Results tagged ‘ Screech ’

Give With Us

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by Noah Frank

The #NatsWeekOfGiving has been chock-full of events both in the Washington D.C. community and around the world. From Denard Span and Ross Detwiler’s recent visit to The District, to Adam LaRoche embarking on the Chairman’s USO Holiday Tour, every day has brought new chances to give back.

Don’t forget to show us how you are pitching in this holiday season for the chance to win a Denard Span autographed jersey or an Adam LaRoche signed ball. To enter the contest, simply submit a photo on Twitter of what you are doing to give back with the hashtag #NatsWeekOfGiving by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, December 14. See complete contest rules here.

With that in mind, here’s a look back at the week so far, along with details of how you can get involved this weekend.

Monday:

Span and Detwiler arrived in Washington and headed straight to the nearly completed Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy for a tour of the facility. From there, it was off to Kimball Elementary – the current home of academic programming for the Academy until the building is finished in January – where the two interacted with the first class of Academy scholar-athletes. They answered questions about baseball and their lives off the field, and signed autographs for the children.

From there, they were off to the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation’s 24th Annual Christmas with the Redskins Party. Academy participants Geornae, 10, and Delonte, 9, were Span and Detwiler’s special guests at the event.  The players spent the evening with them, eating dinner, playing games and opening Christmas presents.

Tuesday:

A little snow didn’t slow Detwiler and Span down as they made their way to MedStar Georgetown Hospital’s Lombardi Cancer Center to meet with pediatric patients in conjunction with the Hope for Henry Foundation. They were joined by Screech as they decorated an amazing, intricate Nationals Park gingerbread house, designed Nats ornaments and took pictures and signed autographs for the children. The visit also included personal room visits for those unable to participate in the larger group activities.

Wednesday:

LaRoche checked in with his first dispatch from the USO Holiday Tour, which had taken him to Greece. Already one of the team’s most involved players when it comes to military stationed in the D.C. area, LaRoche has been a perfect fit for such an adventure.

“I’ve never been around so many people who genuinely appreciate us being here,” he said in a recent email from abroad. “We continue to try to make it clear with our troops that we’re getting more out of this than we think they are.”

Meanwhile, back at home, Nationals staff took part in Project USO Elf  and helped distribute holiday gifts to military families. They were joined by Racing President Bill, as well at John “Cakes” Auville, John-Paul “JP” Flaim and Danny Rouhier, who helped gift-wrap and deliver donated presents.

You can still take part in the #NatsWeekOfGiving by taking part in Wreaths Across America’s wreath laying event at  Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday.  Nationals front office staff along with 106.7’s Holden Kushner will be at the event along with thousands of other volunteers. This special day pays tribute to all who lost their lives in service to our country. If you are unable to make it but would like to donate to the cause, you can do so before midnight tonight. Sponsors for wreaths are sill needed and you can contribute at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.  You can keep up with the organization on Twitter @WreathsAcross.

Thanks to all of you who have joined us thus far. It’s not too late to get in the spirit of the #NatsWeekOfGiving!

Storen, Jordan Visit MedStar NRH

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On Thursday, Washington Nationals pitchers Taylor Jordan and Drew Storen joined Screech for a visit with patients of all ages at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MedStar NRH), which specializes in treating patients with physical disabilities.

Drew Storen signed autographs during Thursday's visit.

Drew Storen signed autographs during Thursday’s visit.

“It’s about the third or fourth time I’ve done this,” said Storen, who explained that the day was about more than just signing autographs. “They’re going through the same thing every day and it’s really rewarding to come in and give them a new face to look at and to just talk a little baseball. It’s pretty cool to see how many people are watching our games here.”

During the visit, the players and Screech participated in fun activities that helped with the patients’ rehabilitation process, including hitting a Nationals jersey piñata with a baseball bat, playing catch with a beach ball and throwing tennis balls into an inflatable catcher’s mitt.

“My favorite part is just coming here and making them happy,” said Jordan, a rookie on his first such visit. “They seem to really be big fans, so it’s good to make them happy.”

The children at the hospital were grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of talking to the players about their baseball careers. One young boy was simply eager to share his learning booklet with both Storen and Jordan.

Then, with the professional athletes at their side, they were determined to show their strength and take a swing at the piñata, which was filled with candy and baseball toys.

Screech was on hand to add to entertain the patients as well.

Screech was on hand to add to entertain the patients as well.

The young patients were in for another surprise when Screech walked through the door and then “body slammed” the piñata, as Storen described it. Laughter filled the room as they collected the prizes, while more candy magically spilled from underneath Screech’s cap.

Sporting Nationals gear in support of their favorite team, the adult patients shared their life stories with the day’s special guests while they aimed with power and precision for the inflatable target Screech held. As the players signed Nationals baseball hats, Screech brought the room to life again when he pretended the inflatable catcher was a punching bag that popped right back up.

The visit brought smiles to the faces of patients and players alike. As Storen and Jordan returned to Nationals Park, the patients planned to tune into the night’s game, and were treated to a 9-0 shutout of the Miami Marlins as the Nationals swept the three-game series.

Standing Together

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The Nationals recently finished an 11-game homestand that saw the team go 8-3 as they continued their charge towards October baseball. Despite playing games every day during that stretch, Washington players and coaches made time in their busy schedules to continue to contribute behind the scenes to the D.C. community.

Storen, Clippard and Desmond visited with Nick Balenger over the last homestand.

Friday, August 31: Between his two-hit performances on August 30 and 31 in consecutive victories over the Cardinals, Ian Desmond joined teammates Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen along with Screech for a visit with patients of all ages at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH). During the visit, the players participated in physical therapy exercises and activities with patients, playing catch with some of the adult patients – you could do worse than tossing a ball around with a trio of Major Leaguers for your rehab work. The crew also signed autographs and took pictures with patients, families and hospital staff.

“Obviously, any time we can go out and bring a little light into people’s lives, it’s our pleasure,” said Desmond after the visit.

One of the patients – Nick Balenger – stood out in particular. A local high school baseball player who recently suffered a tragic injury while on vacation, he is working his way back from partial paralysis to try to get back on the baseball field.  During the visit, the players delivered Balenger a personalized Nationals jersey signed by the entire team.

“He’s a Nationals fan and he lit up when we walked in there,” said Desmond of Balenger. “I guess he’s been following us pretty closely.”

Saturday, September 1: In between his victories on August 29 at Miami and September 3 at home over the Cubs, Ross Detwiler and the Nationals coaching staff took time to help out with the MedStar Youth Baseball Clinic. After Nationals coaches ran through drills with all those in attendance – including D.C. youth baseball teams, children of military families and guests of MedStar Health – Detwiler signed autographs for each and every participant on the Nationals Park concourse.

Ross Detwiler signs after the recent MedStar Clinic.

Friday, September 7: Three days after notching his second win of the homestand, Edwin Jackson hosted Edwin’s Entourage. For the second time in 2012, Jackson met with local children for well over an hour before the game. He hosted D.C. Dynasty, a non-profit organization that promotes the growth of youth baseball in the Washington D.C. community.

“The reason I’m here today is for you to get an up close and personal experience, to let you know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” Jackson told the group of youngsters as they chatted in the press conference room.

Jackson went around the room and had each attendee introduce themselves by their name and position on the diamond, then fielded questions about life, baseball and his own path to the Major Leagues, where he is just one victory away from his fourth straight double-digit win season.

Jackson shares a humorous moment with the D.C. Dynasty players.

A National Honor

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Few professional sports teams are as involved with their communities as the Washington Nationals are with the U.S. Military. That commitment to our nation’s armed forces extends beyond the In-Game Military salute at each home game, also including the Me and a Friend Program, the Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and team visits to military hospitals.

On Thursday night, the USO of Metropolitan Washington (USO-Metro) recognized the club for its efforts with a very special award at its 30th Annual Awards Dinner. The event – which featured a black tie dress code for civilians and full formal dress for all military members – was held at The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City in Arlington, and featured high-ranking officials from both the military and the private sector. More than 500 guests in all packed the sold-out gala, which helped raise more than $630,000 for USO-Metro.

Mark D. Lerner accepts the Legacy of Hope Award from Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Jay R. Vargas, U.S. Marine Corps.

The Nationals were well represented at this special event, which also marked the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Screech and the Racing Presidents were present, and each place setting featured a baseball with the date of the gala as well as both the USO logo and the familiar Curly W. The Lerner family was in attendance, not only to commemorate the occasion but also to accept the Bob Hope Legacy Award, named after the legendary entertainer for all he did for America’s military.

Nationals Principal Owner and Vice Chairman Mark D. Lerner accepted the award on behalf of both the Lerner family and the entire Nationals organization. He shared the following words of gratitude with those in attendance upon receiving the honor:

Thank you everyone. On behalf of the Washington Nationals organization and the entire Lerner family, I’d like to thank the USO of Metropolitan Washington for recognizing our team with this year’s Legacy of Hope Award. 

My parents Annette and Ted Lerner grew up in the D.C. area, and my sisters Marla Tanenbaum and Debra Cohen and I were raised here. It’s impossible to live here and not be aware of the sizeable contributions made by our military members and their families. Few of us can ever comprehend how much each service-member – as well as their wives, husbands, children and parents – sacrifice in order to serve our country.

As the stewards of the national pastime in the Nation’s Capital, we believe that making a difference in the lives of the men and women who fight for our country is one of the most fulfilling things we can do, and we are always looking for new ways to pay tribute and support them and their families. 

Bob Hope’s generosity and dedication was legendary. I’m pleased that the Nationals can – in whatever small way – continue his tradition and hopefully inspire future generations to support our service men and women.

I am humbled to be among so many Medal of Honor recipients and their families here tonight – and, on behalf of my family and the Washington Nationals, I want to thank you once again for your service.

Next Stop, Viera

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With just nine days left until Nationals pitchers and catchers report to sunny Viera for Spring Training, it was time for the folks back here in Washington to pack everything up for the trek south. This has been an ongoing process, but the actual moving day, or “Truck Day“, took place Friday at Nationals Park. There was plenty of work to do, so everybody was pitching in, even Screech.

You can watch all of the loveable eagle’s antics from a busy day at the ballpark in the video below. Have a great weekend everyone… we’re one week closer to the return of baseball!

Video: Screech Helps Pack On Truck Day

‘Lombo’ and Screech Deliver Early Thanksgiving

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This week, the Nationals continued their annual Thanksgiving tradition of giving by once again volunteering at Food & Friends, a community organization that provides home-delivered, specialized meals and life-sustaining nutrition to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses.

Nationals infielder Stephen Lombardozzi and team mascot Screech joined 30 staff members from the team’s front office on Monday, November 21, to prepare Thanksgiving boxes for some of the 800 Food & Friends clients who will receive the meals during the upcoming holiday.

“This visit was a lot of fun,” said Lombardozzi, a 2007 graduate of Atholton High School in Columbia, Md., and winner of the 2011 Nationals Minor League Player of the Year award.  “It felt great helping to make sure hundreds of families will have a great Thanksgiving.”

This marks the fourth year that the Nationals have visited Food & Friends, with Lombardozzi and the volunteers taking on various tasks around the kitchen like preparing turkeys and packing sweet potatoes and corn. Each meal will serve four people and includes a 10-12lb turkey, sides and pie for dessert. Nationals staff also helped pack pre-made meals for Food & Friends beneficiaries.

Since 1988, Food & Friends has provided food and companionship to clients and their loved ones and caregivers throughout the year. The organization relies heavily on volunteers to serve more than 1 million meals a year to clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. To get involved, go to www.foodandfriends.org for more information.

Nats, Dream Foundation Revitalize Shirley’s Place

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As part of its annual Community Rebuilding Project, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation partnered with Rebuilding Together DC last week to revitalize Shirley’s Place, a daytime hospitality center for homeless families in Southeast D.C.

From electrical repairs to carpentry projects, volunteers from the Nationals facilities staff were hard at work enhancing the safe, healthy environment that the facility provides.  Improvements included new interior and exterior handrails to assist the organization’s disabled clients, expanded storage space thanks to shelving units built on-site by Nationals Park carpenters and installation of a brand new washer and dryer that was generously donated by Multi Housing Depot by ARI.  In addition, walls and moldings throughout the two-story townhouse received a fresh coat of paint, courtesy of front office volunteers. Even Screech, the Nationals official mascot, rolled up his sleeves to help.

“It’s a wonderful thing to have these improvements done,” said Jacob Wilkins, Communications and Development Associate for Capitol Hill Group Ministry, which has operated the facility since 2007. “It means so much to us, especially with hypothermia season coming up, that we are able to increase our capacity and just make the facility so much safer in general.”


Shirley’s Place is an important part of the D.C. community, offering the city’s homeless a place to warm up or cool down, bathe, do laundry and enjoy a meal.  Staff members are also available to assist clients with medical and social service needs.  The organization was selected as the fourth Community Rebuilding Project based on a number of factors, such as its close proximity to Nationals Park and commitment to serving children and families.

“This organization has been doing great work in the area for quite a while,” Dream Foundation Manager Vera Maher said. “We wanted to provide improvements that will help make life a little easier for their clients.”

While the organization benefitted from some necessary repairs to the facility, it was the Nationals volunteers that gained the most from the experience.

“It feels really good to give back,” said Joe Baggott Sr., a painter with the Nationals Park facilities management staff. “This is the third year I’ve done it and it’s great to see people get the place fixed up and have experienced technicians put everything in place.”

Screech and the Nats Head to Taiwan

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In mid-October, the Washington Nationals were excited to learn that Major League Baseball had selected Screech, the team’s official mascot, as the only MLB mascot to travel to Taiwan with a team of MLB All-Stars for the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series the first week of November.

Screech will accompany Nationals players P Collin Balester, P Ross Detwiler and 1B/OF Michael Morse, who were named to the MLB team roster, and P Chien-Ming Wang, who will play for the Chinese Taipei National Team, for the exciting weeklong trip to Taiwan.

To prepare for his trip, Screech stopped by the historic Twin Oaks Estate in Northwest D.C. earlier this week to visit with Ambassador and Mrs. Jason Yuan of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office, both of whom offered to teach Screech about traditional Taiwanese customs.

From learning basic Chinese phrases and greetings to mastering the art of using chopsticks, Ambassador Yuan and his wife ensured that Screech was well-versed in Taiwanese culture so that he can fully understand and enjoy his experience abroad.

In addition, the Ambassador recommended several landmarks for Screech to visit – including the Taipei 101 tower, which, at 1,671 feet tall is the second tallest building in the world – and invited Screech to sample a traditional Cantonese dim sum, which included delicious dishes such as shrimp dumplings and spring rolls in oyster sauce. 

Check out footage from the visit here:

Screech will meet up with his old friends Ballester, Detwiler, Morse and the rest of the MLB All-Star Team in Los Angeles before making the 14-hour journey to Taiwan this weekend. The Nationals players will be joined by 25 players from 16 other MLB clubs, including Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco Giants) and Curtis Granderson (New York Yankees).

The 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series will consist of five games played in three different cities – New Taipei City (XinZhuang Stadium) on November 1, Taichung (Intercontinental Stadium) on November 3 and 4, and Kaohsiung (Chengcing Lake Stadium) on November 5 and 6.

MLB Network will televise all five games of the series, while Nationals fans can keep up with Screech’s adventures on his blog and on his Twitter at @ScreechTheEagle.

Mascot Madness


Screech victory.jpgFor those interested in witnessing history, be sure to check out FOX 5’s Annual Mascot Madness coverage as Washington Nationals mascot Screech sets out to defend his back-to-back titles against regional mascots who think they have what it takes to defeat him on the basketball court.

 

This year, Screech will attempt to do what no other mascot has ever done: THREE-PEAT a championship title win.

 

While other birds may have flown south this past winter, Screech stayed right here in the Nation’s Capital and underwent a rigorous Rocky Balboa-style training program, which included running the stairs at Nationals Park with his personal trainerTeddy.

 

Recently, the Washington Wizards’ G-Wiz, the only other mascot to ever win a Mascot Madness title, hosted his birthday party and a slam dunk contest at the Verizon Center.

Of course those in the mascot community knew this was G-Wiz’ way of getting a last-minute look at Screech’s b-ball skills, but like the true champion he is, Screech rose to the occasion and was one of the few mascots to put the ball through the net

 

Watch video of Screech flying through the air and pulling off the one-wing jam!

 

With that superb performance in mind, there’s little doubt that the competition will all be targeting our favorite eagle, so be sure to check out FOX 5 for exclusive coverage of Mascot Madness to watch Screech bring home another title.

Nationals Moving Day


Screech Moving.JPGOn Monday, the Washington Nationals set course for the Club’s Spring Training facility in Viera, Fla., as part of the annual ritual that has come to be known as Moving Day.

 


 “With Moving Day, we know it’s the beginning of the 2011 season because the offseason is now over,” Nationals Clubhouse Manager Mike Wallace said.

 

While the players still have some time before reporting to Florida, Monday marked the unofficial start of the season as the Nats loaded up their JK Moving & Storage tractor trailer with 30,000 pounds of equipment for the 800-plus mile trek to Space Coast Stadium. In preparation for the start of Spring Training, Wallace and his staff packed up and loaded a vast assortment of gear, ranging from weight training equipment and medical supplies to player uniforms and apparel.

 

“As the stuff gets loaded, you keep saying to yourself, ‘please have enough room, please have enough room.’ But it always works out to where we get everything on there and then the truck is on its way,” Wallace said.

 

There’s no doubt that a lot of work goes into coordinating the big move, but according to Wallace, it’s all worth it–if only for one reason in particular.

 

“I’m looking forward to being in a place where I don’t have to worry about the ice and snow,” he said.

 

Florida is a good place to start.

 


Screech Moving 1.JPGMOVING DAY FACTS

 

Nationals Spring Training headquarters………Space Coast Stadium (Viera, Fla.)*

Official moving company…………………………JK Moving & Storage

Moving truck size …………………………………53-foot trailer

Estimated trip mileage ………………………….. 869

Estimated weight of equipment……………….. 30,000 lbs.

Approximate number of baseball bats ordered for Spring Training…………. 600

Approximate number of baseballs ordered for Spring Training………………  14,400

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