Nats fans bond over curly ‘W’ tattoos

January 6

While some of us spent Saturday de-icing our cars and salting our sidewalks, six Nats fans used the afternoon to get the Nats logo tattooed onto their bodies in a moment of female bonding over their favorite team. The adventure started after an offhand comment made at a party in December.

“We were at a get together, we call ourselves the ‘Half Street Irregulars,’ ” explained Kristy Anderson of Arlington, referring to Nats Park’s location on Half Street. “Somehow the topic of tattoos came up and I said I wanted to get a curly ‘W’ tattoo. And then Julie was like, I would like to get one too. So we sent out a message on Twitter, and what started as a ‘Hey, maybe we should do this,’ became a group outing.”

The group also included Julie Allard of Alexandria, Jeanne Henderson of North Beach, Md., Tori Hill of Warrenton, Lisa Rodely of Arlington, and Michele Swiertz of Ashburn. The six trekked to Fort Washington Tattoo Company where five of them got their fandom permanently inked on their bodies. Swiertz chose a temporary one.

“We kept calling that her practice tattoo,” laughed Anderson.

The group has known each other for more than a year, and say they all met initially on Twitter. Some have even switched their season tickets to sit near each other at games. They spend Sundays at the Red Porch before the games and often get together to watch games when the team is on the road. For these fans, the choice to represent the Nats via tattoos was a no-brainer and they wanted to make sure the ink was dry before this year’s Nats Fest.

Each of the women chose a different place for their new ink. Henderson said she chose her right shoulder in tribute to right fielder Jayson Werth, who she says is responsible for bringing baseball back into her life after an emotional moment led her away.

“I didn’t even know the Nats existed before 2009 because I had gotten so far out of baseball,” she said. “My brother used to play minor league back in the 70s, and when he passed away I kind of just quit with it. But there’s just something electric about [Werth]. Everybody kept talking about him and somebody gave me his bobblehead to try to get me involved in the Nats. And after hearing stories about how he treats people and how he’s so dedicated, it just brought me back to baseball.”

Others in the group chose their wrist or ankle for simpler reasons, and all say they have no regrets of the permanent logo that now graces their bodies.

“It was a great day,” said Allard. “I think we laughed more than I’ve laughed in a long time.”

For the women, the tattoos will be a constant reminder of what they share, and there are already plans to get others from their circle of friends involved in a second round of inking.

“Not only have the Nationals brought us together as friends, but we’ve actually become bonded like a family,” said Henderson. “It’s incredible that we can go out and do stuff like this without regrets and we always know that we’re there for each other and it’s an amazing feeling. It really is.”


Kristy Anderson shows off her new Nats tatto. (courtesy of Julie Allard)

Julie Allard’s ankle Nats tattoo in progress. (courtesy of Julie Allard)

Jeanne Henderson getting a Nats logo tattooed on her shoulder. (courtesy of Julie Allard)

courtesy of Julie Allard

 

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