scoring at Nationals Park yesterday as the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 9 to 5. I was glad to see the Mets win, especially since my family and I drove late into the night so we could get to DC in time for the game. I don’t follow baseball all that closely but I was raised to be a Mets fan and I will always be a Mets fan. It’s been about three years since I went to a Mets game. In 2007, I saw them in Milwaukee. The year before that I saw them at RFK Stadium in DC. One of these years I’ll get to Citi Field but not before I finish my quest to visit all 50 states.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries concession stand inside Nationals Park The Mets victory was great but I would have had a good time no matter what. I like seeing different ballparks and I love the way Nationals Park has included some popular local restaurants as concessionaires. I remember reading (and writing) that Red Hot & Blue would have an outlet in the park. If they did, it’s gone now. It didn’t matter because I was more than happy to wait in line at the Five Guys Burgers and Fries stand. My wife and son and I ordered their excellent burgers but held off on the fries. We knew that there was a Boardwalk Fries stand on the way to our seats.

chef preparing chicken and waffle sandwich at Change Up Chicken inside Nationals Park chicken and waffle sandwich at Change Up Chicken inside Nationals Park I paused at a stand called Change Up Chicken when I saw a customer order a chicken and waffle sandwich. Both he and the man behind the counter graciously allowed me to photograph the item, which was a chicken fillet on top of two waffles. The whole thing was topped with syrup. I’m still looking for a place that will more closely imitate Roscoe’s. Another concession stand called Diamond Classics promised hot dogs from around the major leagues. Their menu mentioned a New York foot-long but I saw nothing about the only two hot dogs I can name from memory, the Dodger Dog and the Fenway Frank. Get Farmer John on the phone.

It was hot in Washington yesterday. By the seventh inning stretch my son was ready for some Gifford’s Ice Cream. Like at Five Guys, there was a long line of customers. While we waited, I looked futilely for any indication of the flavors they offered. I told my son that he might get stuck with vanilla. When it was our turn, the scooper rattled off about six different choices. He was psyched to hear the words “cookies and cream.” The line could have moved faster if they posted a sign listing the flavors.

smoking area outside Nationals Park with view of the Navy Yard in the background My wife and I bought the cheapest tickets we could find on StubHub.com. I wasn’t worried about having great seats since I wanted to explore the stadium as much as I wanted to see the game. As we walked around, I saw a group of smokers who looked like they had been put in time-out as punishment for their filthy habit.

Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight doing the Nationals post-game show Frank Howard statue at Nationals Park Nationals Park elevator directory with listing for Shirley Povich broadcast booth One of my radio heroes and one of my baseball heroes were sitting in MASN’s post-game broadcast booth as we exited. I was psyched to see Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight. Of the three statues honoring old Washington ballplayers, I photographed the Frank Howard statue because I remember him coming by WAVA for an interview. Longtime DC sportswriter Shirley Povich is honored with the media center named after him. The last name sounds familiar because Shirley IS the father of Maury.

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