Guest Post: Will Kubzansky
Will Kubzansky is a sixth grader at The Edmund Burke School in Washington, D.C. He has been attending Nationals games since the team’s first season in the District back in 2005, and his work has been published in Sports Illustrated for Kids. Check out his blog here.
If you look in the Nats dugout every fifth day, you’ll notice something. Gio Gonzalez is smiling. And now I can truthfully say that it’s just like him to do that.
After writing an article for SI Kids about the Nationals and how this was going to be a big year for them, the team invited me to go on the field during batting practice on June 19.
When the field elevator went down, I still couldn’t believe it. Going through the umpire’s tunnel, I was so excited, my heart felt like it was going as fast as a Stephen Strasburg fastball.
Once we made it on to the field, the pitchers were taking batting practice. I think one thing you forget is that these guys are superstars in high school, so they can hit pretty well. Strasburg had at least four home runs, and all of them had power and control.
I called out to Gonzalez, and he told me he just couldn’t hit right now. I laughed, and told him that on the home opener he wasn’t having trouble. He said that he was fine then, but now he could barely slash it.
When Bryce Harper came out, he signed an autograph and said hi. He’s really nice and signed for a lot of people. What I find cool about that is with all the attention he gets, he still finds time for the fans.
I met both F.P. Santangelo and Johnny Holliday, who both advised me not to take their jobs. I told them I wasn’t planning on it.
All the pitchers seemed to be having a good time and laughing. This team was having a good time being in first place – it wasn’t all business – until game time.
Jesus Flores also came over to sign some autographs, and so did Danny Espinosa. Both of them are really nice. As it turns out, my dad works two blocks away from where Espinosa lives, and they had a long chat about the neighborhood.
Mark DeRosa was really nice too, and told me that “These guys will come over if you just yell loud enough,” which made me laugh.
Steve Lombardozzi and Gonzalez promised they would come over, and when they did, I was really happy. These guys didn’t have to sign autographs, but they did, and I was glad they remembered the fans too.
What surprised me was that these guys were friends. It wasn’t like they had been all over the MLB, which some of them had – it looked like they had known each other since the first grade. Gio continued to ham it up once the Rays got on the field, pretending to bat with a glove. The Nats came back laughing and talking with each other.
These guys are normal people, they’re nice, and they enjoy what they’re doing – they’re just a whole lot better at baseball then the rest of us – and at the moment, the rest of the NL too. These guys have some serious Natitude!