WL Insider: Red Hot Nats

by John Arundel

For the first time in 79 years, Washington baseball fans have the World Series in sight.

By John Arundel

The Nationals' mighty Bryce Harper takes a swing. The view from the President's Box at a game last month. (Photo by John Arundel)

OK sports fans, so we officially have the best ball team in the National League East, and if we triumph in the World Series, perhaps the wider big blue ball called the Universe. Oh, the joy and jilt of Major League Baseball.

But let’s face it: In the past we kinda missed the victory train. Our hometown team The Washington Nationals are still one of two Major League Baseball franchises — and the only one in the National League — that has never played in a World Series. (The Seattle Mariners is the other franchise, if you’re wondering).

Lady Luck has returned to Washington for the first time since 1933. On Sept. 20, the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the first Washington-based baseball team to advance to the postseason in 79 years. Then last week, the Nationals clinched the National League East division, and on October 3, our Nationals went on to secure the best record in Major League Baseball at 98-64.

How ’bout that.

So that begs the question: How do I get in on something so cool, so winning? We all like winners in this town, after all, especially after an eight-decade drought of winning seasons from our hometown baseball team. You must jog your memory back to 1933 and to Griffith Field and the Washington Senators — which so few of us can — to recall a time when Washington played in a World Series.

Luck sometimes strikes twice. The Washington Nationals announced late Tuesday night that tickets for potential National League Championship Series games at Nationals Park, including a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets, go on sale to the general public on Wednesday.

In addition, we are told by a very reliable source inside the Nationals organization, that a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets will be available for purchase on the day of each NLCS game at the Nationals Park Box Office, located at the Center Field Gate, once the Box Office opens. Standing Room Only tickets can be purchased for $45 each on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be limited to two tickets per transaction. These red-hot 2012 Postseason tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable, so don’t even think of not showing up and supporting our beloved Nationals.

Which is something I did several weeks ago with my kid, during an out-of-body experience sitting in the ultra-luxe President’s Box where you can grab free beer and popcorn from the vendor, and watch our Nationals WIN.

During a break in the play, we dropped into the small dining room behind home plate (yes, there is a new, luxurious dining room tucked underneath the stands behind home plate), and ordered up gourmet hot dogs with sauerkraut and the Cabernet strip steak, blood-red of course.

These seats are not for the faint of wallet; they’ll set you back about $340 or so apiece. But it’s well worth it if you’re a die-hard Nats fan, eager for the top of the line VIP experience, or like me, just eager to impress your son after too many long days at the office prevented scheduled quality time at the Little League diamond.

These tickets are gone for playoff action, and a check Tuesday night of eBay and StubHub found a wide range of tickets from standing room starting at $34.99 to Section 126 fetching $1,736.12 apiece, Cabernet strip steaks, NOT included.

Joanna Comfort, who manages media and community relations for the Nats, tells me the best way for fans to reserve their tickets for potential World Series games is to place a deposit on 2013 full-season ticket plans and receive 2012 postseason ticket purchase priority before tickets go on sale to the general public.

“Season Ticket Holders and Nationals Insiders will receive information regarding their opportunity to purchase potential World Series single game tickets later this month,” Comfort said.

Go. Nats.

A maximum of two tickets for each game may only be purchased online at nationals.com/postseason or by calling 888-632-6287 on a first-come, first-served basis.

For all games with a start time of 2 p.m. or later, the Nationals Park Box Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until the end of the game, and Sunday from 9 a.m. until the end of the game. Box Office hours on non-game days are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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