LucianM55 video: Nineteen-year old Washington Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper plays softball at the Washington Monument on The National Mall on his first day in Washington as part of the 25-man roster. April 30, 2012. http://youtu.be/Tuc7_4HkYsU
WaPo's Tom Boswell rejoices in Bryce Harper's success -and normalcy- amidst media hoopla. His enthusiastic old-time attitude, and all that sheer talent, may keep the 19-year old in the majors after all.
Better suited to Southeast D.C. than Syracuse!
From 1993-94, I was on the first DNG -Democrats of a New Generation- softball team in the coed Congressional softball league that played its games on The National Mall in the evenings.
DNG was the Under-35 vanguard of the National Democratic Club, back when they had a very nice three-story building of their own on Ivy Street, S.E., just east of the Democratic National Committee's HQ, http://www.democrats.org/ at 430 S. Capitol St. S.E.
Despite all the games we played, though, I only recall us actually playing one game near the Washington Monument, where this video at the top was shot.
Because of the sloping topography of The Mall as you got closer to the Washington Monument, that often meant that depending upon which field we were on -and I use the term field loosely, because it's all grass- as a center fielder, when I backpedaled I could be going uphill or downhill!
That could produce lots of unexpected drama!
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My favorite field was the area closest to the merry-go-round over near The Smithsonian Castle, though like all games there in between the fabulous museums that I loved, we always had to be aware of all the distracted tourists walking near us/me in the outfield, on the gravel pathways, while the team batting always had to have someone positioned near their gravel pathway to be alert for foul balls going towards unsuspecting people on their side of the 'diamond' to YELL!
(I also helped design the logo we used on our white t-shirts, which I'd love to show you here but won't because I'm afraid it will quickly be stolen and appropriated for others to use if I do, not unlike many photos from the blog that have been used illegally in campaign ads and in Internet advertising the past few years, a matter I will be addressing soon. The design was based on a wonderful button I'd been given by a member of the Beverly Hills Young Democrats in 1978 at the National YD Convention in a hotel on Miami Beach, where I was one of the main Dade County Young Dems working as a staffer to try to keep all the balls in the air and all of our guest happy and safe. The t-shirt design involved a profile of a donkey, included red, white and blue, of course, and even had a field of stars, and was positioned above the left breast. I was, of course, delighted that everyone who ever saw it immediately loved it and wanted one.)
To quote myself from a previous South Beach Hoosier blog post about the DNG:
Back when Donald Riegel of Michigan was the committee chairman, the Banking Committee's coed softball team nickname was "The Bank Robbers," and Sen. Riegel would actually come to their games on The Mall, not just his own office's softball games. People really DO notice and appreciate little things like that, you know? I know I certainly did whenever I would see them playing and see him checking it out for a bit..
Personally, because of my love for the game, I really hope Harper stays up for the whole year, because he is the best antidote I've seen yet to the Hanley Ramirezes of the world, and from a selfish perspective, I'd like to see him play a few times in person both here in Miami when he comes down to play the Marlins, and when I head-up to the Washington area this summer for a visit for a bit with family and friends before heading overseas for a while to get away from the daily heat, humidity and rain.
You might think a teenager in blue jeans and a ball cap might go unnoticed but, as Harper admitted: “They see the rat tail and the tattoos. I think they can notice that.”
So the Nationals’ already famous rookie, who made his home debut on Tuesday night, going 0 for 3 in a 5-1 loss, was asked to take a few swings in the casual pickup game.