Meet the #NatsCaveCrasher Finalists

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It was a tough task, but we’ve whittled down our field of over 500 entries in our #NatsCaveCrasher Instagram Contest to five deserving finalists. Now, they’ll go head-to-head Saturday at Nationals Park, putting their photography skills to the test for a chance to win that all-expenses-paid trip for two to New York City.

Each finalist will receive a shot sheet of things to photograph and upload to Instagram during Saturday’s game against the Mets and the NatsLive Free Postgame Concert featuring Gavin DeGraw. We’ll then compile each finalist’s portfolio into a gallery here on Curly W Live, where fans will have 48 hours to vote for their favorite. The grand-prize winner will be headed to see the Nationals play the Mets and visit the MLB Fan Cave on September 10-11, while our runner-up will win four PNC Diamond Lounge tickets to a future Nationals game.

Before we host our finalists, though, let’s take a look at what makes these Nats fans worthy of a chance to crash the Cave.

Meet the Finalists:

Andy BatesAndy B.


Hometown: Chevy Chase, Md.

Age: 26

After moving to the DMV in October 2009, Andy latched onto the Nationals as buzz began generating around Stephen Strasburg’s 2010 debut. That 14-strikeout performance was enough to hook this Nats fan for life. Though his favorite player is Bryce Harper, Andy also claims “utmost respect for Jayson Werth’s beard,” untucks his shirt after every Rafael Soriano save and does his best to hit the high notes during A-ha’s “Take On Me” during the seventh-inning stretch.

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Jodie Curtis Nationals PicJodie C.


Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Age: 30

Jodie moved to Washington around the same time baseball did in 2005. Having never had a team to root for growing up in Kentucky, she immediately called the Nats her own. Torn between Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond for who tops the list of her favorite Nationals, Jodie ranks Jayson Werth’s walk-off homer in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS as “one of the best sports moments I’ve ever witnessed in person…I felt like Washington became a baseball town that October night,” she said.

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SueAnn CagleSueAnn C.


Hometown: Oxon Hill, Md.

Age: 31

Free tickets from participating in a blood drive brought SueAnn to her first Nationals game in 2009. The rest is history has her love of baseball and the Nats has grown exponentially since. She counts the Nationals division clinch last year among her favorite memories and was in the crowd when Michael Morse brought a champagne shower to the left-field stands.

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Nick PalastroNick P.


Hometown: Springfield, Va.

Age: 22

Nick’s destiny as a Nats fan was cemented the last time Washington hosted a Major League ball club. His dad was a Senators fan, having attended the last game at RFK Stadium on September 30, 1971 and the Nationals’ first exhibition game on April 3, 2005. Though Nick braved Philadelphia while attending college at Temple University, he’s undaunted in his Natitude — even outfitting the city’s Rocky Balboa statue with a Jayson Werth jersey.

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Jonathan BaldwinJonathan B.


Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va.

Age: 27

Jonathan had never been to a Major League Baseball game before the U.S. Navy stationed him at Washington Navy Yard in 2011. A whim brought him and his wife to Nationals Park for the first time that year, sparking their now-mutual love of baseball and the Nationals. Now, their nightly ritual involves switching on the Nats game, but nothing compares to being in attendance for Jayson Werth’s walk-off in the playoffs. “I will never forget the vibe in the stadium at that moment,” Jonathan said.

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***Voting is now closed. Thank you for your support, click here to see our winner!***


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Would be nice if this site would let me vote.

Working on resolving the issue ASAP

Won’t let me vote now.

We’ve had a couple reports of excessive traffic shutting the poll down. We’re working with WordPress to make sure it stays up and running.

Yeah. Go Nick! Anyone who’s Dad took them to a Senators game, goes to a College in Philly and has the guts to put a Tshirt on Rocky is winner in my Book! Vote NICK!

PS. I wont vote for anyone who likes Take On Me played WITHOUT MIKEY MORSE ON THE TEAM!

Go Nick P!! Great photos!

Carol, keep voting for Nick!!

Nick is right at home in Philly – his behavior on twitter and at games is no better than a Phillies fan. Why are rewarding this troll with a trip to New York? I don’t want him representing Nats fans.

Going to have to agree with Stephanie here. I followed @Palastro24 for some time and had to block him because his attitude towards the Nats when they struggled was appalling. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, I cannot condone someone with that type of attitude toward his “favorite” baseball team representing an entire fanbase on a national stage. This is not “trash talk,” but simply my observation and opinion.

stephanie, i met nick in philly, being a fellow displaced fan and all. whole heartedly disagree w the negativity you and some other members that this fanbase is spewing. We’ve all been nats fans thru the good and the bad (boy theres been a lot of bad) but this nonsense needs to stop. We’re washingtonians not philadelphians. no need to bash w this libelous nonsense

Go Jodie!! Awesome photos!!

Can’t there be a friendly vote without people being hateful and trashing people to win?!? I wouldn’t want anyone Stephanie is associated to be represented since they need to talk trash.

Everyone here is a devoted and passionate fan! There are NO haters, so keep it about the photos, the love of the team and the city!


It won’t let me vote.=(

We’re working on resolving the issue. Thanks for your patience!

It seems that when I vote for Jodie it counts for the other person. Looks like it has been hacked.

We don’t think anything has been hacked. We’ve had a ton of votes today, and the percentages seem to be evening out. We’ll be keeping an eye on the poll all evening long.


My friends and I are voting furiously for Jodie. Here lately it seems our votes bring her down. Could they be going to someone else or just not posting?

Way to go Jodie!!!

To all commenting – we are working to see if there is any issue with the voting, but have not had any such troubles in the past. There has been an extremely high volume of votes coming through, as all five candidates have received plenty of support.

Great photos Jodie!

Unable to vote.

Attempted to vote for Jodie and it brought her score down????? What is this about?


Wow, find it odd that one of the finalists has a protected account? What’s up with that that we can’t view that person’s tweets to see how they would represent Nats fans

These are some of the Tweets of Nick: Glad to see he is a candidate to represent Nationals fans.

I think a better contest would have the finalists take pictures and an unbiased committee would judge them!!! This would be a better result, rather than the person that can muster the biggest group to continuously vote. Some one may have a computer doing their voting.

it is odd that one can vote for some easily (nick) and not for others (jodie) without a struggle? seems a little strange, no? i’m sure you guys won’t award just one winner in a contest people couldn’t actually vote in…..

It’s a shame how everyone is reacting to this… It was a contest that was supposed to be based off of selecting your favorite pictures. I feel bad for Nick, there’s nothing wrong with complaining when your team isn’t performing. It’s sports for crying out loud! He acted the same way last year when he was in Philly and you guys loved it. Now, he’s a villain? Davey has mismanaged the team at times, he doesn’t have to root for him… He roots for the Curly W’ and that’s what’s most important about being a Nats fan! You ‘adults’ need to grow up in your behavior to someone who is different and thinks differently than you!

Actually, I was WITH HIM at one of those games, and he was a troll.

What was he doing?

Nick and I became fans of the Nationals in 2004 when it was announced the Expos were coming to DC. Every night Nick and I watch the Nats. He has not wavered from his support of the Nats. His pictures also support his dedication to this team. He was out in Denver in June rooting for the Nats and went to almost all of their games against Philly while attending Temple.

I think it’s strange that people are saying how fans should be


There are still problems with this site accepting votes, accurately and promptly

If you are still having issues, please try using another browser or voting on your mobile device. We’ve had over 100,000 votes, so there is a lot of traffic on the poll right now.

I find it strange that he’s locked his profile. What’s he hiding from?

What do you hide behind a ‘fake’ ‘fake’ profile? What does Billy Heywood use that name when his actual name is Johann? Why does JackOBeam not use his real name?

Sure Nick seems to of said some maybe unfriendly things… But look what @JackOBeam is saying!! Wake up!! He’s the one that is trashing a member of his own fan base! There’s a difference between passion and being a jerk. JackO has crossed that line it seems. He needs to realize he’s an adult, Nick is just a 22 year old kid just out of college. He wants to take his Dad who was at the FINAL Senators game in 71′ more than anything too!

I just found it odd that someone had a private account for a contest like this. I have no idea who these other people are that you mention, but I would like to see how these people would represent the Nats fan base before I would vote for them. Since i can’t actually see Nick’s Twitter feed, I don’t know how he would represent us.

Check out some of the links I’ve posted. That’s how he’d represent us.

Still not able to record a vote.

Somebody has to have some computer setup to vote. Something is very fishy about the whole process!!!!!!

Curly W Live, please evaluate how you choose a winner (or if you just choose all 5) because of how impossible it is to cast a vote for Jodie or some of the others without having to close out and try again (or sometimes several times after that before a vote “registered.” I’m sure you’d want to run a fair contest. Thanks —

“Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s just not worth it.”

I can’t believe the hate people are spewing over a simple contest to go to NY. I won’t vote out of principal

Vote for Nick!!!!!!!

Go Jonny go! Go! Go jonny B!

I keep voting for natsfan224 but only the other people’s votes jump up…I think there is some cheating going on here and that makes me very upset.

Every contestant has received a massive amount of support, which will be reflected when we post the final totals. However, we have no reason to suspect any foul play.

Can anyone explain why I vote for one person only to see anothers percent to jump?

The voting totals are massive, as each contestant is receiving a ton of support

Won’t let me vote!!! I’ve been trying on and off for the past hour. I’ve cleared browser, etc.

Some others have experienced similar issues. You can try another browser or try voting on your mobile device

Not working on mobile, either.

Good morning, still not able to vote. Not able to do anything except view these comments and view the number of votes tallied so far. Nothing to do with ‘hate’ as prior comment alleged, just competition.

Go Nick!!!!!!!!!

I understand you are receiving a lot of votes, but when I vote for my person, their numbers go down dramatically and others go up. You need to check this poll. Clearly you have a lot of people throwing complaints out. Maybe there should have been a 1 vote per day per person. Seems like that would have been a lot more fair to everyone. Something looks fishy about this… I agree!!!

Thanks for the feedback – as this is our first time trying such a contest, we are keeping a close eye on the results, and will consider the comments above and below when planning our next such event.

Personally, I think Jodie’s pics are the best! Also- I’m not impressed by multiple shots from the Lexus Club. Very few fans get to go there.

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