Results tagged ‘ Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic ’

District 9: Charlie Slowes

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At Curly W Live, we put our own spin on the traditional “10 Questions” format by asking nine questions to players, coaches, broadcasters, front office members, prospects and other Nationals personalities. This is a special “Week of Thanks” edition of District 9, featuring Nationals radio voice Charlie Slowes.

Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes

Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes

1. When you look back at 2013, what is your biggest takeaway?

The 2013 Nationals season proves that old baseball adage, “You never know!” I think everyone had those words “expect” and “anticipate” in their heads, with the thinking the Nationals would duplicate or surpass their 2012 regular season accomplishments.  Some of the experts had the Nats winning 105 games or more. But no two seasons are the same. You can’t predict injuries, fall-off in performance or different types of adversity. Things happen that you can’t predict. The Nationals late season run was how we all expected them to play all year, certainly leaving a lot of positives for next year. I think this team has overcome a lot and that the struggles of this year will benefit them going forward.

2. Describe your favorite on-the-field moment from the 2013 season.

I never have just one favorite moment. I always love Opening Day. I loved the opening ceremonies, the unveiling of the NL East Champion banner and the crowd was unbelievable. Then Bryce hit two home runs, Stephen Strasburg threw seven shutout innings and the Nats shut out the Marlins. Ryan Zimmerman’s three-homer game in Baltimore and ninth-career walk off homer against the Mets are on my list, and so is Denard Span’s diving, game-saving, game-ending catch against the Giants.

Slowes participated in the 2013 Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic at Nationals Park.

Slowes participated in the 2013 Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic at Nationals Park.

3. What was your favorite off-the-field moment?

My best off-the-field moments are often times interactions with other Nationals fans. The best day for that actually was on the field, getting to play in the Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic. Playing on the Nationals Park field with so many people staying for the game and cheering for us was a blast. It’s always an honor to be with and support those who serve and protect our country.

4. What did you learn about Jayson Werth during the 2013 season?

I learned that Jayson has the ability to lead a club, to put the team on his back and carry it when they needed it most. He said all the right things and never let this club stop fighting or give up. He has been a great teammate in the clubhouse.

5. Did you learn anything about Bryce Harper this year?

We’ve learned that at 20 years old (now 21), even though he is so impressive, I think we haven’t even scratched the surface where Bryce is concerned. He has a strong desire to play, succeed and win.

6. How do you view Davey Johnson’s legacy in D.C.?

His legacy will be attached to winning on the field, to getting the team to the postseason and helping to instill the confidence to play winning baseball, every day. He’s a Hall of Famer in my book.

7. What are your impressions of the Matt Williams hire?

I was very impressed with how Matt handled himself the day of his introductory press conference and his plans going forward. He is spending time getting to know his coaches and players, making for a smooth transition come Spring Training. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s ready for this. It will be interesting to see what might be different come spring and how he puts his stamp on this club.

Slowes opened Matt Williams' introductory press conference.

Slowes opened Matt Williams’ introductory press conference.

8. We’re about to enter our 10th season of Washington Nationals baseball here in our nation’s capital. What does that milestone mean to you?

I think 10 years means the Nationals now have a history to draw from and to refer back to. The Nationals are now a household name in Washington, providing a winning club on the field to root for with an established fan base. You see Nationals gear around the city now, no matter the time of year. The Nationals have also become an organization that has and will continue to give back to the community through the Dream Foundation and its initiatives. I am very excited to see the Youth Baseball Academy running at full speed very soon.

9. What are you most thankful for this holiday season?

First, I am thankful for the health of my family and good friends. It all starts there. Everything else is gravy on the turkey. I am also very fortunate in my role with the Nationals; being able to do something that I love with a great partner and for the great support received from the organization and of course, our listeners.

#NatsWeekOfThanks: WWAST

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Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team

image (3)Since we started working with them in 2011, the Washington Nationals have been awed by the intense dedication and strength of character demonstrated by the members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. We are so thankful and proud to be able to help share their stories through events like the Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic.

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is a group of veterans and active duty military members from across the United States, each of whom has lost a limb while serving our country. Using the latest in prosthetic technology, the WWAST travels the country playing only able-bodied teams as they strive to prove that “life without a limb is limitless,” and that the road to recovery – no matter how long – can lead to a full and satisfying life for veterans and their families.

We are thanking the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team as part of our Week of Thanks. For more on #NatsWeekOfThanks, click here.

For more information on the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, please visit www.thewwast.org and follow them on Twitter at @WWAmpSoftball.

Linked Through Service

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Prior to the Third Annual Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic this Sunday, members of the team joined with celebrity participants and Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen to go help their fellow heroes. Omar Miller (CSI: Miami), Brian Dietzen (NCIS) and Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards) joined the Wounded Warrior team on a trip to Ft. Belvoir, where they met with groups of veterans using another sport – golf – to help them reacclimate to life after combat. Much like softball, the sport helps bring a measure of normalcy and serenity back to these soldiers’ lives.

Steve Griner is the head PGA Professional of the Ft. Belvoir Wounded Warrior Golf Program, which currently enrolls about 80 veterans and family members.

A group of wounded warriors with Omar Miller and Ft. Belvoir program participants.

A group of wounded warriors with Omar Miller and Ft. Belvoir program participants.

“I guess one would say, unfortunately, the numbers keep growing,” said Griner of the program’s enrollment. “But we’re helping more and more people. It’s always unfortunate that there are people that have been injured serving their country. But, if that work has to be done, for me to have a part in that, it’s just inspiring.”

After greeting and getting to know many of the members of the program over lunch, the group took to the driving range to hit some balls. While Stammen, a 3.5 handicap, showed off his talent in a second sport (he even grooved an iron shot left-handed), some of the most impressive hits of the day came from Wounded Warrior Greg Reynolds. The WWAST member is missing his entire right arm, but was still smacking shots deep into the range with just his lead arm to provide the power and stability.

For Dietzen, the opportunity to come out and play on a Major League field was certainly a perk, but the reward of getting to know the stories of the Wounded Warriors and playing with them side-by-side provided a greater gift.

The wounded warriors and celebrities chat over lunch before hitting the driving range.

The wounded warriors and celebrities chat over lunch before hitting the driving range.

“These guys that go out and do everything for us,” said Dietzen, who had previously worked with wounded veterans during a benefit golf tournament out in Los Angeles. “The very least we can do as a country is look after them when they come home, and that doesn’t just mean give them a job and go back to work.”

Miller has been a part of a USO Tour, much like Stammen and fellow Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler. While he had never worked with wounded veterans before, he realized the significance of the opportunity when it was presented to him, putting this weekend’s events above his own personal schedule.

“I was actually on my way to Vegas for the fight,” said Benson Miller, referencing the championship boxing match taking place this weekend. “And I said, ‘No, you know what? Let me prioritize. This is a lot more important.’ It’s great to come out, hang out, and have fellowship with the guys.”

Everyone hit the range at the beautiful Ft. Belvoir course.

Everyone hit the range at the beautiful Ft. Belvoir course.

Stammen, as many know, accompanied the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, on a USO tour last winter. That experience combined with his life as a professional ballplayer and avid golfer made him a perfect candidate to be able to appreciate and understand how both sports can help enrich lives.

“It’s just another way to get away from the aspects of real life, and it puts your mind on something else for about three or four hours,” said Stammen, referencing golf, though he might as well have been talking about baseball.

As for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, Stammen has seen them up close and personal each of the last two seasons, as well as in visits to Nationals Spring Training. He’s looking forward to seeing them again after the Nationals finish their series with the Phillies.

“They’re really good at what they do,” he said of the team’s success. “It’s inspiring what they do, and I think it’s going to be an enjoyable evening for everybody.”

Meet the Team: Part IV

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The third annual Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic takes place this Sunday, September 15, following the Nationals home game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Each day this week in advance of the game, we will introduce you to two members of the team – one celebrity participant and one of the Wounded Warriors who will participate.

NCISBRIAN DIETZEN
Born: 1977 in Boulder, Colorado

Position: Shortstop

WWCSC Experience: First Year

Best known for his role as Jimmy Palmer on the top-rated show NCIS, Dietzen is making his first appearance in the WWCSC. However, this will not be his first charitable experience with the military, as he has previously participated in a golf tournament benefitting Wounded Warriors. Dietzen plays softball recreationally in a pair of leagues, one with the NCIS crew and another one with a group of friends outside of show business. In addition to the honor of playing with our nation’s heroes, he is looking forward to the experience of stepping between the lines to play tomorrow.

“I’ve walked on a Major League Baseball field, but I’ve never played before. Just being out there, at Nats Park, that’s an amazing, amazing place to be able to have my first time ever playing out there, at the ripe of age of 35. I’m a 35-year-old rookie. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Greg ReynoldsGREG REYNOLDS

Born: 1984 in Dighton, Massachusetts

Position: Outfield

WWCSC Experience: Third Year

A veteran of the US Army who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Reynolds underwent a left arm forequarter amputation following his 15-month tour when he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. Reynolds previously participated in Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic contests in 2011 and 2012. In addition to softball, he also enjoys weight lifting, golf, fishing, baseball, Texas Hold ‘Em and riding four-wheelers.

Meet the Team: Part III

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The third annual Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic takes place this Sunday, September 15, following the Nationals home game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Each day this week in advance of the game, we will introduce you to two members of the team – one celebrity participant and one of the Wounded Warriors who will participate.

WinnefeldADMIRAL JAMES ALEXANDER “SANDY” WINNEFELD

Born: 1956 in San Diego, California

Position: Second Base

WWCSC Experience: First Year

The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Winnefeld is the second-highest ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces, a post he has held since August, 2011. While he has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park several times, his baseball experience extends past that, having played throughout high school.

“I’m honored to share the field with this incredible group of wounded warriors.  I’m continually amazed by their grit and resilience . . . their commitment to ability over disability. And the caregivers, all heroes in their own right; they are so vital to the journey, spending countless hours unselfishly giving to those who’ve given so much to this nation.”

Nate LindseyNATE LINDSEY

Born: 1985 in DeKalb, Illinois

Position: Outfield

WWCSC Experience: Third Year

Lindsey lost part of his right arm below the elbow after serving in the US Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lindsey, a fan of the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs, is participating in this third Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic. He played in contests in 2011 and 2012.

Meet our other participants:

Chelsey Desmond & Josh Wege

Sakina Jaffrey & Kyle Earl

Meet the Team: Part II

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The third annual Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic takes place this Sunday, September 15, following the Nationals home game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Each day this week in advance of the game, we will introduce you to two members of the team – one celebrity participant and one of the Wounded Warriors who will participate.

Sakina JaffreySAKINA JAFFREY
Born: 1962 in New York City

Position: Ball Avoider

WWCSC Experience: First Year

Currently starring as White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez in the Netflix series House of Cards, Jaffrey is making her first appearance in the Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic. Though Jaffrey’s previously been involved with the Wounded Warrior Project, she described her prior experience on the diamond as “if only,” and expanded upon that in a recent interview.

“I do not play softball. I would probably be a better fit doing the beer concession. I told the Nationals I would probably be a liability. But I can run.”

Kyle Earl headshotKYLE EARL

Born: 1986 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Position: Outfield

WWCSC Experience: Second Year

Earl, a US Marine, underwent an amputation of his right hand after serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A current resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Earl also enjoys football, hockey, hunting and fishing, and is known for his speed on the base paths. This year’s contest will be the second Wounded Warrior Celebrity Softball Classic, having also participated in September, 2012.

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