When the Nationals released their promotional schedule in February, Paul Fritschner decided he had to have the Jayson Werth garden gnome that will be given out to the first 25,000 fans at Tuesday’s game.

“I’m not a huge bobblehead guy, but I said I’m doing whatever it takes to get a gnome,” Fritschner, 17, told me.

Fritschner, who writes for the Our National(s) Pastime blog, did more than enough. After grabbing lunch at Potbelly around the corner, Fritschner and his friend, Francis Bright, were the first to arrive at the Center Field Gate at Nationals Park around 2:10 p.m. Fritschner said one other fan arrived at the same time.

Fritschner and Bright, rising seniors at St. John Paul the Great in Dumfries and members of the school baseball team, brought their gloves and played catch until other fans began to arrive. At that point, they sat down at the front of the line, called friends, and started counting down the minutes until the gates opened at 4:30.