Heading to Nationals Park in 2019? Download these new apps first.

The Washington Nationals’ historically busy offseason has drawn much attention in baseball circles for GM Mike Rizzo’s high-profile signings and trades that addressed every perceived area of need on the field.

But fans heading to Nationals Park beginning next week are advised to turn their attention off the field for a moment and take note of some significant changes to the stadium experience, particularly to several apps that could enhance their experience and speed entry into the park.

Getting In

Binbox App Nationals ParkA new Nationals Park bag policy prohibits backpacks inside Nationals Park, but those coming from work with backpacks can now store them in one of the Binbox lockers that have been installed around the perimeter of the park.

The hitch: you must install the Binbox app (available from  the App Store or Google Play) and set up an account before using Binbox for the first time. If you think you might need a locker, download it now. Binbox has offered the promo code DCSPORTS to get your first hour free.

Note: All drawstring bags, purses, diaper bags, soft-sided coolers, and sling bags that do not exceed 16″x16″x8″ are still permitted. The Nationals are also giving away a limited number of Curly W drawstring bags at the Team Store now through March 25.

MLB Ballpark AppManaging Tickets

Fans should also install the newly-redesigned MLB Ballpark app (available from the App Store or Google Play), and log into their account before heading to the park. 

NATS PLUS cards for season plan holders and partners have been retired. 

The Ballpark app, which stores your tickets, is now the primary method for entering games. Nationals Ballpark AppeCASH, which is used by season plan holders for concessions and souvenirs, is also stored in the app.

The downside: You’ll need a well-charged phone and an internet connection to move about the park (you can also print your tickets at home, or iPhone users can add tickets to their Apple Wallet).

The positives: You can transfer, scan, or upgrade seats from the app, and Red Carpet Rewards are now fully integrated as well.

Enjoying New Food Options

The Nationals announced a new and innovative partnership with food delivery service Caviar to open its first in-stadium concession stand near section 106, featuring food options from different local restaurants each month. Items from Tiger Fork, Mason Dixie, Duke’s Grocery and Toki Underground will be among those featured, and fans can use the Caviar app to order ahead for pickup (available at the App Store and Google Play).

Caviar app Washington Nationals ParkCaviar is just one of the new food options that the team previewed for members of the media on Thursday (Scott Allen has a complete rundown at the Post’s DC Sports Bog). Highlights of other new offerings include:

Hank’s Oyster Bar (Section 108): Fish & chips, Oyster and shrimp po’ boys, fish sandwiches, Old Bay fries

Rappahannock Oyster Co. (Scoreboard Pavilion): Harris Creek oysters on the Half Shell

Lobster Shack (Section 105): Lobster rolls

Medium Rare (Section 136): Steak sandwich stuffed with fries

La Casita Pupuseria (Introduced late last season in Section 140): Pupusas (pollo con queso, revuelta con queso, frijol con queso)

Bao Bao (Section 116): Steamed buns (Ssamjang mushroom, hoisin pork and char sui chicken)

Taco Caminando (Section 233): Walking taco (like a Frito pie in a bowl)

CHIKO (Section 238): Bulgogi hoagies, Korean fried chicken wings, Furikake tots

D.C. Empenadas (Section 244): Buffalo chicken empanadas, Spinach & feta empanadas

Old Hickory Barbecue (Bud Light Loft): Bone-in short ribs, Mexican grilled corn

Nats Dogs (Several locations): Hebrew National has replaced Nathan’s as the official hot dog of Nationals Park

New food, seven bobbleheads, and the return of fireworks highlight Nationals changes and promotion schedule for 2019

Juan Soto Bobblehead Washington NationalsThe Washington Nationals revealed their 2019 promotion/giveaway schedule today (weeks earlier than usual), featuring a bump in the number of popular bobblehead dolls that so many fans look forward to annually.

After offering only three bobbleheads two years ago, the team has equaled it’s historical high of seven bobblehead giveaways, including first-ever bobbleheads for outfielders Juan Soto (April 12) and Adam Eaton (July 12), and for pitcher Patrick Corbin (August 17).

At a recent “hot stove” event for season plan holders, Nationals Senior VP Mike Shane said that Soto rejected early renderings of his bobblehead because he “wasn’t smiling.” So Soto’s doll, the first of the season, features a grinning #22.

Trea Turner BobbleheadNats bobblehead collectors can look forward to several firsts, including a Trea Turner bobblehead that is the first to feature the Nationals alternate blue “script Nationals” uniform.

On Marvel Super Hero Day May 25, Ryan Zimmerman will be featured on a “Captain Zimmerman” bobblehead that features a Captain America-style Curly W shield, and a Sean Doolittle bobblehead to be given out on Star Wars Day June 15 will feature the All-Star closer dressed as Obi “Sean” Kenobi, complete with Jedi robe and blue light saber.

Max Scherzer will be featured on the other bobblehead on June 21, and a previously-announced bobblehead day of September 13 has been changed to “PenFed Giveaway,” leaving open the possibility of a record eighth bobblehead doll.

Most Nats bobbleheads are produced in quantities of 25,000, but the special edition “Captain Zimmerman”and “Obi-Sean Kenobi” bobbleheads will be limited to the first 10,000 fans, so plan to queue up early.

Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead Washington Nationals Bobbleheads Captain Zimmerman

The schedule features a record number of theme events that require a special event ticket purchase to participate. These include promotions such as Yoga in the Outfield, Ladies Night, Caturday, Pups in the Park, Taste of the World, Stich ‘N Pitch, Margaritaville night, and a new Father’s Day Catch on the Field.

The list also includes dozens of theme nights representing more than half of all home games for groups such as military branches, college alumni, scouts, teachers, youth baseball leagues, and first responders. These also require a special event ticket to sit with the honored group. Such events have been hugely popular in the past and are the focus of a Nationals marketing team looking to bring new audiences to the ball park.

Washington Nationals Radio LanyardAfter opening day features a t-shirt on March 28, expect die-hard fans to scramble for the second game giveaway on Saturday, March 30: a battery-operated radio lanyard that is permanently tuned to 106.7 The Fan and works only inside Nationals Park, with a promise of no delay and “enhanced gameday elements.” The item had been promised last season but delayed because the first batch did not meet the team’s standards.

The team will also give away an expandable beach bag (May 2), a Nationals water bottle (July 23), a racing presidents tote bag (July 27), a Nats camo tank (August 31), a PenFed giveaway TBD (September 13), a Nationals beer stein (September 14), and a Nationals puffy vest (September 29).

Washington Nationals Kids Watch Screech Hooded Towel

Additional giveaways reserved just for kids include a Washington Nationals kids watch on “Kids Opening Day” (April 28), when the team celebrates Screeches birthday and the park is teeming with mascots from other area teams and schools.

Other kids’ giveaways include a Max Scherzer Jersey (May 26), a Screech hooded towel (June 23), a Teddy Roosevelt squeezable toy (August 18), and a lumberjack cap (September 15). All kids’ giveaways are limited to the first 10,000 children age 12 and under.

For the third year, National season plan holders will be given the option of purchasing up to two “Guaranteed Giveaways” coupon books, which reserve one of each giveaway item to be picked up after the promotion date, whether or not you attend that game. In past years, Guaranteed Giveaway books cost $109 each.

Fireworks Fridays throughout the season, which disappeared in recent years, have returned for 2019 and are scheduled for April 26, May 24, June 14, and August 30. There will also be fireworks on Wednesday, July 3.

Washington Nationals Walking Taco - Taco Caminando

The Taco Caminando “Walking Taco”

The team is also introducing three new food concessions for 2019:

A new concept called Taco Caminando will feature the “Walking Taco,” a 16 oz. cup filled with a belly bomb of corn chips, chili, cheese, diced tomatoes and sour cream (in other words, a rebranded Frito pie).

In addition, Maryland-based restaurant La Casita Pupuseria will feature pupusas and other Salvadoran food, and a new concession called Bao Bao will feature steamed Bao — steamed dumplings stuffed with savory fillings.

Giveaways below. Full schedule of special events and ticket offers at Nationals.com.

2019 Washington Nationals Giveaway Schedule

Date Opponent Giveaway
Thu 3/28 NYM 2019 Schedule T-Shirt
(25,000 fans)
Sat 3/30 NYM In-Park Live Radio Lanyard
(20,000 fans)
Fri 4/12 PIT Juan Soto Bobblehead
(25,000 fans)
Sun 4/28 SDG Kids Watch
(10,000 kids 12 & under)
Thu 5/2 STL Expandable Beach Bag
(20,000 fans)
Wed 5/15 NYM Trea Turner Bobblehead
(25,000 fans)
Sat 5/25 NYM Captain Zimmerman Bobblehead
(10,000 fans)
Sun 5/26 MIA Kids Max Scherzer Jersey
(10,000 kids 12 & under)
Sat 6/15 ARI Obi “Sean” Kenobi Bobblehead
(10,000 fans)
Fri 6/21 ATL Max Scherzer Bobblehead
(25,000 fans)
Sun 6/23 ATL Kids Screech Hooded Towel
(10,000 kids 12 & under)
Tue 7/2 MIA Adam Eaton Bobblehead
(25,000 fans)
Tue 7/23 COL Nationals Water Bottle
(20,000 fans)
Sat 7/27 LAD Racing Presidents Tote Bag
(25,000 fans)
Sat 8/17 MIL Patrick Corbin Bobblehead
(25,000 fans)
Sun 8/18 MIL Teddy Squeezable Toy
(10,000 fans 12 & under)
Sat 8/31 MIA Camo Tank
(20,000 fans 21 & over)
Fri 9/13 ATL PenFed Giveaway TBD
(25,000 fans)
Sat 9/14 ATL Nationals Beer Stein
(20,000 fans 21 & over)
Sun 9/15 ATL Kids Lumberjack Cap
(10,000 kids 12 & under)
Sun 9/29 CLE Nationals Puffy Vest
(20,000 fans)

In perfect game 5 metaphor, Nats racing presidents trade leads in lengthy, confusing obstacle course

The Washington Post’s Tom Boswell called the Nats’ final playoff game of 2017 an exhilarating, exhausting, donnybrook that “staggers even the baseball imagination.” The Nationals 9-8 deciding game 5 loss to the Chicago Cubs was a marathon filled with improbable and confusing twists and turns that were hard to process for many in attendance.

So in retrospect, the evening’s fourth inning presidents race seems perversely appropriate.

George Washington Nationals Racing President Playoffs NLDS Game 5George Washington Nationals Racing President Playoffs NLDS Game 5 obstacle courseThe race that seemed to go on forever began all the way on the third base side of the field. Abe Lincoln took an early lead, but struggled when the presidents encountered the first challenge on this obstacle course, a “dizzy bat spinning” contest.

Thomas Jefferson emerged with the lead as they approached the next obstacle, but the dinosaur in left field did little to get in the way.

Next, a shuttle run set up in right field proved a challenge for Tom and Teddy, but our first commander in chief George Washington sailed through it to take his first lead heading to the final obstacle.

If the crowd on hand wasn’t confused yet, the folding table in front of the finish line likely did the job; but George leaped over it to take the tape as the other presidents gave up and left the field for the final time in 2017.

George won all three races this postseason, with Teddy Roosevelt bringing up the rear each time. Roosevelt finished the season 0-for-84, and like the Nationals and their fans, will have to wait until 2018 for a chance at redemption.

Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

Washington Nationals Fans revive #Natsride hashtag to help each other get home after Thursday’s late playoff game

Natsride Car with PlayersUPDATE: On Thursday, Pepco parent Exelon has funded an additional hour of operating time for the Metro. Times have been updated below. 

The Washington Nationals return to DC Thursday for a deciding NLDS playoff game 5 vs. the Chicago Cubs. However, with an announced start time of 8:08pm, just over 4 hours before the last northbound train departs from the Navy Yard/Ballpark station, fans who rely on Metro face the possibility of choosing between sticking around for a late or extra-innings clincher and getting home at all.

As soon as the game time was announced, fans began using the Twitter hashtag #NatsRide to connect with fans who planned to drive and are willing to share a ride home in exchange for sharing the cost of parking and gas.

The system was created in 2016 by our friends at the TalkNats blog and was a huge success when the Nationals faced a similar late weeknight game. Fans with cars used it to share the cost of driving. Fans reliant on Metro used it to find transportation home.

To take advantage, simply use the #NatsRide hashtag in a tweet and be sure to include the name of the neighborhood you’re trying to get to after the game.

The last Green line train to Greenbelt will depart the Navy Yard station at 12:22pm. The last Green line train to Branch Ave will depart the Navy Yard station at 12:48pm.

Video: Fans sacrifice rubber chicken outside Nationals Park in advance of pivotal NLDS playoff game 4

Washington Nationals Jobu Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 1Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 1Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 3After Monday’s come-from-behind victory by the Chicago Cubs over the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series playoffs, fans gathered outside Nationals Park in Washington at noon Tuesday to try to do their part to exorcise the team’s playoff demons.

Nationals fan “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman led the ancient kaporos ritual as he has “dozens of times” since the team came to Washington in 2005.

“We’ve been doing this since 2005 when our backs are to the wall,” Kaufman declared to more than a dozen fans and Nationals employees gathered in front of the stadium. saying that the Nats “have always won at least one game after we do a chicken sacrifice.”

Kaufman brought an autographed baseball from the 1924 Washington Senators (the last DC team to have won a World Series), a Jobu doll “to help the bats get rid of their fear and wake up,” and a Tanner Roark bobblehead, as Roark is scheduled to pitch game four.

Kaufman then thanked the crowd. and swung the rubber chicken above his head.  “Take all the bad juju from the Nats,” Kaufman said. “Putting it in the Chicken.”

Kaufman then did the deed, those assembled wished the team good luck, and dispersed for lunch.

After 2-1 playoff loss, fans plan chicken sacrifice Tuesday outside Nationals Park

Nationals Rubber Chicken Man

Washington Nationals fan and “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman

For the first time in more than two years, there will be a chicken sacrifice at Nationals Park.

Longtime readers are familiar with the ritual performed by Hugh Kaufman, aka the Washington Nationals’ “Rubber Chicken Man,” whenever the team has run into a string of bad “juju.”

“There hasn’t been a chicken sacrifice in the two years that Dusty has managed the Nats.” Kaufman said Tuesday after the Chicago Cubs took a come-from-behind playoff victory from the Nationals, “but our backs are to the wall and there has been a tsunami of bad juju raining down on us.”

So Kaufman plans to do the deed at noon outside the Nationals Park centerfield gates, and is inviting fans to join him.

Jobu Vudu Doll

Kaufman brought a Jobu doll and a Gio Gonzalez bobblehead to Saturday’s Game 2 victory.

The last sacrifice came mid-season 2015, after a string of injuries and losses had dropped the Nationals out of first place. The 2016 season was the first the team had gone all year without a chicken sacrifice, and until today, it appeared they might go sacrifice-free two years in a row.

Kaufman, who fans may recognize from his seats right above the Nationals dugout, has conducted sacrifices that preceded winning streaks many times since 2005. His sacrifices were called on by former manager Davey Johnson, and by pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who has been known to wear a “Chicken Mode” t-shirt in honor of Kaufman.

“Jobu might be there also,” Kaufman added, “to help wake up our bats again as he did on Saturday night.”

Nationals Park to add specialty food items for 2017 playoffs

The Washington Nationals have added an extensive menu of fall specialty items to be available exclusively during the 2017 postseason beginning this Friday at Nationals Park. Here’s a rundown of what to expect, and where you can find it:
Washington Nationals Park Fall Classic Grilled Cheese Throwin Cheese menu

The Fall Classic Grilled Cheese
What is it: Grilled Cheese with braised short rib, baby arugula, pickled red onions, balsamic cherry jam and smoked Gouda on artisanal sourdough bread.
Where to find it: Throwin’ Cheese in section 114.

 

Nationals Park Maple Doughnut Croque MonsieurMaple Doughnut Croque-Monsieur
What is it: Virginia country ham, Gruyère cheese and maple béchamel on a griddled glazed doughnut.
Where to find it: Throwin’ Cheese in Section 114.

 

Nationals Park Cookie Dough Helmet

The Cookie Dough Helmet
What is it: Chocolate chip cookie dough topped with soft serve vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips in a souvenir Curly W helmet.
Where to find it: Breyers stands in Sections 115, 129, 136 and 310.

 

Washington Nationals Park Crab Pretzel postseason food concessions

The Crab Pretzel
What is it: A jumbo braided soft pretzel topped with jumbo lump cheddar cheese topping and Old Bay Queso.
Where to find it: Pretzel locations in sections 107 and 320.

 

Nationals Park The District Duel Jumbo Sausage

The District Duel
What is it: A
 foot-long half smoke sausage topped with latin braised beef and giardiniera.
Where to find it: Taste of the Majors in Sections 115 and 314.

 

Nationals Park Half Smoke Burger Biscuit Virginia Country Kitchen

Half Smoke Burger Biscuit
What is it: A seared smoked burger patty, cheddar cheese and spicy onion relish on a buttermilk biscuit.
Where to find it: Virginia Country Kitchen in Sections 130 and 315.

 

Nationals Park The Natitude Half Smoke Sausage Patty

The Natitude
What is it: A half-smoke sausage patty, crab mac & cheese, and crispy Virginia ham on a brioche bun
Where to find it: Grill Stands in Sections 110, 129, 141 and 211.

 

Washington Nationals Park Crab and Corn Chowder playoffs food concessions

The Lucky Catch Oyster Company “Shuckers”
What is it: A new portable cart serving:

  • Local Virginia oysters on the half shell with atomic cocktail sauce and pickled ginger mignonette
  • Lobster bisque with sourdough croutons and garlic chives
  • Corn & Crab Chowder (pictured) with organic corn, sweet potatoes, edamame, crabmeat, smoked bacon and cream

Where to find it: Good question. The Nats have not yet announced the location.

 

Nationals Park 2 foot long sausagesLocal Artisan Jumbo 24″ Sausages.

What is it: Your choice of three different 24″ jumbo specialty sausages (that’s right, two feet long) including:

  • St. Louis Style: – 24″ pepperoni & cheddar sausage topped with peppers, onions, mini cheese ravioli, and marinara.
  • Chicago Style: 24″ Italian sausage topped with Italian beef, giardiniera, and atomic horseradish aioli.
  • Milwaukee Style: 24″ bratwurst topped with beer bacon braised sauerkraut and crispy cheese curds.

Where to find it: Senators Sausage stands in Sections 108, 134 and 224.

 

Washington Nationals Park Bar CocktailsFinally, we can’t forget the beverage department, where the Nats will offer the new Cinnamon Apple Curveball Cocktail, featuring Smirnoff Vodka, Amaretto, and fresh Apple Cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.
Where to find it: All bars serving liquor throughout Nationals Park.

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