Less than 24 hours after the Nats lost to the Cardinals in Game of the NLDS, Reader Brian sent me this note.
“This morning I, like many of us, awoke with a hoarse throat, baggy eyes and a bad taste in my mouth,” he wrote. “Still, I felt some deep-down desire to put on my Nats hat and sweatshirt this morning when I went out to run my ‘honey-do’ errands. Much to my chagrin, everywhere I went people wanted to talk with me and others about all the events that transpired the past week and, to a greater extent, this season. We may finally be a baseball town afterall.
“Having said that, I think it is time for Washingtonians to give back to the Nats and their #Natitude with some #Gratitude. I was hoping you could help spread the good word and declare this Monday Gratitude for Natitude Day. Children and adults alike should be proud and encouraged to wear Nats gear or even just something red to express, however so subtle, our greater community’s gratitude for the Washington Nationals and their 2012 natitude. Not since Sean Taylor’s death (and before that Kornheiser’s bandwagon) have I seen this community unite so obviously behind a single team.”
I didn’t mention Gratitude for Natitude, because I’m constitutionally unable to non-ironically endorse marketing slogans, but it turns out the Nats had a similar idea. Except they decided to thank the fans, instead of the other way around.
This letter from the Lerner family ran on the back page of Thursday’s sports section, and was also e-mailed to Nats season ticket holders and Nats “insiders” early Thursday morning.
The online version also had a link to the team’s season-highlights video, which you should watch if you don’t mind getting all nostalgic. It’s the same video — filled with thank-you messages from players — that was shown at Nats Park after the regular-season finale, although it is updated a bit near the end. Luckily, it cuts out after the conclusion of Game 4.