To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.

Nationals Community Newsletter

Donation Requests Community Ticket Grants Community Videos
Dream Foundation Youth Baseball Academy

August 2017



Washington Nationals STEM Camps

The Nationals are pleased to host special STEM-themed baseball camps in Prince George's County throughout the summer. These NEW camps mirror the core program at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, and are run through Prince George's County Parks and Recreation. The curriculum utilizes baseball to show real world examples of science and math in action!

The two-week camps for girls and boys ages 6-12 will be held in two locations in Prince George's County - Kentland Community Center and William Beanes Community Center.

To sign up:

Visit SMARTlink. Parents will need to individually register for camp sessions using the below codes:

Kentland Community Center Camps:
August 14-25
Barcode # 1684245
Before Care: 1679421
After Care: 1679422

William Beanes Community Center Camps:
August 14-25
Barcode # 1684248
Before Care: 1682134
After Care: 1682135



Rev Up the Park!

Join Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton for the inaugural Rev Up the Park charity car show on August 12, at Nationals Park. Car enthusiasts and Nationals fans will come together to enjoy cars and coffee while raising money for the Dragonfly Foundation. Only $20 for show participants and $10 general admission.

Early Bird Registration! Register your car by August 4, and receive an autographed Adam Eaton photo. Photos will be distributed to early bird registrants upon vehicle check in.

For more information, visit www.nationals.com/carsandcoffee.


Nationals players and coaches visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Earlier this season, the Washington Nationals made their annual visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Players, coaches and their significant others spent time with veterans working on their physical therapy in the Military Advanced Training Center, listening to stories from the frontlines and their individual journeys to recovery. One veteran, Army Sergeant Stephanie Morris, a below the knee leg amputee, was headed to Chicago to compete in the 2017 Warrior Games.

Afterwards, the team joined active duty service members at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda for lunch.

Thank you to Walter Reed and USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore for a memorable day!

More Photo


Recognizing High School Champions

The Washington Nationals are proud to support youth baseball and softball programs throughout Washington D.C. region. Each year, high school baseball and softball teams are crowned champions across D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Last month, the Nationals welcomed teams to the ballpark to acknowledge the hard-work, perseverance and dedication that these student-athletes devote to the game and celebrate the great accomplishment of being named a champion.

Maryland State Baseball Champions:
Class 1A: the Saints of Saint Michaels High School (St. Michaels, MD)
Class 2A: the Knights of Middletown High School (Middletown, MD)
Class 4A: the Jaguars of Northwest High School (Germantown, MD)

Maryland State Softball Champions:
Class 1A: the Eagles of Bohemia Manor High School (Chesapeake City, MD)
Class 2A: the Bulldogs of North Carolina High School (Ridgely, MD)
Class 4A: the Jaguars of Northwest High School (Germantown, MD)

Virginia State Baseball Champions:
Class 2A: the Wildcats of Dan River High School (Ringgold, VA)
Class 4A: the Bulldogs of Liberty Christian Academy High School (Lynchburg, VA)
Class 5A: the Falcons of Briar Woods High School (Ashburn, VA)

Virginia State Softball Champions:
Class 1A: the Blue Devils of Mathews High School (Mathews, VA)

District of Columbia Softball City Champion:
The Eagles of National Cathedral School (Washington, D.C.)

District of Columbia Baseball City Champion:
The Eagles of Gonzaga College High School
(Washington, D.C.)

Congratulations to all of our Champions!


Enroll your child in Summer Slugger!

The Nationals have launched a new online program for kids ages 8-12 that works to sharpen math and literacy skills while kids play baseball-themed games. Summer Slugger aims to prevent students from losing math and literacy skills over the summer months, and is free for everyone. It can be accessed on a computer, phone or tablet. While it is self-paced, there are 36 series in total, and each one takes around 20 minutes to complete. Kids who participate get to pretend they are the newest recruit for the Nationals, and the more questions they answer correctly, the more the Nationals win!

    Educational topics in the program include:
  • Units of Measure
  • Place Value
  • Arithmetic
  • Geometry
  • Spelling
  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Parents can sign up by visiting www.SummerSlugger.com/Nationals and clicking the tab that says PARENTS. When prompted for a code, use “Washington.” Once your child is signed up, you can also sign up to receive regular updates on their progress!


Kids - Earn Nationals Tickets through Reading!

Earlier this summer Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Eaton and Matt Albers visited area schools and libraries reading and encouraging kids enrolled in the DC Public Library Summer Reading program, of which the Washington Nationals are the presenting sponsor.

Comprised of several age-specific initiatives, the program encourages summer reading by offering local youth various incentives, including a Nationals/DC Public Library soft baseball (kids up to the age of five), a Nationals Activity Book (ages six through 12), baseball-related books (birth to 18) and tickets to select Nationals games for students (ages six through 18) who reach their summer reading goal. All students who reach their goal are entered into a city-wide drawing for a Washington Nationals “on-field experience” for 4 people.

As part of the partnership, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation also contributed a $5,000 grant to the DC Public Library Foundation to purchase baseball-themed books.

It's not too late to sign up! Information can be found at www.nationals.com/SummerReading.

June 2017



Introducing Summer Slugger: Using baseball to stop "Summer Slide"

During the summer months, students who don't practice and test their knowledge can lose critical math and literacy skills. This "summer slide" causes teachers and students to spend valuable time in the fall re-teaching and re-learning the lost material. This summer, the Nationals have partnered with digital learning innovation leader EverFi to offer a remedy with the launch of Summer Slugger.

Participants can benefit from up to 30 hours of fun baseball-themed content that reinforces math and literacy skills. Computer-based, the interactive, gamified program is geared towards students ages 8-11. Summer Slugger is free, and open to individuals, schools and community organizations — students just need to have an adult register them.

Join the Nationals in using baseball to stop the "summer slide" this season—earn points, unlock new levels and receive progress-based rewards throughout the summer.



Bringing the Game Home

Harper. Zimmerman. Scherzer. They are names on a lineup card that show up in our game programs and on our television screens. For kids watching the game, they can seem larger than life, far removed from their world of buddy ball and coach-pitch. On one Saturday in May, that changed for many local kids. As part of the Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program, LHP Gio Gonzalez, RF Bryce Harper, C Jose Lobaton, 3B Anthony Rendon, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Blake Treinen, SS Trea Turner, C Matt Wieters, 1B Ryan Zimmerman and Assistant Hitting Coach Jacque Jones visited nine D.C. and Virginia youth baseball sites.

Being able to interact with the players they try to emulate was a unique experience for many of the kids, but the visits made an impact on the big leaguers as well. After all, they were once those kids, playing youth baseball at their neighborhood field, dreaming about a future playing ball under the lights of a Major League ballpark.

"It's always fun to talk to the kids," Scherzer said. "When I was their age, I was able to meet a Major Leaguer; it's something you never forget... I'm glad I could come out; hopefully I will help make a difference in their development."

Players participated in Q&A sessions, posed for team photos, signed autographs and provided tips for on-field success. Amid questions about pregame meals and favorite non-baseball hobbies, came advice on dealing with failure, not focusing on one sport, and the importance of practicing.

Each youth player will likely take away something different from the visits. But the next time they watch a game, they'll watch it a bit differently. As they take to their fields, they will remember that Saturday morning when Max Scherzer taught them how to throw a slider, they played catch with Gio Gonzalez, or Trea Turner showed them how to hold the bat — at their field, in their neighborhood.

Learn more about the Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program at nationals.com/uniformprogram.

View Photo Gallery


#StopTheSlide

The Nationals Academy is also on a mission to #StopTheSlide among Scholar-Athletes by encouraging summer reading and promoting active learning throughout the summer. The Academy is accepting in-kind book donations, and donors now also have the opportunity to donate learning materials to Scholar-Athletes by naming a seat in an Academy classroom for $250. Stop by our table (in front of section 105) at Nats Park on June 14, June 28, July 9, July 28, August 10, August 29, or September 10 to make your donation or visit www.Nationalsacademy.org to learn more!


Nationals STEM Education Shines at Elementary DC STEM Fair

Continuing on the success of the Nationals STEM Showcase, where more than 100 student projects were on display at Nationals Park, baseball-themed projects from students whose teachers participated in the Nationals STEM Training rose above the competition at the Elementary DC STEM Fair.

Not only did the dozens of baseball-themed projects originating from the Nationals STEM Education program prove baseball is a great tool to engage and excite students about science and math, the projects also took home several awards including first place in the Math & Physics category and 3rd place in Energy & Transportation. The category-winning project done by three Kimball Elementary students—Cameron, Brian, and Adam—examined the concept of angular momentum in base running. The students also won first place at the Kimball Elementary STEM fair, displayed their work at the Nationals STEM Showcase, and went on to win their category at the city-wide fair. In addition to recognizing the 11 category and top three overall winners with game tickets and signed memorabilia, the Nationals were thrilled to have Nationals Park PA announcer, Jerome Hruska, MC the awards ceremony. Jerome is both the voice of the Nationals and a high school engineering teacher in Northern Virginia. During project judging, the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy presented a family workshop on the science and math that underlies the sport of baseball, demonstrating fun educational activities that families can do outside of school. The Washington Nationals are proud to help promote STEM and congratulate all the students and teachers whose work was on display last weekend.

Join the Nationals Academy for the Second Annual Scherzer Showdown!

On September 9, 2017, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, are hosting the Second Annual Scherzer Showdown, D.C.'s premier fantasy football event. The Showdown offers participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play fantasy football with their favorite Washington Nationals players and other local celebrities. Each event attendee will get a draft spot at a table with one or more players. All proceeds directly benefit the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.

The Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses baseball and softball as vehicles to foster positive character development, academic achievement, and improved health among youth from underserved communities in D.C. The Academy reaches youth through a comprehensive range of holistic programming.

Visit www.scherzershowdown.com to register. Questions? Email Marissa.lewis@nationals.com.


Baseball Cards for a Cause

Nationals fans have the opportunity to order personalized, autographed and MLB authenticated limited edition baseball cards in exchange for a donation to the Dream Foundation. Participating players for the 2017 seasonal program include Shawn Kelley, Tanner Roark, Sammy Solis, Michael Taylor and Blake Treinen. At the end of the regular season, each participating Nationals player will match all funds raised by their individual baseball card with a charitable donation of their own.

Learn more and place your order at nationals.com/CardsForACause.

Baseball At Its Best

Baseball, at its best, has the ability to make a lasting impact on a community, and the people in it. Oftentimes the goal is for that impact to be widespread, touching as many people as possible. This is a different story. One where a single player makes a deep impact on one little boy's life.

Drew was nine years old when he first met former Nationals' player Denard Span. Drew had been invited to take part in Span's Fans, a group of single-parent families that Denard hosted at the ballpark monthly. While Drew had been playing baseball, it wasn't something he got excited about — until Denard. He ended up seeing a lot of himself in No. 2: They were both African-American, left-handed, and, like himself, Denard had been raised by a single mother. After that initial meeting, Drew threw himself into the game, mimicking Denard's batting stance and playing centerfield. He made an impression on the big leaguer: when Denard could not accept the Roberto Clemente Award in 2015 due to a recent surgery, he sent Drew to accept it on his behalf. The two would keep in touch on social media, and when Denard signed with the Giants, he promised Drew that he would fly him and his mother out for a game.

Denard recently fulfilled that promise — he flew Drew and his mom to San Francisco and put them up in a hotel, provided tickets, and even took them out for a steak dinner. While Drew showed up in a special No. 2 "Span" Nationals jersey, the Giants soon outfitted him in the home team's gear. Drew, now 12 years old, had a gift for Denard in return — a collage of photos the two had taken over the years.

His mom, coaches, and teachers have all commented on the difference the unique friendship has made to Drew. Because of Denard's outreach, Drew's interest in baseball has flourished, his dedication to the game has deepened, and he has become an even better young man. While the team name on the front of Denard's jersey has changed, his impact on the D.C. community is still being felt — and that is a story worth sharing.

April 2017


Youth League Nats Celebrate Season Openers

Youth baseball and softball leagues across the region celebrated their season openers last month — many of them in Washington Nationals uniforms.

In an ongoing effort to support and promote kids playing baseball in the region the Nationals provide, at no cost, a Nationals T-shirt or jersey and cap to nearly 4,000 children playing baseball or softball in a District of Columbia Little League and the District of Columbia Parks and Recreation Rookie League. In conjunction with Inova Sports Medicine, this year the program expanded into Northern Virginia to include approximately 4,500 youth players in Virginia District 4 Little League and Virginia District 7 Cal Ripken Babe Ruth. With this addition, there will be more than 8,300 youth players in the metro area wearing different styles of Nationals-branded uniforms during the 2017 spring season.

Nationals 2017 Youth Baseball Partners

    D.C. Little League
  • Banneker City
  • Capitol City
  • Capitol Hill
  • Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
  • Mamie Johnson
  • Northwest
  • Senators Satchel Paige
  • Southern District
    D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Rookie League
    VA Little League
  • Falls Church
  • Mason District
  • Reston/Herndon
  • Vienna
    VA Cal Ripken Babe Ruth
  • Arlington Optimist
  • Herndon Optimist
  • Northern Fairfax County
  • Pioneer

By providing the uniforms at no cost to the leagues and families, the Nationals aim to break down and minimize financial barriers that can prevent kids from playing baseball and provide youth players another connection to their hometown Major League team. Participants are also given the opportunity to experience a Major League game at Nationals Park through a complimentary ticket offer, and connect with Nationals players when they visit the leagues in May.

View Photo Gallery


STEM Education

This March, the Nationals were thrilled to host 30 math and science teachers representing elementary schools in all eight wards to participate in the second annual Nationals STEM Education Trainin - n immersive professional development workshop that provides teachers with new ways to engage students using baseball.

There is no better way to motivate kids in their education than through sports. Baseball, in particular, is uniquely positioned to make learning fun and accessible to everyone. The teachers were given a free supply kit filled with everything needed to implement the lessons in their classrooms, ranging from heart rate monitors and measuring tape to baseballs and even a balloon launcher.

The training at Nationals Park is part of an ongoing partnership with D.C. Public Schools. The teachers who participated in the training have been working with their students to create baseball-themed projects for a STEM fair to be held at each elementary school. Select projects will be put on display in the ballpark during DCPS Night on May 23.


Anthony Rendon Visits the Academy

On April 4, Anthony Rendon and his parents came to visit the Academy for an afternoon of baseball drills and homework help. Anthony was able to offer guidance to the Scholar-Athletes on everything from fractions to catching pop flies. Since becoming the Nationals' player ambassador to the Academy last season, Anthony has formed close bonds with many of the kids. Fourth-grader Jonah McPherson says "We call each other best buds whenever we see each other!" Relationships like these help make the Academy's work impactful. The Academy is proud and grateful to have players like Anthony provide such great experiences for the Scholar-Athletes. To learn more about the Academy's work and see how you can get involved, visit www.Nationalsacademy.org.


Naval Academy Classic

Earlier this season the Washington Nationals hosted the Naval Academy Classic, a special exhibition game between the Washington Nationals and the Boston Red Sox, exclusively for U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen and select members of the U.S. Navy. Prior to the game, players and coaches from both teams were given a tour of the Naval Academy campus, and attended a breakfast hosted by the Superintendent.

View Photo Gallery

View Video


50/50 Raffle

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation's 50/50 Raffle is back for the 2017 season with an added bonus! Fans will now receive 60 raffle numbers for $20, an increase from 30 raffle numbers for $20 in previous seasons. These new 60 for $20 raffle tickets, along with 3 for $5 and 10 for $10 raffle tickets, can be purchased at Sections 108, 138, 311 and from roving sellers at every Friday, Saturday and Sunday regular season home game and other select regular season home games. Learn more about the 50/50 Raffle and the charitable initiatives it supports here.

September 2016


Zimmerman Named Nats' Roberto Clemente Award Nominee

MLB's Roberto Clemente Award recognizes the player who best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was chosen as the Nationals' nominee for his ongoing commitment to the community, best illustrated through his work with the ziMS Foundation, which he founded in 2006, his first full season in the Major Leagues. The ziMS Foundation aims to raise money for awareness and programs benefitting those afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease quite close to Ryan's heart. In 1995, his mother Cheryl was diagnosed with MS, a chronic and unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system. Though it remains staffed entirely by volunteers, including friends and family, over the past 10 years the ziMS Foundation has given more than $1,500,000 to organizations dedicated to the fight against MS.

In addition to his work through the foundation, Ryan has also provided funds to help support the next generation of baseball and softball players. In 2016 Ryan donated $50,000 to build his namesake field at the Randall Recreation Center in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the Nationals Dream Foundation, Under Armour and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. A former All-America third baseman at the University of Virginia, this March Ryan also made a $1 million commitment to the Virginia Athletics Foundation to support the Cavalier baseball program. Zimmerman's pledge is the largest from any active UVA professional athlete. This pledge is Zimmerman's second major gift to the Virginia baseball program. He made a $250,000 gift in 2009 toward the renovation of the team's clubhouse at Davenport Field, and the indoor hitting facility bears his name.

Zimmerman is one of 30 club nominees eligible to win the league-wide Roberto Clemente Award. It's the fourth time that he has been selected as the team's representative ('07, '12, '13, '16). Use #VoteZIM on the Nationals Twitter and Facebook pages to cast your vote, and thank Ryan for his wonderful contributions to the community.


Washington Nationals/DPR STEM Camps

As part of the Washington Nationals STEM Education outreach, the Nationals and DC Department of Parks and Recreation teamed up to offer STEM education camps this summer. Taking place last month at Raymond Recreation Center and Emery Recreation Center, the camps were open to rising third through fifth graders.

Washington Nationals STEM Education is designed to translate the love of America's pastime into an appreciation and understanding of and a passion for the science and mathematics underlying the sport. By demonstrating the natural connection between baseball, science and mathematics, students better appreciate real-world applications and enjoy learning through fun, hands-on projects. The camp included a field trip to Nationals Park and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.


Summer Academy Comes to a Close

On August 5, Academy Scholar-Athletes were visited by Washington Nationals players Anthony Rendon, Ben Revere, Joe Ross, and Trea Turner to celebrate the end of the six-week summer session. The young men and women of the Academy were able to show off their final projects, which included player comparisons, "Be the GM" roster constructions, and even a "road-trip" budget and schedule plan where Scholar-Athletes worked to visit as many ballparks as possible while operating within a set budget. The group also took to the field to run drills and scrimmages, showing off the tools they'd been working on over the summer.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the summer program a success!


Harper's Heroes

In partnership with the Nationals and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Bryce Harper hosts Harper's Heroes, a season-long program that treats families affected by childhood cancers to a fun-filled day at Nationals Park. This season, Harper and New Era Cap unveiled a limited edition cap collection designed by the All-Star outfielder to support the program.

Fans can purchase the New Era MLB Harper's Heroes 9TWENTY Cap and accompanying beanie knit at the New Era Store, Main Team Store and 5th & Ocean by New Era Boutique at Nationals Park as well as on NewEraCap.com and MLBShop.com. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma society.


YBA Summer League

After piloting the idea in 2015, the Youth Baseball Academy dove headfirst into running a league this summer providing a high-quality baseball program, with a focus on fun and instruction, for Ward 7 and 8 youth, ages 6 to 12. The community responded with enthusiasm! More than 150 players participated in one practice and one game each week, led by Academy-trained coaches. The youth sported brand new uniforms, big smiles, and a growing passion for the game.

Methodology emphasized doing things "The Academy Way," which is defined as a positive culture that cultivates excellence and performance mastery through an emphasis on teamwork, effort, continual learning, and a love of baseball. The modified rules promoted a fast pace of play and were inclusive to all skill levels, and the coaches focused their energy on catching kids "doing things right," rewarding hustle and emphasizing that mistakes are okay.


Recognizing Champions

The Washington Nationals are proud to support youth baseball and softball programs throughout the Washington, D.C. region. Through the Champions Day series, the Nationals recognized teams that won championship titles across the District, Maryland and Virginia, acknowledging the hard work, perseverance and dedication that these student-athletes devoted to the game.

Taking part in ceremonies were:
  • 12 and under Virginia State Cal Ripken Majors 60 division Champions: The Gloucester Youth Babe Ruth All-Stars
  • 12 and under Virginia State Cal Ripken Majors 70 division Champions: Arlington Babe Ruth All-Stars
  • 12 and under Virginia State Little League Champions: Vienna American Little League All-Stars
  • 12 and under District of Columbia Little League Champions: Capitol City Little League All-Stars

Special recognition was given to the Shenandoah Babe Ruth All-Stars, who put up an exceptional summer season. After finishing 8th in World Series play last year, the girls worked hard in the offseason with visions of championship glory. After dominating the state and regional tournaments, they were successful in making it back to the 2016 12u Babe Ruth Softball World Series. The girls went undefeated in World Series play to win the Shenandoah Babe Ruth's first ever 12u Babe Ruth Softball World Series Championship.

Congratulations to all of our Champions!


Scherzer Showdown

Earlier this month, in an effort to raise funds for the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and his wife Erica hosted the 2016 Scherzer Showdown, a fantasy football fundraiser. The live draft took place at Hill Country Barbecue Market and offered participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play fantasy football this season with their favorite Washington Nationals players and other local celebrities, including Tanner Roark, Marc Rzepczynski, Stephen Strasburg, MASN broadcaster Dan Kolko and Washington Capitals defensemen Karl Alzner. Anthony Rendon also attended the event, which raised more than $85,000 in direct donations to the Academy.

August 2016


Summer the Academy Way

The Summer 2016 session at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy has wrapped up! Programming began on June 27 for the Scholar-Athletes, and the past six weeks brought many great experiences - and great memories.

  • On July 22 TeamSmile completely transformed the Academy's downstairs training room into a fully functional dental workspace, complete with dental chairs and X-ray machines. TeamSmile provided dental cleanings, X-rays, cavity fillings (if necessary), and preventive care for 65 of the Academy's Scholar-Athletes - free of charge. The Scholar-Athletes were sent home with a goodie-bag full of dental hygiene products to help keep those adorable smiles for years to come!
  • The Department of Energy (DOE), a major YBA partner, visited the Academy to see the STEM curriculum in action. Members of the DOE toured the facility and were able to see for themselves how their swings measured up using the Academy's Science of Sport technology. Zack Jamison, YBA's Manager of Curriculum and Instruction, explained how the students learn basic physics in the classroom and then simply walk downstairs to see how concepts, such as force, work in real time by using the vehicles of softball and baseball. After lunch, DOE had a special surprise delivered for the Scholar-Athletes: a hydrogen car. The children were able to get "behind the wheel" and check out the car's engine, learning about the future of gasoline-free cars.
  • Every Wednesday during summer programing the Scholar-Athletes took grade-specific field trips. This summer the field trips were centered on helping the children better understand how their actions directly impact the environment. The various trips exposed the children to many diverse opportunities, so that they have a broader understanding of the world as they grow up. Over the course of the program, the Scholar-Athletes visited the National Zoological Park, the Baltimore National Aquarium, toured the White House, took a boat ride on the Anacostia River with Living Classrooms and visited Fletcher's Cove.
  • This summer, the Academy's Summer League had 150 active players from Wards 7 and 8, ranging from ages 6-12. The players participated in one practice and one game each week, and the players uniforms were provided to them at no charge. The Academy's goal is to teach the players how to play baseball, while also developing a true love for the game. To further this goal, the Academy has developed special rules that promote pace of play and are inclusive to all skill levels.

With summer programming now complete the Academy is proud and grateful for the work of all coaches, volunteers, and staff that provided such a great experience for the Scholar-Athletes.

View Gallery


8/14 Mystery Grab Bag Fundraiser at Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation will be selling Mystery Grab Bags on the Main Concourse during Dream Foundation Day at Nationals Park on Sunday, August 14. Each mystery grab bag will contain a baseball autographed by one of the Washington Nationals players or Manager Dusty Baker. With the help of Nationals players' wives and girlfriends, Mystery Grab Bag sales will take place from first gates until they sell out with all proceeds benefitting the Dream Foundation's charitable initiatives in the Washington, D.C. region.

Buy 8/14 Tickets


8/27: Nationals School Supply Drive

Students are heading back to school - and you can help prepare them for success by participating in the Nationals annual School Supply Drive. On Saturday, August 27, the Nationals will collect new school supplies to be distributed to area students. The items most in demand are pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons, rulers, backpacks and glue sticks. Art supplies like paper, brushes, paint and chalk are also needed.

Donations will be accepted at Center Field Gate from 10:30 a.m. through the second inning.


Summer Reading and Baseball!

Last month, Shawn Kelley, Tanner Roark and Bob Carpenter visited three District libraries to read and encourage kids enrolled in the DC Public Library Summer Reading program, of which the Washington Nationals are the presenting sponsor. Missed the event? The books read are all available for loan at your local library.

For the third consecutive year, the Nationals supported the program which addresses the "summer slide" issue. Upon registering, participants ages six to 12 received a Nationals Activity Book centered on the program's "Going for the Gold" theme. All students ages six to 18 who completed the program received two free tickets to select Nationals games.

For more information about the DC Public Library Summer Reading program, please visit nationals.com/summerreading.

View Gallery

July 2016


Join Nationals Players at DC Public Libraries

To celebrate the DC Public Library's 2016 Summer Reading program sponsored by the Washington Nationals, players will visit three DC public library locations on Saturday, July 23 to read to and interact with local youth enrolled in the three-month initiative.

  • Shawn Kelley at Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW
  • Tanner Roark at Northeast Neighborhood Library, 330 7th St. NE
  • Bob Carpenter, MASN-TV Broadcaster, at Anacostia Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE
    * All player appearances are subject to change

The 2016 Summer Reading Program is the largest program in the District that addresses the "summer slide," or the loss of learning that children and teens experience when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Comprised of several age-specific initiatives, the program encourages summer reading by offering local youth various incentives, including a Nationals/DC Public Library soft baseball (kids up to the age of five), a Nationals Activity Book (ages six through 12) and tickets to select Nationals games for students (ages six through 18) who reach their summer reading goal.

The Nationals' three-year commitment to the DC Public Library's Summer Reading Program includes annual contributions of tickets, merchandise, program collateral and other support.

Since the Nationals became involved in the program, the number of participants has increased more than 100 percent, doubling since summer 2013, when 13,000 participants were registered. Last summer, 27,000 youth enrolled in the program. More information can be found at nationals.com/summerreading. To sign up for the program, visit dclibrary.org/summerreading.


Summer Academy Takes Off!

The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy's 2016 Summer Academy kicked off on June 27. One hundred and eighty boys and girls poured through the facility's doors to take part in the action on the field and in the classroom.

As an all-day program, the Summer Academy focuses on keeping children's minds and bodies active during the hot summer months. Instead of experiencing the "summer slide," a period of academic regression during the summer months, the boys and girls in the Academy stay busy with fun, baseball-related STEM exercises and literacy lessons. With enrichment classes like dancing, cooking, art, and poetry - plus weekly field trips to places like Luray Caverns, the Smithsonian, and even the White House - the only sliding that the Scholar-Athletes will be doing this summer will be on the field!


Nationals players visit Diabetes Care Complex

Last month Washington Nationals players Sammy Solis and Blake Treinen visited with pediatric patients at the Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex at Children's National Medical Center.

The visit started with a Q&A session in the Seacrest Studios, the hospital's multimedia broadcast studio, which allowed patients who were unable to leave their hospital rooms the opportunity to virtually interact with the players. Afterwards in the teaching kitchen, Solis and the children prepared diabetic-friendly snacks while talking about the importance of healthy eating. Next door, Treinen participated in an exercise circuit designed to keep kids fit and active while still monitoring their blood sugar levels.

Using the state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and exercise facilities, the players related to patients by comparing the healthy lifestyle that they lead as professional athletes to the proper nutrition and physical exercise that is necessary for diabetes management.

In addition, the Topps Company attended the event, and created custom baseball cards of each patient. The children then exchanged their cards with the players, and received their autographs.

For more information on the Nationals Diabetes Care Complex and the Dream Foundation or to make a donation, visit nationals.com/dream.

View Gallery


Community Ticket Grant Program

Applications are still being accepted for the 2016 Washington Nationals Community Ticket Grant Program. Since the inaugural season in 2005, the Nationals have provided complimentary tickets to hundreds of charitable groups. Many people who would not have been able to attend a game on their own have been able to connect with the team by experiencing the excitement of Nationals baseball at Nationals Park.

Charitable groups are granted tickets based on the organization's mission, the individuals they serve and their ability to fully utilize any donated tickets. For more information visit nationals.com/communityticketgrants.

More Info


U.S. Army Day at Nationals Park

More than 200 soldiers and senior leaders were recognized at Nationals Park on June 28 for the annual U.S. Army Day at Nationals Park. As part of the Branch Day series, the game provided an opportunity to salute its service members and their families throughout the evening. The Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Eric Fanning, delivered the game ball to pitcher Lucas Giolito on the night of his major league debut and GEN Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Upcoming Branch Day games include U.S. Coast Guard Day (August 5) and U.S. Air Force Day (September 14).

View Gallery


Baseball Cards for a Cause

Shawn Kelley, Jonathan Papelbon and Max Scherzer have teamed up with the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation for the 2016 seasonal fundraiser, Baseball Cards for a Cause. By making an online donation to the Dream Foundation, fans can receive a limited edition Washington Nationals Dream Foundation baseball card, presented by Topps, which will be autographed and personalized by the participating Nationals player(s) of their choice and authenticated by MLB. At the end of the regular season, Shawn, Jonathan and Max will match all funds raised by their individual baseball card with a charitable donation of their own.

More Info

June 2016


Little League Visits

Earlier this season Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker and a group of players (Chris Heisey, Ben Revere, Tanner Roark, Anthony Rendon and Sammy Solis) returned to their roots, visiting eight little leagues throughout the District to encourage the next generation of baseball and softball players.

    The leagues that hosted the visits:
  • Banneker City Little League
  • Capitol City Little League
  • Capitol Hill Little League
  • Joint Base Anacostia Bolling Little League
  • Mamie Johnson Little League
  • Northwest Washington Little League
  • Senators Satchel Paige Little League
  • Southern District Little League

Curly W's were everywhere as the youth players donned the jerseys provided to them by the team through the Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program. Players answered questions from the crowd, gave out prizes for trivia and offered advice for success on and off the field.

Not every little leaguer will make it to the big leagues, but it's likely that they will remember the day when a major league baseball player showed them how to field a grounder, shared a laugh, or told them about their favorite movies.

Thank you to the DC Little Leagues for hosting the Nationals at your ballparks!

View Gallery


STEM Showcase

This offseason, the Washington Nationals launched a STEM Education program designed to translate the love of America's pastime into an appreciation and understanding of and a passion for the science and mathematics underlying the sport. This past spring the Nationals conducted an all-day training session for fifth-grade teachers from eight DCPS schools.

One element focused on organizing elementary-aged STEM fairs in coordination with District of Columbia Public Schools and Science of Sport, an organization based at the University of Arizona. Projects were chosen for display at Nationals Park last month, and participating students were honored on the field:

From Hearst Elementary School:

"How high do different balls bounce?"
Alexander B., Adrian B., Duncan C. and Evan S.

"How does trajectory affect a home run ball?"
Catherine D., Madison E., Erin K. and Aneyah P.

"Does gender affect how you perform in sports?"
Jizelle A., Gabrielle C., Jaylah J. and Alison P.

From Kimball Elementary School:

"Baseball Pendulum"
Mackenzie G.

From Patterson Elementary School:

"Home Run!!"
Eryn J. and My'Kayla R.

"How High!!"
Kyeshaun N. and Antowne T.

From Simon Elementary School:

"Base running and angular momentum"
Xavier S.

"Food Safety"
Heaven E. and LaSahai B.

"Flubber, Flubber, Flubber"
DaRay S.

"Centrifugal Force"
Iyana B.

"How far does the ball launch?"
Kyla J.

"What's the best angle?"
Jasmine H.

Thank you to all the participating schools!


World MS Day

In recognition of World MS Day, taking place on the last Wednesday of May every year, the Nationals and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman welcomed the Greater DC-Maryland Chapter of the MS Society to the ballpark.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupting the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. MS symptoms can vary from one person to the next and it affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. The MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives.

Ryan aids the cause through the ziMS Foundation, founded in 2006 as a direct result of his mother Cheryl's diagnosis in 1995. Though it remains staffed entirely by volunteers, including friends and family, over the past 10 years the ziMS Foundation has given more than $2,000,000 to organizations dedicated to the fight against MS.

For more information visit zimsfoundation.org.


Dream Gala 2016 - The Power of Baseball

The Washington Nationals and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation celebrated "The Power of Baseball" on and off of the field at the 11th annual Dream Gala. The Dream Gala is the Dream Foundation's primary fundraiser, having netted more than $4.7 million over the past decade for its charitable programs. Held on June 11 at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC, the Dream Gala was emceed by MASN's Bob Carpenter and attended by the Washington Nationals active roster, coaching staff, ownership group, front office executives and hundreds of Dream Foundation supporters and Nationals fans.

Curly W Blog


Anthony's Academy All-Stars

Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon stood in the batter's box for his first at-bat of the night. Using his quick hands, the 25-year-old infielder fouled off pitch after pitch, finally walking after a 9-pitch battle. While making his way to first base, the loudest cheers from the crowd came from section 114: the section where "Anthony's Academy All-Stars" were seated, enjoying the Friday night matchup.

Every month, a group of 20 Scholar-Athletes from the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy travel from the Academy, located in Ward 7's Dupont Park, to Nationals Park for a full gameday experience. The group of 3rd-6th graders watched batting practice on the field, cheering on the Nationals players smacking the ball all over the field. For some, this was their first time watching the big-leaguers up close. For others, this was their first time ever being at a big-league game.

After greeting and high-fiving friends of the Academy such as Michael A. Taylor and Dan Kolko, the group of boys and girls made their way to the press conference room to visit with Anthony Rendon. Rendon, who sits on the board of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, fielded dozens of questions from the group. The Scholar-Athletes let him warm up with some easy questions, like "What was your least favorite subject in school?" (History, which ironically is now one of his favorite topics!), but then threw him a few curveballs including "If you were trapped in a haunted house, which team member would you want with you?" (Wilson Ramos).

Rendon went on to score the go-ahead run in the contest that night, but to the group sitting in 114 he was already the MVP of the day. The Academy will return in June with a new group of boys and girls and a whole new round of questions for their favorite third baseman!

May 2016


The White House Historical Association and the Washington Nationals Announce Winners of Education Challenge

On April 19, the White House Historical Association, in partnership with the Washington Nationals, announced the five winners of the "White House at Bat: A Presidential History Challenge," a program that challenges area students to "submit a storyboard for a film documentary that addresses an important presidential decision made by one of the five permanent Racing Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, or William Howard Taft." The Racing Presidents are a fixture for fans during the fourth inning at Nationals Park.

This Challenge represents the educational component of a multi-year partnership between the White House Historical Association and the Washington Nationals. This unique opportunity was developed as a way to make presidential and White House history accessible to young baseball fans. White House at Bat expands the association's efforts to educate the public on the rich history of the White House.

The program asked individual students or student teams in grades 9-12 to examine the Constitutional powers of the presidency, focusing on a particular decision made by one of the presidents depicted in the race while they served in the White House.

    The winners include:
  • In the George Washington category, winner Jeeyoon Lee of Hayfield High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, describes Washington's precedent-setting decision to leave office after two terms, thus establishing the peaceful transition of power that defines our democracy.
  • For Thomas Jefferson, Anusha Jailwala, Vyoma Jani, Ritika Miryala, and Sahiti Nadimpalli from Northwest High School, Germantown, Maryland, take first place for their submission on Jefferson's decision-making process in acquiring the Louisiana Territory in 1803.
  • Considering Abraham Lincoln, Northwest High School (Germantown, MD) students Janiece Jefferies, Yulong Jones, Natalie Morgan, and Pamela Steimel addressed two of Lincoln's lesser-known presidential decisions, the signing of the Homestead and Pacific Railroad Acts in 1862.
  • Theodore Roosevelt was ably characterized by siblings Sam and Philip O'Sullivan from School Without Walls in Washington, D.C., who focused on TR's monumental decision to promote the 1906 American Antiquities Act.
  • William Howard Taft's decision to sign Proclamation 1225, which established toll rates on the Panama Canal, is the subject of Taj Ranna's winning project from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria City, Virginia.

The winning teams were presented a $1,000 prize at an awards reception held at the White House Historical Association on May 6. In addition to this event, videographers from the Washington Nationals will produce a short video from each winning storyboard. These will be shared with fans at the game at Nationals Park on May 27, and showcased online.

Did you miss out on the Challenge this year? The White House Historical Association and the Washington Nationals are bringing back White House at Bat during the 2016-2017 school year! If you will be a 9-12 grade student in Washington, D.C., or the surrounding areas, consider taking the Challenge next year. Details on program requirements and more can be found at whitehousehistory.org/nationals.


Cooking with Heart

Last month a new program, Cooking with Heart, began at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. In partnership with DC Greens, American Heart Association, and Kid Power, the Academy provides three six-week courses which provide education on healthy cooking and the importance of nutrition.

The program hosts a total of 10 families and 24 children from the community, with parallel lessons for each group. While the children spend the majority of their time outside in the 'Field of Greens' garden, the parents learn to cook nutritional meals to share with the whole family. The first class was a success; the children were eager to get their chance in the kitchen and the parents left excited to learn more!


Nationals Manager, Coaches and Players Visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

As part of the Nationals' commitment to the military community, Nationals Manager Dusty Baker, coaches and players visited service members and their families at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last month.

The team spent time with wounded veterans working on their physical therapy in the Military Advanced Training Center, listening to stories from the frontlines and their individual journeys to recovery. Additionally, a group of players and coaches made a special trip to the pediatric cancer ward to surprise a few military children.

Afterwards, the team joined active duty service members and their families at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda, for photos and autographs.

More Photos


Baseball Cards for a Cause

Baseball Cards for a Cause is a seasonal fundraiser benefitting the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. By making an online donation to the Dream Foundation, fans will receive a limited edition Washington Nationals Dream Foundation baseball card, presented by TOPPS, which will be autographed and personalized by a participating Nationals player and authenticated by MLB. At the end of the regular season, the Nationals players participating in Baseball Cards for a Cause will match all funds raised by their individual baseball card with a charitable donation of their own.

Visit nationals.com/cardsforacause for complete details.

More Info

March 2016


Sharon Robinson Visits Academy

Last month the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy had a very special visitor. Acclaimed author and educator Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball great Jackie Robinson, visited Washington, D.C., where officials from Major League Baseball and the Academy met at the Library of Congress to view the library's extensive collection of baseball artifacts. After a quick lunch, Ms. Robinson headed over to the Academy to meet with the scholar-athletes. In front of eager fourth through sixth graders, Ms. Robinson talked about her father's legacy, including the challenges he faced, and her new book The Hero Two Doors Down.

Ms. Robinson also gave the scholar-athletes advice with regards to her essay contest "Breaking Barriers" which has the students focus on a time when they overcame adversity using one of the values Jackie Robinson embodied. All of the scholar-athletes left happy as well as proud owners of a new copy of Ms. Robinson's book.

"Ms. Robinson's visit helped illustrate the full embodiment of Jackie Robinson's legacy," said Preston Shytle, senior director of development and marketing for the Academy. "The opportunity for our scholar-athletes to interact and learn from her was invaluable. We are proud to support DC's youth in providing the opportunity to learn in a safe environment while building skills that give them the foundation to succeed in life."

After her visit, Ms. Robinson had kind words for the Academy: "Everything that the Academy is doing here is so critical for these kids... having a place like this that is beautiful. It makes me feel very hopeful. I'm glad the Nationals made this a part of the community."

Thanks to everyone who came out and especially to Sharon Robinson for such a fantastic visit!


Little League, Big Impact

As Washington Nationals players and coaches prepare for the season ahead, more than 5,000 Nationals uniforms are sorted and stacked at Nationals Park, awaiting Opening Day. But these aren't destined for the lockers of Harper, Zimmerman or Scherzer; each of these uniforms is headed to youth baseball and softball players throughout the District.

In an effort to support and promote kids playing baseball, the Nationals provide, at no cost to the leagues, a Nationals T-shirt or jersey and cap to EVERY child playing baseball or softball in a District of Columbia sanctioned Little League or the District of Columbia Parks and Recreation (DPR) Rookie League. While all teams wear the Nationals uniforms, the teams are differentiated through the use of various team styles and colors.

By providing the uniforms at no cost to the leagues and families, the Nationals aim to break down and minimize financial barriers that can prevent kids from playing baseball and softball. Launched in 2015, the program outfitted more than 5,000 D.C. Little League and DPR athletes for the inaugural fall and spring seasons. DC Little Leagues reported a total cost savings of more than $111,000, which was allocated to other needs such as equipment, field maintenance, scholarships and umpire fees.

"The impact of the cost savings were crucial to us operating in our inaugural year," said Keith Barnes of newly-chartered Mamie Johnson Little League. "We were able to provide scholarships for players that were not able to pay as well as provide uniforms for each and every player... The kids looked great and played with pride wearing the Nationals uniforms."

"The Nationals Uniform Program allows Mamie Johnson Little League and other underserved leagues the opportunity to allow kids to participate in baseball that would not otherwise have the means to participate," Barnes said. "The Uniform Program will be valuable for continued growth and participation."

Don Montuori of Capitol Hill Little League said that "as a result of the cost savings we were able to provide more financial assistance to players, purchase new equipment and set aside more funds for major projects." They also plan to provide coaches' clinics with professional training with the money they saved.

As participants in the Uniform Program, youth players are also given the opportunity to experience a Major League game at Nationals Park through a complimentary ticket offer. Nationals players also visit the leagues during the season, offering their encouragement to the next generation of players.

A Little League Task Force is in place to increase communication between the team and local youth baseball leadership and to identify ongoing opportunities for support, including opportunities for field renovation projects.

For more information, or to find out how to participate in DC Little League, visit littleleague.org and use the "League Finder" tool to contact your local league. For more information on DPR's Rookie League, contact Gerard Hall at Gerard.Hall@dc.gov or 202.285.4884.


Dream Gala 2016: The Power of Baseball

Save the date! The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation's annual Dream Gala will be held Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC. In partnership with the Washington Nationals Baseball Club, the Dream Foundation has touched thousands of lives by creating and supporting community initiatives focused on academics, the arts, nutrition and sports. The Dream Gala, the Dream Foundation's primary fundraiser, has netted $4.3 million to date in support of this work.

More Info


Community Ticket Grant Program

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Washington Nationals Community Ticket Grant Program. Since the inaugural season in 2005, the Nationals have provided complimentary tickets to hundreds of charitable groups. Many people who would not have been able to attend a game on their own have been able to connect with the team by experiencing the excitement of Nationals baseball at Nationals Park.

Charitable groups are granted tickets based on the organization's mission, the individuals they serve and their ability to fully utilize any donated tickets. For more information visit nationals.com/communityticketgrants.


8th Annual Honorary Bat Girl Contest

The Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball will celebrate the stories of fans who are "Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer" in their daily lives. Fans are encouraged to visit HonoraryBatGirl.com to submit stories about why they, or someone they know, should be the "Honorary Bat Girl" for the Washington Nationals.

The goal of the contest is to increase breast cancer awareness while raising funds to support breast cancer research. In seeking a cure for this all-too-pervasive disease, MLB stands with the countless women, men and families affected each year. The 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest is a league-wide initiative designed to raise greater awareness and support for the breast cancer cause.

Submissions and nominations are accepted through April 14.

April 2016


Legacy Fields: Field Renovation Program Starts with Ryan Zimmerman Field

Earlier this month, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and representatives from D.C. Parks and Recreation and Under Armour hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Ryan Zimmerman Field at Randall Recreation Center in Southwest D.C. - the first "Legacy Field" of the Nationals new field renovation program. Despite the rain and snow, hundreds of little leaguers and their families were in attendance to mark the occasion.

Just a few blocks from Nationals Park, Ryan Zimmerman field will serve the surrounding community by hosting Capitol Hill Little League games and other DC youth sports leagues throughout the year. Surrounded by community leaders and youth players, Zimmerman urged kids to use the field to stay active and to play whatever sports they wanted to, emphasizing the life lessons that sports offer.

"Sports is one of the beautiful things because it parallels life," Zimmerman said. "You can learn a lot from being on a team, winning, losing...playing in the rain and snow."

One Little League parent wrote to the Capitol Hill Little League board, "I'm not sure how we convey to those who made this happen how much we all appreciate it, but I hope we find a way. Having a field like this is a game changer. In addition to having a fantastic field for practices and games, it sends a message to kids who want to play baseball and softball that their interest is valued and that folks are willing to support them. It really feels like a direct investment in our players."

Zimmerman was the Nationals' first-ever draft pick and is the team's longest-tenured player. Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner thanked him in remarks, saying that "Even at your young age, you are a baseball institution here. Thank you for contributing to this project and adding your name to the field. For the boys and girls who look up to you, it means a lot."

The multipurpose turf field was made possible through a lead gift from Under Armour and contributions from the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and Zimmerman. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation managed construction of the project.

Ryan Zimmerman Field is part of the Nationals' efforts to refurbish youth baseball and softball fields in the Washington metropolitan region and promote youth participation in baseball and softball.


Nats Launch STEM Education Program

In March the Washington Nationals launched a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education program, designed to translate the love of America's pastime into an appreciation and passion for the science and mathematics underlying the sport. By demonstrating the natural connection between baseball, science and mathematics, students better appreciate real-world applications and enjoy learning through fun, hands-on projects.

One element is focused on organizing elementary-aged STEM fairs in coordination with District of Columbia Public Schools and Science of Sport. At a professional development session last month, select elementary school teachers were provided with lesson plans that are tied to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, as well as all supplies necessary to assist with conducting a STEM Fair for students. The Nationals STEM Education professional development offering will culminate with a STEM showcase at Nationals Park on DCPS Night on May 9. Additional professional development sessions, funded by the Department of Defense, targeted high school teachers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia. To date, more than 120 teachers have participated in the program.


Complimentary Tickets on Military Appreciation Day

In recognition of military families, on Wednesday, April 27, the Washington Nationals will host Military Appreciation Day presented by SAIC. All active duty service members, dependents, reservists and retirees can receive two complimentary tickets for the game, per military ID, while supplies last.

Tickets will be available at the Nationals Park ticket windows on Potomac Avenue near the blue tent beginning at 4:00 p.m. The game between the Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies starts at 7:05 p.m.


Nationals Players Make Youth Baseball Academy Their First Stop

Fans in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia region woke up on the morning of April 1 excited for their first taste of Nationals baseball in 2016. After a successful Spring Training campaign in Viera, Florida the Nationals returned to Washington, D.C. for two exhibition games. But for 60 lucky scholar-athletes, the morning featured a preview of the action at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.

After fun science and math lessons in the classrooms, the kids fueled up on healthy snack bars and made their way to the Academy's three baseball diamonds. They were soon joined by a familiar group of Nationals players - Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Joe Ross, Michael Taylor, Ben Revere and Blake Treinen. Serving as guest coaches for the day, the players took the field and led scrimmages, teaching fielding fundamentals and base-running tips.

"As players, we know how much of an impact we can make, especially with the platform that we all have. It was fun to get some of my teammates out here," said Rendon, who sits on the Board of Directors at the Academy.

Before leaving to take on the Minnesota Twins, the big leaguers took pictures, signed autographs and gave out high-fives to all of the kids who had played hard all morning, giving 60 boys and girls memories they won't soon forget.

Thank you to the players, families, scholar-athletes and the Howard University women's softball team for making the day such a success!


Baseball Equipment Drive

Every kid should experience the fun and excitement of playing baseball. Fans can help promote youth participation in baseball and softball by donating to the Nationals annual Equipment Drive on May 15. New or gently used items can be dropped off at Center Field Gate or at the Youth Baseball and Softball Parade entrance in Right Field.

Hosted in conjunction with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, the recipient of the equipment changes annually to benefit leagues throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia. This year's drive will benefit the Pioneer Cal Ripken League in Virginia.

February 2016


Making Spirits Bright

Nationals fans and players stepped up to the plate to help local families this past holiday season. Last December, more than 1,500 new toys were collected at Winterfest as part of the second annual toy drive to benefit the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL). GWUL and the Nationals have a multifaceted partnership with the goal of engaging youth and improving the quality of life of underserved families. The Greater Washington Urban League has a long history of civil rights advocacy and service to citizens in the District of Columbia and Prince George's County.

Additionally, after learning of the theft of toys and electronics at a local Salvation Army warehouse, fans attending the second day of Winterfest were asked to consider making a cash donation to help replenish the stolen items. Pitcher Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, made a $10,000 donation from The Scherzer Family Fund, helping the Salvation Army provide gifts to nearly 6,000 children in need throughout the District.

All Nationals fans who donated were entered to win the opportunity to meet with a Nationals player. Scherzer, Michael A. Taylor, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon signed autographs and took pictures with fans, thanking them for their support.

The Greater Washington Urban League has a long history of civil rights advocacy and service to citizens in the District of Columbia and Prince George's County.


Breaking Barriers: Curriculum and Essay Contest

Students grades 4 through 9 are invited to submit an essay about barriers or obstacles they have faced or are still facing in their lives, and how they used the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson to deal with those obstacles.

Beginning its 20th year, "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" is a baseball-themed character education program developed by Major League Baseball and Scholastic Inc. Using America's sport, baseball, as the metaphor for life, the curriculum is based on the values demonstrated by barrier breaker Jackie Robinson: Determination, Commitment, Persistence, Integrity, Justice, Courage, Teamwork, Citizenship, and Excellence. Sharon Robinson, Consultant, Community Affairs and Educational Programming for Major League Baseball, and daughter of Jackie Robinson, developed and consults on the program.

Breaking Barriers has reached more than 22 million youth and 2.9 million educators in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Using baseball-themed activities, the program is designed to give children in grades 4-9 strategies to deal with barriers and challenges in their lives. Winners receive a variety of prizes.

For more information on resources and contest entry, visit scholastic.com/breakingbarriers. Contest deadline is March 14, 2016.


Kevin Anderson Represents Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy at 2015 World Series

Last fall, the Office of the Commissioner invited each of the MLB Urban Youth Academies and the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy to nominate one participant to attend Game 4 of the 2015 World Series. Kevin Anderson, a fifth grade Scholar-Athlete and Ward 7 resident, was nominated to attend on behalf of the Nationals. Kevin represented the Academy during the Play Ball Clinic, RBI Player Showcase, and the pregame ceremony.

Kevin, who has been an Academy Scholar-Athlete for more than two years, is an honor student at Maury Elementary School in Northeast Washington, D.C. and is also rapidly developing into a very talented baseball player. He was accompanied on the trip by his father, a retired Metropolitan Police Department officer who currently coaches football and basketball in Ward 7 and is very dedicated to Kevin's academic and athletic success.

The Nationals community is very proud of Kevin and excited that he had such an incredible experience!


Last Call for Entries!

Submissions for White House at Bat, a partnership between the White House Historical Association and the Washington Nationals, must be emailed or postmarked by Thursday, February 25, 2016 to be eligible for consideration. Launched for the 2015-16 academic year, White House at Bat challenges students across the region to create a storyboard for a 50-second video and an accompanying essay that address an important presidential decision made by one of the five Racing Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, or William Howard Taft. Winning students will work with professional video producers to develop their project into a short film that will be shown at Nationals Park.

Additional details are available at whitehousehistory.org/nationals.


Dusty Baker and Anthony Rendon Visit the Academy

Scholar-Athletes were given an early holiday treat last December, as Nationals Manager Dusty Baker and infielder Anthony Rendon visited the Youth Baseball Academy. Baker and Rendon participated in a question-and-answer session with third-graders, played board games with fifth-graders, and then headed outside to watch sixth-graders practice under the lights on the Academy's turf fields. The new manager was impressed with both the Scholar-Athletes and the program itself. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like this," Baker told Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, stating that he would "absolutely" be back.

Santa also made a surprise appearance! With the help of the Mintz Levin law firm, who conducted their second annual gift drive for the Academy, each Scholar-Athlete was rewarded for being on the "nice list" with a gift from their wish list.


Winterfest Clinics Help Raise Awareness

Staff and volunteers from the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy were joined by some recognizable faces as they hosted ten clinics for hundreds of youth at Winterfest. Lending their expertise and energy were Nationals players, including Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jason Werth, Gio Gonzalez and Michael A. Taylor. In addition to the on-field instruction, the clinics offered Winterfest attendees the opportunity to learn more about the mission of the Academy and sign up to become a mentor or volunteer.

Academy mentors work with a small group of Scholar-Athletes throughout the school year to support their academic and social growth. Mentors build positive relationships with Scholar-Athletes and help them be successful in school, on the field, and in the community. This volunteering opportunity requires two hours each week and is open to volunteers 18 and older. There is also the possibility to be a substitute or buddy mentor, allowing for two mentors to alternate weeks.

Study hall volunteers work with Scholar-Athletes to provide support with their homework and class assignments. This opportunity is open high school and college students, and adults who are passionate about supporting the academic growth of the YBA Scholar-Athletes.

Thank you to Academy partners, including Gonzaga College High School and Georgetown Day School, for volunteering their time on the field, and to all of the mentors who spent countless hours recruiting new mentors and volunteers! For more information on opportunities, contact Zack Jamison at zack.jamison@nationals.com.