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Tony Kornheiser

First Home-Date Jitters

By Tony Kornheiser
Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page D01

On the calendar, it says Opening Day is less than one week away. And the home opener at RFK will follow shortly after. I'm very excited about going to the home opener. But I don't mind telling you I'm nervous, too. I've never been to a real major league baseball game in Washington before. What if it doesn't work out? I don't know where I'll sit. I don't know who I'll be next to. I don't know what to wear.

"You sound like a schoolgirl going on her first date," my friend Cindy said.

The mound has been lowered into position; now, it's just a matter of recognizing the Nats who will be pitching from it. Will it be Chad Cordero or Angel Cordero? (Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post)

_____ Opening Day _____
The Nationals and Manager Frank Robinson, pictured, lose to the Phillies, 8-4, on Monday.
Thomas Boswell: The first bit of reality sinks in and grounds the Nationals.
Mike Wise: Like old times, Washington loses a baseball game.
Terrmel Sledge's home run ball is headed for Cooperstown.
Montreal barely notices the Expos and baseball are gone.
Mayor Anthony Williams and some fans travel to Philadelphia.
Nationals boosters around town stopped to catch the first game.
More milestones for the Nats.
Nationals' 76 Game TV Schedule.

_____ On Our Site _____
Box score
Video of fans following the team to the first game vs. the Phillies.
More Opening Day photos from the game in Philadelphia.
Photos from the Nationals' first exhibition contest at RFK Stadium.

_____ Baseball Preview _____
It will be tough for the Orioles- Nationals matchup to join the ranks of great baseball rivalries.
A closer look at the Nationals' rivals in the NL East.
Thomas Boswell: The old rivalry between Washington and Baltimore should not take long to heat up.
Baseball Preview Section

_____ Nationals Basics _____
Player Capsules

_____E-mail Newsletter_____

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"School boy," I said.

"Yeah. Whatever."

But the truth is, this is a fluttery time for most of us. There hasn't been a baseball team here for nearly 34 years. I'm particularly excited to go to the home opener because God only knows when I'll be able to see the Nationals on local TV. The way it looks now, if the Nationals ever get a TV deal, they'll be so far up the dial that you'll need a special dish broadcasting from the planet Goobus with Brian Lamb and Stephen Hawking doing the play-by-play.

Like I said, it's 34 years between home games.

An entire generation has been born here, grown up here, gotten married and had kids -- and they've never seen a home baseball game. They've spent their whole lives rooting for the Orioles, thinking Baltimore was the home team. It's going to take us awhile to settle into what it means to be Nats fans; most of us still reflexively check the sports section to see what the O's are up to. Now that the Nats are here, what do we do?

Do we wear the "W" hat, or the "DC" hat?

Do we bring a glove to the game? At my age it's been awhile since I put on a baseball glove. If I can't find my old one (and I'm pretty sure I left it in a garage two houses ago), should I just bring a gardening glove? Or an oven mitt?

Should we buy the whole schmear of souvenirs -- the hats, the T-shirts, the miniature bat, the pennant? I ask that because what if this team moves in a year or two, like the last team did? Then we're stuck with all this mishigas.

Hey, does RFK sell obstructed-view seats, like the other place?

Will the Nats hold "Singles Nights," like in the other other place?

What kind of hot dogs will they sell? (I hope it's the kosher ones, and not the ones with all the rodent hair in them, the ones that get all bloated in the bun.) And they'll have the grainy mustard, right? That stuff rocks.

Should I take a limo to the game?

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