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Today in Nationals’ History: Ryan Zimmerman gets called up by the Nationals

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September 1, 2005 – With the September roster expansion, INF Ryan Zimmerman was promoted to the majors, becoming the first player drafted and developed exclusively by the Washington Nationals to reach the Major League level. Zimmerman, drafted fourth overall in the first round, was also the first player from his draft class (2005) to reach MLB.

Frank Howard to be inducted into Nationals Ring of Honor on Friday, August 26

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The Washington Nationals will induct former Washington Senators outfielder Frank Howard into the Ring of Honor at Nationals Park Friday, August 26, before the Nationals play the Colorado Rockies.

“Frank Howard was the favorite player of so many Washington Senators fans until the team moved to Texas after the 1971 season,” said Mark D. Lerner, Vice Chairman and Principal Owner of the Washington Nationals. “Inducting Frank into the Nationals Ring of Honor will be a personal thrill for my entire family and me. We are excited to honor him for all he has contributed to the game of baseball and to celebrate his 80th birthday, which was on August 8th.”

Frank Howard hit 237 of his 382 career home runs during his seven-year tenure with the Washington Senators from 1965-71. No player representing Washington D.C. has hit more home runs than Howard’s 237. Current National Ryan Zimmerman is second on the list with 213. Howard represented the Senators in four All-Star Games (1968-71) and led the American League in home runs twice, clubbing 44 homers in both 1968 and 1970.

During his time in Washington, teammates, media and fans alike marveled at Howard’s tape-measure home runs, many of which taunted cavernous D.C. Stadium’s dimensions, earning him the nicknames “The Capital Punisher,” “The Washington Monument,” and “Hondo.”

We look forward to welcoming him to Nationals Park on Friday!

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches Update: an array of amenities

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With the opening of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches approaching next year, Curly W Live will be giving fans updates on the progress of the 160-acre property. Be on the lookout for highlights and special features about the new facility, and other important information fans should know about the Nationals’ new home in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Today’s post previews the array of exciting amenities that will be found at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

First, the walk-around concourse will allow fans to move throughout the ballpark while always being able to have an eye on the field.

An assortment of concessions and portable stands will offer many tempting food and drink options. At the Left Field Bar, fans 21 and older will be able to enjoy a beverage and view the games on televisions.

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches will feature a premier seating section just beyond the first base dugout. This section will offer 68 seats with food and drink service, a great place to kick back and enjoy the games!

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The new park will also feature six suites and two party decks, located on the third level. Both fans and businesses can rent the suites, filled with Florida-style indoor and outdoor furniture. The suites will include tri-fold doors, which when opened, mimic the feeling of walking out onto your private patio. The Party Decks will offer an all-you-can-eat menu, a personal bar and scenic view of the complex.

We look forward to welcoming fans to our new home for spring training, and hope you will enjoy seeing all of its new features!

PHOTOS: Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and VSP Global provide free eye care clinic for scholar-athletes

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Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon, board member of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, helped organize a vision event for the scholar-athletes to receive free eye care this afternoon.

In conjunction with VSP Global Eyes of Hope mobile eye care clinic and Dr. Keith Smithson, the Nationals’ director of visual performance, scholar-athletes received no-cost eye exams and (for those who required them) prescription glasses.

In addition, each of the 150 scholar-athletes received a free pair of Nike sunglasses to protect their eyes from UV rays.

Bryce Harper to be featured on MLB Network’s ‘Play Ball’ series, with a special appearance by Anthony Rendon

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MLB Network’s newest series, ‘Play Ball,’ will feature Bryce Harper with a special appearance by Anthony Rendon in tomorrow’s episode. Scheduled to air at 10:00 a.m., the episode will highlight Bryce and Anthony’s interactions with the scholar athletes during a recent visit to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.

‘Play Ball,’ is hosted by Harold Reynolds and features baseball demonstrations, discussions and advice for young athletes from some of the league’s top players. Be sure to tune in tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. on MLB Network, and again next Saturday, when Anthony will be featured on the show, with a special appearance by Bryce!

In the meantime, enjoy a few preview clips of Bryce from tomorrow’s show below.

 

VIDEO: Bryce Harper spends the day with local softball player on ESPN’s “My Wish”

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Last night, ESPN’s “My Wish” featured OF Bryce Harper and Kaylan, a 16-year-old softball player from Gaithersburg, Md. Kaylan, who has battled a kidney condition since she was born, spent the day with Bryce earlier in July, fulfilling her wish. The full video, part of the 10th-anniversary season of the “My Wish” series, can be seen here.

Four Nationals Named to NL All-Star Team

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Four Washington Nationals players were named 2016 Major League All-Stars on Tuesday evening, with outfielder Bryce Harper, second baseman Daniel Murphy, catcher Wilson Ramos, and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg all awarded the annual mid-season honor.

This is just the second time in Nationals history (2005-present) that the club will send as many as four representatives to the Midsummer Classic. Washington also had four All-Star players in 2012. The Nationals’ four honorees are tied for second-most among NL clubs (with Miami), behind only the Chicago Cubs, who will send seven players to San Diego.

Harper will start in the National League outfield for the third time in his career. The 23-year-old earned his fourth career All-Star selection by garnering 2,865,095 fan votes, the highest vote total among all NL outfielders. The 2015 National League MVP, Harper currently leads the Major Leagues in walks (66), intentional walks (15) and walks-to-strikeouts ratio (1.22). He ranks fourth in the National League in on-base percentage (.404), while his 17 home runs are tied for fourth among all NL outfielders, and his OBP leads that group.

Harper joins Hall of Famers Gary Carter (4) and Andre Dawson (3) as the only players in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to earn at least three fan elections to the All-Star Game.

For Murphy, who signed a three-year contract with Washington this past offseason, this is the second All-Star selection of his career (also 2014). The Nationals’ second baseman leads the National League in batting average (.347), hits (108), and multi-hit games (35). Murphy also leads the Major Leagues with 17 go-ahead RBI this season. The 31-year-old, a players’ selection to the NL squad, also leads all NL second basemen in doubles (22), RBI (56), and slugging (.579), while his 14 home runs rank second.

This is the first All-Star nod for Ramos, who currently leads all qualified Major League catchers in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.396), slugging percentage (.563), RBI (46), home runs (T1st, 13), and fewest strikeouts (34). The 28-year-old also ranks third in the Major Leagues in batting average (second in the NL), and his .368 average with runners in scoring position is the 10th-best mark in MLB. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, after hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos is the only player in MLB to increase his average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 plate appearances in 2016 / 500 plate appearances in 2015). Ramos was elected via player vote.

For Strasburg, the only remaining qualified starting pitcher in MLB not to suffer a losing decision, the All-Star nod is the second of his career (also 2012). At 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA, Strasburg is the first National League starter to begin a season 11-0 since San Diego right-hander Andy Hawkins went 11-0 in 1985. The Nationals are 22-3 in his last 25 starts (dating to Aug. 2015), during which time Strasburg has struck out 215 batters and walked just 36. He was selected to the 2016 All-Star team by National League manager Terry Collins.

The 2016 Major League All-Star Game will take place at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday, July 12.

Nationals agree to terms with 23 players from 2016 First-year Player Draft

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The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with 23 players from the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, including their first pick (No. 28 overall), shortstop Carter Kieboom, and second-round pick (No. 58 overall), third baseman Sheldon Neuse.

Kieboom, 18, will begin his professional career in Viera, Fla., playing for the Gulf Coast League Nationals. The standout infielder was considered one of the best prep hitters in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft after hitting .366 (37-for-101) with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, 37 RBI, 24 walks, seven stolen bases and 39 runs scored for Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. He posted a .504 on-base percentage and a .644 slugging percentage during his senior season.

The full list of signed players can be found in the press release below.

MLB Network’s ‘Intentional Talk’ comes to Nationals Park

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During this week’s series against the Cubs, MLB Network’s popular show Intentional Talk is on site at Nationals Park. Hosted by longtime MLB broadcaster Chris Rose and 2004 World Series champion Kevin Millar, the shows airs Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Before the game yesterday, the hosts previewed the upcoming series, interviewed special guests Ryan Zimmerman and Ben Revere, tasted food available at various concession stands around Nationals Park and were joined by the Racing Presidents.

Be sure to check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from yesterday, and tune in to MLB Network for the second episode of Intentional Talk live from Nationals Park today at 5 p.m. ET!

Nationals 2016 Dream Gala netted more than $400,000 for Dream Foundation

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On Saturday evening, Nationals players, coaches and guests from around the region celebrated the “Power of Baseball” at the 11th annual Dream Gala, held at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC. As the primary fundraiser for the Nationals Dream Foundation, the 2016 Dream Gala netted more than $400,000 for the Foundation’s initiatives focused on academics, the arts, nutrition and sports for children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region.

The event featured a cocktail reception and silent auction, as well as a dinner program and a live auction hosted by Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes. Live auction items included memorabilia from Max Scherzer’s two no-hitters in 2015, and an autographed watercolor painting of 2015 National League MVP, Bryce Harper. Experiences included a trip to Hawaii, spending the day with the Nationals Baseball Operations team and General Manager Mike Rizzo, as well as the once-in-a-lifetime experience to travel with the team to Citi Field in July when they face the New York Mets.

A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Dream Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region through community partnerships. Enjoy the above photos, and to find out more information on the Dream Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.nationals.com/dream.